Melting pot or salad bowl?

A repost of an older post of mine…. Seeing as I brought up the EU Referendum earlier!

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I’m not a great one at remembering who said what, quote wise, though, if in an argument with Hubby Dearest, I can remember the second something was said, and by whom!

Ok, only just started and already going off tangent!

So, where was I? Oh yes, I was thinking about something someone once said, about immigration, and whether we want a melting pot or a metaphorical salad bowl…

I liked that whole thought. We’re all different, and if integrated properly, all the different cultures around us, living together, make a veritable smorgasbord of flavours for us to enjoy.

I know the original quote was regarding America, but it goes for everywhere, doesn’t it? Every country where there is a large number of different cultures living together, every school where there are many different children, and even within families, because, even within cultures, there are very different types of people, and if we were all the same, how boring would it be?

When you move to another country, I believe you definitely should NOT forget where you came from, or what your background was/is.
But that you need to remember that you are moving somewhere that has different ideals and sensibilities. And this should be respected.

Where I live now, in Kent, we are part of a large Sikh population that moved here mainly in the 50’s and 60’s. At that time, I’d imagine the thoughts of the general Gravesendian population would have been thinking where have these brown faces with cloth wrapped around their heads come from?

But over the years, and with hard work, most of these people built businesses, set up home and brought their families over. We see the Sikh Gurdwara standing, side by side with churches, and over the average year, as much as Christian festivals, and days of importance in the British calendar are observed, the same importance is given to the Sikh festivals, with Vaisakhi, a festival Sikhs give a lot of importance to as it signifies the birth of the Khalsa, being celebrated in such a way, the majority of the town is shut to allow a grand procession to go through, and everyone, from all walks of life are welcome to join in, and they do!

The same at Diwali, or Bandi Chorr Diwas, where we celebrate the festival of light. It’s spectacular, the fireworks, the lighting up of the temple, then days before, or after, we all celebrate Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night with the GB population!

Yes, there are areas in town where it is a bit Indian-ified, punjabi shops catering for food and clothing needs, but who doesn’t like the restaurants, with authentic food, that have also popped up over the years?!

In the beginning, many of the men found it hard with their turbans, so many cut their hair, to fit in, much to the chagrin of their families back home, and gave themselves English names so the English tongue didn’t find it hard to say their names.  Jagdeep became Jack, Satinder became Steve, and so on. And children where registered with simple names, and hair cut from the beginning so the child didn’t suffer any bullying at school.  There were, however, those individuals who refused to change their exteriors to fit in, and this didn’t hinder them in the long run. Yes, it might have been a slightly harder integration, but they wanted to be accepted, and their religion respected, as well as being able to show they could do all the jobs just as well as your average hair cut individual!

But times have changed, a Sikh person is now proud to wear a turban, if they are baptised, or even if not, and many of our children go to Punjabi school alongside their normal education to keep a grasp of their roots.  The majority of children have their UK born parents to impart the knowledge which will help them day to day, and grandparents who will help them with their cultural roots.

When I first moved here, I found it a bit wierd, having grown up in quite an anglicised area in Birmingham, in a predominantly white school, with lots of brown interaction through my large family. I walked into the town centre here, not long after getting married, and so many faces were brown, like mine! But there were no worries, everyone got on just fine! There were very few obvious looking Muslims and I didn’t see many Afro Caribbean people initially. But that changed too over the years.

Now we have a huge addition of Eastern Europeans in the mix. And I feel like the way everyone talks about them now is probably what the locals were saying about Indians all those years ago. There are a few differences though, not so many of these new additions finding employment, instead, being housed, and having rather a lot of children.

But going back to what I originally started thinking about, with this post in mind…  It’s so nice to be able to live side by side, stand beside one another, celebrate your differences, add a different dimension to the community.  But don’t try and create your own land within another…  What was the point of moving, if that was all you wanted?  Heck it’s not like the weather is any better here!  Live by the rules of the country you move to, don’t forget your background, your culture, they make you who you are… as much as the place you move to, and the people who are from there, their beliefs and culture, make them the people they are too.

I like salad!

57 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Frajman
    Jun 22, 2017 @ 16:38:48

    In Canada, salad rules! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jennifer
    Jun 22, 2017 @ 16:08:42

    I’m from America, so, of course, I’m leaning towards the Melting Pot. But really, the analogy works for that as well. Each person/culture adds to and doesn’t diminish from the American culture. Each brings their own flavor, which is distinct, but at the same time adds to the new dish that’s created when all the flavors are melted together. (Unfortunately, sometimes someone comes along and sets the pot to boil when really, it should be at a nice simmer to marry the flavors.)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Lutheranliar
    Jun 22, 2017 @ 13:02:23

    I like salad, too. Especially with ingredients like you tossed in (!) xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. anhistorianabouttown
    Jun 22, 2017 @ 12:14:48

