New Zealand has a big problem. The problem is racism. An estimated 77,700 people or 2.3% of people, reported experiencing racial discrimination in New Zealand. Lately people have been prejudged here in Christchurch. And it's not a very good feeling. If you want to hear more interesting stuff about being prejudged, how to make migrants feel welcome, what not to do when someone new comes to the city I seriously suggest you keep reading.
Prejudice is when you give someone a label without meeting them properly. If you really look around, you really see that everyone gets prejudged even you. And it's beyond ok.Prejudice is when you’re giving someone a label when you haven't even meet them on the inside. Unfortunately we don't always have power of whether we judge people or not. Sometimes we just do. We judge people just when we catch a glimpse of them. We also prejudge people when we hear others around us talking about them because it influences our brains to think about them in ways that we necessarily shouldn't.
Being prejudice is judging people using sexism, racism, ageism, and much more. The effect is that it is hurting people's feelings. And because you do it to them, they'll do it to you. An example is there was a little girl from Iran went to school and a boy walked over to her and said do you have a bomb in your lunchbox? Just because she was from Iran. Firstly, Iran is very nice country. It's the government who is making it a bad place for some people. And secondly, just because a country is bad, doesn't mean the people are.
There are many ways to make migrants to New Zealand feel welcome. Some ways are starting a conversation with them, waving as you go past, even just smiling at them can make their day. Just do anything to make them feel welcome and remember that they don't have to be new, they could have lived here for 13 years. It doesn't matter, always smile and be kind because it doesn't no matter who they are. Migrant or not!!
This is an example of what NOT to do when trying to welcome a migrant…
Don't just stare at them like they're a shiny toy in the shop that you want. DON'T make fun of the colour they are. DON’T mock their language and if they’re alone at break time, don't just walk past and keep watching them. Be nice and ask them if they want to play with you. It doesn't matter whether they're a boy or a girl, whether they’re younger or older whether they’re a different race or not, you always ask them to play or if they are ok.
Some things that makes migrants feel alienated is frowning at them, staring at them, whispering and pointing out differences. These ideas are all connected because they are all being mean but from a distance NOT up close. It really stinks when people are making fun of you from a distance but when people come up to you in person and do negative things it is 10 times worse. Here’s some examples. Saying do you have a bomb in your lunch box or making fun of the colour of their skin. The effect is broken hearts and feeling like you don’t belong.
Something that makes immigrants feel welcome:
People being friendly,smiling, including them, inviting them to have tea and coffee or inviting them to a birthday party or even asking if they want a play. That's the kinda thing people should be saying.
Albert Einstein once said “People do not destroy the world by what they say. People destroy it by not saying nothing, just watching”. When the whole world is silent one voice speaks up. It's important to stand up against prejudice because If no one does who else will? We can change the way people think. Include people and maybe, just maybe, the people around you will too.