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Old Apr 2nd 2016, 6:10 am   #1
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Default Anything in common?

Do we share anything in common?
I'm in southern Brazil. My reasons for coming here are still not even clear to myself, but I suspect it has something to do with feeling more free here than in the UK, despite/because of the reduced security.
I generally avoid socialising with other brits because the conversation is inevitably tedious. However, I'm trying to understand my own reasons for coming here and liking it, and also trying to work out whether I will stay (been here 3 years now).
So, in conclusion - can you help me by telling me whether you think we come here for the same reasons, whether your cominghere has any connection to your British identity/history and whether British people have a natural affinity/attraction to "South America"....?
Your answers will help me understand myself.
I note with interest that most British immigrants to South America seem to lose their British identity within 1 generation, as far as I can see from the history I have read. This seems to suggest to me that British people who come to South America are trying to leave the UK, not recreate a lost version of it (as in USA, Canada etc).
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 1:42 pm   #2
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Default Re: Anything in common?

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Originally Posted by lookingaround View Post
I note with interest that most British immigrants to South America seem to lose their British identity within 1 generation, as far as I can see from the history I have read. This seems to suggest to me that British people who come to South America are trying to leave the UK, not recreate a lost version of it (as in USA, Canada etc).
Not that I can directly help, as I'm not in Brazil, but this had me slightly amused, because I live in "little Brazil", the burbs of Boston out here, loads of Brazilians and Portuguese and they create a lot of home over here.

You see that with a lot of Brits posting in large parts of the US forums too. Not every one and not all to the same degree, but often the little things to remind of home, whether the food or tele.

It seems to be a little more important for those who have kids though I think.

So it's amusing that that doesn't seem to be the case down your way
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Old Jun 8th 2016, 4:48 am   #3
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Originally Posted by lookingaround View Post
... most British immigrants to South America seem to lose their British identity within 1 generation, as far as I can see from the history I have read. This seems to suggest to me that British people who come to South America are trying to leave the UK, not recreate a lost version of it (as in USA, Canada etc).
Don't you think that applies to most immigrants anywhere? Losing their national identity, I mean. And I presume you do mean "immigrants" and not "expats". Immigrants who abandon their old loyalties are usually overwhelmed by their new local cultures. If they're not overwhelmed, it would be because they comprise a significant minority in their new homes.

I don't know this for a fact; I'm just making conversation. But it seems logical. What do you reckon?
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Old Jun 8th 2016, 5:01 am   #4
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Default Re: Anything in common?

Having thought about this some more, I now realise that historical emigration was quite different than modern emigration.
100 years ago the internet didn't exist, and travel was by ship. Once you left home that was it, goodbye England.
It seems like only the upper crust kept their "culture", perhaps contributing to the image of the British aristocrat.
For example, I am aware that many factories and mills in Sao Paulo imported British workers to operate their mills - they had experience. There is a shop in my city called "Huddersfield textiles". However, all of these people were most likely working class, and their integration into Brazilian society seems to have been complete.
Contrast this with Rio where there is an Anglican church and British school, as well as some kind of British society. The Rio community seems to have been traders, land owners and capitalists. They retained their British culture through frequent trips home, education of kids in British boarding schools etc.
Conclusions:
1. Modern emigration/immigration completely different to historical
2. Anyone who has mixed culture kids from a mixed marriage should expect their children to identify with both cultures, they will most likely not completely lose their identity wherever they end up living, they will be more like the aristocrats than the mill workers
3. British people who choose to settle in non English speaking countries are probably significantly eccentric or there for very specific reasons, ie a job.
4. Answering my original question, what we have in common is either a romantic relationship with a south American, a job posting abroad or an affinity to South American culture.
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Old Jun 9th 2016, 2:27 am   #5
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Default Re: Anything in common?

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Answering my original question, what we have in common is either a romantic relationship with a South American, a job posting abroad or an affinity to South American culture.
Or, old age! There are plenty of British retirees living in SA, and even more living in Latin America as a whole. My wife and I intend to join them some time soon. Ecuador sounds good, and Chile and and Argentina too - and pretty much every country in Central America except Honduras (whose US-sponsored Police death squads are a put-off). Brazil and Venezuela are off our list for the time being, I'm sorry to say.
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Old Jun 9th 2016, 9:24 pm   #6
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Default Re: Anything in common?

I came to the US with two small children, 4 years old and 18 months. Oddly enough they are both still UK Citizens, they never have become US citizens.
Married to Americans and with US children. Culturally they are 100% American.
Having spent more of my life in the US than the UK I suppose more I'm American than English. At one time when I heard an British accent I would ask, Hi where are you from, now it's just another Brit.
When I go back to the UK I barely recognize the place. Especially the big Cities.
Several years ago my wife and I went to Cornwall were we spent our Honeymoon. What a disappointment that was, even the Hotel where we stayed had been pulled down and replaced by a Best Western Hotel.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 1:10 am   #7
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Default Re: Anything in common?

Interesting reply. I think that some people remain firmly attached to home for years or for ever, others drift away and still others have already left the building before they leave the country.

Speaking for myself, I feel like I'm gradually drifting away. I also have zero desire to make conversation with other Brits solely on the basis of our shared nationality. Now that I speak Portuguese to a passable level I find Brazilians much more interesting, perhaps simply because I can anticipate what a Brit will say, being British myself.
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