Thursday, 2 August 2012

Immigration 101 - Part One

* Immigrant = Someone who enters another country to take up permanent residence

As an immigrant, I find how other immigrants adjust and settle in their new countries very interesting.  I always try to take an objective view whenever I meet fellow immigrants who have a lot to say about their host country - good or bad......

However, there are times when my fellow immigrants/ Nigerians  living abroad make me shake my head in despair................Here are some of those times:

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are personal. Dont hate...appreciate:

(1) When a Nigerian/ immigrant living somewhere complains that there are too many Nigerians/immigrants living in a place:
Oh yes. I hear this all the time
'London is now like  Lagos'.....
'There are too many Nigerians/ black people in this city nowadays' .......
'I remember when we were only few Nigerians/ blacks in my area....nowadays, you see Nigerians/ blacks everywhere....'

Yes oh................it never fails to cross the speaker's mind that s/he is part of that 'surplus' number of people the s/he is complaining about.
I always feel like telling them that if they leave, that might help reduce the number by at least one.


(2) When Nigerians/ immigrants argue about whether USA or UK is better?
What exactly is the point? Imagine two adults arguing over which place is better to live. To be fair, it is often the US based immigrants that want to ram it down your throat - whether you like it or not:
'The roads in London are too small'
'In the US, our malls are bigger'
'That's God's own country you know..................'
Worse still are immigrants who return back to their country of origin and complain about those countries:
'Nigerians are so corrupt. You wont see this in London'
'Accra is boring, when I'm in New York, I go clubbing all night'
'Joburg is not safe.....when I'm in Germany I can walk everywhere all night'
....... It's such a bore.
My opinion is that one should make the best of wherever one is OR leave for a better place. Again, don't bore everyone with your propaganda.
I'm sure the Jews felt comfortable in Germany at some point. My belief is that any immigrant should never disown their country of origin because one never knows how their host country will change if a far-right government ever comes into power.


(3) When Nigerians complain that Catholic or Anglican churches abroad are boring:
To me, this is the same as an Englishman entering a Catholic church in Nigeria and complaining that the church is too noisy.
So you expect people who come from a culture that is traditionally quiet and reserved, to change because of you abi?
Haba, live and let live. If you prefer to worship with your compatriots, then do feel free to look for your nearest Nigerian, Ghanaian etc etc church. However, I believe that when one is choosing a place of worship, it should be more about how the place helps your spiritual growth - and not about how well your pastor can shout or the choir can gyrate to music. Anyone who chooses a church based on how loud their praise worship is........is best advised to look for a Christian disco.


(4) When immigrants leave their values behind...
Moving to a new country is a big step and more likely than not - unless one's parents are really wealthy - one might have to make compromises with regards to where one lives/ works.

For example, if you were living in GRA Ikeja  - unless your parents are wealthy enough to maintain a similar lifestyle for you abroad - you are most likely to live in a Surulere equivalent when you arrive here. It is what it is.

However, this does not mean your values and aspirations should be compromised.
Unfortunately, this is what I have seen happen time and time again:
- Parents who choose to shove their children into just any school - without checking the school records;
- Adults who choose to down-grade their spoken English in an effort to appear cool;
- Parents who choose to suspend disciplining their children because they feel it is not done over here;
- Adults who settle for menial jobs when an option exists to retrain and get better jobs;
= Parents who focus on acquiring material things so they can impress relatives - while ignoring their children's needs etc etc
Change should NEVER mean a step backwards. Even when a person has to take a step backwards, s/he should never forget his background, values or dreams.


(5) When Nigerians/ immigrants feel they have to disown their heritage to 'fit in' :
I am always amazed when I see Nigerians/ immigrants who want to distance themselves from their country of origin.........:
- Fake accents; new friends; edited past etc etc
I have even encountered fellow Naija-born Nigerians who pretend they were born here ......... ??????!!!!! ..................As in, these are people I know can tell me the best places to buy Suya or moi-moi in Ijesha. LOL
The problem is that such actions have a way of making the person appear even more ignorant because when you start talking about things that happened in the UK in the seventies.........they struggle.

I have a Nigerian accent and I cant change it. Considering I spent 23 years in Nigeria before moving here........it would be strange if I didnt have some 'Nigerian-ness' in my speech.
Nigeria has its issues and problems but it also has a rich culture and to deny my country of origin is impossible..............'If small pickin deny im mama, the mama fit deny the pickin one day' (If a child denies knowledge of his/her mother; that same mother might one day deny knowledge of that child)

(Part Two next week Friday. Till then .....Stay blessed)


59 comments:

  1. LOL cool!!!Looking to read part 2..I am almost in danger of part 4 -_-..You know being reluctant to stand up in the bus for an older person after a long day at work

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    1. I feel you my sistah
      I have actually stood up for someone and they were offended because they felt I was insinuating they were old LOL

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    2. Accents nhm... I undstd at 23 there isnt much dt cn b done in terms of ur accent but if u came at 15&u adapt in every way including accent is that also an issue? Gd writing though, weldone!!

