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Great holmertz 2019-10-14 11:10

Hello Benny,
You spotted him nicely in the crowd and managed to pick him out in a sharp and well exposed photo. His Vietnamese shirt and black hmong jacket makes him symbolically significant. And a red shirt with a yellow star would always do well in a photo.
But returning to the case of ethnic minority groups I don't see any need to write about "minorities". They are minorities, aren't they? Different languages, different cultural habits, etc. Nothing wrong with that. In Sweden there are five officially recognized national minorities, non-ethnic Swedes who have been established in the country for hundreds of years, like the Sami, Jews and others. No need for any "...". ;-=
Regards,
Gert

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:09 PM
BennyV BennyV is offline
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Chosing the right term is not easy and not so obvious. Allow me to elaborate. I'm a language person and a traveller, so...

I wrote "so-called" minorities, because the word 'minorities' sounds a bit too mathematical to me, it even has a bit of a negative connotation. Besides mathematically the terms only makes sense within a given context. The Hmong are a minority within Vietnam, but clearly make up the majority within this region. I mean: on a global scale we are all minorities, at home we are all the majority. It's very much a matter of perspective, i.e. of power.

In the note I put the label "montagnards" between "..." because it's a term coined in French colonial times, roughly translating as the "hill tribes", in which the word "tribes" can have (or has?) a negative connotation.

In Dutch we have the term "bevolkingsgroep" ("population group") which is the one I'd use in my native language. Sadly, there is no real equivalent in English, apart from the rather clinical sounding "ethnic group", which we also have in Dutch, but which I rarely use, because it doesn't sound very warm. "Bevolkingsgroep" sounds inclusive, whereas "ethnic group" doesn't quite have that ring to it.

Cheers.

Benny

Last edited by BennyV; 10-15-2019 at 05:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:42 PM
holmertz holmertz is offline
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Hello Benny,
In Swedish we have the word "folkgrupp", meaning exactly the same as "bevolkingsgroep", and I agree it's much better. I estimate that "minorities" are always seen in a national perspective, not just a small region dominated by "minorities". But i would agree to anything that doesn't involve "tribes". Once during the Balkan wars in the 90's I translated a story from the French news agency AFP ironically describing the "tribal wars" in former Yugoslavia. Several representatives of the Serb, Croatian and Bosniak tribes were very upset. They didn't want to be treated like Africans.
Cheers,
Gert
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:18 PM
BennyV BennyV is offline
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That last sentence says a lot, sadly.

B.
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