I don’t know about you but I am an immigrant (invandrer to the locals). And it is not a term of affection, I’m afraid. Not that I look like one. My lived-in, Aryan features are a snare and a delusion for the unwary; they offer comfort – until I open my mouth. Then I suddenly receive the looks of fear, boredom or disapproval reserved for that class of human beings called immigrants.
Now here’s a funny thing (Max Miller). I’ll bet that if you’ve transferred your domicile to a country outside Europe, you don’t suffer such indignities. Do you? I mean, in Africa you’re a settler, in the Wild West a pioneer, in the Antipodes a neighbour, aren’t you? Or elsewhere you could be a colonist or just a Brit. But if you dared to penetrate the Old Worlde regions north of the Elbe, you’d be a marked person.
Strangely enough, despite the stigma of foreignness, it is possible to throw off the shackles of plasticity by becoming famous for something. Our beloved Caroline Wozniaki from Poland (tennis) is fêted just like Crown Princess Mary from Tasmania (royalty). And Kenyan-turned-Dane, Wilson Kipketer (athletics) is still mentioned with reverence whenever another record is broken by a foreigner.