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  2. Okay o. I've grabbed chair, and I'm waiting for part 2. You touched on so many things. I think it's fascinating to watch how people evolve after they move abroad. I actually enjoy following people's journey after they come here. I had a neighbor who arrived in the US from Kenya with literally torn shoes and tattered clothes after he won the green card lottery. He dropped out of sec school in Kenya due to financial issues and he worked as a struggling mechanic. His aunt's home was his first destination in America. I was with his aunt the day she picked him from the airport. During his first few months in yankee, this guy could barely look anyone in the eyes while talking. Today he rolls around like a big boy, dating exclusively white girls, and has a stable career in healthcare.

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    1. I laughed at your example but the truth is that this is not unusual. The recent arrivals over here even British pass the kids born here. LOL

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  3. Very interesting read and so true too. When I hear immigrants complain about excess of black people in a particular place, i wonder whether they moved there to be the only black person or for better life. Live and let live. Why even argue if UK or US is better, you are an immigrant anyways even if you are a citizen.I don't get the discipline part though. We do our children a disservice if we don't discipline and correct them when they go wrong. Waiting for part 2

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LOL @ immigrants complaining. My sister no be small thing
      Thanks dearie
      Hope all is well
      xxxx

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  4. OMG Number one, two, three.... ooooooh!!!! NUMBER FIVE! Ah! Don't let me start

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    1. Please start LOL
      Hope you are well sis
      xxxxxxxxx

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  5. ahahahahahahaha, yes it it is hilarious, because i sooo understand where you are coming from..esp UK vs USA debate!
    Waiting for part2 :D

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    1. The debate tire me
      US, USA, Russia etc etc
      e no matter, we are all immigrants
      Thanks sis
      xxxxxxxx

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  6. I think people often confuse being a 'British citizen' with what their cultural identity should be. Or maybe they are just not proud of WHO they are. So stupid! It's important though to distinguish between being an immigrant and having an immigrant mentality. That's the tricky bit that most people have yet to master. I like your example about people who do menial jobs and never aim higher. In their heads, they are going 'home' tomorrow so they should just do whatever job and not plan for the future. Problem is tomorrow never comes but they like to complain about the system here and copy every bad britico habit they can learn. One of my pet hates is the discipline issue. You would even hear parents saying: "if we were in Nigeria, I would have dealt with you!" Like what is stopping them? Because you're not in Nigeria, your kid should now rot with indiscipline?

    Naijamum, you have touched on a lot of issues in this post. Well done!

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    1. I like your distinction re: 'immigrant mentality' Too true

      LOL @ 'If you were in Nigeria' Oh that is a classic. If I had a penny for every time I heard that, I would be a millionaire.
      Thanks sistah. Your comments are on point - as usual.

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  7. Hahahaha, ALL the points are SPOT ON!! Now waiting for part 2.

    P.s- surya and morin moin in Ijesha! LOL!

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    1. Yes oh - moin moin for Ijesha
      The other day I saw one 'area girl' - I knew in Nigeria with a traditional name - and she told me her name was now 'Chantelle'
      mmmmmmmm
      As in this na my real area girl oh
      Word fail me
      xxxxxx

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  8. Sigh... Auto correct can be annoying sometimes.

    Suya* moin moin *

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  9. i've met so many nigerians like this you have no idea. those people are weak minded and will always be part of the sheep being led anywhere once there's a crowd. i stay away from such people to be honest. the ones who deny or put down nigerian culture to look cool disgust me the most.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The ones that put down Naija culture often do it out of ignorance.
      More often than not they are confused.
      Thanks for dropping by. I do hope all is well with you dearie
      xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  10. You have said it all NIL, very interesting read and word @ "Change should NEVER mean a step backwards. Even when a person has to take a step backwards, s/he should never forget his background, values or dreams"

    waiting impatiently for part two!

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    1. I'm glad you see my point
      Hope all is well with you dear
      Thanks for dropping by
      xxxxxxxxxxx

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  11. So hitting the nail on the head.GBAM!!

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    1. Thanks my sister
      Hope all is well
      with you
      xxxxxxxxx

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  12. This is exactly my opinion. The one that really annoys me the most is the accent one. One day i am going to be arrested for slapping some sense into some fake ass idiot.

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    1. LOL @ 'slap some sense into some fake ass idiot'
      Abeg o
      You wan enter trouble???
      Just leave those yeye people to their foolishness
      Hope all is well with you dearie
      xxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. true and on point.
    God bless you for number 4 and 5

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    1. God bless you too for taking the time to read my 'yarns'
      Hope all is well with you my dear?
      xxxxxxxxxxx

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  14. You must have looked in my head recently, LOL...I was in naija and met some been to's and other returnees or visitees as the case may be. I saw a lot of what you have described. It is something to really discuss...

