Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fantastic article on the Economist about immigration, prominently featuring a Korean immigrant in the Washington D.C. area.

The money shot:
The doomsayers about immigration have always been wrong before. It is a fair bet that they are wrong now. America has lost none of its capacity to absorb newcomers. A recent survey by Public Agenda, a polling group, asked immigrants in America how long it took them to feel comfortable and “part of the community”. Some 77% said it took less than five years. Only 5% said they had never felt that they fitted in. In contrast 58% of people of Turkish descent in Germany say that they feel unwelcome, and 78% do not feel that Angela Merkel is their chancellor.
Many thanks to Ben L. for sending the story.


  1. I have to disagree with this part:

    ||"He wanted to pop out to the corner shop, but realised he would have to put on a smart shirt and trousers, despite the intense humidity. What would the neighbours think if they saw him in shorts and flip-flops?"||

    On numerous occasions, I have seen Koreans in, or going to, a convenience store dressed exactly as described above. Perhaps the culture has changed since he left and he didn't notice.

  2. How many of the people you saw were in their late 40s (as Mr. Lee in the article is)?

    But you could be right -- it could be another case of immigrant time warp (described here.)

  3. I think I only saw a couple as old as you describe. From my recollection, it's more likely with people younger than Mr. Lee. Of course, ajummas are the wild card. They'll do anything in their floral print shirts and MC Hammer pants.


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