Who to you is a 'real German' (or anything else)?
Tell us: Who to you is a 'real German' (or Spaniard, Brit, Canadian, or anything else!)
In this chapter, you've been given a lot of food for thought on identity and belonging as it is understood on the personal and academic levels in Europe, Canada, and beyond. This is a topic that has likely hit home for many of you who may or may not be tied to particular borders, have questions or concerns about who belongs in your society, or may still be unsure about the whole thing. The 'Us' & 'Them' course community would love to hear from you:
Here are some guiding questions to draw from:
- What do you think the criteria should be for becoming a 'real' citizen or resident of your country?
- What makes you a 'real' anything? (German, American, Spaniard, Turk, etc.)?
- Do you see a cognitive vs. emotional dissonance in the way your society sees immigration, belonging, citizenship, etc.?
- How do you identify with the word 'multiculturalism'? Do you see yourself or your society as multicultural?
- Who is represented as nationals or residents of your country in public life?
- How do politicians and public figures in your society or country portray multiculturalism? As a good, bad, or normal thing? What about schools and museums?
- What type of language do you use to talk about the 'Other' or what kind of language do you prefer others use in reference to you? (e.g. migration background vs. migration history, 'Turkish-German' or 'German with Turkish roots', etc.)
Click 'Start in Journal', and fill out the entry. How you do this is up to you: You can use just words, or add pictures or links to articles or videos to highlight your point!
Is this journal assignment required?
No! Nothing in our course is 'required', and there are no grades, but we encourage you to reflect on these topics and share if you feel comfortable, so that others in the course can benefit from your experiences.
Who is a real Ghanaian
Response to questions posed
i. What do you think the criteria should be for becoming a citizen or resident of your country? One can become a citizen of Ghana through Birth that is, either one or both parents or grandparents was a Ghanaian, Naturalization, Adoption or Conferment. References: The Constitution of Ghana (Chapter 3 on Citizenship) and the Citizenship Act, 2000 of Ghana that clearly spelt – out who is citizen.
ii. What makes you a ‘real’ anything? The law governing the ‘thing’ will determine whether I am real or not. For example, in Article 41 (d) of the Ghana Constitution it states that “it’s the duty of every citizen to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons”. Hence, the individual feelings or assessment of himself/herself can only be determined as real based on the prevailing law. I boldly proclaim that I am a Ghanaian because the law says so.
iii. Do you see cognitive vs emotional dissonance in the way your society sees immigration, belonging, citizenship, etc? Both are at play here. With the emotional; For example, based on the cultural traditions of the tribes here in Ghana; they tend to be friendlier with visitors in general though there are exceptions hence if not by the colour of the skin or ascent of the ‘other’ person; it would be difficult to differentiate between the US and OTHER.
On the other hand, with the cognitive; there’s now a growing disaffection for Chinese nationals. This is as a result of the illegal mining being undertaken by this group of people that leads to massive destruction of our forest and water bodies. They use ammunitions to protect their illegality even to the extent that people are killed by them in the process (Illegal Mining: Asia Huang; The powerful Chinese woman behind galamsay in Ghana: www.pulse.com.gh›news›illegal mining: Asia Huang). Further, this same group with Nigerians are now into retail business which is solely the preserve of indigenes that is, Ghanaians hence the average Ghanaian who can’t compete tends to do otherwise.
iv. How do you identify with the word ‘multiculturalism’? Do you see yourself or your society as multicultural? Personally, based on my beliefs as a disciple of Christ and orientation from the family; the human race is one but distinct as individuals hence I love all and chooses to focus on the strength of each individual than the history or background. Ghana is multicultural even minus foreigners; it’s a tribe of 49 people with their unique identity.
v. Who is represented as nationals or residents of your country in public life? Is purely on context of law as defined by the Constitution of Ghana and Citizenship Act, 2000. There are some things that can only be done strictly by citizens for example, voting, holding certain public offices etc
vi. How do politicians and public figures in your society or country portray multiculturalism? As a good, bad, or normal thing? What about schools and museums? Politicians in their public pronouncements; believe its good but in their appointments to public offices shows otherwise though the Constitution entreated regional balances should be considered in this regard. If in practice, they tend to show their favoritism to section of Ghanaians when given political power; same can be extended to foreigners but on the whole; they see the positive aspect of migration hence have provided Refugee Camp for Liberian Refugees and some have even been integrated into the country. Also, in recent times, they have provided Refugee Camp as well for refugees from Cote D’voire etc. Schools here only teaches about the history of the country and colonization was part and to be sincere; the pros and cons of colonization was taught devoid of hatred or xenophobia to any group of people. Our museum does same.
Dear Madam Burton,
Please, I would like to appeal to you that; if the views shared in deutche could be translated into English as well in some of the videos.
Also, if the subsequent videos could be compressed into fewer bytes. Thank you