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Old 18.05.2009, 11:09
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Black folks living in Lugano

Hi,

I'm african french and I just moved to Lugano for a Job at the university. I was wondering if there is anyone who can advise me on the following points:

1-/ Is there any bars, pub, night club with afro or south-based oriented style of atmosphere out there?

2-/At my surprise I did not saw that much afro rooted people in Lugano and face some weird experiences. Is there a lot of racism in the Italian part of switzerland? Does people mix easily, in Pub, night club relationship or whatever. Do they look more at the color of your money in the sense of what you can Do (which sometime could help) or your skin.

I was living in the Holland the past two years and it was definitively not heaven but quite good and open minded and etc.... I did like it after all. Also the afro rooted community (from africa to the US trough the Caribbean via latin america, or anyone feeling links to africa) is way much more bigger therefore you can rely less on mixing with people who don't necessarily like you (which is not ideal but help some times).

So if there are people falling under my definition of afro rooted community or feeling links with this community and at least enough to feel concerns, your witnessing would be appreciated. Still, anyone else opinion would be also welcome and valuable.

Experience from other communities are also welcome especially those confronted to noticeable difference (such as skin) based problems.

Many thanks,

-Maatari-
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Old 18.05.2009, 11:19
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Re: Black foks living in Lugano

hello maatari

i went twice to Lugano, made a couple of friends in the street and they took me to an open place called "Il Molino" it is like a social club or community where they do events, both times i went there was a reggae festival that was very very good, great live roots music, great atmosphere and lots of afros,
they usually do it when the weather is nice, so i guess in summer there should be plenty
u should check it out.
its in the city, next to a park, dont know the exact location, but just ask for "Il Molino"
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Old 18.05.2009, 11:35
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Re: Black foks living in Lugano

Hey there,

I would not say that Lugano has a 'racist' attitude at all, however it is not the most liberal place in the world and the ratio of 'white' to any other 'colour' is very high.

I am from a 'cosmopolitan' UK town and was very surprised by the lack ot ethnic minorities in Ticino - and also by some of the open racism I have encountered here. If you stay in the main towns/cities you won't have any issues, whilst the 'risk' is a little higher if you visit some small villages etc...But generally you will not have any public racism, it is all 'behind your back' nonsense...

I can't help you with a 'specialist' bar...I'd rather advise you to go out and just enjoy yourself! The clubs and pubs are much more cosmo than the general day to day public...and I have never seen ANY trouble.

Have fun and try not to worry about it!!!
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Old 18.05.2009, 16:50
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

Thx u all for the advises !!!
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Old 18.05.2009, 17:19
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

Ciao Maatari,
Benvenuto a Lugano.. What do u do in the university? I'm a student of Informatics, the prison looking building :-)

There are lot of warm people around in Ticino, yet anyone "could" be racist.. but that's sometimes up to us to see things racist or not, isn't it? I just have my way of dealing with it, and I have lots of friends even though I don't go out that much..

Anyhow, usually poeple hang out at these places...
1. Etnic (Quartiere Maghetti, centro, close to Casino Lugano)
2. New Orleans (2 steps away from Etnic :-> ) Every Wednesday night, they have Salsa dance starting from 9pm.
3. There is this bar that I don't know the name of on Via al Fiume (Lugano) where they play lots of Dominican Republic music. If you go there, u'll find it right a way on a corner of the street.
4. Oops bar, of course u'd know by now...
5. Tera bar, also is an amazing place to meet open-minded people of different kind ;-) (Monilno Nuovo, close to university)

I hope it helped! PM me if you want exact addresses..
Ciao!!
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Old 18.05.2009, 20:22
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

>>>>There are lot of warm people around in Ticino, yet anyone "could" be racist.. >>>>> "Yes that is true" But just for information, racism should not be confused with xenophobia. Racism is a disease, like a cancer that is mostly ravaging western country because of our recent history. I'm referring to racism as a theory where you make hierarchy of races and hence develop afterward systematic biased judgments. Believe me a lot of white folks suffer from that. Usually we don't consider them as first-class racist but people who need to know and learn as opposed to the theorician who still try to enforce their imagination. Indeed it has become part of the culture. You can't just erase like this 500 years of racist cultural education. From scientific to historical falsification. It is not easy and it takes time indeed.

