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Re: now discuss...

From:     Sim
Category: Art
Date:     27 May 2008
Time:     05:50 PM


Wow quite an amazing and intelligent analysis of a very complex question. I work with a girl who I suppose would describe 
herself as British working class and very proud. She's very well educated studying at Imperial College in London. We were 
talking about these issues and she felt the area she lived in had changed beyond believe and she felt sorry for the elderly 
people. Her basic idea was that she felt not enough was being done to protect the world of her friends and family.

Talking about these issues I mentioned a pensioner who, during a discussion, about the local area said there were too many 
(Pakistanis). The word she used was the shortened, racist form. I was quite taken aback but she went on to say how the 
community centre used to be a synagogue. It got me thinking about the area and how difficult it was if you were white, and 
elderly. The post office for example where I was living was a kind of one-stop shop for everything other than what you might 
actually want to go into a post-office for. The mail service seemed to be secondary to Indian music and films (the shop always 
had music blasting out).

But on the positive side I must say my other neighbors were from Afghanistan. Once I was lazing in the garden I turned around 
and this bloke dressed in muslim style clothing with a thick bushy beard was just smiling at me through over the fence. He 
seemed to think it was amazing seeing me with brushes and art materials. After we got chatting he told me he'd been a sign 
writer in Afghanistan. He was a guest of a young doctor, his wife and their young son who had moved to the property at that 
time. I'll never forget seeing the doctor and his wife on their hands and knees cutting the messy garden, with normal paper 
scissors. They transformed that shit heap of a garden into something really nice.

Also I always felt the muslim shopkeepers were very fair and often put up with a lot of antagonism from drunk whites or some 
black people who would seemed to think they were being ripped off. I think to some extent Islam still maintains the idea of 
community and the idea of charity and that might be holding some poor communities together, especially in white areas. Also 
where my family live in the Midlands the area was rejuvenated by Balti Houses.

And I always think it's funny how if people are in a country and they don't speak the language or are feeling isolated they 
suddenly bond with another "Brit" regardless of what cultural background they are from. How many people if they were stuck in 
the middle of China wouldn't be relived to have a conversation in English with another person from the same place and 

I think it is right to instill some basic love of country. I miss subtle things about Britain: smell of lawns, Church bells, sounds of 
birds and many other things. We have beautiful architecture, gardens, history and many illustrious historical figures who 
weren't all nasty shits.

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