Ah, immigration! Moving from one country to another seeking prosperity, opportunities, and an ability to be heard. Sailing away to a new harbor. That’s how we start to get ourselves into the idea that changing places will give us absolutely different outcomes to live a better life.
However, nobody should confuse tourism with immigration and there are certain points that people you will understand after living long enough in a different country.
Let’s discuss those. Keep in mind that those points are subjective to my experience and you are free to discuss those with me. I would be curious to know what do you think about it and how it correlates to your experience.
My mother tongue is Russian. My secondary language is English. I’ve been studying English since I was a kid. I’m able to read, write and communicate in English without any issues (apart from my accent). I even think in English most of the time, it’s a natural part of me.
However, English would never feel the same way to me as Russian. Never. Why? Because the mother tongue sounds natural, it feels like the language you communicate effortlessly. You understand every single meaning of the word, you can understand the content of the word really well, and most importantly — for some reason, it resonates with everything.
The cultural aspect matters a lot. Native language is always something that you could relate to, something that’s truly yours. Even the gestures are different in another language.
Unfortunately, for many people, the second language will always be the secondary language. And while you can speak it fluently, it doesn’t mean that you feel about it the same way.
Every country has specific cultural norms and beliefs. When you move to another place you are expected to adapt to a new routine, norms, and anything in between.
And you are ready to adapt. However, people around you will always look at you as an immigrant and someone from the outside. They might not say that or mention that, but at the back of the mind, they will always think of you as a foreigner.