25 September 2017 | jgcorrea
Uncelebrated cultural diversity
Aix-la-Chapelle in France is one among many multicultural cities that exist today in the Western world. It is, like others, segregated, even in terms of geographical division: Asians live with Asians, including Pakistanis with Pakistanis. Apart from campuses, apart from white people who increasingly date Asian people, no one mingles with anyone. Are the two phenomena (1. the growing solitude of contemporary Western man or woman, 2. the growing multiculturalism of society) related? Who can say? Too many changes have taken place since the 1960s, multiculturalism is only one of them. In fact, I think that all the radical phenomena of the 1960s, such as the struggle against traditional values, political extremism, feminism, the loss of religion, the sexual revolution, as well as the disorderly urbanization itself, and the growing immigration flow have been responsible for social disintegration. It isn't correct to blame multiculturalism for everything, but it does create identifiable problems like those in this fine melodrama. People begin to realize that there is something wrong with multiculturalism; that the promised paradise of peaceful integration isn't really happening. Why's that? The idea of a multicultural society arises from (i) liberalism, (ii) the primordial economic function played by immigrants, (iii) university campuses. Western schools are temples of multiculturalism. People from everywhere, regardless of race or religion, mix and coexist almost always in peace. Zahira, 18, is close to her family until her parents ask her to follow the Pakistani tradition and choose a husband. Torn between family customs and her western lifestyle, the young woman turns to help from her brother, sister, friends and confidants. Is their culture so totalitarian in its anti-heuristic traditions? Let us differentiate multiculturalism from immigration. Immigration has always existed, multiculturalism is something relatively new. In the old days, there was the expectation that an immigrant would adapt to the country to which he or she emigrated, adopting her language and customs. This didn't happen in all cases, but it did nearly always. Today, chances are the opposite: an immigrant shall maintain his own culture, and this should be respected by the society that welcomes him, even if it's all about extirpation of women's clitoris, or pre-marital sex, or abortion. Today multiculturalism reigns in the West. It is partly the result of technological and social changes. It's roughly implemented by governments and politicians more interested in votes than in social welfare. Just like pendulums, fashions and societies do change.