- January 28, 2011 - 07:49
Yes, it does need to be said and you said it very well, Pam. I am a Newfoundlander and have spent most of my life here but I have lived in and travelled to many other places. In my experience Newfoundlanders certainly do not have a monopoly on friendliness and hospitality. Pride in one's place of birth or residence is a good thing but so is a little modesty. Let's stop talking about how great we are and start showing it!
- Herb Morrison
- January 18, 2011 - 14:32
Hi Pam: I am a CFA., despite the fact that I have lived in this province for over thirty years. Both My wife and our son are Newfoundlanders "Born and Bred," to use a well-worn cliche. Your point out that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are unjustified in casting people in a derogatory light because they "aren't from here" is, I'm sad to say, "spot on. " Unforttunately, mainlanders are not the only persons who are marginalized within the newfoundland culture. People are pushed to the fringes of society in this province for reasons pertaining to religion, politics, and gender. (One of the most discusting comments I have ever heard is that a woman is a "nice piece of gear" UGH. However, I do disagree with the comment that you attributed to Rex Murphy. It implies that only people who come from small or rural communities can be small-minded. Having lived in large urban centers, I can attest to the fact that you will find small-minded people anywhere. One final observation. It is interesting and puzzling to me that while Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are willing to embrace others in a time of crisis, they can be predudicial toward people who choose to settle here permanently, because "their ways are not our ways."
- January 19, 2011 - 11:56
Spot on Herb! Yes, many Newfoundlanders love to help out anyone in a crisis situation. And that's definitely a good thing. But if you choose to live here and are perceived as being "different," the proverbial deck is stacked against you. And BTW, I have found people in certain other parts of the country every bit as hospitable and helpful towards visitors or people in crisis as Newfoundlanders, but in other parts of Canada they don't seem to feel a need to constantly brag about it.
- January 16, 2011 - 09:50
I am very proud of my NL roots but at the same time I am very intolerent of people who are biased on things such as race, religion, etc. Everytime I visit home I am witness to this many times. A long time ago I realized that I would never retire to NL because of this attitude. What gets me is that most NL'ers are proud of this attitude, members of my own family included. Time for people to open their eyes and see the world beyond them.
- January 15, 2011 - 18:55
Well said! I also strongly agree with commenters Nora and Schwenik. How many Newfoundlanders have left Newfoundland to work "away" in other Canadian provinces. Good job those provinces did not say the same thing..."You're not from here so you can't work here" . This attitude in today's age is shameful. There is nothing wrong with being proud...but when it turns into discrimination....it's just shameful.
- January 15, 2011 - 11:47
I’ve had similar experiences to this small-minded bigotry. I really have to question the self-proclaimed characterisation of Newfoundlanders as “friendly.” Some are, yes, but there is a deep seeded hostility to anyone who presents as different. If you want to see some real vitriol, check out the comments on the VOCM question of the day site towards mainlander (which is nothing compared to the anti-immigrant hatred.)
- January 15, 2011 - 11:03
PS - Technically, St. John's is a city, but the cultural mentality tends to be very small town. (I know because I grew up in a small town.) Right now I'm firmly entrenched in a life here in St. John's - job, relatationship (with a Newfoundlander), etc. But when I retire I plan to move to an urban centre on the mainland where people tend to be a bit more open minded.
- January 15, 2011 - 10:26
Thank you Pam for saying what so desparately needs to be said. I'm a CFA who has lived in this province for many years. There is definitely a prejudice amongst a lot of Newfoundlanders (not all mind you) towards anyone who wasn't born here. Human nature, unfortunately, does have a tendency to breed cliquishness, but in Newfoundland it's exceptionally pronounced. Doesn't matter how nice you are to some Newfoundlanders (again, not all) or how hard you work to contribute to society, there's insecurity and suspicioun regarding your motives just because you're not from here and, horror of horrors, perhaps have ways that are a bit different. For a people who like to pride themselves on being kind and hospitable, there's nothing kind or hospitable about such a hostile attitude.