Monday, November 16

Belonging

In this month’s Prospect magazine, Sameer Rahim, the Arts and Books Director, reviews a number of novels from migrants – voices, he believes, that have been absent from the migrant debate. Like most I am interested because, though I live in a multi-cultural society – am married to a Scot, I have little idea what goes on inside most other people’s head (least of all a woman’s). His article is illuminating, and says something about my ignorance. However I still struggle to understand. What comes across is an almost desperate desire to belong, to be included? My neighbour jokes he moved to this neck of the woods 46 years ago and is still classified as an incomer; likewise there are lads in the Dog and Duck who can trace their forebears in the local cemetery all the way back to 1650. Is it realistic for us to crack this mindset or be surprised by it? To arrive as if a stray dog and expect to be taken in and be fed and petted?

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