It was a pretty ordinary day in my new home. I was just eating my lunch under the warm sun with a slight breeze tangling my hair. Just as I was about to bite into my lettuce sandwich, a girl walked up to me. She said that she was Spanish and that the Spanish used to consider black horses bad luck. She said because I was black, I was bad luck. I tried to give a snappy retort, only I realized I didn't have one. She called me a loser and then she walked back to her friends.
New Zealand may seem like this perfect country, but it has a hidden problem. Prejudice is all around us.
What is Prejudice?
Prejudice is when you prejudge someone by their culture, job, race, age and much more (all the ‘isms’). We are often forced to think what our parents or family think, or by what's on social media. For example, refugees who have escaped the Syrian war may have been thought of as bad people. The effect the prejudice has had is people feeling alienated and unwelcome. Future actions may include preventing this by making friends with immigrants. This could prevent things such as war and suicide. If we don't prevent this, families could be torn apart by sadness, anger and fear.
How to make migrants feel welcome
Saying ‘hello’ is always a good start to becoming friends with someone. But others ways to start off a friendship include being friendly, smiling, including and not treating them differently. If you talk to them as well, you could become friends. By doing this, migrants and immigrants would feel more welcome in Christchurch (or anywhere else in the world).
How to make migrants feel unwelcome
Imagine this: You have just walked in to this huge building. There are lots of people inside. They all stare at you, as though something about you is contagious. Whether it be you are covered in tattoos, or your skin may be different to everybody else's. A few people point, laugh and giggle. A young girl asks if you have a camel outside. Her older brother asks where your headscarf is. You try say to them that it isn't very nice to say that, but others mock your accent. A few teenage girls start whispering behind your back, then start pointing out differences between you. How would you feel?
These things may cause depression to the immigrant/migrant(s) your doing them to. That could lead to many things.
Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.
It important we make migrants and immigrants feel welcome. Traveled migrants/immigrants may feel like they have themselves in a sticky situation and may feel so alone that they don't want to talk to anyone about it. The way the world is going, war will be created within several countries, which will create more refugees who will move into other places, which will then have to many people and soon war will break out there. It will just happen, over and over again until nowhere is safe if we don't action anything now. Anything as simple as an act of kindness.