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Expat Nation – The Blog

If you are already an expat, you know what it feels like to be on the front lines of the globalization transformation. Even if you have managed to live your entire life without leaving your homeland, you might have noticed that things are different – there are a lot more “foreigners”? around, for one. Different languages spoken on the street, different groceries available at the corner market, different ways to offend people with comics, or spitting, or asking for the check…There is something major going on in every city of the world – but what, exactly, is it?

Globalization in the West usually refers to textile workers losing their jobs because everyone is shopping at Walmart. In the developing world it means CNN on TV and schoolkids dressed like gangbangers from LA. In fact, it is a transformation that is re-defining economics, culture, education, and politics everywhere in the world. And for those of us who are choosing to live, work, and travel further from our homeland, globalization means we are the bleeding edge.

Expat Nation is the site to explore what this trend is all about. City Weekend – the leading magazine and web-site for expats in China – is sponsoring this blog to raise everyone’s awareness. But Expat Nation is intended to go one step further than the political scientists and pundits who are heralding a new era: Expat Nation is a forum to discuss where these trends could and should go. The days of “…it happens”? are over; it is time to be more than a passenger to destinations unknown. Expats, because of their unique role as ambassadors and avatars in this brave new world, can make a difference.

Expat Nation marks the end of an era, when we identified ourselves as Koreans or Germans or Aussies. As time goes on, expats are developing a new identity, complete with multiple languages, a new culture, and inter-marriage across all ethnic barriers. This millennium will see the emergence of expats – and their sympathizers around the world! – as a new identity. It is time to consciously shape that identity into something we – and the rest of the world – can be proud of.

Expats of the World Unite!

Or, at least: discuss, debate, align, identify, and coalesce into more than the sum of ourselves. We hope you will join us. – JAS, Shifu

One Comment

  1. greg says:

    I am new to your Blog and you certainly are asking the right questions and hope to add some comments from time to time.
    I am a US expat living in China for the past 6 years and yes on the ‘bleeding edge’ of something not sure what to call it. It is lonely sometimes as I am by nature an individualist and explorer at heart much like most Americans and others around the world who seek to know more of this small, blue planet. Moreover, I have the real freedom to do so in striking contrast to most Chinese and others who neither have the time or money to do so. I have yet to get used to and accept this difference and it is a somewhat uncomfortable feeling. There are those of us who can enjoy and use these times to its fullest but we are a small part of the other real world. My feeling is although globalization is opening doors for more privledged folk like us it is closing other doors of real equality and freedom for the masses- just look at income disparities in any country, taxes and the like. Technology also is not a true liberator rather a locator and distractor for the masses along with its attendant content of never-ending games, digital pyrotech and the like- we are all just consumers in the big global market machine- replacable as piston rods. The rules and the laws come from the top-down and the force to keep them. I really think it is in mans nature that the many are ruled by the few however illogical- we can all hope and work for better but the future looks like more of the same or rather a return to kings which is another way to say this one-world government you hear so much. A good example and already in the works is the new, improved ‘low-carbon’ economy- check it out!

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