Sunday, April 2, 2017

On the Topic of Integration

I sat this week and watched two YouTube interviews with North Koreans who'd escaped and resettled into South Korea. (Interview number one and interview number two).  It's almost two hours of an interview with two individuals who give a pretty interesting view of North Korea and integrating into South Korea.....but they also talk of their perception of the new life in South Korea.  Then they talk about this one topic....integration.  From the Korean prospective, it's an interesting interview and I'd strongly recommend people to watch it.

For three years, I've keenly watched this integration topic  Most Germans have some opinion and it goes from one side of the spectrum to the other.

For these North's around two months of secluded orientation in some compound before they release you into the general public.  As the one gal hinted....there are hundreds of little things that you've never had to mess with, and this bold new life if complicated.  Just understanding the 'clever bus-card' and how to travel on a bus....requires some orientation.

In some ways, I think this would have been something that Germany should have done with asylum seekers or migrants coming into the country, but there were simply too many to handle in any organized fashion.

Face it....if you'd come up with a secluded compound and put 300 refugees through a 45-day orientation....talking about German taxes, cost-of-living, progressive lifestyles,the political system, basic economics, driving rules, open perception to drugs, complex might have helped some in grasping what they signed up for.

I'm waiting for some PhD type Einstein-guy to do a study on ease of integration into various societies in the world.  There should be a landscape type review of a hundred things, and how simple or complex each country makes the rules for anyone to survive.

Even for an American arriving into Germany today....he or she might be fairly shocked at the nature of things, pricing on food, taxation, or just at shopping.

I asked a Syrian once about traffic in which he just grinned.  He lived in some rural no-name town where four cars backed up at a traffic light was an all-time record.  Having ridden around Germany as a passenger in a car.....he had absolute fear of the urbanized atmosphere with often unlimited speeds on the autobahn, and there was virtually no way that he'd ever be able to drive a car.  Maybe in four years....he might adjust enough to attempt a license.

Maybe all of this integration business could have been done better.....but you would have had to limit the incoming number and had a different type mentality about the outcome you expected with people.  In a sense, you'd want to Germanize them as much as possible.....and that's not the German expectation where they want people to retain much of their character, charm, and uniqueness.  A decade down the line....the success or failure will be evident.

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