Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter
I worked at University of Michigan for six months, in 1977. I am not familiar with ‘Gandy Dancer’. When were you in Ann Arbor? I remember an Indian restaurant there, ‘Raja Rani’ (it means king and queen). I also remember ‘Pagoda’ restaurant, it was just off campus and used to be a hang out of university students. I don’t know if it is still in existence.
I lived in Salt lake City, the society was quite homogenous there in 1the 70s. It was a true melting pot, people from all different backgrounds (all European, of course) came to salt Lake City and became Americans. While there were a few ethnic restaurants, there were not that many separate enclaves of different ethnic groups. There were very few blacks in Salt Lake City in those days. It illustrated the melting pot model perfectly.
University of Michigan of course, was very cosmopolitan, as are most universities. There was a substantial population of German extraction in Cincinnati, but again, there were no German enclaves. Cincinnati was also a melting pot.
In those days, there were very few Mexicans or third world immigrants in these places, they used to congregate mostly in big cities such as New York. The melting pot model started to really break down with Hispanics and third world immigrants.
So what's better...a melting pot or a mosaic? I know quite a few immigrant families both here and in the U.S. and in most (if not all) cases, they made the choice to move "here" to become part of the society. If in fact a melting pot does exist in the U.S. somewhere these days, what would be so bad about that?
After all, it is the "land of the free and home of the brave" and I know anyone has the freedom of speech and a whole bunch of other stuff. Just look at the staggering array of restaurants in NYC - given that restaurants are usually one of the "faces" of the culture and I can't see too many "melting pot negatives" there.
In fact, I get a bit uncomfortable when I see a few people that move to Canada and then try to get laws changed to suit their own requirements. I don't agree with that at all. If their choice is to move to Canada, then be prepared to live under the existing umbrella. If there are enough of any certain group in an area, certain key business services will conform to their customers' requirements anyway...I see ATMs down in Richmond, BC with keypads in Chinese...works for me.
I lived in Japan for a number of years and I certainly didn't expect Japan to start changing things around just because I had arrived on the scene. Hey, if I needed help with the lingo (like when getting a drivers licence) you just find somebody to give you a hand. They even have bars and restaurants there that have signs (in English, sort of) out front that say, "No Gaijin"...that means no foreigners welcome. Was I offended? Nope! I just went to the next one.
By our standards, there is a fair amount of racial prejudice over there but it doesn't bother the foreigners. "We" simply didn't go looking for trouble.
Mind you, Japan has a very clear sense of who they are (I believe it's known as an "identity") and I maintain that we do not. In Japan, if you don't like it, you leave. I know that's a fairly horrifying thought to the average liberal-type in Canada, but it's pretty common out there in the world. What's that old expression, "When in Rome...?" Once again, works for me.
Last but not least, having lived in foreign countries and having done business in many others, the thing that really gets under my skin is when some Canadians begin to talk about imposing our standards on other countries. That is part of what I mean when I rant on about our "holier than thou" attitudes, arrogance, and all that other stuff. I think it's rude and insensitive to begin making all kinds of statements about how other countries do things. Most, if not all of them have been around a lot longer than Canada (we're a puppy in "world years") and most of them know what they're doing. If we didn't have all the natural resources that we do have (and waste, to some degree), we wouldn't be enjoying such a high standard of living.
If might interest some Canadians to know that the U.S. is held in very high regard by most Japanese. People in their 50s will take you around Tokyo and point out things that "General MacCarthur" built for them during the occupation after WWII. You don't often hear about the proverbial "ugly American" in Japan and in fact, you would hear a lot of good things about them. America is a big player on the world stage, and far more generous than we might give them credit for...they spend more on foreign aid (per capita) than we do. It goes on and on, but I'm more than a bit tired of the America-bashing that I keep hearing about here. Just had to mention it...
Last edited by countryboy; Dec 4th, 2009 at 10:46 PM..