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Harry

Neil,

thanks for that...I'm at peace. You had me worried there for a while.

I agree, one cannot just trust someone because he/she comes from SA. That is not a moral qualification or a credit rating. I do, however, approach the situation by giving folks (from anywhere) the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong. No-one has let me down yet in that regard over here. However, I am keenly aware of the "vultures" and I most certainly read the fine print in business transactions.

I also do not specifically look up other SA folks here. I came to Canada for a new life, not to re-invent South Africa here. I am on record on this forum as saying that I have no interest in having a "Little South Africa". Canada opened up its doors to South Africans and it would be simply wrong to return that decency by creating an alternative culture in the midst of the very folks who opened the doors. Politically and culturally I am at odds with the basic Canadian policy of cotton-woolling all cultures here. This is Canada...not the United Nations....but that's just me.

None of this means for one second that I either reject or absolve myself from my origin or history. I think SA folks have a unique history and, while there are painful parts to our history, we have one of the most epic histories of any nation on ths planet. We ought to be very proud of it and have heaps of great movies made about it.

So my DNA is what it is, and I'm very proud of it.

So I shall repeat my credo, for what it is worth:

I'll fight for Canada, cheer for the Canuck teams....and eat biltong.

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grumbleguts

Thanks Harry,

I share your sentiments from this side of the pond - I was briefly concerned that I may be lynched on my arrival in Vancouver.

I am reminded of an amusing comment about SAs while in New York from a fellow South African. He said, ".... for every two south africans in a meeting you get three opinions and a circular argument that always seems to revolve around either rugby, politics or biltong..." The other great comment I heard was from an Israeli friend who said that "...up until all the SAs arrived in NY, Israelis were considered up-tight, demanding and aggressive, but now they are ranked after the SAs..." - Do not be offended - Many of the business analysts at Citigroup and JPM were SAs at the time, and the comment did not worry them, in fact most seemed to think it quite a badge-of-honor in a city known for being driven and demanding, and rightly so too - in my humble opinion.

I am glad you too all still have your passion and 'fire' - dont let the fires go out.

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Merv
I agree, one cannot just trust someone because he/she comes from SA. That is not a moral qualification or a credit rating. I do, however, approach the situation by giving folks (from anywhere) the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong. No-one has let me down yet in that regard over here. However, I am keenly aware of the "vultures" and I most certainly read the fine print in business transactions.

Harry you make a very good point there, one which I have learnt along the line as well, " Just because someone is South African doesn't mean they can be trusted". I, on the other hand, have learnt not to trust people until they prove themselves trustworthy. I have come across a few disgusting SA and Canadian specimens who have tried to rip me off quite blatantly (a couple did get it right (until I got "wised up". As a consequence, people (not only SAners) have to first earn my trust. Call me a cynical old b....d but so be it. I think what hurts the most though, is that I like to sleep at night and would never knowingly do harm to someone. I used to think other people were all basically the same, so when I get "done" it really shakes my faith in people in general.

I, unlike you Harry, will state openly that it will take a helluva lot to make me "fight for a country". I will protect my family using whatever means necessary, but patriotism is highly overrated.

I do enjoy our SA get togethers, and find my real friends (of which there are very few) are SAners, not by real choice, but because I relate far better to them. That does not mean I want to create a little SA here though. I find Canadians (GTA'ers anway) though to be quite shallow and I have little in common with them, BUT, just because someone is a SAner, doesn't mean I will automatically be friends with them. I have come across some SAners here whose attitude I found quite reprehensible. Conversation with them turns rapidly to the "whenwe" type of thing, blatant racism and also blaming everyone else for their lot in life. Needankie

I also raise my eyebrows at the "Celebrating Multiculturism" thing.

Now a community centre for SAners? That's an interesting thought. Like will always gravitate towards like. Formalize it? Hmmmmm..... Any takers in the GTA/Golden Horseshoe area?

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Adele

Neil,

Thanks for your answer. I to, as Harry said, am at peace. You was concerned as I have had so many people run down their fellow South Africans in a generalized way, but then they would tunr to those same South Africans for help.

This is a great site with great people and although I have met many "vultures" from all cultures, I avoid the ones whom I have met and as Merv said "Like will always gravitate towards like" and I don't and won't gravitate towards those that scam us. I will definitly associate with the likes of the Harry's in the world, although as much as I respect and agree with almost everything Harry says, we have on maybe 5 occasions being in each other's company.

My best friend in Canada is a Canadian. But I love showing her the South African way of doing things. In her words "the proper way". :unsure: She now uses words I use especially when talking to my kids. (AND HERS). They tend to listen better now.

