*Pic: Image from HERE
People travel from one destination to another all over the world. The purpose of travelling could be leisure, family visits, business, study, or employment. When people settle down in a foreign country, it becomes their home where they live and conduct their daily activities including, work, education, and social and cultural participation.
This implies better social and economic interaction all over the world. Separation from parents, inability to look after them in their old age, loneliness, sadness, unpleasant tasks, work place bullying and racial discrimination some of us would have faced. Nevertheless, in a free country like Australia we are fortunate enough to practice our religious and cultural norms, also assimilating into a wider population.
A long time ago, a tourist came from India to Australia. He was obviously an outsider. He had limited time to stay in Australia. At that time too, rules and regulations of immigration existed, which he had to obey. Insiders: the residents of Australia looked at him with great respect and cares, never letting him feel an outsider. This is because it is a natural instinct of human beings to greet each other. When I came to Australia in 1994, I found many Australians greeting each other even strangers when their eyes met for the first time. It is a culture to smile and greet, it makes your day beautiful.
A few years ago, I went back to India and at one place, to a well-dressed man of my origin, I said “hi”. The man in return said to me, “Do I know you?” My mother said, “He (I) says Hi to everyone.” The man was very happy seeing my welcoming attitude. It was the transformation of me. Coming back to my previous point, the tourist from India visiting Australia, had gone through learning processes and experiences both sweet and sour in his home country, the way we learn and experience in Australia. His and our stories were not theories, which we could predict and test them scientifically. To greet someone is a good life norm. One day he fell in love with someone, and stayed in Australia. Now his passport states him ‘Australian’ not Indian – the transformation of him, the transformation of us.
Australia is a tolerant multicultural society
People of all origins, also from non-English speaking background countries, namely, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Japan, China, Russia, India, have come to live in Australia for better living, and better income and employment prospects, including peace, and prosperity. With better earnings, we can have better nutrition and health care, also, good education and better housing, and live peacefully away from everyday struggles and chaos of life – social, economic, and political. Just a quick snapshot – how Australia is doing on these indictors.
Table 1: Socio-economic, health and political indices, selected countries
Source: Table complied by author
Data source: World FactBook updates March 2014 & Vision of Humanity: 2014 GPI findings
In column 2, we state the per capita income of selected countries. With more income, better education and housing become affordable which leads to better health in terms of peace of mind, nutrition, health, and welfare. Developed countries can buy more and superior quality goods and services just the way wealthy people buy more and superior goods in all countries (including poor countries). Australia performs better in health status measures (cols: 5 & 6), despite its lower per capita income compared to the USA, although minor differences in levels might suggest the need for further improvements in some population groups where income, employment, literacy, life expectancy and infant mortality are poor. We also observe a pattern of low income and low health in developing countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In column 3, we state figures on adult literacy, which is an indicator of further progress – social, economic, demographic, and political. Good education means good societal norms, which includes good health norms. Column 4: states figures on the Global Peace Index (GPI), which affects the health of individuals – a reason for people to move away from war, riots and racial hostilities. The 2014 Global Peace Index (GPI) measures peace in 162 countries according to 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators of the absence of violence and fear of violence. The three top peaceful countries are Iceland (1st), Denmark (2nd), and New Zealand (3rd). Other developed countries on global peace index are as follows: Japan (6th), Canada (8th), Australia (16th), UK (44th) and USA (99th). See: Vision of Humanity: 2014 GPI findings
The transformation of us has taken place many ways…
Figure 1 show the flow of tourists from India to Australia, and their social and economic life changes to the adoption of better living conditions and further progress and adaptability.