Now for the balance, xenophobia is everywhere, such as in Africa too. I know that in central africa for instance, nowadays people are not necessarily kind with pigmies people or just they neighbor in the region.

>>>but that's sometimes up to us to see things racist or not, isn't it?
I just have my way of dealing with it, and I have lots of friends even though I don't go out that much..>>>>

I again somehow agree with you. I don't think this forum is really appropriate for this kind of debate and my goal was mainly to be aware of things here. To be prepared in case their is a problem. To have the right interpretation.
And if you want to know, I never act as a victim cause part of my philosophy is "whatever happens or comes trough you, what matters at the end is what you gonna about it => You want something make it happen => In some sense: Get Rich or die trying Lol " Still I need to know what is going on and then act on it.


Meanwhile,
I don't see racism or whatever as something to be downplay. Depending on the person the effect could be devastating. It depend. But please look at Micheal Jackson, or what some black folks end-up doing to their hairs, style, culture or own people because of it. It could be a pressure that not every one may easily live with or fight against.

Just to give you an example:

Holland is Ok, it is the country of freedom and business :-) and Creazyness sometime, which is what balance Racism out there.

Still, I lived there 2 years in Utrecht, a city not that much colored and I struggled to find a partners of the opposite color while in france it takes me 2 minutes :-). Of course depending on where you live (I'm from Toulouse). . In Amsterdam, you don't care because, the black community is bigger and people mangle more easily (the same when I lived in Paris at the time of my engineering school, I was mainly going out with black ladies). Right After that I went back to france toulouse before coming here and found again someone else (white) in less than a month lol. Although it might not last long because I decided to keep moving and she didn't want to :-( . Hence I will certainly need to find the heart of my life here lol. Indeed, answering at the same time to your first question: I'm bound for a minimum of 3 years here for doing a Ph.D in Computer science within the faculty of communication science. So if you need help do not hesitate to contact me. I'm also a junior expert in computer science engineering with a major in cognitive science and advanced computer sciences.
So on the relationship level it could be affecting you sometime.

That was a simple example but just to show you how it can affect your life.
I will not cite you the example of finding an apartment, or the questioning of the banker when opening an account etc....

In conclusion, sure we don't have to see the devil everywhere but it exist and it is measurable and in more Western developed Country which have their own big problems too, they address publicly the problem so you have law or incentives to help break the cycle (UK, US, ..) France is special but now vigourously on the move because of the Obama election. I guess our legendary arrogance was touched (we are the country of human right lol)
Yes people sometime exaggerated, they see racism where it is just a kind of xenophobia (not acceptable too) or ignorance but which is an attitude that human being share everywhere including African descendant people. But I don't think that it is just a matter of opinion or feeling.

Anyway, all of you are telling me that it is not too much or quite acceptable in the sense that you can go out everywhere and do your things, so it's cool then.

Many thanks,
Maatari

Last edited by maatari; 18.05.2009 at 20:33.
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Old 19.05.2009, 00:46
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

I don't know Lugano very well but i have been coming to Switzerland since 1987 and living here for the last 10 months. I'm white and from Coventry England and one thing I do know is that alot of Swiss people don't like outsiders very much. Being white, western european i can get way with it but alot of the people(but not all) have an old skool attitude!
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Old 19.05.2009, 22:04
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

Hey thanks for the reply that is a little bit what I thought too.

To make it simple one of the thing that has alerted me is the fact that some people have dared asking me drugs or cocaine in street like if I was a real dealer. This is something that has never happen weather in Holland or in france or in the UK. I don't feel like I wear like a gangsta man.

If the few of black people are reduce to be the seller here, it means there is a lack of integration of this community into the economical circuit. Such as affirmative action or whatever that might be done in that sense. This could reveal maybe an inegalitarian civil society in a more large sense. But more than this, it is racist. You can't go somewhere and judge people on their color. At least you see the look or whatever. Anyway, it reveals many things but that is not the debate. Just wanted to say that I felt it odd.

regards,
Maatari

Last edited by maatari; 19.05.2009 at 22:16.
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Old 23.05.2009, 01:59
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

Hey Mataari,

I'm surprised there is even just one black guy in here! Where are you folks, do you hide somewhere??

Anyways, yeh, I've also been looking for that sort of ambience, but I haven't had much luck. Apart from quartiere Maghetti, with it's Hip Hop and Salsa bar, and.. lo and behold.. two Mexican restaurants.. I don't think there is much around here, so I sort of gave up my quest.

