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Multicultralism and assimilation

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    Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 14:07
Today most multicultural cities are the product of immigration. Although most of the migrants might tend to stick to their own kind for the first 2 generations, the general trend is assimilation, in that after the 3rd or 4th generation, only a small fraction of the descendants of the migrants still hold onto their old world identities.
The has been the general trend for cities such as New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro etc. Most of the ethnic enclaves in these cities are formed by recent immigrants, while the old ethnic enclaves of the older generation of immigrant nationalities are slowly washing away.

However, in many "old world" multicultural cities, the different nationalities that have founded the city together could hold onto their identity and resist assimilation not only for 3 or 4 generations, but also for centuries. Cities with such characters include Algiers, Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Odessa, Tiflis, and the entire regions of Macedonia and Transylvania...

What is the key difference that make some multi-national cities and regions melting pots, and others regions where the different identities are maintained?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 14:13
I believe it depends on how foreigners are accepted by locals, and the presense or not of guettos among the cities. It also depends on the rate of the intermarriage, and the acceptance of the alliens to integrate to theirs new society, customs, traditions and beliefs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 16:38
Not to throw a wrench into the works but please define a "multicultural" city? Sounds a tad to much of an oxymoron given the natural definition of "city"!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 17:20
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Not to throw a wrench into the works but please define a "multicultural" city?


Thessaloniki, prior to WWII is a good example and here's a good book describing the different societies.

Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950

Now to our time...I could refer to municipalities in Stockholm, that have no majority but have between 5 to 10 different ethno-cultural communities.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 17:28
Ah! Residential ghettoes within the larger cultural complex...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 19:16
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Ah! Residential ghettoes within the larger cultural complex...


Nevertheless they are towns, part of a larger city. In many cases those towns are larger than other standalone towns.

Let me give you another modern example. Antioch... That is a city, capital of a region where 1.5 million people live and when it had to decide between remaining an independent state or join the Republic of Turkey, it joined with 22 votes difference! You have Turks, Arabs and Assyrians who are divided in groups of muslims, christian ortodox, christian catholics and protestants (very few though).


Edited by Flipper - 05 Dec 2010 at 19:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 19:19
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

I believe it depends on how foreigners are accepted by locals, and the presense or not of guettos among the cities. It also depends on the rate of the intermarriage, and the acceptance of the alliens to integrate to theirs new society, customs, traditions and beliefs.


True...And in many of the examples given societies are very conservative in the notion of intermarriage. Different religions play also important role.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 19:33
A plebiscite from the opening of the 20th century is hardly applicable to the contemporary scene and within the context of contemporary times with respect to the attributes and desires generally known as "modernity" (and here Antioch [Antakya/Hatay] is rather interesting given its "cosmopolitanism" even in the ancient world) I would dare say that the vast majority of all the named would hardly espouse what for lack of another term can be labeled the shtetl mentality. Likewise, it would be a grave mental error to identify the needs and political desires of the Palestinians (be it Jerusalem or the West Bank) as a struggle against "assimilation". Perhaps what I am hinting at is the much needed distinction in Modern Times between Custom and Culture...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 19:56
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Perhaps what I am hinting at is the much needed distinction in Modern Times between Custom and Culture...


Well, it won't help Calvo to find the answer to his question. I guess he meant something more simple than hammering a root definition.

Whether, we consider the cities he mentioned multicultural or not, all of them have minorities that somehow maintain their character for a long time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 21:39
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

I believe it depends on how foreigners are accepted by locals, and the presense or not of guettos among the cities. It also depends on the rate of the intermarriage, and the acceptance of the alliens to integrate to theirs new society, customs, traditions and beliefs.
Agreed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 21:54
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Perhaps what I am hinting at is the much needed distinction in Modern Times between Custom and Culture...


Well, it won't help Calvo to find the answer to his question. I guess he meant something more simple than hammering a root definition.

Whether, we consider the cities he mentioned multicultural or not, all of them have minorities that somehow maintain their character for a long time.
 
Shall I utter the "rosebud" of the discussion: gitanos...?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 22:52
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
Shall I utter the "rosebud" of the discussion: gitanos...?


The gitanos, or gypsies, have maintained their separate identity mainly because they live on the margins of society. In the past centuries they had been nomads, and in the current era they mostly live in chabolas, shanty-town settlements on the outskirts of the city. They do not tend to hold any proper jobs or run any proper businesses, but instead make a living out of odd jobs or dealing drugs.
They also have a very archaic patriarcal tradition in that the elders have the absolute word in all discussions. Many girls get married at the age of 12 and they often till perform de virginity test on the night of the wedding.

Still, in certain areas in Spain, there is a great deal of assimilation between gitanos (gypsy Spaniards) and payos (non-gypsy Spaniards) both ways, especially in Andalusia and in certain working-class areas in the south of Madrid. Many non-Gypsy Spaniards from these areas talk, act, and behave like Gypsies that you could easily mistake them for one of them, yet without having Gypsy blood, the Gypsies would never accept them as part of their true clan.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 23:08
Hey Calvo. Do Spaniards mark the difference between theirs local Spanish Gypsies and the new foreign Gypsies that had arrived there? I mean, are Spaniards proud of theirs local Gypsies?

Two Gypsie singers I love are: Azucar Moreno. What women!




