- Learner Profile
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-Do you have any experience or stories of migration to share?
I migrated from Canada to Hong Kong. I am an expatriate, and plan to return to either the Canada or the USA for university and the rest of my life. I faced many troubles when moving to Hong Kong. However, I was not faced with criticism because there is a large Indian society in Hong Kong, and I was not judged or ridiculed for being an Indian living in Hong Kong. I faced little challenges, like adjusting to the weather, the way Hong Kong functions, smaller space and transportation. There is many other factors than these I had to face, but I had to adjust to them as they were much different in Canada. I had to learn these new concepts, familiarise myself with them to enter the culture.
-Why is migration such an important topic in today’s world?
Migration issues got so much more attention, mostly because of Donald Trump. Since he became the president, he has planned to limit migration between many different races, and is trying to push out many illegal immigrants and people he does not deem should live in the USA. He especially believes this for Mexicans, as he is trying to spend Government money just to build a wall to keep them out. From all this doing, he is receiving world attention on his oppression of these peoples, and how much the USA will be affected by this.
-What is your understanding about the reasons some people migrate? (Examples)
A lot of reasons why people migrate is to for economical benefits, experience and to escape the brutality or oppression that is going on in the country they’re emigrating from. For example, I migrated from Canada to Hong Kong for economical reasons, as we would receive more money, and we would also gain more experience, living in a city instead of a suburban town. A lot of refugees from Syria are coming to countries around the world, because they are faced with death everyday because of the terrorism and bombings from ISIS.
-What are some of the difficulties migrants, refugees and asylum seekers face?
A lot of difficulties they face are having to adjust to their new environment and attempt to immerse themselves into the culture. They are struggling to find ways to become the same as everyone else. Unless, you’re the same race as the country’s main population, it would take some adjusting for people to get used to, and for you to be treated with the same respect as everyone else. Especially in a school or work environment, they might be exposed to racism almost everyday, and it would take some time for these people to get used to it, or create a change within the school to alter the school’s perception on him or her.
In this topic, we had to make questions and answers based on contextual information.
My research helped to answer a lot of contextual based questions. Most of my questions were opinion-based, before realising that I should have made much more contextual questions. My contextual questions, however referred to situations displayed in the book, not general information about the Iranian Revolution. General information did help me make connections to my questions about the book. For example, in the book, it shows children wearing veils, so my question was “Why do children wear veils?”. So I had to research why women wear veils, and the answer was to not look admirable to men. Then I thought that children did not look admirable to men, so I had to search up the next reason. I had to research more and more about this topic, and I found the answer, that they want all women to be unified, no matter if they are children, to look the same.
If readers do not have awareness of context, readers will not understand the message and meaning of the books they read. They will not understand the hidden messages. In Persepolis, the author and her father always talk about political shifts and their views on it. Sometimes, the author gives background information on this, but many times the author doesn’t. The reader would not understand anything without context, and would not understand the situation itself, which means they would not understand the personality of the characters in the book, as you would understand the personality of a character by their political views.
When researching context, it is best to read the text first before doing any research. The Iranian Revolution is a hefty topic, with plenty of information, and it would be difficult to research everything about the revolution. Rather than that, readers can actually read the information, and then search up what they don’t understand. This makes it easier upon the reader, as they have to research less. The book also gives background information on the political topics, so you would not have to research those topics as well. Also, researching everything at once, might bring readers too far into the chronological timeline. Readers should go through the process of reading the book in a chronological sense, so that they understand the events of Persepolis through the eyes of author. If readers already know what will happen in the end, it will ruin the process for readers, making them confused.
The exercise was creating two memoirs, one fact and one fiction, sharing them with our classmates, and deciding which ones where fact or fiction.
This exercise surprised me in many ways. The line between fact and fiction was so different. Everybody had varied answers, and I do not feel that there is a simple way to measure this. Their stories were either extremely extravagant or extremely boring. Everybody talked about different topics that they were interested in. I assumed people would talk about some random experience they had, which I did, but instead they created stories based on their interests and hobbies. Their paragraphs also included background information and key details and observations, which was unexpected, to say the least. From doing this exercise, I was able to learn key information about them, like their interests, ideas and personality.
The line between fiction and non-fiction was blurred in a great way. I normally assumed that fiction was on a much more large scale, and had less detail, but it had more conflict, and key ideas. Non-fiction was on a much smaller scale, with much more attention to detail, and involves less crazy plot points. Reading everyone’s narratives showed a different story. People tried to intentionally make their fiction narrative less interesting and with more detail and information. However, they did this for the sole reason of tricking the rest of us, but it still begs the question, is this what people would do what without the reason of tricking people? I believe that usually authors would not pay that much attention to detail, and would focus on the plot. Other people changed minor details. For example, in one story, only one thing was different, and that was the introduction of another character. I don’t believe there is a definite answer to this, as writers can make fiction into non-fiction easily, and each writer has a specific way of making their work seem realistic.
Some forms that provide much more of a blur are song lyrics. In song lyrics, usually the artists talk about their feelings. The song could sometimes be true, or not. But in each sense, the artists still talk about their feelings, and sing as though they were actually in the fictitious event. They imagine what it is like to be there, and express those feelings into the song. Those feelings would be the same if it happened or not. Another form which provides a major blur are movies and tv shows. It depends on the genre, but most movie directors try to make their film realistic. By that means, they create setting, characters and plot, to make it seem like it’s realistic. Most people prefer their movies being realistic as possible, or else the movie would be criticised and appreciated less. Fiction or non-fiction, the same types of characters and settings would be the same, making it hard to distinguish between them.