I think Ticino in general very stiff, conservative and quite narrow minded. Believe it or not I was victim of discriminations myself for my nationality, and I'm originally Italian! Ticinesi hate Italians because according to them we're here to steal their jobs (indeed we have nothing better to do)..

I did find a tiny Brazilian community though.. I do my capoeira practice with them. But I could not find a Samba place in the radius of 50 kilometers. So I wish you lots of luck, and if you want to chat or something, let me know.

Valentina
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Old 23.05.2009, 07:02
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

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Hey thanks for the reply that is a little bit what I thought too.

To make it simple one of the thing that has alerted me is the fact that some people have dared asking me drugs or cocaine in street like if I was a real dealer. This is something that has never happen weather in Holland or in france or in the UK. I don't feel like I wear like a gangsta man.

If the few of black people are reduce to be the seller here, it means there is a lack of integration of this community into the economical circuit. Such as affirmative action or whatever that might be done in that sense. This could reveal maybe an inegalitarian civil society in a more large sense. But more than this, it is racist. You can't go somewhere and judge people on their color. At least you see the look or whatever. Anyway, it reveals many things but that is not the debate. Just wanted to say that I felt it odd.

regards,
Maatari
A friend of mine always got the opposite - every time we went anywhere, people would come up and offer him drugs. He just seemed to attract dealers, despite not getting into anything on those lines. Most odd.
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Old 23.05.2009, 09:14
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

I am from Lugano but lived in England for a few years and still try to get away when I can to remind myself of the real world. However, whilst I agree that Ticino is considerably narrow-minded, largely white and conservative, one should try to put the place into context, too. Some have said it's not like in Britain - how could it be when Switzerland never had any colonies? Others mention a more serious and sinister problem: the automatic assumption some make here that if you are black you must be selling drugs. Unfortunately this has come about - mostly in Lugano - due to a small number of hard-core unfortunate asylum-seekers who, whether to get a better life or unable to be offered better solutions, have fallen into the net. The fact that there aren't that many black people around and the incessant bad press that those asylum-seekers get, has certainly exacerbated problems.
Do stand your ground, though, many people are making efforts to integrate the various ethnic groups that have, very slowly I grant, taken shape. The area I live in (Viganello) certainly offers a variety of nationalities many small towns in Britain don't have themselves.
Finally, remember that as Ticino is not as economically successful as other areas of Switzerland it fails to attract international high-flyers and that certainly reduces even further the chance for narrow-minded locals of coming across and confronting themselves in a positive way with people from other parts of the world.
Good luck, anyhow.
Lorenza
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Old 23.05.2009, 09:17
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano - PS

there is also an association for the promotion of relations between the African community and the locals. Here goes:
http://www.comafti.ch/index.php
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Old 23.05.2009, 19:11
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

Wow. This is interesting. Who knew being Black could get one confused for a drug dealer? Frightening. I've heard some disturbing things about Black women being seen as prostitutes in Italy/France?? I didn't know the xenophobia/racism transcended throughout Europe.

My Indian professor had an unpleasant experience in Austria as well.

Anyway, Maatari, I'm black (hopefully its obvious by my avatar). I am West African/American. I will be in Geneva for the summer and will do a bit of traveling around the country. I may stop by Lugano and it will be a pleasure to see another darkie.
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Old 24.05.2009, 15:20
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

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Hey Mataari,

I'm surprised there is even just one black guy in here! Where are you folks, do you hide somewhere??

Anyways, yeh, I've also been looking for that sort of ambience, but I haven't had much luck. Apart from quartiere Maghetti, with it's Hip Hop and Salsa bar, and.. lo and behold.. two Mexican restaurants.. I don't think there is much around here, so I sort of gave up my quest.

I think Ticino in general very stiff, conservative and quite narrow minded. Believe it or not I was victim of discriminations myself for my nationality, and I'm originally Italian! Ticinesi hate Italians because according to them we're here to steal their jobs (indeed we have nothing better to do)..

I did find a tiny Brazilian community though.. I do my capoeira practice with them. But I could not find a Samba place in the radius of 50 kilometers. So I wish you lots of luck, and if you want to chat or something, let me know.