Figure 1: Insiders and outsiders – a travel exchange
In a form of ‘bird’s eye view’, travellers from all over world travel to many countries, and Australia is one where people from many nations have come to live. They not only could appreciate the beauty of Australia, but also express their gratitude about making their progress through cultivation, creation, and construction in Australia. The construction of buildings, which include, school, colleges, universities, cinema theatres, museums, hospitals, stations, aerodromes fascinated them when they travelled from their home countries to Australia. They got in love with the progress of Australia and opportunities available. They also bought material goods like cameras, telephones, tape recorders etc to fulfil their needs. Many wanted to stay in Australia, and it happened. Millions of travellers became Australian residents. Some of the travellers wanted their children to settle down in Australia, if they possibly could do. Living in Australia some of us could acquire further education to improve work capacities. We also could send money to our home countries. In addition, we travel back to home countries, spend money, buy goods and services, and thus promote economic activity. Understanding culture, language, and, everyday work and social activities has become a daily routine. We do not feel as if we are visiting Australia, it is home to us, where we reap fruits of hard work; struggle, resolve day-to-day problems, take decisions, and cherish success and improve if we fail. The process is natural and continuous.
Thus, we do not feel to be outsiders
We actively participate in the building of Australia through skills, knowledge, and experience. We do not feel we are outsiders; we also participate to build our own home countries where we came from. Our villages are turning into towns and cities through various processes and one process is the remittances from abroad. The creation of better houses means development of roads, water supply, sanitation, electricity, and transports services. The new ideas of doing things, which we learn abroad, are facilitating much faster development. I give you a very simple example; computers do spell checks for us, thus, saving our time and money on someone to edit our text. New technological transfers from overseas would help accomplish development tasks efficiently and effectively in a very short period. The pattern of occupational structure is changing through work force training. More people undergo training to work in manufacturing, construction, and services. This has resulted in urbanization and migration from other states where people were finding work.
People who are educated but could not find jobs should be able find better suitable jobs when countries progress. When economic progress takes place, new schools are built, health care facilities develop; therefore; the service sector starts emerging absorbing people in education, health care, communication and leisure activities. When better communication develops, more people migrate to other developed countries; which facilitates building up of other underdeveloped regions in the home country. This is the result of global diffusion in communication and travelling. This also checks the population problem with the in-built system through education, employment, health care and, adoption of family welfare (planning) methods. Through better understandings of socio-economic processes increased levels of tolerances results in social harmony. To improve social, economic, demographic, political and environmental outlook of developing countries, the conduct of international events – sport and festivals will facilitate long-term tourism activity leading to human development by creating international awareness in maintaining a peaceful society; concentrating more on development. Many advantages of international migration are, listed in figure 2.
Figure 2: The transformation of us
A word of caution we cannot ignore
Improvements in socio-economic conditions can also bring problems. It is important to stay alert on issues of drinking, smoking, gambling, and using llegal substances. Many innocent souls are dragged into vice and criminal activities. In unfavourable circumstances (during disputes), death threats are being issued face to face, over the phone, by facebook and twitter which lead to fear and possible long-term depression. Innocent souls then withdraw from society by not attending social functions, dinners, and celebrations; rather preferring to stay home to save from known and unknown possibility of criminality. In addition, any type of funding or remittances from abroad would be unproductive and undesirable if spent directly/indirectly on activities such as gambling, production of cigarettes, or alcohol, which incur social costs in terms of health illnesses, and unsocial activities – crime. If money is well spent on agriculture, industrialization, urbanization, education, health, and healthy leisure, ensuring balanced regional development, then, the role of foreign capital in development of poorer regions will fruitfully flourish leading to the welfare of all. Nevertheless, living aboard in countries, alike Australia is good.
The story of insiders and outsiders does not end here
The story of their relationship and ties brought harmony to all countries of the world through international migration. I can imagine the happiness of students living in Australia or England getting their permanent residency. The doors to full employment opens up, further transformation takes place in their lives. For millions of us, Australia has become our home country. You may ask any rational thinking overseas born Australian, if he/she would not like to back to their home country. The reason, we live where we live, is that it is our home and, transformation of life takes place accordingly. Migration from one country to another has brought us happiness in its various hidden and unhidden forms.