Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How do you say "Leave me alone" in a host of languages?

Well, it's time I was armed with a list like this.
I started toying with the idea back in France but I guess you might find it helpful in any multicultural environment.

The thing is that as much as I love multicultural cities, I have come to realize that there are annoyances. And what's really interesting is that they happen not because I am annoyed by someone else's culture but because they don't respect my own. I am not complaining, far be it from me. But it's still remarkable that while certain social groups demand the acknowledgment and acceptance of their culture or religion (uhm... minarets in Geneva, anyone?), they can just as easily go and ignore others'.
It's not so much a grievance as a puzzle to me why men from countries of stricter religious customs keep hitting on me. I'm totally OK with the Mediterranean temperament, and from Italians and French it is mostly flattering when they come up to you to tell you how beautiful you are. I also think of Latin Americans murmuring such things as a compliment. I understand that in their culture it is a common and essentially a positive thing. I never encourage these but most of the time that is not needed as they are really what they are, softly murmured or kindly offered compliments.

However. I am having difficulty accepting such behavior from men of strict religious backgrounds, who convey their meaning a lot less politely. And it's easy to guess the reasons behind the phenomenon. Judging by their eyes I'm obviously asking for it. I'm wearing only a winter coat and woolen scarf, and my face dyed hair are not covered, showing both skin and hair. Tsk, tsk... I'm pretty sure they take me for a hooker... But come on, they are the ones who are "abroad", they should be the ones to take some time and consider my culture before shouting after me, not to mention physical contact... Would I just dream of trying to call them something...

Well, I wouldn't (I don't even know what I could call them) because I am tolerant, something they're obviously not. But it's so sad that when you're prepared to smile at everyone and accept any culture or religion, some people still go around judging you and behaving the way they do. Well, I just hope it will stop one day. Maybe when I get ugly enough for them to stop shouting at me. Or if it gets so cold that one can only go outside fully covered up. =)

Thanx for reading,
I promise I'll be back with more informative topics soon.


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