But I also love associating with someone who can understand what eating raw meat is all about. Who will understand that I will plant lots of pot plants this summer. (My Canadian friends found that to be a very worrisome considering I was planing on donating some of the plants to the Church). :):ilikeit:

So I am glad you have answered the questions, and I don't think you have opened a can of worms, just fueled the flame of passionate SACanadians. Especially this one.

Look forward to being of assitance.

Adele

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Harry

Merv,

As the company shrink said to me : "Harry you are a very weird mix of a logical and emotional guy....scientists are'nt usually like this".

I mention this, because I found the emigration thing very easy in the intellectual domain and exceedingly difficult in the emotional area. I loved South Africa with a desperate passion and gave my all..both for the old SA, and the new SA. I always felt like I was building something worthwhile to be proud of..sort of hacking somethng really special out of the rock of Africa.....not just making money for shareholders and paying the rent.

In deciding to move here, it was easy to intellectually decide where the right place was. The more difficult question was that I was looking for a new place to call "my home" and "my country" in every respect. I wanted a new country to love, not just one to make money in.

So, the day I took my oath of citizenship here, I took it very seriously as a question of whether I am prepared to give my life.....and in my case the answer is "yes". My entire family history over hundreds of years played like a movie past my eyes as I stood there snotfaced with my right hand in the air. As it is, the superb calibre of the people we have around us here make it easy to feel one would be defending the right people.

It was vividly clear, though, that the majority of the new citizens at the ceremony did not take it seriously. To them it was clearly just a ticket into Western Civilisation. Maybe that's why the judge specifically called us up first after the ceremony...I WAS home. I was welcome again.

I did not do this just because I wanted a second passport.

I did it because I wanted a country to call my own, with all that goes with it.

However....that's just me. As the lady said...I may very well be weird. Some have told me I was born in the wrong century...I should have been in the 19th. :)

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Harry

Adele...

3 times, actually : At the SABNG, on Etienne's boat, and this year at the Raven. You know by now that I am not the social type! :)

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Merv

Harry, naaahh, had enough of the patriotism thing back in SA. I mentioned in a previous post what are my thoughts on National Service and the mental toll it takes. Wars are caused by politicians and greed, want me to play with? No way. I state again I will defend my family with whatever it takes (and I am well trained for it thanks to SADF), I will give my life for my family if necessary, but defend and fight for politicians and greed? not a chance in hell, never again.

Canada is a great country, they have been good to us, and for that I will pay my taxes, be a law abiding citizen, do my bit in building the economy and try and do good deeds every opportunity I get, but at the end of the day, although it may be home, it is still just a country.

I know I am not going to change your outlook and it would be a pointless exercise to debate this point, but just in case you thought I treat the citizenship thing as merely "just a ticket into Western Civilisation", you are wrong. I aqquired an Irish passport many years ago ( I am half Irish in fact) and feel a strong affiliation with that country, I wanted citizenship here so that I could vote and try in my little way to keep the idiots out of government (dunno if I am making much progress there though :) )

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Harry

That comment was not made with you in mind, Merv. Relax. It was an observation on what I saw that day.

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shaun

Merv

That idea of a community centre got me thinking. I've chatted to a few immigrant folk here at work and it is totally amazing to see what they have achieved within their own communities over the past couple years.

Our Bangladesh security guard is the accountant for their community centre here in the GTA and after chatting to him for a while it seems like there is huge support from the government for this kind of thing.

After starting off with 50 members in 2002 they are up to 600 at present, and offer all sorts of help and networking for newly landers (OHIP, SIN, drivers licencing, schooling, accomodation, employment contacts, etc....). Their membership ranges from doctors to engineers to rack packers in the factories all with contacts and willing to help in anyway little way possible. Ok admitedly it is a huge population with in the GTA, but still.

To start the whole thing was a mamoth task of going door to door trying to sign up members (easier to do if you have the target in a concentrated area). I would love to try start something or at least get involved if there was a demand with in the SA community for something along the same lines.

If only the SA folk with their diverse political, religious and cultural beliefs could stand together for once I think it would work........until then its klei-lat and kettie skiet.

Anyone interested, post your opinions and let's see what demand or responses there is.

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Matisse
If only the SA folk with their diverse political, religious and cultural beliefs could stand together for once I think it would work........until then its klei-lat and kettie skiet.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the inability to work together because of all our political baggage is probably the biggest hurdle. And then also our tendency to be invisible, we just try to fit in and disperse all over the place.

But, I think its a worthwhile idea that I would support and would get involve with. While assistance with accommodation and employment networking will be two main benefits, it may also give one bargaining power for other things, e.g. good rates at a driving school, or more affordable insurance. But I guess it will have to be carefully planned and managed to avoid abuses.

