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I am studying in Australia so I am a foreigner for Aussies but the interesting thing is I always forget about this and I call Australians 'foreigners' when I talk about Australia with my friends.
There are a lot of well-educated people in Australia and they treat others equally and kindly, however, there are also some people who treat foreigners rudely and impatiently especially when they have difficulties on understanding each other.
So I want to know how do you think about foreigners in your country? Or do they do something interesting which confuse you?
Australia in particular is an interesting place to be a foreigner. That is mainly because there are so many foreigners of various ethnicities, and also a lot of quite conservative locals.
That racism that you mention I think comes from two sources. Firstly, Australia does have a history of racism and monoculturalism. Some of the things that the English settlers did to the Aboriginals were terrible. The genocide of Tasmanian Aborigines, and the mass removal of children from their families are the two main examples that spring to mind.
The other thing that I think causes problems is the tendency for new immigrant groups to stick with their own ethnic groups. That has always tended to happen, such as with the Italian and Greek communities. However in modern times, Chinese in particular tend to do that more, I think. They are also a lot more visible, being obviously different looking. When groups of people stand apart from a society, I think that that does potentially cause a reaction in the rest of society. "are we not good enough for them to talk to?". The fact that you mention that you say that you "call Australians 'foreigners' when I talk ... with my friends" suggests that you also socialise more with your own ethnic group than you do with other cultures.
This can cause problems in many ways. If people in these 'foreign' groups do not interract much with mainstream culture, they will not realise that things that they do are causing problems. An example is where their driving is not up to standard. It is too easy to blame criticism of bad driving on racial intolerance, rather than realising that it is simply not good enough. And becuase there is not much interraction with other cultures, there is less likelihood that there will be someone else in the car that can say "why on earth did you do THAT?".Another example is where people of a culture come to another country, and don't even bother to learn the language. A common example is when people bring their parents with them. If there is an insular group, those parents don't feel the need to learn the official language of the country, because they can either only talk to their family members and extended friends, or only go out with them as interpreters. This can cause major problems if they find themselves without an interpreter. Apart from that - I think that it is simply rude to move to a country and not make any attempt to learn the language.
Gary, thank you so much for your patient comments and yes, you are right. It is really important to mix myself with locals.
Foreigners are general nice. The way people treat foreigners tends to depend on the person, and being from the SF Bay area, most people treat foreigners with respect. There are still those that can't accept that foreigners might do some things differently and discriminate against them for that, but they're the minority.
Personally, I've gotten along well with all the foreigners I've met (I'm sort of a foreigner myself, so that might help), though I think it's best if they come hang out with the locals instead of hanging out in their group of foreigners. It's really whatever they want though.
I think the same as you, I live in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro. Well whenever I help foreigners understand our language, I think it is because you treat someone badly just because she does not understand your language, it costs nothing to help eh hehe...
I do not know the situation in Australia.
I just know the situation in Japan and China.
In Japan , sometimes Chinese people are treated rudely.
Japanese people are basically "kind" for the other people ,and then many Chinese people do not find out the "rudeness" at the first time.
In China , sometimes Japanese people are treated unfriendly.
Chinese people are basically "friendly" for the other people ,and then many Japanese people do not find out the "unfriendness" at the first time.
maybe that kind of matters happen everywhere in this world.
We are confortable and feel safe when we are with people who has same color and use same language.This is probably because we were born in the family where father and mother live in.
On the other hand, people treat the traveller who came from other place "Carefully".
This is because the security reason. People do not know what kind of people who they are
and need to make them open their information.
Many time this Carefullness can be treat as "Friendly" and "kindly"
If you faced the difficulty of the other people , that means you have started to join their society as a foreigner , not as a traveller.
Hope you can be accepted by the AU society.