Saturday, January 25, 2014

Expat Writing – A Veritable Minefield

Toni Hargis
by Toni Hargis

I’m been writing about US/UK stuff for about ten years now, so what have I learned? (My spellcheck is American, by the way.)

You can make fun of your home country almost ad nauseam and you won’t get much of a backlash as long as it’s well informed. Being a British expat makes it easier because of our well-known self-deprecating sense of humor – most Brits chime in with me. Viewing the UK from afar as I do these days, I can see the strengths and the weaknesses possibly more clearly than I did when I lived there. I can also voice my opinion on the weaknesses without fear of insults, obviously as long as I’m not implying “I’m so glad I’m out of there” as some expats do. That must get irritating to read if you’re actually living in that terrible place.

However, the assumption, unless otherwise stated, is that even though you’ve left your country of origin, you think of it fondly and any criticism is either well-intentioned or just gentle ribbing.

But - No matter how long you’ve lived in your host country, and even if you’ve become a citizen, it’s not as acceptable to criticize it...

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