People may underestimate cultural tolerance in foreign countries. Yesterday one friend asked my opinion on a hypothetical situation. She said one of her friends is going to Australia for a postgraduate degree and immigration, and my friend was worried about if it is the best choice because it is said Chinese immigrants have problems on merging into the mainstream culture.
“Merge into the mainstream culture” is an old expression which is no longer used in the First World any more. I remember America was described as “the ethnic melting pot” in Chinese middle school textbook. However, like many other concepts in our teaching materials, they are out of date. At least in American, people prefer to see diverse cultures respect each other in the same country. In other words, the mainstream value of the America is no single one dominating mainstream value exists.
Therefore, don’t meet trouble half-way, my friend. A healthy society should’t make your friend feel uncomfortable.
To some extent, I think perhaps the problem of “merge into the mainstream culture” is more serious in China than western developed countries. Don’t you think one guy from Henan Province can be discriminated by Shanghai local citizen in Shanghai? If you agree Shanghai local residents represent the mainstream culture of Shanghai. Try another example, how about mainland China immigrants in Hong Kong?
What I worry about is not the individual problem but these kinds of unconscious phrases cloud our ability of introspection. It is all about the mindset: do not take it for granted. Just think more when you encounter it: what is mainstream culture? Why we must merge into it? Does it only happen in other countries?