    Canada is far from perfect and we have a long way to go, but we believe in a mosaic! Everyone fits together as they are, and that is the beauty- I think it’s beautiful, and I’m proud of this policy 😊 this is a great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Trackback: My Picks Of The Week #28 | A Momma's View
  6. barkhabale
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 11:37:31

    nice

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. susieshy45
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 07:20:29

    Loved this post, Ritu. I live in a country as an immigrant without passport of the host country. Here there are a lot like me and most of us try to create our own world within the country we live in. I agree with you that we need to integrate and mix with locals, as much as will be allowed by the local culture. I am not sure where to draw the line though or even if a line should be drawn. Should there be borders at all ? Isn’t the whole world one and aren’t we all keepers of the world we have been gifted.
    Thanks for sharing your perspective and loved it.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jun 22, 2016 @ 07:31:32

      Thank you Susie 😊
      I don’t think it is wrong at all to try and recreate a little of your own community, but what isn’t right is those who don’t have any intention of integrating.
      Keeping your identity is hugely important, but you don’t have to lose it to integrate.
      As long as there is respect from both sides, we can live like a delicious salad forever!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  8. Erika Kind
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 07:04:43

    I remember this post very well and it couldn’t be more fitting this week and these times in general!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. amommasview
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 06:34:07

    I love salad! What a great post. Excellent (in Linda’s words) indeed. You are so right. It’s not about giving up on who you are. It’s about re-inventing yourself without giving up on anything. It’s adding more layers, more flavors. The word “more” stands out. Maybe in mixing everything you actually become more…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  10. joey
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 02:53:55

    I like salad too. I really require diversity.
    I first read about that when I was in Multi-Cultural Education. Man, I loved that class.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. vanbytheriver
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 23:09:03

    I love this. Excellent. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Josh Wrenn
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 20:03:33

    I agree! Every culture brings something unique and positive to the table. So let’s put it all in a salad instead of melting it down to form something unrecognizable.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. ladyleemanila
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 19:47:34

    Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:

    I like salad, too! Thanks, Ritu for the lovely post ❤

    Like

    Reply

  14. Bare Naked in Public
    Nov 18, 2015 @ 02:16:07

    I work at a school with a very diverse population. I love it! I feel as though I experience cultures from all over the world every single day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. dray0308
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 05:27:21

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:

    Meet But I Smile Anyway…!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Erika Kind
    Nov 15, 2015 @ 20:27:30

    Fantastic, sis! This is exactly what I think too. We must should never feel the neey to deny or ignore our roots and origin. But moving to a different culture means that we have to accept their rules and integrate (learning the language for example). I am glad when different cultures mix in order to learn more about the other culture as well! Nobody gets hurt but everybody benefits a lot. That is what makes everyhing whole. There is so much color on this planet. Only living in green gets frustrating after a while. Wonderful, wonderful post!!! 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  17. Trackback: Melting pot or salad bowl? | JanniStyles1
  18. Nardia
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 00:05:23

    Such a great perspective! We’re having this debate a lot in Australia at the moment in the aftermath of a terrorist siege in Sydney (where two hostages, plus the terrorist gunman were killed). Sadly it has been bringing the ignorant and racist out of the woodwork. You know the ones, they yelp uninformed views at every opportunity and condemn anyone who isn’t white anglo-saxon to return to their ancestral homes. Bit ironic really given we’re a country founded on convict immigration methinks!
    One positive thing though is that the voices of reason are also stepping up and yelling out too and we’re slowing starting to see a shift in the demonstration of our ability to embrace cultural diversity in our Country and not just paying lip service to it (google #illridewithyou to see what I mean). We live in a very confusing and challenging time and with social media at our finger tips, it’s easy for keyboard warriors to disseminate their vile hatred-filled views… but I think the tide is changing. I hope the tide is changing, coz I like salad too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. sunsetdragon
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 04:00:03

    I love sad, especially crab salad.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Ritu
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 23:11:00

    Reblogged this on But I Smile Anyway… and commented:

    Just another early post I was reading, and was really happy with! 😊

    Like

    Reply

  21. free speaking
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 14:36:56

    I used to live in Gravesend back in 97′ I then moved to Northfleet before medway towns and somehow ended up in Essex. We looked at a house at the beginning of the year to buy down there but the prices seem to have gone up a huge amount. The indian community were never an issue when I lived there. I actually preferred living among them than a lot of the white English I have lived among.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. TvKapherr, CatsattheBar & BackHomeinBromont
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 14:09:26

    I like salad too. I live in Quebec were the major cultural difference is language, strangely enough. The diversity of culture has, for the most part, altered without much notice. As long as you can speak both English and French it’s pretty much a non-issue. However for all of the opportunity to explore different cultures I still can’t make a decent curry. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. lbeth1950
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 13:55:14

    Excellent

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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