Saturday, May 09, 2009

So where are you really from?

I have had several conversations with various peoples and adding to those conversations vague hazy memories of distant discussions, as well as just general observations of friends and colleagues, so it would seem, that everyone just wants to be an AUSSIE, and they don't want to be English. Lucky us.

Ok there maybe exceptions, but most of us are very proud of the fact that we are Australian. How could not not want to come from a place where the sun practically shines all year round? *sigh*

So some examples and proof.....One colleague pointed out that when he was in Australia, no matter where a person was from either born or via parentage (or grand parentage) they all went "yeah, but I am Australian". It didn't matter where they were from Malta, Spain, Pakistan, Italy or Greece - they were Aussies as far as they were concerned.

Where as what I have discovered here is that in London especially, if your not from here (irrelevant of holding a passport or having been born here) are Jamaican, Pakistani, Nigerian, Polish, Indian, Swedish or whatever - you are not English. In the sense of not wanting to be, at all. No respect for the country that brings such amazing freedoms and or a lifestyle that you may not have otherwise had from where you came.

This I discovered about one of my work colleagues after I thought he meant England had beaten Australia (Australia lost appallingly, a whole other story there....Australian sport has gone down hill since the disappointment at the Olympics) when he went "haha you guys suck we beat you". I went "oh well its the cricket, sometimes England beats us", he said nothing. Then as it happened to be St Georges Day (patron Saint of England) I asked him "well you seem to be pretty patriotic over the cricket, so what day is it today?".

He didn't have a clue - he thought it must have been St Patricks day. We all had a giggle, and said he wasn't very English not knowing St Georges day. Blank faced, he responded "oh no I am not English, I am Pakistani" and then we all clicked that it was Pakistan not England who beat Australia. So despite having been born here, raised here, schooled here, never having been to Pakistan and having obviously and English passport, this boy was very reluctant to claim being English.

Its a bit sad for England *insert me trying to sound British here* really, as they are quite good at letting lots of people in (though making it hard for us Antipodeans who run the place...well everywhere I have ever worked anyway), refugees, all of the EU and making themselves known as very much a multicultural society, the people they provide for shun the thought of being English.

I personally am a little guilty of this, because as much as I love it here and as much as I want all the perks of being English (though this isn't entirely true, as I would be quite happy to be allowed to live and work anywhere in the EU, especially France) so I can both work and travel. At the end of the day - well I am Australian, and no amount of time here is going to change that.

So I guess, from personal experience I contribute to the "not wanting to be English phenomenon", and well why would you want to only get sunshine for, oh about 2 days of the year...

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