Come See Me and Come Live With Me – Behavior Guide for Immigrants

There is an old Jamaican saying ‘Come see me and come live with me are two different things’ which basically translates to ‘aspects of a person that are amusing/interesting/tolerable in small doses can often swiftly become less so when their feet are permanently lodged under your table’. Put that together with the oft delivered admonishment ‘When you go to the houses of other folk don’t make a spectacle of yourself. Behave properly, politely engage in their conversation, eat whatever is put in front of you and whatever you do don’t bring shame on your family’.

Archbishop Sentamu doesn’t always get it right but when he does he can be spot on. He has now urged people coming to live in Britain to ‘adopt and cherish UK values’. Another way of saying ‘when you go to the countries of other folk, don’t make a spectacle of yourself. Behave properly/politely engage etc.etc.’

I come from many distant shores myself but I now reside in the United Kingdom and I expect my behavior to reflect that. I do not expect to dig a pit in my back garden and roast a pig. If someone annoys me I will say ‘now that made me cross’ rather than ‘….. you can kiss a donkey’s……..’ (actually let’s not even go there). It isn’t about denying who you are it is about being respectful of the culture you have decided to foist yourself on.

If you don’t want to learn what the British school system has decided is appropriate to be taught – then don’t come here (and no setting up your own schools is not the answer). If you don’t want to speak the language – then don’t come here (and no us paying for translators when you’ve lived in the country for 15 years is not the answer). If you don’t want to follow the laws – ditto. If you don’t like the religion of the country – oh well……… If you don’t like the politics of the country – mumble quietly like everyone else. But this ‘I want my own schools, I want my own this, I don’t want to do that’ has just got to stop. It is insanity and we all are starting to pay the price for it. Descendants of the original settlers are suffering as are us ‘recent’ arrivals who are more than happy to put milk in our tea and butter on our sandwiches.

One of the things I love about this country is that unlike the Benetton advert aspect of multi-culturalism that one gets in America in the UK there really is genuine interaction. Take it from a brown person who has lived hither and yon until recently we had it skewed very well here. Yes the ‘pack yer bags and go back to whatever tree you swung down from’ brigade would always have something to complain about. As will the ‘you sold our people and now you owe us for eternity’ lot. But in the main it was a nice mix. Wee blondie girls from Cheltenham College wearing bindi’s, a black man leading a prestigious hunt, Mrs. Beale on the bus chatting happily with Mrs.Choudhary. Interaction on the surface and also interaction on a deeper level.

But now we are being ripped apart and all because some folk came and didn’t behave properly. Or as the Archbishop says are not ‘adopting and cherishing UK values’.

Maybe we need to take a page out of the book of the good burghers of Herouxville, Quebec.”We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here,” They have made it clear that women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write cheques, dress how they want, work and own property.”Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to… kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc.” Maybe we need to have something similar here………….

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Come See Me and Come Live With Me – Behavior Guide for Immigrants

  1. Bel

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  2. Liz

    I am completely in favour of immigrants remembering and practising their traditions to keep the memory of who they are alive in their and their descendants’s minds, but that has to be within the laws and customs of the country they live in. Which they must abide by. You can’t have it both ways.

  3. I KNEW there was a point I forgot to make and you have made it very nicely – thank you. Yes, it is important to teach your children about their heritage. In my house it is a fulltime occupation as I have to teach/show Jamaica, America,Ireland plus keep up to speed on the country in which my son was born – England. But I think there has to be a balance so it’s rice-and-peas, applepie and Morris-dancing to fiddle music Chez Mindbender. Hardwork but it must be done 😉

  4. 100% behind you on this one, Morag. By the way – check Girlpower tomorrow evening.

  5. Having lived and worked in many countries, I wholeheartedly endorse this way of living. Our kids were born in Singapore and lived there for a while, but their cultural influences are definitely Australian. Having said that they are interested in their Scottish heritage. Having spent most of my time out of the UK in English speaking countries, it certainly makes it easier to integrate.

  6. The Citizens of Herouxville, Quebec, Canada, Thank you for posting our story on your blog.
    We would like to invite you to our new Official English Language weblog.

    We would be pleased if your readers left a comment, whether for or against as that is their democratic right as Citizens , please feel free to pass along our weblog
    address to your readers. We think it important your readers read what we have to say from our mouths instead of second hand through other less reliable outlets.

    http://herouxville-quebec.blogspot.com

    Warmest Regards
    Barry O’Regan (Authour) written with permission on behalf of Mr. Andre Drouin (Herouxville Town Councillor)the Mayor Mr. Martin Perigny and the Citizens of Herouxville, Quebec, Canada

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