I come from Paris, France. Now I live in Berlin since more than six years already.
How would you describe your life in Germany?
Pleasant, comfortable. Maybe it is a typical feature of Berlin, but everybody finds their place here, everybody can follow their own path. The everyday life is not as competitive as it might be in Paris. The problem is, that I cannot really compare France and Germany, since I have only lived in Paris and Berlin, which are both special cities.
Over here people do not place value on how they look like, what people around them do for living or where they live. I don’t know if it is because the people are more open or because they simply do not care.
But for a Frenchman: how is life in Germany?
I have noticed that the French are perceived as the special foreigners. They are the next door neighbours and have become the “best enemies” for the Germans. This rivalry allows us to make fun of each other, and this without being called racism. This rivalry involves a certain respect towards the opponent.
As French you will always notice how much more southern you are: by the looks, but also by the fact that Germans are colder. However, recently we met Italians and there I noticed that compared to them I am really almost German.
Maybe, I am prejudiced towards other French people living here, but I have observed that they do not want exactly to be integrated and they gladly live out themselves being French over here. Therefore, even if I try to hide myself in the masses, this side will be ascribed to me as well, despite the attempt to melt in.
What is multiculturalism for you?
Multiculturalism is achieved when everybody takes it for granted that many different nations live in that place and permanently. It is also the acceptance of the culture of other nations and that from both sides. It would be difficult enough if there were only two sides, but the foreigners are far from being a united group.
To some extent, the foreigners are the ones who are the toughest against other migrants. An integrated foreigner may become the biggest xenophobe. They think that since they managed to integrate themselves, that this makes it easy. But it is not easy. It is not the same for everybody. And then these foreigners think that they can take liberties with some xenophobic utterances.