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shaun

Well I gave it 2 weeks and as you guessed it, zip, nada, 0, nothing, zilch response. So on we go delving head first into the depths of 'invisible minorityism'. :D:D:unsure::cry:

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Harry

Shaun,

I really think most folks just want to disappear into regular society here. I think it is as simple and basic as that. I don't think it has anything to do with the SA folks being fractuous. I DO think it has quite a bit to do with many folks being sick of taking criticism just for being white South Africans. So some argue that it would be a mistake to now "raise an SA flag" here to invite continued abuse [from the ever-aggressive liberal community] in their new country. After all, there is only so much that humans will take in that domain.

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Robert McGee

Shaun

A large percentage of South Africans simple wants to stop being South African and become Canadian; "disappear into regular society here" as Harry puts it. I for one wuld not be interested in a SA community centre. If I wanted to be among South Africans, I would have stayed in SA.

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Karen

The fact is, though, that many South Africans here, do still crave some contact with other South Africans with whom they have so much in common. That is the beauty of Canada - you can blend into the general population and yet still retain your own cultural identity. Note the number of SA organisations and products which are within our reach in the GTA. They would not exist if there was no need for them.

Just as there are clubs etc for other nationalities living here, I see no wrong in ex pats running the same of their own if that is what is wanted.

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boeg
So some argue that it would be a mistake to now "raise an SA flag" here to invite continued abuse [from the ever-aggressive liberal community] in their new country.
Wow, Harry! I thought you liked your new countrymen. That is a really vitriolic statement and I wonder what has changed your mind about Canadians. Haven't you previously praised them for their diplomacy and how they don't hassle South Africans re: their reasons for leaving. I guess South Africans will always find something to complain about, hey? :D

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Harry

boeg,

you need to read what it is I wrote EXACTLY......I believe I said "INVITE"....that does not imply it has happened. For example, since coming to Canada I have only ever been "attacked" by ex-SA folks....not by any Canadian folks ( at least as far as I am aware of).

SO, I am still where I have been all along on this subject. You'll find posts from me from way way back saying that I did not come here to create an "Africa Borealis".

I still love the Canadian folks and I'll still defend them with whatever I have, but I am aedmittedly a little more critical of some aspects these days. Hopefully I have that right, because I'm a citizen and I need to "sweep in front of my own door", so to speak.

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CobusF

I know this was discussed on many different parts of this site already, but maybe there's somebody woth some experience of both Oz and canada, or who has done some in-depth "research" on this topic? How does Oz and Canada compare in terms of emmigration opstions for Saffers, ignoring weather?

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Seanhay

Cobus,

No in depth research from my side, but just my feelings... (I'm assuming by indepth research you're referring to Economics, work opportunities etc?)

Your last sentence "Ignoring weather" is the most crucial I think. Weather plays a big role in many South African's lives (Sport, Gardening, etc) If you're not greatly influenced by the weather, you've overcome one major hurdle in Canada already. If its important to you, you're going to need a major mindset change.

My gut feel is that there are more similarities between South Africa and Australia than with Canada (especially if you're a sports fanatic). But it's still a different culture and you'll need to adjust either way. I don't regret choosing Canada before Australia, but then the weather and sports aren't major drivers for me. The business I'm in (Courier) has better long-term prospects between SA, Europe,N.America than Australia. :blink:

We have one or two forum members in Ozz but they can tell you more. What field do you work in?

Edited by Seanhay

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CobusF

I'm an actuary, typically looking for opportunities in Investments or Insurance. The reason why I'm excluding the weather, is that its quite certain that the weather is worse than SA (for South Africans anyway). But I'm interested in the differences between Oz and Can due to standard of living, crime, education, etc.

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Nico
I'm an actuary, typically looking for opportunities in Investments or Insurance.  The reason why I'm excluding the weather, is that its quite certain that the weather is worse than SA (for South Africans anyway).  But I'm interested in the differences between Oz and Can due to standard of living, crime, education, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cobus,

Just a short note - remember Australia is away from the big world markets. That is a fact - North America, UK and Europe.

I would not hesitate to chose Canada with you qualifications.

Nico

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Karen

I have family who have lived in Oz for going on nine years. My in- law is in the financial field and has done very well indeed there. Aus may be a smaller market, but, make no mistake, it is a very vibrant one and as an actuary, I am certain you would be able to tap into it and prosper.