What a way to sing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itYS5OiSvTw




Edited by pinguin - 05 Dec 2010 at 23:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2010 at 07:38
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Hey Calvo. Do Spaniards mark the difference between theirs local Spanish Gypsies and the new foreign Gypsies that had arrived there? I mean, are Spaniards proud of theirs local Gypsies?


Yes, generally speaking foreign Gypsies and Spanish Gypsies have different lifestyles and do not intermix. In the last 10 years a fair number of Rumanian Gypsies have settled in Spain and they engage in certain activities that Spanish Gypsies would frown upon: such as women begging on a streets with a baby in their arms. They even speak different languages because most Spanish Gypsies speak Spanish while Rumanian Gypsies speak Roma, so on the whole I reckon that the difference with nationality overrides their common Gypsy heritage.

On the whole, Spanish Gypsies are much more assimilated into mainstream Spanish society than Rumanian Gypsies are into Rumanian society. Flamenco music is Gypsy and even today most famous flamenco singers (Manzanita, Niña Pastori), guitarrists (Paco de Lucía), and dancers (Farruquito, Joaquín Cortés) are Gypsies. In the 80s, a handful of Spanish Gypsy criminals became national legends admired by youths from all over the marginal barrios for their courage and "Robin-Hood"-like philosophy. Several films were made about them that have strong cult followings even today.
Nevertheless, most Spanish payos do not have a favourable opinion of Gypsies as they are commonly associated with petty crime and drug dealing. Most of the time when a large number of Gypsies move into a certain neighbourhood, the neighbours would begin to move out.

The case is: most Spanish Gypsies who are willing to assimilate into "payo" society are readily accepted by the majority, but due to the strong patricarchal tradition and the strict family education they received since childhood, leaving the traditional lifestyle behind could be very difficult.
Still, after every generation, more and more Gypsies, especially women, are going to school and learning the basic skills and trades required to survive by legitimate means.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2010 at 13:10
Glad to hear. I bet the Gypsies of Spain, the Gitanos that speak Spanish and dance flamenco, are something special, and the country is proud of them.
Even in here, at the end of South America, the sounds of canto hondo, and Gypsy-Spanish music in general, touch us.
 


Edited by pinguin - 06 Dec 2010 at 13:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2010 at 10:14
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Glad to hear. I bet the Gypsies of Spain, the Gitanos that speak Spanish and dance flamenco, are something special, and the country is proud of them.


Wouldn't say "proud of" is the correct description, but rather that many aspects of Gypsy culture have become an integral part of Spanish folk culture.
In the similar way, in the U.S.A., African Americans have invented jazz, soul, hip-hop, many famous athletes and entertainers are also Afro-American, yet there is still a large sector of the population who despise them or look down on them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2010 at 15:47
Calvo, in re:  "yet there is still a large sector of the population who despise them or look down on them."

Well, as regards hip hop gangsta nigas and those who adopt that lifestyle, it's not hard to understand why a large part of the population would despise them, and that includes some sectors of African-American society. Those same sectors are also likely to despise biker gangs, druggies, and losers of all ethnic origins. However if you are referring to a 'large sector' of the American population in general looking down on African-Americans, that 'large sector' must be somewhere around 12% (my wild guess). After all, Americans did recently elect a president of African-American descent with a Muslim name to boot. And he might still get reelected, though he does show signs of going the way of Jimmy Carter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2010 at 15:58
Apparently, everyone has forgotten that socilologists long ago developed the descriptive subculture to identify the vagaries found beneath the dominant ethos. Operating a tablao for tourists traipsing through the Barrio de Santa Cruz does not constitute an expression of Gypsy culture any more than Jose Greco represented the gypsy ethos within the United States!
 
When you get right down to it "multiculturalism" is one of those myths hyped by the superficial intellectualism of the '70s whose time came and has definitiely gone. After all, under the working definition here on display segregation would be the perfect milieu for the multicultural golden age--separate but equal!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2010 at 16:34
I am not talking about "multiculturalism" in terms of a political ideology nor a utopian dream.
I don't care about whether the word was invented in the 70s or not, but what is certain is that in many cities had been populated by multi-ethnic groups from as far back as early antiquity.

Alexandria was a famous example of a city populated by Greeks, Jews, and Egyptians, medieval Córdoba also had communities of Muslims, Christians, and Jews, who were then divided into Arabs, Berbers, Mozarabs, Mudallins...etc..., who all maintained their separate identity for centuries.
In many provinces of the Ottoman Empire, such as Salonica and the city Constantinople itself, several nationalities had established their separate communities and stayed that way until the major ethnic cleansing caused by the rise of ethnic nationalism.
Like it or not, these were "multicultural cities".

Then in the 20th century a new type of "multicultural city" began to emerge, that of modern immigration, such as New York, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sao Paolo... but in these cities a different pattern seemed to have emerged: instead of each nationality holding onto their territory, they gradually melted together.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2010 at 20:54
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Calvo, in re:  "yet there is still a large sector of the population who despise them or look down on them."

Well, as regards hip hop gangsta nigas and those who adopt that lifestyle, it's not hard to understand why a large part of the population would despise them, and that includes some sectors of African-American society. Those same sectors are also likely to despise biker gangs, druggies, and losers of all ethnic origins. However if you are referring to a 'large sector' of the American population in general looking down on African-Americans, that 'large sector' must be somewhere around 12% (my wild guess). After all, Americans did recently elect a president of African-American descent with a Muslim name to boot. And he might still get reelected, though he does show signs of going the way of Jimmy Carter.


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