I arrive in an unknown country feeling completely isolated. My hands are sweaty and the feeling of nervousness rushes over me. I smell coffee and people are staring at me like I'm in the wrong place. What should I do?
New Zealand has a big problem. Ten percent of New Zealanders feel discriminated against. The main reason for this discrimination is because of how they look, their skin tone, or their language. This is because of prejudice.
Prejudice means judging people before you can get to know them. This often happens when you do not know anything about the person and think things about them that might not be true. We get these ideas from tv, media, school, parents and more. An example of this is when a little girl from Iran first arrived in New Zealand. She went to school and at lunchtime she went to sit down and the children said “Do you have a bomb in your lunchbox?” And later in life when she worked at the coffee shop, customers asked what country she came from. She answered “Iran” and the customers bowed and ignored her. made her feel very unwelcome, embarrassed, stink, sad, excluded and ashamed that she is from Iran.
There are a lot of ways to make immigrants feel welcome.
You can say hello with a smile on your face. This is being kind which makes them feel included. You can take time to talk invite them to a party or a play. Let them join a club. If they are new to your school, show them around and give them a big welcome. Ask them where they are from tell them where you are from. If they are new and don't no how to speak English, help them. And they can go to a service that helps immigrants speak English and if they have done lots of hard work give them free tea or coffee. All of this makes them feel included it also makes them feel like they are being treated the same as everyone else.
There are also a lot of ways to make immigrants Feel unwelcome or alienated. Sometimes people laugh and tease if they have a different skin tone. They also might stare at the immigrants because they look different. There are other things that make immigrants feel unwelcome such as whispering, being mean, pointing and more. If there is a new kid don't tease them because of their accents.This makes them feel isolated and not very welcome at all.
It's important that we make these changes because we want to make immigrants feel welcome and part of New Zealand. We can make these changes by being friendly starting conversations and more. If we do these things the future will be a lot more friendlier.