In this blogpost I will discuss challenges and benefits of living in a multicultural sociality. Today it is more common to travel, move to new cities or countries and experience the whole world, than it was decades ago. I believe that the main cause of this is that the cost of traveling has decreased, which would give more people the opportunity to travel. While moving to new places and cultures have several benefits, it can also bring a lot of challenges.
First of all, I would say living in a multicultural society can be a challenge. An example of this came to light in the movie «Brick Lane», which we saw last week. The movie was about a family from Bangladesh who currently lived in London, England. We were shown how the main characters, Nazeen and her husband, struggled to find their place in the community, while their two girls found it easier to adjust to the British culture. One of the larger differences between the parents and their children was the language barrier. The two daughters could speak English fluently, while the parents struggled with the language. I believe that a new language can be a challenge when you move to another country. To be able to communicate is very important, which is why I think it is important to learn the new language. I believe it would help in speeding up the process of adapting to the new country and culture, even though they lived in a multicultural society with many people who spoke their own language.
Another big challenge can be the differences in culture. The different traditions, norms, rules and new people can be difficult for many. The things that are normal in your culture, may be rude or disrespectful in other cultures. Therefor I think it is important to be patient, tolerant and understanding of people’s differences. This is important in a multicultural society. We live in a world of different cultures and this will be a factor in influencing how people behave. For instance, in the movie «Brick Lane», we saw that many people experienced racism.
In the movie, Nazeen really missed Bangladesh and her family there. She didn’t have the opportunity to travel back or visit, so this made her feel lonely, or just homesick.
It can also be hard to know who to trust and who to get to know when you move to a new country. If you get desperate enough to get to know someone in the community, you can easily end up with the wrong people. Maybe this is why Nazeem’s husband got tricked for money by another woman.
Despite all the challenges of living in a foreign culture or in a multicultural society, there are also many benefits. One of them being that you are contributing to making the people around the world more understanding of each other. Living in a multicultural society will most likely help you learn a lot about new people, their traditions and language. Each culture has its own beauty.
Another benefit could be that you will develop yourself as a person. Nazeem experienced a big personal change when she accepted that England was going to be her new home. She stopped spending all her time on missing Bangladesh, and instead she started to spend time outside and explore even more about the British culture. This made her happier, and suddenly she felt that she belonged in London.
While living in a foreign country you might also develop a global network of contacts. Nazeem’s husband worked in London, but moved back to Bangladesh at the end of the movie, without Nazeem and their girls. So now he has contacts both in Europe and in Asia.
To sum up, I would say that living in a multicultural society or in a foreign culture, gives both challenges and benefits. It may lead to racism, homesickness, loneliness and communication problems. But it can also make the world more tolerant. By living in a foreign culture, you might learn a new language and you will most likely get to know a lot of new people, gain new traditions and of course, experience totally new cultures.