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.

Ombilico mundi

0 comments beautiful, pristine country that prides itself on its hospitality and tolerance but is none of the above(except decently beautiful). In my fingerprint of heaven homogeneity is hugely important. As a kid you are taught to behave "ca lumea" (as all others). It's incredibly collectivist, stemming from 50 years of communism, and two millennia of foreign invaders having their way. You see, in all this time the odd ball out would have been a liability for the local community in their flight out of the way of "venetici"(foreign comers) and as such originality is highly discouraged. If you are not as the norm you just behave normal to blend in.
I, myself identify as hahol, Ukrainian fugitives from the great Zaporoje that settled in the Danube Delta to escape the tsar but my specific ethnicity is so small that we do not even register in the mainstream, i am as straight as an arrow ,atheist and healthy, thanks God, so not discriminated against (with the exception of the fact that i must be mad for not believing in an invisible being)
As inclusion goes, i feel i am odd but is not by fault of the system, I ask and question even the unquestionable. The fact that i am atheistic and proud in a deeply religious country is not helping ether. another point of contention is my left leaning views(by Romanian standards). I have been insulted, rarely to my face, but before traveling abroad in Europe never did i feel discriminated. I lived for about seven years in Norway and there I discovered myself as a Romanian. As many other places, in norway, Romanians have a a bit of a bad rep and i found myself in the same file and cabinet as my lesser grade countrymen. "Don't lock the door! The Romanian is with us!" "hviteneger" (wight black-man) etc. First i was annoyed but then i wanted to understand and still i try to do that. I don't blame the ones that misjudged me, they didn't know me enough to hate me for myself and the only other Romanians that they got in to contact with are probably beggars ,prostitutes and thieves because those are the visible ambassadors of my failing state.

My country found itself a country of immigration for the first time in half a century, we are forced to take in refugees and that created a backlash in the conservative homogeneous society of poor ignorant god fearing christian flock. The fact that a wave of populism is sweeping in is not helpful ether and nether is the wave of terrorist activity in the name of the imaginary friend of most of the foreign comers.
I personally see my country as returning to its place as a country of immigration(back in the interwar period we were pretty prosperous) but fear it also because of the economic impact that helping others would bring your own people in need . I work as a teacher in the countryside and have first hand knowledge of the conditions my pupils live and study in with less then what an immigrant gets monthly and not much better then in sub Saharan Africa . I think we need to help ourselves first and then others that in no case want to stay here and are just on there way to Germany and beyond( our own population is more then eager to do the same and flee for the prosperity of the west so we don't blame them)

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