Changing your ways

You know all those immigrants who come to your country (I find this applies to most countries) and want to take over how things are done? You fear the danger of their ways winning over yours, despite the fact that there are generally more natives in most places, than there are immigrants/refugees/newcomers.

The editor of Swedish Vi magazine seems like a sensible woman, and she and her family have for the past two years been weekly hosts to a teenage boy from Afghanistan. One of those who arrived alone. He’s come to have Sunday dinner with them, and is gradually picking up his hosts’ way of thinking.

He still has a mother and siblings in his own country, and as the oldest male (after his father was murdered) he is head of the family. He talks to his mother on the phone occasionally, when she has walked to another village where there is a phone.

Now the time had come to discuss his 15-year-old sister, who needed to be married off. Influenced by his new life, the boy said his sister should meet the man to get to know him, and then decide. The mother was very surprised, but the boy insisted. And not surprisingly, a few weeks later his sister said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ regarding her intended husband, and her brother said no to the marriage.

If this is the kind of influence you might experience when people from other cultures come to your [so superior] country, then surely it’s a good thing? Why do we always expect the influence to go the other way? Especially as we are so right about what we believe in.

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