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To think that immigrants don't have to love their new country.

(102 Posts)
DarceyBustle Wed 14-Jan-15 08:30:05

I've lived in four different countries as a adult and there all of them have had really good qualities (eg NHS equals good news).

But I have found (in each of those countries) that if an immigrant expresses anything other than fawning adoration, there will be people who say "Well fuck off back to where you came from".
AIBU to think that immigrants are permitted a nuanced view of where they live.

TheNewStatesman Wed 14-Jan-15 08:35:34

YANBU. Immigrants are entitled to have mixed feelings about their new country, just like everyone else. Views from people from different backgrounds can sometimes add much needed perspective. Or contribute to new ways of thinking and new ideas, or questioning bad ways of doing things etc.

That said, of course there needs to be a certain amount of identification with the new country; otherwise one is not truly an immigrant, but merely a kind of "foreign resident."

WooWooOwl Wed 14-Jan-15 08:36:25

People can have whatever opinions they like about a country, immigrant or not. But sometimes it is polite to keep an opinion to yourself.

I wouldn't say anything critical about a country to a native of that country wherever we met in the world, it would be rude. Of course, telling someone to 'fuck off back to where they came from' is also rude, but I can see why that sentiment could be felt by someone who is listening to their home being criticised by an 'outsider'.

MidniteScribbler Wed 14-Jan-15 08:37:15

You don't have to love where you live (whether that be as a citizen by birth or an immigrant) but you need to know when to keep your mouth shut sometimes. If you're quick to tell everyone around you how much you hate their country, then you need to expect that you may not receive an unfavourable reception. I would never, for example, get on this forum and start saying how much I hated the UK (I don't btw, I love the UK, but just using it for illustration purposes), because I would fully expect people to swoop in to defend their own country, it's just natural. Pick your audience when having a whinge. This applies to everything in life.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 14-Jan-15 08:44:54

YANBU. I have lived in 3 different countries and each one has had good and bad points. Not sure id go on about what I perceived to be the bad points to a native of that country though.

ghostland Wed 14-Jan-15 08:45:29

Of course nobody can be forced to love their newly adopted country but they should definitely have respect for the customs/culture of it if they plan to stay. When in Rome etc.

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Wed 14-Jan-15 08:48:14

You don't have to love it but slagging it off to the natives is never going to get a good reception, is it?

DarceyBustle Wed 14-Jan-15 08:54:21

I know there is an element of picking your audience and positioning things as "Cultural Difference" but some people are really defensive (although the UK would be generally not too bad).

I'm real life I'm not bad at smile and nod.

Rebecca2014 Wed 14-Jan-15 08:54:43

Well if your slagging the country off then people who are born here will get annoyed. I wouldn't move to another country unless I loved it anyway, I certainly would do all I can to fit in (Learn language, fit in culture) I know a lot of people don't bother who live here.

DarceyBustle Wed 14-Jan-15 08:55:48

You don't have to love it but slagging it off to the natives is never going to get a good reception, is it?

But is anything less than fawning adoration slagging it off?

Nolim Wed 14-Jan-15 09:03:08

Yanbu. This situation is particularly common with people who have lived their whole life in one country and have not been ina similar situation. But yes it is perfectly normal to like somthings and not others. Also it probably doesnt help that according to the media this country is about to be taken over by hordes of immigrats wanting to abuse benefits. So you would think that there is no better place in the whole big world.

WooWooOwl Wed 14-Jan-15 09:10:00

That would depend on the context and tone used. Using the phrase 'anything less than fawning adoration' comes across as quite condescending.

If you want to have a moan, find yourself some fellow expats. Or find a country that doesn't give you anything to moan about. Or focus on the positives of why you have chosen a country rather than the negatives. You have no need to be critical of other people's countries, so why do you expect to be able to say whatever you want without it being seen as rude?

For many people, their home country is part of their identity, and if you are critical about it then you are being critical of them. At least, that's easily how it can come across, and it's just natural that people will get defensive.

nagynolonger Wed 14-Jan-15 09:13:49

Of course they don't have to love their new country. They just have to abide by it's laws, pay any taxes they should and treat it's citizens with respect. The respect bit is two way obviously.

It's not difficult really as presumably they are where they are by choice. If they really can't manage the above then maybe they should leave. We have several friends who have come back to the UK after giving Australia/NZ a try.

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Jan-15 09:14:14

No they don't have to love it, but they should at least consider their audience if they're going to slag it off.

'Fawning adoration' is OTT and a bit of a silly phrase, if you're trying to make a serious point.

