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DelMonte
Apr 15th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Multiracial Britain confuses Poles

Church is mobilised to warn immigrant families after claims of racist behaviour in the classroom

Anushka Asthana and Mary Fitzgerald
Sunday April 15, 2007

Observer

It is a difficult social and cultural problem: what to do when tens of thousands of immigrants from an almost wholly white country arrive in a nation that has a fierce pride in its multicultural mix?

It is an issue affecting the many Poles coming to Britain, who are being warned to be ready for a country where being black or Asian is not unusual and it is wrong to react 'negatively' to people of different races. The message has been spread through Catholic priests in Poland and is aimed at families moving to the UK from all-white towns and villages. The Polish Educational Society of London approached the priests following claims of racist behaviour among Polish children and their parents. Headteachers reported that pupils were moving their desks away from Asian and black children in fear and saying that white people were superior.

In one case Polish children drew pictures of apes sitting in palm trees and claimed this was what their black classmates looked like, while in a school in Acton, west London, a group of teenagers hurled daily abuse at non-white staff and pupils. According to headteachers, some parents asked whether their children would be taught by 'darkies'.

Aleksandra Podhorodecka, president of the society, which runs Saturday schools for Polish children, said she hoped that the priests would 'pass on a simple forewarning that it will be a multicultural society and they need to behave appropriately'. She said: 'It is difficult to blame the children, because a lot come from rural societies in eastern Poland where there are very few immigrants and some children have never seen West Indians or Asians in the flesh. So to suddenly be thrown into a school with 100 different languages, cultures and religions is a cultural shock.' In a minority of cases, she said, children would react aggressively, but she insisted that most Polish families were very tolerant.

Ania Heasley, who runs a recruitment and employment agency for Polish people, said there were parents whose main criterion when moving to the UK was to find a place to live and a school for their children where there were fewer black people. 'I try to argue and say, if you do not like the racial makeup, why do you come here?' said Heasley, whose company is called Ania's Poland. 'Everybody is white in Poland, apart from a few students. If you see a black person in the street everybody turns their head because they look out of place.'

Jan Mokrzycki, chairman of the Federation of Poles in Great Britain, said people were reacting to something they did not understand: 'It was the same when the first West Indian community came to this country. I am not sure it really needs tackling; it will sort itself out in time.'

On Friday, outside a Polish cultural centre in west London, there were mixed opinions. Tomas, 31, a builder who has lived in the UK for three years, said: 'It's true, most Polish people don't like Indians and black people. People don't understand how different things are when they first come here, but after a while you adjust to the system. In the beginning I was the same. But now my best customer is Indian.'

Aleksandra Watorska, a graphic designer living in Gloucester, said she had come to the UK because she wanted her three-year-old daughter Zuzanna to grow up in a multicultural society, while Basia Paczesna-Vercueil, a mother in London, said none of her friends made racist comments. Marta Rabikowska, a senior lecturer at the University of East London, who has researched Polish immigration, argued it was difficult to call the problem racism: 'It is an intolerance of something different, that they have not experienced before.'

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329779010-102285,00.html

Kart
Apr 15th, 2007, 10:01 PM
Marta Rabikowska, a senior lecturer at the University of East London, who has researched Polish immigration, argued it was difficult to call the problem racism: 'It is an intolerance of something different, that they have not experienced before.'

LOL.

I've met lots of Polish people in London and none of them have ever been anything but nice to me.

Except for the 89 year-old man that threw his zimmer frame at me but that's another story.

SJW
Apr 15th, 2007, 10:23 PM
Jan Mokrzycki, chairman of the Federation of Poles in Great Britain, said people were reacting to something they did not understand: 'It was the same when the first West Indian community came to this country. I am not sure it really needs tackling; it will sort itself out in time.'


I would love to hear about this in more detail because I highly doubt it. There have been "different" people in the West Indies for centuries, I can't imagine them moving their desks away from white people out of "fear" :confused:

Anyway very..."interesting" topic. There are a huge number of Poles where I live and they've all been great...hopefully this is just an isolated problem.

Serenita
Apr 15th, 2007, 10:50 PM
Weird situation, don't they do any research before they move there famlily to abroad, are they are all BORATS..... no but seriuosly you have to know the social make-up of a country before you pack all your stuff and move there.

