Permanent transients

Understanding the mindset of ethnic minority groups

(An excerpt from my white paper on multicultural marketing)

The hydroponic existence of the uprooted and the unrooted is tinged with the overwhelming need to possess a place and belong to a people.

It is a life punctuated with tales of loss, fear and anger but it is also an unfolding story of hope, aspiration and tingling excitement as the inevitable journey of acculturation begins.

It is seen by some as the greatest misfortune and by some others as the greatest opportunity.

Standing outside the umbrella of all things familiar, the new nomads fantasise about exotic homelands while fearing alienation in an alien nation. Struggling to hold on to their definition of belonging in a displaced, misplaced and then replaced identity, they also proudly demonstrate that a transplanted life is often a more fertile one.

They are a collective of cultural riches, a delightful confluence of colours, flavours, customs and contrasts. Seeking out commonalities and celebrating differences, they have become vital ingredients in the melting pot of a cosmopolitan society.

Living the daily duality of conflicting allegiances and cultivated affiliations, these are the bi-culturals who seek constant affirmation as they find the past on one side of the divide, the present on the other.

Having battled the odds, survived the transition and broken new ground, the ethnic minorities of today have the strength, the stamina and the staying power to live a new life and dream a new dream.

Often, it is a life and a dream in which they are not a minority at all.