Cliques & Clans

Have we become more clique and clan like, more suspicious of others and more unwelcoming of new faces? Or are we just getting older and wiser and cannot be bothered to make idle chat with new people?

I wondered this over the weekend at a party where I knew limited people. I found myself wanting to leave a couple of hours after my friends had gone. This is not like me. I love new situations and meeting new people, but more recently, I am finding it hard to break into new circles and groups, especially at Asian functions.

The party over the weekend had two distinct family cliques and then a couple of subordinate friend’s cliques. As I tried to engage in conversation in a couple of the groups, I was responded to with one word answers and looked at as if I was being invasive. The guests that manage to circulate, were, those that the hosts made a particular effort to introduce into any one of the cliques.

This experience is not something new. I have found this happens at weddings, birthdays, religious events etc… and whereas once I would have happily gone to something on my own, I am, quite sadly, now more reluctant to.

A couple of years ago, I was privileged to be attending numerous awards ceremonies. Some Asian orientated and others not. I found the Asian ones incredibly challenging where people would literally turn the other way unless you were somebody they felt they needed to be seen with. That is until, I won the award. Then the same people would come charging up ready to befriend me.

I am sure that this is not a cultural thing, but I do find that the non Asian hosted events that I attend seem to be a lot friendlier and really open to people joining in on conversations.

Have we lost the art of hosting and socialising? Or are these cliques and clans a response to our busy schedules where people do not meet so often and want to spend most of their time with those they know and not those they don’t.

I don’t know the answer but I do know that if I am hosting a party, I will try my best to ensure that people are being introduced to each other and not just left to their own devices.




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