When is the last time you heard the word “Expat“? How many times a day you hear the word “Immigrant” ( no need to mention any adjective that comes with it!). Three years ago it was a debate on BBC about
What makes one person an expat, and another a foreign worker or migrant?
When thinking about expats vs. immigrants, comes to mind the story of the Statue of Buddha, which was discovered during the roadworks in Bangkok, 65 years ago. Workers ( were they expats or immigrants?) had to move a gigantic clay statue which was blocking the road. When lifting the statue, the ropes couldn’t hold it and the statue fall on the ground. The sun hit the gold inside the clay. For centuries the clay statue was storing what we all know now is Buddha’s Golden Statue.
I am not going to talk about the definition of words, and in all fairness, it is a bit late for referring to a dictionary. The fact is that an overwhelming reaction to job security fears and endless concerns over uncontrolled immigration inspired a new type of nationalism which drowned 17 millions people to vote for Brexit. Three years later, we all agree that should discussion focus on the etymology of those two words would perhaps benefit us all, leavers and remain-ers.
If anything, a kind reminder that words have power would saved us from falling into a new category: Withdrawal Agreement Society.
As I am writing this article, MP’s just voted in favour of holding indicative votes, at House of Commons. Not that anyone really understands the meaning of new words which all constitutes a very confusing Brexit jargon.
What constitutes a key part of the dialogue we never had, is how exactly we define different people who cross borders to work and how they identify themselves.
I never met an individual , yet, who is not migrating, in one way or another, from one group age to another, from one profession to another, from one geographical location to another, from one status quo to another.
My question is very simple: is progress possible without movement? Expats or immigrants, people have a moral obligation to step into the unknown, and decide who they want to be. Thinking that in 2019 we could put anyone into a category or another, and they will accept to live their life according to that category, is delusional, to say the least.
Could you learn your worth unless you move into the unknown?
Can you tell, hand on your heart, that you really know the difference between the old you and the new you, between you and another, between expats and immigrants, between clay and gold?