HippityHop
Apr 16th, 2007, 02:37 AM
Da hell? Does anybody ever keep their asses in their own damned country. :(

polishprodigy
Apr 16th, 2007, 04:38 AM
Wow. This is kind of surprising to me but not surprising at the same time. I have heard of racist events in Poland (especially at soccer games) but I guess when speaking of the Polish community in Canada - a country that one could say arguably is more multicultural than Britain - I think that many Poles in Canada have adjusted well and accepted multiculturalism (which in our country is actually enshrined in its constitution- the only country to do such a thing). I think there are some "limits of tolerance" debates going around in our country but most Poles in my experience are fairly open to multiculturalism.

cellophane
Apr 16th, 2007, 04:49 AM
Wow. This is kind of surprising to me but not surprising at the same time. I have heard of racist events in Poland (especially at soccer games) but I guess when speaking of the Polish community in Canada - a country that one could say arguably is more multicultural than Britain - I think that many Poles in Canada have adjusted well and accepted multiculturalism (which in our country is actually enshrined in its constitution- the only country to do such a thing). I think there are some "limits of tolerance" debates going around in our country but most Poles in my experience are fairly open to multiculturalism.

Do you think racism is a sore isue here? I'm not asking whether it's in fact a sore issue, but in the media at least?

dementieva's fan
Apr 16th, 2007, 04:49 AM
Wow. This is kind of surprising to me but not surprising at the same time. I have heard of racist events in Poland (especially at soccer games) but I guess when speaking of the Polish community in Canada - a country that one could say arguably is more multicultural than Britain - I think that many Poles in Canada have adjusted well and accepted multiculturalism (which in our country is actually enshrined in its constitution- the only country to do such a thing). I think there are some "limits of tolerance" debates going around in our country but most Poles in my experience are fairly open to multiculturalism.

Well, most poles in canada came here during WWI or WWII so they've had time to adjust and assimilate whereas in case of britain they are recent immigrants and are not adjusted to a different culture.

hdfb
Apr 16th, 2007, 06:31 AM
From the article I get the impression they are only encouraging the children to change their mindset in this paticular country and that if they were to go back to Poland they could adopt their narrow views once again. :o

cellophane
Apr 16th, 2007, 06:33 AM
From the article I get the impression they are only encouraging the children to change their mindset in this paticular country and that if they were to go back to Poland they could adopt their narrow views once again. :o

Wouldn't surprise me too much if that were true.

wipeout
Apr 16th, 2007, 12:35 PM
It is a difficult social and cultural problem: what to do when tens of thousands of immigrants from an almost wholly white country arrive in a nation that has a fierce pride in its multicultural mix?

Since when did the Britain have a "fierce pride" in that? :scratch:

More like different levels of tolerance in different people, going downhill in some cases.

This "multicultural Britain" is media rubbish anyhow, it's a few highly multicultural cities like London and most of the rest of Britain outside these places are almost all white and protestant/non-religious. The media and politicians, however, are based in London and incorrectly believe what they see there applies everywhere.

For most people in Britain, this "multicultural Britain" doesn't actually really exist on a day-to-day basis.

Halardfan
Apr 16th, 2007, 12:53 PM
Since when did the Britain have a "fierce pride" in that? :scratch:

More like different levels of tolerance in different people, going downhill in some cases.

This "multicultural Britain" is media rubbish anyhow, it's a few highly multicultural cities like London and most of the rest of Britain outside these places are almost all white and protestant/non-religious. The media and politicians, however, are based in London and incorrectly believe what they see there applies everywhere.

For most people in Britain, this "multicultural Britain" doesn't actually really exist on a day-to-day basis.

Its fair point that Britain is truly Multi-cultural only in most of the main cities and large towns...

However, relative to Poland it is far more multi-cultural as a whole.

I agree that plenty of Brits are as prrdjudiced as anywhere else, though I think weve made some progress in recent years, racism that was once tolerated is now less acceptable.

I have a foot in both camps...English, but with a Polish Grandfather who came here during WW2...he encountered prejudice even then, and the Poles coming here themselves attract the same old moans and groans that greet every immigrant population.

Kunal
Apr 16th, 2007, 01:07 PM
these guys are living in the past.....,join the times guys

Lord Nelson
Apr 16th, 2007, 01:21 PM
Its fair point that Britain is truly Multi-cultural only in most of the main cities and large towns...

However, relative to Poland it is far more multi-cultural as a whole.

I agree that plenty of Brits are as prrdjudiced as anywhere else, though I think weve made some progress in recent years, racism that was once tolerated is now less acceptable.

I have a foot in both camps...English, but with a Polish Grandfather who came here during WW2...he encountered prejudice even then, and the Poles coming here themselves attract the same old moans and groans that greet every immigrant population.
Being more or elss muticultural does not make a nation better or worse. Japan is homogenous yet it is a stable nation so is diverse U.S. Racism will always exist in a society. It seems to be less in Britain then it is in France. Easier for a minority to get hired there then France according to an article in last week's TIME magazine-European edition.
Poland I have not been to but I think it is better to work and live there then in Russia. Poland also is diverse with eastern Europeans and Germans living there.

Monica_Rules
Apr 16th, 2007, 03:20 PM
I'm not supried really, a lot of the time when England plays an easter european team at football there is a lot of racist chanting geared towards black playerys, think it happened to some welsh black players aswell.