2011-07-15

Checklist of the culturally colonized

A country does not always have to be colonized politically so that many of its citizens may develop the mentality of the colonized; they can be culturally colonized. Here is a random checklist of these culturally colonized on the basis of many "specimens" I have encountered in a certain country I know rather well:

  • They are neither proud nor confident of the national language of their country, which also happens to be their mother tongue.
  • They cannot imagine that someone who was born abroad can take an interest in and even have a better command of the national language of their country.
  • Their default spoken language is "English", though it is not their mother tongue.
  • Their English is broken and has a heavy local accent.
  • Their knowledge of the national language of their country is also rather poor.
  • They have never read any serious book in authentic English.
  • They believe that the whole world speaks and is willing to hear (broken) English.
  • They believe that their broken English will bring them more money.
  • They have two separate standards of behaviors toward those who they think are locals and non-locals respectively.
  • They treat rudely those who they think are locals.
  • They try to cheat those who they think are non-locals.
  • They are not ashamed of being culturally colonized.
  • They are not even aware of being culturally colonized.

Of all the countries I have visited so far I have met very few or no culturally colonized people in the following (in alphabetical order): France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States. I can probably add Spain to this list, though I have never been there (but would love to!). Although I experienced some linguistic inconvenience in some of these countries because of my insufficient proficiency in their respective national languages (e.g., Italian and Polish), I would definitely prefer it to coping with so many culturally colonized people as in the country on which the above checklist is based. Such a country may be convenient for tourists as well as immigrants who are not ready to learn the local national language in spite of their long years of residence there (what a chutzpah!), but for someone who is not culturally colonized it must be frustrating, to say the least, to live in such a self-demeaning country.