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Rethinking 'Us' & 'Them': Integration and Diversity in Europe

Chapters 1 › Unit 1: Do you feel like part of the 'Us' or the 'Them'? View instructions Hide instructions

Do you feel like part of the 'Us' or the 'Them'?

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Tell us: Where do you fall on the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ spectrum?

In this chapter, you've seen many examples of how diversity is understood and contested in Germany and Canada. We imagine you may want to comment on what you've heard and maybe even share your personal experiences. The 'Us' & 'Them' course community would love to hear from you:

Here are some guiding questions to draw from:

  • How is diversity perceived in your country?
  • How are the communities you identify with (race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender...) represented in media and public life?
  • What examples can you mention or find that indicate your inclusion or exclusion from mainstream society?
  • What experiences have you had where others perceived you in a certain way based on how you look or where you come from? Were these correct or incorrect?
  • Does your country recognize itself as a country of immigration and in which ways? Do you see your country as a country of immigration?

Now what?
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.

Am I Slovenian?

2 comments

I'm an Italian who lives in Slovenia. I came here 4 years ago and I've become fluent in Slovene, which is pretty rare among migrants here. I just though, I want to study in Slovenia, I must learn the language. So I did.
I don't look Slovene. People are usually surprised in hearing me speaking the language. They ask me if I am Slovenian or what, as I am too dark for the Slovenian average (note, I only have dark hair and I would more recognizable as a foreigner for my non-Slavic features but people like to underline my "darkness").
I live in Ljubljana, which make things easier. People from small villages are not used to non-South Slavic migrants.
I wonder if I will be ever be able to feel Slovenian and if people will ever see me as one.
Here there is the concept of "narod", meaning both Country and people. You cannot really divide the Country from the ethnicity. So, this term is a big obstacle to inclusion.

Comments

Hi Martina, thanks for a lot for your entry. I'm curious, do you want to be seen as Slovenian after 4 years in the country and if so, in what ways? Do you consider yourself now more Slovenian than Italian? Do you feel you have to choose? I can totally understand the underlining of your "darkness" - I get that in Germany all the time, too!

24 days ago

Hi Sophia, thanks for your comment. I would say that I cannot feel more Slovenian than Italian, as I have spent 25 years of my life in Italy and will always belong there. However, yes, I also feel Slovenian. I have no Slovenian citizenship but I love the Country, I feel proud of living here and would feel hurt if someone would disdain it.
Anyway, the citizenship here is gained only by those people who renounce to their previous one, which is a huge obstacle not only for me, but for many migrants. Many among us ask themselves why we cannot be both. We love Slovenia but we also love our home countries. I hope that things will change, one day. I think that we migrants have to work to build a new consciousness among the Slovenian society on the fact that one can have two different identities without damaging any.

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