“Multiculturism has failed,” Angela Merkel says to me. “Utterly failed!”
I turn around but the German Chancellor isn’t there.
Instead there’s a man eating rice with his fingers. He is relishing the vegetable korma and stuffing the lamb rogan josh into his chomping mouth.
No one would bat an eyelid if this was in South Asia or South East Asia – but this is a town in Australia!
I squint hard, for in my years here, I’d never seen this – and to an untravelled Aussie this would have certainly been a gastronomic spectacle.
The opposite position to multiculturism is social integration, which is where ethnic cultures try to blend into the culture of the dominant society. Other than being able to speak the local language, I assume it also means using eating utensils in a restaurant!
But does it?
If you do go into an Indian restaurant, then surely you’ve looking for an ethnic experience, including people eating with their fingers?
There can possibly be a blend of the two, migrants can retain their own culture as long as they don’t offend the locals with their idiosyncrasies. No spitting in the street or chatting at the top of your voices please.
But they should try to follow the local way of doing things. After all, when in Rome … or, in this case, in Australia …
Say G’day, swig a VB, put on a barbie, talk about the Footie or more likely speculate on interest rates and property prices.
Multiculturism will fail, but only if we don’t integrate!