8 de janeiro de 2012


After 2 weeks of peaceful stay in Vila Real I have returned to Germany and to my work at PIK. It was very nice to get back talking with the friends, the paper writing, the Phd plans and the afternoon breaks at the coffee machine.

The other side of the coin was that also the endless meetings, the narrow deadlines and the still unverständlich German humour are back. These are not critical things since the positive aspects more than overcompensate the negative ones. They nevertheless remind me of something I have been thing a lot lately.

At every return from holidays I feel more and more integrated in Germany. The challenge seems now focused on assimilation. For me these are two different things. Integration implies that the minority is accepted within the majority in respect to some dimensions but still being traceable. Assimilation implies that you can no longer distinguish the minorities from the majority since the full system is now qualitatively different.


Some time ago in a conference someone said I "looked" like a German and that only my spoken German allowed this person to differentiated me from the rest of the audience. This was kind of a surprise, but then, being here so long now I seems perfectly logic.

I'm not sure that in the future we will all be a huge European society, were we will not be able to tell (apart from residual aspects) one "original" culture from another. But I do believe that is assimilation and not integration one should pursuit. I see integration has being motivated (or even forced) by some political or socio-economic reason. After this is done, assimilation should be the next step since it implies merging cultures in a deeper sense.

As for me. I think assimilation is a very big step to do during my life time, but the next generation could accomplish it at some degree.

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