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    Raymond Facciol at |

    I do not wish my arguments here to be taken as a rebuttal of the ideas presented in the article, but rather as my own peripheral afterthoughts. Culture (meaning “way of life” in its broadest sense) will, aided or not by historical or geographical events, evolve. Even in communities which had no contact with other communities, culture (and language which is one of its manifestations) did not freeze. It evolved: indeed this was the crux of Darwin’s epiphany. So much, therefore, for isolation as a solution to “preserving our identity”, whatever that is in 2019. It also stands to be said that those who really believe that they can stop evolution, and choose the most apparent catalytic phenomenon – migration – are overlooking far stronger waves, such as internet, the media, our own facilitated ability to travel and to access “otherness”. Another perception I get is that change is suspicious because it can secrete something “wrong”. Yes, it’s a cliche, we are all afraid of change … but only when we perceive it as such. Who ever said that Halloween should be banned in Malta or that cars should be preceded by a red flag to warn people of their arrival? If we see change as “progress”, we do not resist it. If we consider that it is threatening an asset of ours, we will. And yet, to come to the issue of a meeting of cultures, history shows that cultures can co-exist. They will influence each other and probably produce hybrid cultures. Rome was a melting pot of cultures, while Jerusalem was one example where three (idiosyncratic and inherently intolerant) religions coexisted (until someone poked a finger in). I do believe that all creatures are programmed to be “racist” (in the sense of being aware, probably suspicious, of otherness) … if they aren’t at least at the first meeting, they face the fate of the dodo … but the positive fact is that tolerance can be learned. This brings me to Lowell’s vote. The fact that 6000 of those votes did not move on to the other right-wing candidates seems to tell me that the far right has not yet coalesced … there is talk, but egos are still too strong for any real threat to materialise. Which means that if we believe that education is the counter to the simplistic, reductionist rhetoric of the far right, we are maybe still in time. Last point. From my own experience, the first reaction you may get when you speak of “cultural induction”, is that it would be brilliant if we could fit all our incoming migrants into such a programme. That would be, for me, like giving sex education only to girls, and not to the boys. When I mentioned a programme of intercultural communicative competence for all our children at schools some years back, it was simply shot down … not because it was not deemed valid … but because “we have so many other things to do, we cannot simply keep adding on ‘subjects’ (sic!)”

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    Rae McGrigor at |

    Hear Here….very well said !


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