My two visits to Australia have left me very impressed with the lifestyle there. If you are earning a decent living, it is possible to have a wonderful quality of life. The weather allows for outdoor living the entire year, the Aussies are laid- back people and know how to enjoy their leisure time - enjoying the beaches and the water and sport. Schooling is pretty similar to what we knew in SA - kids wear uniforms etc and so is the housing somewhat alike. I feel it is certainly easier for SA's to adapt to the Australian lifestyle quicker than it is to the Canadian one, but that is just my opinion. The two - tier medical system is also better than the struggling one tier one here, and it is easier to access medical care there.

If I had the option of going to Australia or Canada today, and my work opportunities were the same in both places, I have to say that I would choose Australia - for it's kinder climate and gentler lifestyle and the fact that I think it is the easier place to grow old in. Make no mistake, Australia is a wonderful country in which to raise kids and have a decent life. Go and visit both places and I am sure that will make the decision a lot easier for you to make.

Lots of luck.

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Harry

I believe Australia is at the right latitude ( breedtegraad) for South Africans, but possibly at the wrong longitude (lengtegraad).

Latitude: That's why it has a great climate near the oceans and awful droughts inland, just like SA.

Longitude: It finds itself thousands of miles from nowhere and way, way, way too close to Asia for my comfort. Too much trouble brewing for the West in Asia, as far as I am concerned.

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Ann

You might find the musings of 'An Aussie in America" helpful in understanding the differences between Australia and North America. You will probably notice that Australia ia closer to South African culture than North America, e.g. Canada.

Aussie in (North) America

Marjorie (Scot in California) writes:

I grew up in Scotland and have lived here for twenty five years and I can certainly relate to all the cultural differences you mention.

It's strange that Americans eat so differently from the rest of the world.  All Europeans, not just the Brits, eat as Australians do.  So do South Africans, Argentineans and Chileans to name but a few.

The Australian toilets are similar to the South African toilets. toilet-aus.jpgGreat toilet innovation from Down Under

The awful North American toilets have a habit of clogging. toilet-us.jpgHigh water level; spins round and round :blink:

Edited by Ann

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Ann

The Migration Expert website can be handy to be able to do a free online assessment for both Oz and Canada to see for which you may qualify. Note that I am not saying you should or shoudn't use their migration services, this is just to help you decide between Oz and Canada.

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johankok

My experience with Canada is far less than with Australia.

1. Living cost is lower in Canada than in Australia

2. Houses is now cheaper in both to the SA equivalent.

3. Both countries have a "reletavely" low interest rate.

4. I would not really raise safety ase a concerning choice between the two as both are far safer than in SA. I was once with a group of people in AU of whom one got robbed of his video camera. It took less that 10 minutes to catch the thief who took a bit of beating before the police were called, upon their arrival he took a further beating.

5. Australians tough be that they have their "blacks", the only thing is that they are white. Difficult for us to differentiate, but easy for the Ausies. The same kind of class differentiation applies to Europeans, which is something I have not experienced in my limited Canadian exposure.

6. Canada does not have the large numbers of people on the "dull" (i.e. on state social schemes), neither does it have that sort of support should you not be able to generate an income.

7. My understanding is that the Canadian medical is in a better shape than that of Australia. Australia's is considered much worse than South Africa's. It is also recommended to have a personal medical aid in spite of the government provided. As far as I can remember, dental is excluded in both of them. Chronical medication is however excluded in Canada.

8. Climate: If you live in the South of Australia, then the climate could be compared with soem of the warmer areas in Canada. Adelaide is much like Cape Town, even though it is pretty South.

9. My experience with Aussies as people is not really favourable. Forgive me if I am not correct, but there is a number (not all) of two-faced and back biting people there. That is something unlike the typical front the the Brits put up. My experience with Canadians is that one can pretty much take them on their word, if I may use the pun... Americanized, without the big mouths (NOT GWB like)

10. Unlike most believe, Australians is a lot less sport crazy than us South Africans. To the point that the majority does not have a clue on what happend in the Super Twelve or tri-nations rugby series. Most people are involved in some form of fitness scheme, but not really in sport.

11. Net living income -- this depends on the line of work you are in. There is no direct parallels in AU vs. CA. IT seems to be a lot lower in CA. The same applied to the financial world. One great part of the latter is that AU is well positioned and active in the Asian markets and a very large part of their economy is depended on the well being of the Asian Markets - which are booming at this stage. The Americas is too "far" to have a real internactive presence.

My personal choice is Canada. On a long term economical choice, Australia may be better, especially if China's growth, and Australia being an active beneficiary from these markets. It should be noted that a load of government officials and businessmen in the far-east have Australia as a second citizenship (often secretively), fostering a closer relationship between these countries.

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