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    1. Please dont get me started on 'been tos'
      My dear sistah, the matter don tire me oh
      As usual, Naijas love effizy tooooo much
      Thanks my dearest
      xxxxxxxxxx

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  15. Don't know if you've seen my post about identity, it is important that people know their identity and are proud of it, I think a lot of these points stems from folks who do not know who they are or at best not proud of themselves...

    I cannot get my head round the whole US/UK arguement, I've lived in both countries, so I don't know how they measure which is better? both countries have pros and cons and it all depends on individuals preference, someone once commented to me that you've not lived abroad until you've lived in the US, uh??? that one pass my little head o :-)

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    1. I totally agree re 'I think a lot of these points stems from folks who do not know who they are or at best not proud of themselves...'

      LOL @ the person who said US is the only 'abroad'. I guess each to their own abi?
      Thanks my dear sistah.

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  16. Lmaoooooo. Faking accents and pretending to be born outside Nigeria? These people's struggles are real o

    That #2 makes me wana slap people though. I just have to keep reminding myself that Teru does not look good on me *rme*

    @Bukky Apampa, you see why i said you remind me of NIL ba?

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    1. Abi o Toin, I love her blog, when I'm reading her posts, it's like she's been reading my mind..Heehehehehe.

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    2. Toin I do agree Bukky's words resonate with me a LOT
      Please dont fight anyone oh
      You are supposed to be a big babe :))))
      xxxxx

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  17. Naijamum don come again oo. I especially lone 1 and 5.

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    1. Atilola don come again oh! LOL
      Hope all is well with you my dear
      xxxxxxxxxx

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  18. True, true...

    Instead of us to be crying about the state of our country origin, we are busy posing and doing wannabe in a land where we often have to work twice as hard to be considered first-class citizens.

    Arguing about US and UK? Some people are too idle. Period.

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    1. You have said it OS re 'Instead of us to be crying about the state of our country of origin'.........
      The matter tire me
      Thanks for dropping by
      xxxxxxxxxx

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  19. LOL I laughed so hard I almost choked on my drink.
    Who asked me to try reading your blog when I'm trying to drink something?
    Nice post as usual :)

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    1. I hope you are okay my dear
      Thanks for dropping by
      Do take care
      xxxxxx

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  20. My sister, sit down there. Soon there will be a university course on Nigerian-ness and the detrimental effects on youth development. These people will go to strange lengths to let you know that they have "arrived". Lol @ too many Black people in London (I heard there're lots of roads named after Nigeria in London too)!

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    1. Yes oh, I've heard of a Nigeria Road and a Benin Street LOL
      Thanks dearie
      Hope all is well with you
      xxxx

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  21. I tire for some people. My pet peeve though is people that make a concious decision not to pass their language down to their children because they think it isn't cool. Your post is on point as usual. Enjoying our summer?

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    1. How can one's language not be cool
      Ah....issues dey sha
      Summer is almost overrrrrrrrrrrr *sad face*
      Cant believe it went so fast
      Hope you are well
      xxxxxxxx

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  22. Post on point...I have given up on Africans who decide to disown their motherland.

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    1. Thanks Larah
      How are you?
      I see you have been globe trotting as usual
      Take care dear
      xxxxxxxxxx

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  23. Replies
    1. Thanks dearie *double sigh* LOL
      Hope all is well
      xxxxxxxx

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  24. Wauw, you always write spot on.
    For me, it's just a nice way to see the world of the 'immigrant' which you have so beautifuly written down. Luckily my man does not complain about the things you sum up here (yet)... He does however think that the grass is greener in England than here in Belgium...

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    1. I had to laugh when you said your man thinks England is better
      Some people think Belgium is better :))
      I guess we are never satisfied
      Thanks for dropping by
      xxxxxxx

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  25. Oluwatosin Olaseinde22 August 2012 at 17:19

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG,
    where was I all this while. LOL
    Lots of Love
    from Johannesburg

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    1. Thanks so much for the compliment
      I do appreciate your kind words
      Hope Jo'burg is fine
      xxxxxxx

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  26. Wo....wo...wo!!! This is getting interesting. Let me rush off to the next part. Sharp-sharp! This is one course one shouldn't miss, especially an immigrant.

    www.josephomotayo.blogspot.com
    www.criticalliteraturereview.blogspot.com

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    1. LOL @ 'this is getting interesting...I hope in a good way
      How are you
      Hope all is well
      xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  27. lol some conversations are just pointless... sometimes good icebreakers though.. especially when you have nothing else to talk about!

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  28. Like what you've said here about immigrants...true talk...so so true.
    Only if everyone can have a copy and make positive changes. The part about education, taking menial jobs and 'beefing' is so spot-on.
    Again, well done!

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  29. best naija london blog by far!!!! you are so on point. especially with the naija pple that say there are too many nigerians somewhere, it makes me sick honestly.keep it up

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