As a young lad growing up on the streets of London my father taught me many things
one of the things that he most pressed upon me was the quality of being modest.
"Son nobody likes a show off. Shut your mouth and let your actions speak for themselves, don't be proud or boastful ". I always believed and tried to live up to that
Now in the UK because of the increase in animosity and race hate crimes against Muslims and the wider Asian community, people are tarring all Asians with the same brush. Labels such as terrorists, Taliban and benefit scroungers being thrown around especially from certain sections in the media.
Claims being made that they are looking to take over the Government and the Country. That sharia law will be the law of the land and mullahs will be in charge of all local amenities.
What many don't know is that Asians have been a part of British society since the 1800's when the East India company brought over thousands of south Asians because they were able seamen as well as scholars and workers and because of this they tended to settle in the port towns, marrying local ladies no less.
I wonder how many of you know that about your family history
Heck even Queen Victoria had a Muslim servant, Abdul Karim. There was also the rumour that he was more than just a servant (ahem).To be discussed another time
The very first Indian restaurant was opened in London in 1810. Captain Sake Dean Mahomet named it The Hindoostane coffee house. He also apparently introduced shampoo to us lucky Brits along with therapeutic massage.How about that ! A nice curry followed by a foot massage. Something we all look forward to mid-week if we're lucky.
Many of our grandparents fought in both the First and Second World War alongside British soldiers.
Indian soldiers provided manpower, equipment and auxiliary support throughout the world.
Textiles from India supplied vital war materials to the allies.
The soldiers died alongside their British counterparts fighting for the freedoms we all enjoy today.
A fact the history books over see or if they do mention it's quickly skimmed over.
A second major influx was when the Asians were invited to England in the 1960's. As citizens of the Commonwealth the doors were opened to limited numbers inviting them to come over and take up the jobs that were going begging . The community undertook hard manual work in the hospitals the textile mills, railways and the newly formed National Health Service.
They worked hard putting in extra hours willingly to support family here as well as back home. Progress was slow and steady thanks to their persistent and enterprising spirit. Many of them later setting up small family businesses.
Many of the bigger names we know these days started off as mom and pop enterprises with the kids roped in after school and on weekends.
While my friends went out on paper rounds, I was sent to Covent Garden market haggling with the fruit and veg suppliers, before going off to school.
They taught their children the value of education, encouraging many to learn and earn, get the degree and even the Phd. The value of a British education made many a parent proud sending telegrams home announcing the achievements to all in the family.
Any and every opportunity was taken to get a foothold on the ladder.
Unless you actively search for the truth you wont know any better. There comes a point when you have to take a stand against a rising tide. Be the one, a voice for the unsung many who do what they can and contribute to the wider society without boasting or showing off.
Not only have they tickled our taste-buds but they have contributed to the styles we wear.
The language we use ( pajamas and bungalows come to mind )
The music we listen to has been heavily influenced by them ( think Beatles as well as Freddy Mercury as well as many modern artists incorporating the sounds of the tablas and sitar).
Bollywood has shaped and changed popular culture. I didn't like it as a kid but I do appreciate the influence.
So I will go against what I was taught and say that here we are at http://asiansuk.com
You will find the entrepreneurs the innovators, business people, fashionista's and trail blazers who are putting the unity into the United kingdom .
we are going to shout about it and be proud because we are here making a difference to all walks of life and all kinds of people . If we take we make sure to give back ,many times over. Let that be known.
Go ahead and take a look, open your eyes and realize that we are here and we are proud to be British