Imagine this. You hear chattering, but you don't know what it means. You can tell it's about you. You clutch your lunch box as your hands get sweatier and sweatier. You see people all around you pointing and whispering. All you know is that they're being offensive. You’re thinking where am I? Where are the tables? I want to go home!!!
NZ has a big problem. Many of our immigrants don't feel welcome. 1 out of 10 people feel discriminated here, and 55% of these people feel judged on their race, skin colour and nationality! This is prejudice.
Prejudice is judging people before you know them. For example there was someone from Iran and came to New Zealand at school a kid asked her “Do you have a bomb in your lunchbox”? That's prejudice because it's thinking she's bad because of other people from her country. Or when she went to work at a cafe a customer asked her where she was from, and she said Iran, the customer ignored her. That's also prejudice because that customer is ignoring her because of the country she's from.
One time her sister went to a school camp in New Zealand. In her culture, she had tea for breakfast but in New Zealand there were cereal, weetbix and our usual breakfast. But when she asked the teacher if she could have a cup of tea, the teacher said “What are you talking about you can't have a cup of tea, you're a little girl! Now get a spoon and have some cereal.” Prejudice can be through racism, sexism and more. But there are ways to make prejudice stop!
There are many ways to make immigrants/migrants feel welcome. If you see somebody looking lonely you could say hello, smile, start a conversation and include them. If you know they have just arrived here in New Zealand you could say “welcome” and “where are you from?” This will make them feel welcome and it will make you feel awesome! This may also encourage them to talk to others. But again, some prejudice still happens.
It can happen by frowning, staring, or being racist, whispering something mean to your friends, laughing, teasing, ignoring lots of things. This makes migrants feel unwelcome and not want to stay.
If you hear someone being racist without knowing, just gently tell them, “Hey, did you know you're being racist to him or her.” But if they're doing it on purpose, then tell them off. Stand up for him or her. Tell them “Hey, you're being racist! Stop this nonsense.” Afterwards, you will feel really good and will make that person's day. Now lastly here are some more tips to make people feel welcome.
Treat the migrants like everyone else. Smile, be kind, include them, and give them a warm welcome. Do not tease or be racist to them. Why do we do this? We do it to make them feel like they are part of the country, like everybody else, and of course make them feel welcome. In the future, some people reckon that we will live in hate and war. Also, some say we will live in harmony. We can have harmony if everybody is nice and friendly and help each other to stop the prejudice.