Foreigners in England/France

Amy   Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 22:43 GMT
I'd like to hear from people living in England or France about their views on foreigners in their country, such as: are they generally accepted? what is the largest minority group? is racism apparent there?
I'm considering living in Europe in a few years and I want to be prepared.
Dennis   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 08:15 GMT
Racism is apparent everywhere. The most racist groups in English society are (mainly Asian) ethnic minorities. Many refuse to speak English, rarely integrate, and forbid their children to fraternise with or marry white British people.
Amy   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 08:20 GMT
The chineses look the same in France, but the french don't care about that.


Is your question about french who are racist or about foreigners in France who seem to not being integrated and are racist?
Simon   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 08:27 GMT
Why are anti-Islamic people called racists? Islam is a religion not a race...
nic   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 09:07 GMT

People who are against religions are intolerant, don’t you think it’s racist ?

In France, some people don’t like Algerians and black people, not all of them of course.
About the Americans, French do not like those who especially speak in English directly and do not ask “Excuse, do you speak English?”. If you do that, many people won’t understand what you mean because they won’t understand. If you wait a smile from French you will have many deceptions, they don’t wait you to like them. That’s why they don’t smile.
Adam   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 10:57 GMT
Here is Britain's anti-EU National Anthem -

Britons now all come together,
look upon the Euro terror
stars of gold will never matter
Britons now unite!
Now our chiefs unto their shaming,
siren voices all proclaiming,
"Euroland will be our future"
Britons never yield!

See the foe in Europe gather
let them not our spirit shatter
For Sterlings pride our hearts do ache
and hearts of oak the chains will break
Their lies are long but truth is stronger
Strong their force but yours is stronger,
Britons this is now your story
Never ever yield!

Onward to the realms of glory
Keep these fighting words afore ye
Freemen ner give up your freedom
God protects the right.

Never fear the dark oppressor
freedoms flag will guard you better,
Free speech this is now our bounty,
Britain shall prevail.

Let not their lies confound you,
The new dawn beckons sure and true
marching onward for the new tomorrow
This shall be our never ending story.
Protect the weak from Brussels torture,
This beacon now lights up our story
calling all who share this glory
Britains stands for right
Andy   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 11:51 GMT
AMY, if you are american and want to live in France, you will need a lot of patience. French, italian and spanish administrations especially like americans.
Simon   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 13:22 GMT
Yes but prejudice and discrimination are the terms that should be used, not racism. Which as the word seems to imply is about race.
Axel   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 13:32 GMT
Hi Amy!
Where do you come from?
As I am French, I am going to speak about France. Hope you will understand my ugly English! (Many years ago I wasn't that bad!! I think it would be a good idea for me to plane a trip to England)
Anyway, most French have foreign roots (for example I am half Italian, and a lot of people I know have family in Spain, Italy, Germany, Marocco, Vietnam, etc) so they are very open-minded. If you are from Europe or America, I don't think it would be hard for you to live here (as we share a lot of our culture, whatever one can say!), if you are from Asia too (it seems many French are fascinated by this culture). If you are from the US, don't think the French hate you!!! Most people here hate the American politics, but absolutely nobody I know would offence you because you are American!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, racism is rising nowadays, especially against Muslims and Maghrebin. It is a very viscious threat because we can see it everyday, we realize some people are going more and more racist only during the elections for example (the far right makes about 15% here).

Of course this is a very subjective view! Some would say France is a very open-minded country, some not. France is not a perfect country, but has some really good points: it depends on what you are seaching for. The best way for you to know what I am talking about is to come here and see!!
nic   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 13:36 GMT

All right, i see what you mean, let's go for discrimination
nic   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 13:46 GMT
As french too, i think France is not really different from other countries, some people are nice and some others are nice. The thing is as said Axel, most of the french have ancestors who are usually from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland. So their ancestors were european. For americans it's different, most of the french (not all but a lot) do not like the american model's life (way of life). French think americans have very bad food bla bla bla. Most of the french like american movies on the other side. French do not hate the americans.

What Andy said is true but it's not racism. It's only administration which, in latin countries is very important. To live in France you will need a lot of papers (formulars), valid work papers tto work bla bla bla
Axel   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 13:46 GMT
Oups, I forgot a word...

"viscious threat because we can NOT see it everyday"
Amy   Thursday, April 15, 2004, 22:39 GMT
Dennis: Well, I'm not worried about the Asians because I'm Asian myself. Unlike those you mentioned, I'd gladly mingle with white British people. What I meant to ask was are the native Britons unwelcoming to foreigners?

Same thing about the french, my question is about french people who are racist.

Nic: The French people I've met in Paris have smiled (or perhaps they were laughing at my poor attempt to speak french?) but by the time I'll move there I'll have learned enough to have a proper conversation hopefully. Also, I'd have to say that although the food is different in the USA, I like the french crêpes.

Adam: Entertaining, but that's all it was.

Andy: Yes, I'm actually an Asian-American.

Simon: I did mean racism, but since you've added it, I'm asking about prejudice and discrimination as well.

Axel: Thanks, and your English isn't bad at all. I'm glad to hear that the French are fascinated by the Asian culture, and I'm equally happy to know that not all of them hate Americans. I've actually been to Paris, but only for a couple days. The people I met were nice enough, though I didn't stay long enough to form a complete opinion of them.

What do all of you think about the study-abroad program? I think I'd like to spend a semester or a year in either Paris or London or both.
nic   Friday, April 16, 2004, 14:03 GMT
Dennis was only talking about the chinese not the asians. Of course it does not mean all the chineses are like that. In Paris, there's the "quartier chinois", that's true you don't feel welcome when you're there.
Lavoisel   Friday, April 16, 2004, 17:09 GMT

bravo for your message, my opinion exactly.

Yet, I think that fortunately, Le Pen has met his limits now. The last regional elections showed no noticeable increase of the far-right votes. This could very well not last, though, if Chirac keeps using some bit of Le Pen's rethoric for election purpose.

Back to Amy's question, I'd answer that most French are open-minded and that the students are the most open-minded among us. Given that your relatives in France will be mostly students, I think it should be alright for you.

However, I remember some Asians having some problems to understand the Europeans. I think that may be because what is a lack of honesty by European standards is regarded as politness by the Asians. So, in short, don't be afraid of being honest, or less polite, depending on your point of view.