21 September, 2006

Melting Pot - the debate continues

After the Gulf News Article of 15th Sept., reported here and views expressed here, it seems the integration debate will continue for some more time.

In addition to timely post from DG, a lot of readers have expressed their latent frustrations about cultural isolation in Dubai and UAE. Read the readers' responses here.

(DG's views on serious efforts thru Ramadan - the "great leveller" - is extremely welcome!)


DG said...

Shansenta, nice post. It is better that this debate continues for long time, so that each side knows about the opinion of the other.

If UAE wants to grow further, it must encourage this cultural integration. Locals hardly constitue one fifth of the population. Both locals & expats need each other. It would be beneficial for both groups in the long term.

Both groups have misconceptions about each other, I am sure with more dialogue people will start understanding each other better.

BD said...

I am of the mind that social integration is always a good thing as long as it is not the case of a more powerful group forcing its values on a weaker group. There is fear, of course, among any out-numbered indiginous population that their culture will be diluted and eventually washed out by a more domineering group of outsiders. To counter these risks each group should not try to diminish the culture of any of the others, but instead encourage the promotion of their own culture by more sharing and interaction with others rather than less.

As a case in point, the indigenous Hawaiian culture almost disappeared in the face of foreign immigration and domination. But in recent decades Hawaiians have taken more pride in sharing their culture with the many immigrants and visitors to the extent that the culture once again flourishes and the "outsiders" themselves are often keen to learn something of Hawaiian culture and language.

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