MrsCakesPrecognition Wed 14-Jan-15 09:15:01

I have never heard anyone, native or immigrant, express fawning adoration for the UK. Much more common to hear natives saying how the country is going to the dogs and they plan to emigrate somewhere warm (not that they ever do).

MidniteScribbler Wed 14-Jan-15 09:18:20

I'm currently on holidays in the country I plan on retiring in, and most of the 'locals' can track their heritage to the very small community back hundreds of years. Coming in here (I have a home here and holiday here during most school holidays) and starting to whinge about those aspects of the community which I don't like, would just see me not being accepted in to the this community. I have chosen to make this community my (future) home and so therefore I have to accept the good with the bad. If there weren't more good points than bad, then why bother making the move? And what good would it do bitching about it? It just puts people offside and makes it harder to find a place within the community. Why do you need 'fawning adoration' in your conversations? Stick to talking about the good points, and keep your mouth shut about those less favourable aspects.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 14-Jan-15 09:19:29

I was told to go home by a taxi driver in Sydney after my ex and I had a moan when chatting with him how long it took us to find a free taxi we were stunned into silence grin

Of course everyone has the right to moan but of course people will get defensive as it can feel personal as it's part of your identity

EBearhug Wed 14-Jan-15 09:21:02

I wouldn't move to another country unless I loved it

What if it doesn't live up to your expectations? I'm sure there will be many people who move to other countries and expect their experience to be X and find out in reality, it's actually Y. I think also it depends why you're there - trailing a spouse and not being allowed to work will be quite a different, possibly more isolating experience than someone who is there for a specific role. I also don't understand what is wrong with being critical of some things, because there are things which are rubbish in every country and will seem inexplicable to incomers (as well as those who have lived there forever.) I think if immigrants are negative about everything, that's not so great, and if it doesn't pass, maybe they should consider going to another country. But I would think everyone goes through a stage of it, when the shine of novelty has worn off, but it's still difficult, getting used to new ways of doing things.

There are well known patterns of what people tend to go through when they emigrate to a new country, (a bit like the stages of grief,) though I can't remember at all what they are, off-hand.

Nolim Wed 14-Jan-15 09:21:14

Woo i dont know if it was your intention but you do sound rude.

If you ask an expat what they think about your country and they say it's ok in general but i dont like the weather/the buses/the cost of living/whatever would you reply then find yourself some expats to moan or find a country where you dont have anything to moan about? Probably not. I fact there are few people even nationals who would not find anything to complain. If you are one of them then that is great but i dont see why someone would take ofense when an expat says i liked x more in my previous country.

ToffeeCaramel Wed 14-Jan-15 09:26:16

I agree with you generally, but some of my husband's South African friends used to be really quite rude though when they lived here a while back. They used to just sneer at the UK and bang on about how everything was so much better back home and how they were just here to "scrounge a pound" then they'd go back. It didn't exactly enamour me to them!

ThisOneAndThatOne Wed 14-Jan-15 09:27:40

I am an immigrant and my DHs parents were immigrants too (refugees from Eastern Europe before and after the war).

Sure we do not have fawning adoration. But we are all very grateful to be living in the UK.

we would all be having very different lives if we were not here (and my lovely DC would not exist as I my in laws would not have met and so my DH would not exist grin)

lem73 Wed 14-Jan-15 09:28:52

I lived in two different foreign countries as an adult and I kept any negative opinions to myself. And no, immigrants don't have to love this country but they should respect it.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 14-Jan-15 09:30:16

Rebecca unfortunately we had to move counties numerous times due to the nature of my husband's job. Didn't have chance to find out beforehand whether I loved it or not, and if I didn't we didn't have a massive amount of choice. I was fortunate enough that we lived in some amazing places but there were definitely some aspects of each that I didn't like.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 14-Jan-15 09:33:12

However I don't think I ever 'fawningly adored' a country to a native either! It never came up in conversation so would have been strange. If a native friend had said 'how do you like living here?' I would have said 'it's great thank you, the weather is fab' or something along those lines. No need to go into any more detail than that surely? Don't think I've ever fawned adoringly about anything and as far as I know have never upset anyone because of it. Very strange phrase.

TraceyTrickster Wed 14-Jan-15 09:35:38

I always liken it to visiting someone's house.

If someone invited you to their home and you said ' your decoration is shit and my family are much better cooks than you, and the place is a mess'...you would really piss off your host.

Instead you say little or only positive things (your garden is fab). I am a migrant and this is definitely the way to go.

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