Aug 3, 2008

Immigrant Britain: football, fast food and 'fancy'

An article in the Guardian assesses Britain through the eyes of its immigrant children.
  • Ilyas, 12, from Kabul, Afghanistan, "imagined it would be a really big country with loads of nice, friendly people. I had seen England on the Mr Bean film." On his first day at school "I didn't know anybody and I didn't know English but someone said, 'Do you want to play football?' and I said, 'Yes, all right.' I wasn't playing well so after a little bit they said, 'You can't play any more.'" The thing he likes best: "the roads."
  • Anastasija, 12, from Latvia likes the other children: "They always help you, and if you're crying they always ask you what's wrong," but finds it odd that "When you go into a shop and someone pushes you or knocks you by accident, we say sorry and then go away - but here you say: 'Sorry, sorry, sorry.'" She likes the "cheeseburgers and hamburgers." The first word she learnt was "Fancies, like 'he fancies her'."
  • Daniel, 12, from Romania, was smacked on his first day at school: "On the way to every class I had someone smack me, but not hard - it was for fun because I was new." The first word he learnt was "from the children I heard, 'I'm not bothered,' and from the teachers, 'You're wasting my time.'"
  • Luke, nine, from Wisconsin likes the "Indian food and Chinese food" and thinks the people "sound more mature." His sister Sarah, 12, notes "all the museums and old pretty stuff, but also the big flashing stuff for advertisements. We didn't expect those, and Big Ben was much bigger than we imagined." She likes "the words that they use, like 'cheers' or 'shan't'" and "fish and chips, but steak and kidney pie is kind of scary."

No comments:

Post a Comment