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Kiwi Movers was founded by a Kiwi and an Aussie living in London.
We are an international team. More of our staff hail from overseas than from the UK, including Zimbabwe, Australia and naturally our fair share of Kiwis. We’re dedicated to serve the people of London, but we couldn’t do it without people from outside of London and in a lot of cases, from outside England and the rest of the UK.
We’re proud to work alongside our British colleagues, but we also count Irish, Polish, Russian, American and Canadian colleagues as part of our team.
One thing we’ve noticed throughout our years of living and working in London is that there’s a very strong expat community here. Especially among the Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans.
It makes sense. We all tend to speak English. We all tend to like rugby, some of us like a beer, and we’re all living in a massive city in which we didn’t grow up.
Expats naturally come together. We help each other settle in, socialise, share job opportunities and celebrate our home cultures.
We use the term expat a lot. But what does it actually mean?
It’s actually a verb. To expatriate is to live in a foreign land. Ex = out of, patria = fatherland.
Which is what we do here in London.
But the term expat has a tone of privilege to it that unfairly elevates us above others who’ve moved here to work.
By definition we’re immigrants as well as expats. But it’s rare to hear Kiwis, Australians, Canadians or South Africans being referred to this way.
In identifying ourselves and our friends as expats, are we inadvertently distancing ourselves from people we perceive to be immigrants? If so, why?
The EU referendum rhetoric focused a lot on immigrants. But not on expats. I’ve personally not felt stigmatised by this because I consider myself an expat.
But what’s the difference between me, a foreigner living and working in London and an immigrant?
My first language is English, so that might play a part. But I know plenty of immigrants who speak fluent English.
My home culture is quite similar to that of the UK. That’s helped me assimilate almost seamlessly into the local culture.
I’m white, but then so are my Polish and Latvian immigrant friends.
Should people who identify as expats be more open to identifying as immigrants and if we did, how would it influence our perceptions of ourselves and our friends?
If a Kiwi overstayed their visa, would they be an illegal expat?
This post isn’t about criticising people who refer to themselves as expats, but about being more proud of our status as immigrants.
We shouldn’t be shying away from the term.
We’d be really interested to know what you think about the use of expat vs immigrant, so we’ve got a survey running on the site.
It’s got 3 questions and takes less than 20 seconds to complete. We’d be really grateful if you could complete the survey and share with your friends.