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Multiculturalism

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Multiculturalism

Postby bluebird » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:39 pm

Hi Everyone :D !
Jus want to ask, whats Cyprus like when it comes to people from different races living together etc? By this I don't mean the Greek/Turkish issue... but in general people living in Cyprus from different backgrounds?
Reason I ask is I am a Londoner plannning to move to Cyprus in the future and am worried because I heard from an African friend of mine when she went there she experienced racism.
I myself am British Asian(which means British born and raised but of Indian origin), and I have a son who is of mixed race( half African), I have had my heart set on moving there but don't want my son especially to live in a judgemental society, being made to feel different in school etc, I need it to be cosmopolitan, which I always thought Cyprus was.
I hope you don't take offence to this question, I just thought it better to get a Cypriot view on this rather than the bad experience of just one person, because everyone else who goes there seems to love it!
Thanks :)
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Postby kurupetos » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:49 pm

If you keep a low profile you should be OK. Probably some sort of racism will be inevitable since Cy is a small society.
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Postby Tim Drayton » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:05 pm

I could easily chime in with a smug answer about how I've been living here for several years as a foreigner and received nothing but warmth and friendliness. But I am a white-skinned Englishman and the experiences of others may be different.

I know that a couple of years ago there was a study into racism among Cypriot youth, and it seems that when shown pictures of South Asian people, young Cypriots generally assumed these people to be of low social standing. This was taken to be evidence of racism. While the survey may have been right in most regards, I think this particular criterea is questionable. The simple fact is that large numbers of people from South Asia are employed in menial jobs here in Cyprus. Large numbers of Sri Lankan, Vietnamese and Philippine women are employed as housemaids. If I see a young women of South Asian origin walking in the street I assume that they are probably a housemaid on their day off simply beccause, statistically speaking, they are very likely to be. The point is that a person of South Asian appearance will not look out of place on the streets of the main cities in Cyprus, but people will automatically assume that they are employed in very menial work and perhaps be less polite or considerate towards them as a result.

There can't be a society in the world that is totally free of racism, but I do not get the feeling that Cyprus is a very racist place. After all, until a couple of decades ago large numbers of Cypriots themselves had to move to other countries to look for work and were themselves the victims of discrimination. This has left its mark in the collective consciousness of this society.
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Postby bluebird » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:16 am

Thats a shame :( over the last few months i've been getting an increasingly uncomfortable feeling about what my friend experienced, I really have to think about if I want to move there after all. I was torn between Spain and Cyprus and I chose Cyprus, but really have to try to re-think it as I don't see the point in moving to a country with that type of outlook on 'foreigners', I understand that racism is everywhere but it's more so in some places than others unfortunately and it sounds like it might be more so in Cyprus than i'm comfortable with.
There are plenty of sunshine soaked countries with excellent beaches where we could relocate so I won't despair :) !
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Postby miltiades » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:25 am

I thought culture is different to racism .
I'm not a racist but I'm definitely a "Western world culturalist" with no regrets what so ever.
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Postby Piratis » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:24 am

As Tim said it is not a matter of racism but a matter of statistics. I am not saying it is good, but given the very large numbers of South Asian people that come to Cyprus to work as "unskilled" labor, which is probably the 99% of all South Asian people in Cyprus, some stereotyping is inevitable.

Cyprus is very Multicultural, but that is really besides the point in your case. I know about Indian people that work in Amdocs (offshore company) and they hang out with other Indian people or coworkers, and they view these "unskilled" workers from Sri Lanka in the same way that Cypriot view them. I know this happens in India as well, with the way the high/middle class sees the low class.

So it is more about class, than about race, and because most South Asians in Cyprus are mostly "low class", you might be perceived in that way too.
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Postby Oracle » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:28 am

Bluebird maybe you've been made fearful by the cultural stereotyping which exists in some poverty-stricken parts of the UK. There is no such associated gun/knife/gang culture in Cyprus and so people do not shy away in fear from African/Asian descendants when they see them in certain settings (late at night, alone in a park etc).

So if that's the sort of thing you want to get away from, then Cyprus is the place for you!
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Postby bluebird » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:07 pm

Thanks for the replies :wink:
I don't know what western world culturist? is as i've never heard that term before.
I get a feeling that Asians are seen as second class citizens in Cyprus which isn't exactly a moving there motivation !

Yes alot of racism exists all over the world 'especially' in India! I don't stereotype people, but in general most Indians raised in India have a very ignorant upbringing, but they tend to be more prejudiced towards there own race than another, strangers in the Indian culture are treat with great hospitality! it's usually other indians they have pre-conceptions about. I myself am British born and bred, I am Indian by origin only and know only too well how prejudiced Indians are, I am a single-mother which doesn't go down to well with them, I have never dated an Indian guy and not being prejudiced but I never would, I had a baby by someone of a different race, all these things shouldn't be an issue in an 'open-minded' society but you wouldn't believe how much grief i've recieved from Asians, I am now living in a very multicultural town where race isn't really an issue, there are as many indians here as white/black etc so it's harder for them(asians) to stereotype me! you'll find though it's usually the ones born and raised in India that have this type of mentality rather than the Briitish born(or other European born)ones. But you get ones who're born here in Britain and are still very prejudiced because it's been ingrained and taught to them by there parents/relatives from birth.
In fact wasn't till I had my heart set on moving to Cyprus I found out through internet research that there's a large 'indian' community there which really put me off at first!

Britiain, or rather London, is very multicultural and i'm very happy here, reason I want to leave is mainly the weather, living in this climate is wearing me down. My moods reflect the weather, when it's sunny I am very cheerful and when it's raining I am unhappy. I'm a very outdoors person and this weather has me indoors alot with I resent.
Also the crime aspect make me want to leave here, I really don't want my son to go to a British school and get raised with British teenagers because of the in increasing gang culture in Britains schools today, also kids here don't respect there parents as much as they do in other societies/cultures in Europe.
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Postby Sotos » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:34 pm

I get a feeling that Asians are seen as second class citizens in Cyprus which isn't exactly a moving there motivation !


They are not second class citizens because they are not citizens ;) Unlike the UK in Cyprus most Asians are here just for work. They don't have Cyprus citizenship. And did you consider what you will do with work? It is very difficult for foreigners to find a good job in Cyprus because they don't speak any Greek.
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Postby RichardB » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:59 pm

Sotos wrote:
I get a feeling that Asians are seen as second class citizens in Cyprus which isn't exactly a moving there motivation !


They are not second class citizens because they are not citizens ;) Unlike the UK in Cyprus most Asians are here just for work. They don't have Cyprus citizenship. And did you consider what you will do with work? It is very difficult for foreigners to find a good job in Cyprus because they don't speak any Greek.


hey sotos

I speak Greek (well Horkatika) :lol:
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