mardi 2 juillet 2013
CULTURAL COMPETENCY ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH: THE CASE OF MONTREAL YUL AIRPORT
CULTURAL COMPETENCY IS NOT ENOUGH
THE CASE OF MONTREAL AIRPORT
Each of the person I met today –in the context of the interactions of capitalist culture of travel- was culturally competent. They had been born into families speaking Bembera or Farsi, had to adjust themselves to French or English Language. Most importantly they had to adjust ot the transient, individualistic, north American mentality of a present without a past.
What we need is Efficiency-whether they wear a burqah or turban or speaking accented English or French..
Remember, the Chinese are waiting.. to gobble you up. Don't worry, the Indians and the Brazilians are not interested in you.
You see cultural competency being translated into commercial efficiency:
At Louis Vuitton stores in Paris, there are Japanese speaking Attendants
At Gallerie Lafayette in Paris, there is a separate section for Mandarin Speakers.
At the Security at Montreal Airport, I asked the agent, what languages he speaks.. he answered.. French and English, a little bit of Spanish.. and then he added,
I am learning Chinese.
You will need it, I added.
All western nations are courting the Chinese tourists, regardless of the crude nature of the behaviour of some of them, but Yuan makes the vultures forget the crassness…
When I arrived at the Montreal International Airport, the shabbiness of the airport was a throwback to lesser sophisticated times-it reminded me of the old Bogota Airport (as Mortiz Thomsen would say where the drug lords were displaying their trophy wives)..
The inefficiency of the operations were immediately evident. The Border Control agent a long time to let me go to the Transit areas, only after a telephone call. But no one was at the door of the transit lounge, had to wait more than 15 minutes, standing there by myself, bringing the matter to the attention of the Security personnel. As it is common, in the western world, the service personnel (ticketing agents, boarding service personnel, café waiters, cleaners at the Maple Leaf Lounge etc) were all foreigners, most of them just proficient in one of the two official languages. Where are the native Canadians, now that most manufacturing has flown off to China? Swiss Air which I was flying today, the agents at the counter were anything but Swiss in their efficiency.
I could name it the Montreal Malaise. To get a boarding pass reissued needed the assistance of one Asian, one African and one Irani…
Do you remember the old jokes about JAP.. jewish American princesses? How many Japs does it take to change a Light Bulb?
While the Westerners are worried about
And teaching to respect these values, which cannot be taught anyway. ( look at the rise of the fascist, anti immigration political scene in Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary and Greece)
Do you think it is relevant to put up highway signs in Arizona to say
We Love Mexicans
Or advertise what the French say:
On a billboard in Toulouse..
There are no Arabs of Moslems in France, only French.
The Asians are running further and further away and ahead. In the capitalist system, social coherence, empathy is not what is stressed, but money, profit. (whereas as an average WALMART employee does not get liveable wages or medical benefits, the CEO is proud of his 22 million dollar Salary!)
Don't continue to blame the Chinese for human rights abuses (but don't forget it either)
NIKE, ZARAH and multitude of others who made use of Cheap Labour and unhealthy practices as in Bangladesh (remember the recent collapse of a clothing factory where more than 1000 people died!)
Is it also not a form of abuse of human rights?
It looks like there is only one currency
Money, Profit, Stockholders, Stocks, Shares..
Amidst all these, falling European living standards, rising Asian living standards, lack of human rights and ethics on a global scale.. sit the immigrants, 200 million of them
Eritreans in Australia
Turks in Germany
Sri Lankans in Norway
Sudanese in North Dakota
Afghanis in Britain
Bangladeshis in Malaysia
Indonesians in Singapore
Burmese in Dubai
Filipinos anywhere they can go
Moroccans, Algerians, Nigerians, West Africans, East Africans, South Africans..
Lucky are the people who do not have to emigrate because the pleasure of living in ones own country, in a state of contentment, is a cornerstone of a house of happiness.
When I was an adolescent, some one gave me a key chain with the following words
"Never mind, it is good to die for our country" (En davar, tov lamut be'ad artzenu
ארצנו בעד למות טוב,דבר אין I am unable to write the Hebrew characters in the correct order! here the characters are from left to right, which is not the case with Hebrew..
I am grateful that I have lived in 10 different countries without being a Immigrant, in my eyes and in the eyes of the locals, in any one of them!