Friday, February 02, 2007

When in Quebec

A town in Quebec has released a notice, basically outlining their town's culture and laws. See the Telegraph article, it also includes a link to the translation of their document. (Via the Advice Goddess)

The purpose of this notice is to inform anyone who might be considering moving there about their customs and laws, so that people can chose to move their or not (I guess) based on them. Of course muslim groups are offended and people are saying it is racist.

But I don't think it is racist, I think it is perfectly resonable. It seems that some people who have recently moved to some countries have been misguided about the laws and customs of that country. And once there, finding that their religious or cultural customs were not followed have tried to change that society to fit their laws.

Apparently some cultures have missed out on the whole "When in Rome" proverb. In moving to any country most immigrants desire to maintain some semblance of their own culture. In America people have been doing this for centuries. Here in Chicago there are tons of neighborhoods that pay homage to the customs and cultures of people's homelands. (Polish, italian, german, mexican, chinese, indian on and on.) But the people in those neighborhoods, while they may maintain symbols of their home, their language, their food, do not require changes in the laws of this city. They do not require (to my knowledge anyway) local citizens or professionals to bend to their cultural needs. Besides carving out a space for themselves, they do not try to change the City.

I believe it is the responsibility of individuals who wish to emmigrate, to ensure that the location they are emmgirating to is compatable with their culture. Similarly they should ensure that any employment they undertake will not require them to do things that violate their religion. As such I think it is very reasonable to notify potential immigrators of the culture of a certain area, and what behaviors will and will not be tolerated, so that they can avoid moving to those places.