Sunday, January 30, 2005

Peoples and Prejudices

One of my favorite things about Saipan is the varied peoples and cultures represented here on the island. The largest part of the population (which is somewhere around 70,000), is Chinese garment workers and Filipeno technicians and domestics. Probably the next groups after that are other Micronesian islanders, Chamorros and Carolinians (the indigenous groups), then Japanese and Americans, then everyone else. I believe the Chinese and Filipenos make up about 50% of the population.
One of my least favorite things about Saipan is the prejudice that I see in some Americans toward their own culture. It's hard for me to understand and I think it's probably puzzling to people from other nations as well. Many American expatriates have a tendency to make very disparaging comments about the U.S., I guess as a way to explain why they are living here instead of there. Why can't Saipan be wonderful and beautiful and the U.S. (mainland) be wonderful and beautiful as well? I've moved around a lot in my married life...we've lived in Maine, Utah, Florida, and Saipan. We've made a lot of friends in those places--people who are kind, considerate, thoughtful, and trying to do the best they can. On the other hand, we've met a few jerks. It doesn't seem to me like any one place has a corner on any one kind of person. That goes for the government as well...the U.S. has problems and guess what? Saipan has problems!
Enjoy where you are and find the good you is too short for anything else.

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