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Monday, April 5, 2010

Immigration culture and survival.

In a wildlife documentary about survival on PBS, I did learn that lions tend to prey on weak and sick animals. Cheetahs prey on those that venture far from their herds. In the animal kingdom survival increase if you stay with your herd.  However it does not change anything for the unfortunate one that has to fight for his life or protect his family. Life and death depend on him alone.  And of course I did the parallel between immigration and survival. Immigration, migrations are often made to assure better, easier, safer life or just survival.  Immigration is a gain of opportunities, experiences but also an emotional loss due to distances. From culture shock, acculturation, integration, assimilation to multiculturalism, it is a stressful process of survival and adaptation.  As a child in the South of France I did meet gypsies. I am fascinated by their philosophy. They are travelers from there, everywhere and nowhere. Regardless of their burden, they are to an extend  at peace about not belonging anywhere. I always admired their resilience but the sadness in their flamenco remind us the pain, sacrifices, suffering and a beauty not always glamorous. In this global community, immigration culture is a culture in its own with its dreams, pains, codes, stress, joy and successes. If you spend one day looking at people around you, you can see it is not about race or ethnicity, not even about developed countries and developing countries. It is about survival of the fittest from lions, cheetahs to us.

Interesting to read:
Ethnicity, immigration, and psychopathology
By Ihsan Al-Issa, Michel Tousignant
“While most studies of the stresses experienced by minorities, migrants, and refugees focus on North America, this work assumes an unusually broad scope. African-Americans, Latin Americans, Hutterites, Southeast Asians, and Native Americans are all considered in the context of the U.S. and Canada. However, separate chapters also discuss North Africans in France, Turks in Belgium, native culture in New Zealand, Jews inside and outside Israel, Gypsies in Europe, and Germans migrating west in their newly united nation. This unique look at the stresses facing such groups is an important resource for researchers, practitioners, and graduate students in clinical psychology, counseling, and psychiatric social work.”

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