Valentina
Hey Thx Valentina,

I do capoera too and looking for a place to do that. So please, could you let me know the coordinate of your team. Do they have a website or something alike? I would be keen on playing capoera again. Please let me know.
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Old 24.05.2009, 15:37
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

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Wow. This is interesting. Who knew being Black could get one confused for a drug dealer? Frightening. I've heard some disturbing things about Black women being seen as prostitutes in Italy/France?? I didn't know the xenophobia/racism transcended throughout Europe.

My Indian professor had an unpleasant experience in Austria as well.

Anyway, Maatari, I'm black (hopefully its obvious by my avatar). I am West African/American. I will be in Geneva for the summer and will do a bit of traveling around the country. I may stop by Lugano and it will be a pleasure to see another darkie.
Hi Jewel29,

You are welcome. It would be a pleasure too. Although, I hope that by this summer I will still be living in the country :-) (I'm trying to obtain a Ph.D in the UK) or not in holidays at the moment you will come :-). In any case let's try to keep in touch.
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Old 24.05.2009, 16:06
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

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Wow. This is interesting. Who knew being Black could get one confused for a drug dealer? Frightening. I've heard some disturbing things about Black women being seen as prostitutes in Italy/France?? I didn't know the xenophobia/racism transcended throughout Europe.

My Indian professor had an unpleasant experience in Austria as well.

Anyway, Maatari, I'm black (hopefully its obvious by my avatar). I am West African/American. I will be in Geneva for the summer and will do a bit of traveling around the country. I may stop by Lugano and it will be a pleasure to see another darkie.
The racism that the african Americain community or other minorities faces in the US originates from europe. Americans did not invent it. White americans are european american. It is just a prolongation of something that has his root in europe. But most importably it is an occidental problem. From American to russia. As funny as it can be we shall at least remember that it is in France (country of human right) during the century that apparently finally brought light to europe that racism as been well and perfectly theorized With the White on TOP and Black at the bottom. To make it simple a great french philosopher (Montesquieu) said things such as: We can't put in our mind that God who is a pretty Wise being could have putted a soul especially a "good one" in body which is dark (sorry for the translation but that is the idea).

It starts with the chruch/Vatican by the 14th when protugese and spanish where authorized to do there conquest officially in the name of spreading the faith and end up with the philosopher of the century of light (the all point was domination, power and control as well as business). In between lot of justifications and theories was made and the population educated with that. So yes it is a cancer in europe too.
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Old 24.05.2009, 18:42
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Re: Black folks living in Lugano

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Wow. This is interesting. Who knew being Black could get one confused for a drug dealer? Frightening. I've heard some disturbing things about Black women being seen as prostitutes in Italy/France?? I didn't know the xenophobia/racism transcended throughout Europe.

My Indian professor had an unpleasant experience in Austria as well.

Anyway, Maatari, I'm black (hopefully its obvious by my avatar). I am West African/American. I will be in Geneva for the summer and will do a bit of traveling around the country. I may stop by Lugano and it will be a pleasure to see another darkie.
It is not that straight but in france yes a lot of african woman play prostitute in certain big cities. usually those are poor african migrants. They are also seen as children care taker or made, because rooted into the colonial era, some rich people living especially in paris but not only, hire black woman from africa directely to come and do the job here in france and sometime using them at their will. Not everybody do the worst part though. So they are not seen in general as prostitue, i would not say that. We have Mp as black wemen etc... lot of them works and try to do their thangs. The problem is the exploitation of immigration which permits racist people to continue to enforce their domination. Not that far ago, a french politician Woman Segolene Royal, went to Africa saying those words "Sorry or apology, thank you and Please" Sorry for what we did, thank you for what you brought to the world (and also specifically for your contribution to save France during the second world war) and please, let's do something together again, but for Good. She went to say that in Africa (Dakar). It was more or less an outrage for the right wing which is ruling the country now. Most importantly because our President-Sarkozy did say one year ago that "France is not gonna ask any apologies, ..... even if we recognize that we were wrong and want to change that". The right wing said that what she is doing is demagogic. Most importantly, the people of dakar who received her, dress her like a west african Woman to great her during a ceremony. Then, in order to attack her you heard from the Right wing things such as: She recall me my made!! So imagine how certain people really think in the back of their Head in France. (It was more or less condemn and I think but I'm not so sure that he asked apologies)

Last edited by maatari; 24.05.2009 at 19:57.
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