It is like the United Nations in this Mitsubishi Mirage. “There's a Spic, a Chink, a dumb Polack, a Bagel and a gentile Cracker all riding together.” This was what it was like throughout all of high school for my friends and me. It's not that we went to a school with a vast minority of students. Actually, we went to an affluent white, upper middle class school with 85% of the population being white, Jewish students. However, being the “minorities” that we were, we seemed to always stay together. Each of us spoke two languages also; English and our “mother language” the language which our parents brought over from their home countries. Well, each of us was bilingual, except for our “Cracker” friend, she only spoke English. We, also always, called each other by the common derogatory names but neither of us ever got mad with the other and if someone from “outside” our circle used that word we did not care either. We would just call them their derogatory name as well.
Perhaps, because we live in a globalized world and we are in contact with more than one type of person or race, the lines of color or creed blurred or blended for us more than those who just stick with their own kind. Therefore we did not mind the names we called each other. Once, traveling in France, me and a few of these particular friends of mine came upon a small French pub. One of those “where everyone knows your name” kind of pubs. We decided to go in and get something to eat. The bartender asked us where we were from as we sat, because none of us spoke French. I immediately said we were from Canada. Having been to France before this trip I knew how the Vichy(the derogatory name for French people, based on the term Vichy France - for Nazi Occupied France in WWII - noted for quick defeat and later collaborating with the Nazis), would probably act towards us “American's”. However, the “chink” went ahead and told him we were Americans. Boy did we hear about it then. Since all of us were “Bush supporters, being American and all.” This one bartender was pretty closed minded, but being all around his friends probably made it easier for him to harass us even though not all the other patrons of his agreed with him. Sometimes globalization can make someone feel negatively about another country, especially if they feel that the other country is encroaching too much into theirs.
I have a friend, a sheepshagger, an Australian. When we talk on the phone he always tells me that when I come visit him I will have the girls all over me. Having an American accent over there can be to your advantage. I have to say that I would love to visit Australia someday, and I plan too. This friend came here to the US a few summers ago, that's when I met him, and I took that opportunity to learn about his country. One of the things I learned was that he didn't know what an inbred redneck was but he knew what a coconut was. “Yes, the people from New Zealand are coconuts. They have sex with their cousins.” I'm not exactly sure what a coconut has to do with incest but... I told him that’s what we thought of inbred rednecks also. I think that because there's a big influx of people in Australia, from the Aborigine to Filipino's, British, Pacific Islanders, and Asians each bringing a piece of their home with them, that I would be more warmly accepted in Australia then I was in France which has a tight policy on immigration. Although not all countries with little immigration bemoan all outsiders.
Three summers ago I spent three weeks in the beautiful land of Poland. I went with, at the time, my girlfriend who spoke fluent Polish as a second language. I can say that the people there liked me. They thought that I was the darkest person ever, because there are very few blacks or dark people living there. However, they treated me very well, and I mean not just her family, but people on the streets as well. Her cousin and boyfriend, both my age, knew English so I could hold conversations with them, but outside of that I was lost in the land. The grownups there didn't really have a grasp on the English language, but when I met students or young people who did they loved to practice the language on me at the local Pizza Hut. Also, many of the people there told me that they felt sorry for American's because of what happened on 9/11 and this was about two or three years after planes had crashed into the World Trade Towers. Though Poland isn't as globalized as other countries like France or Australia they still tended to have an open mind about outsiders and they loved the ankle high socks I wore.
Thinking back on my past experiences I think that globalization has definitely impacted my life. I think that it has made me a more open person. Open in the sense that I take people as they want to be taken. I try to give them all a chance as an individual and if they can teach me something about their country or way of life I will try to befriend them that much more. Globalization, in a sense, has made the world smaller. It has blurred the lines of races for me and created perhaps a image of one race, the human race. Of course there are differences between you and me. But if we were all cut from the same cloth there would not be the variety that there is to life. Generally speaking, Globalization is the general trend of mega-corporations going multinational. The dream is for them to do business easily across international borders. Perhaps, because of this dream, I too can easily travel across international borders, visit exotic locations and get to know more humans then the 85 % bagel population that I might have just known because of high school. I think that perhaps if we can all take some things that offend people such as derogatory names, with a grain of salt, and try to enjoy the differences in people and not try to override their cultural differences we would all be for the better.