Monday, 20 January 2020

Multicultural

I grew up in the county of Worcestershire. According to the 2001 census, over 96% of the population were white and over 94% of the population were white British. The area I lived was a typical white middle class area with majority of the population being Christian.

I never really thought too much of it growing up because I didn't know any different but as I became older I started to feel a little fed up of the typical faces, culture and general ways of living. 

From 2008 - 2015, I moved to a council flat as a council tenant in an area in my town which was classed as the most multicultural part of the town and I loved it. My neighbours were made up of Black, Asian, Chinese and Polish with other smaller amounts of other Eastern European countries.

I used to love how the Asian ladies swept the path outside their street and the waft of ethnic food was always in the air. I found the local "international" corner shops sold some of the best spices and different pastries that I had ever been used to. People were far more approachable.

It was a friendly neighbourhood and upon reflection I felt more at ease and comfortable with my surroundings and people than I ever did in the white middle class area I had grown up. I always felt the residents there to be somewhat judgemental and it was apparent from various housing that people had the mentality of "keeping up with the Jones". Who had the better car on the drive, the best double glazing and so on.

Following on from that, I moved to South Birmingham, not the most multicultural part of the city but still far more multicultural than Worcestershire. I like to hear about different cultures and religions and how different cultures live along side one another. I find peace and solidarity in watching school kids hang about with one another of different race and ethnicity. Something I never had growing up.

It was very rare to see any other race or ethnicity where I grew up other than white Christian but now I walk down the street in comfort, surrounded by an entire mix bag of people from all different creeds and colours. 

I am not sure if I will ever have children, chances are unlikely unless I meet the man of my dreams anytime soon and my biological clock is on my side. But, If I were to have children, I can honestly say I would want to bring my children up in a multicultural society. I think it is so important for children to be around all different nationalities. It might even reduce racism and lack of understanding as adults, of course it might not but I certainly think it could help.

If I move again, I will definitely not be moving to a typical white middle class area. It actually bores me. People all looking the same and sharing many of the same views. 

I think that too many people sit in their comfort zone and are too scared to mix it up a bit and socialise with other cultures. Ignorance really and lack of understanding, assuming they will have nothing in common because they don't share the same religion or have the same colour skin. 

I am not a worldly traveller by any means and am still very naive to so many cultures but I think the important thing is that I am trying to understand and mix with all different ways of life.

If you are content with your comfort zone, by all means stick to it. But if you have any doubt what so ever change your surroundings because you might just prefer it.

My next move will definitely be far more multicultural than it is right now.



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