My father speaks Urdu,
Language of dancing peacocks,
Even its curses are beautiful.
He speaks Hindi, suave melodic,
Salty rich as saag paneer,
Costal Swahili laces with Arabic.
He speaks Gujarati,
Solid ancestral pride.
Five different worlds.
We feel these words whilst remembering the amount of times our parents have felt embarrassed to speak in public due to their broken English.
Let’s take a time out just to make ourselves aware of how much a tiny island England is compared to other countries. Yet English is the world’s first language. Some of us have tried so hard to integrate into this British society that we don’t value our mother tongue no more and certainly don’t see the point to pass it down generation to generation. We must only teach our children European languages. When a French or Spanish man has a thick accent people admire how the r’s roll of his tongue. However, a Pakistani or Indian who brings a thick accent to the West must go away and first learn how to speak English “properly”. We’re shunned and mocked and then when we do try we’re accused of taking their jobs. Our elders can speak numerous languages yet not one is credited. Let’s be honest is any language credited that isn’t European? We can put dozens of languages down on our CV but if they don’t see English then your CV counts for nothing.
You could be a lawyer in Pakistan or a scientist in India with a mind like Einstein, however, pack your bags and come to the Great Britain with your Southern qualifications, the most you’ll get is a pat on the shoulder and a sympathetic look from the White employer. This is the sad reality for many first generation migrants.
Migrants are not seen as great or prospers in this stranger’s land. Our mother tongue is just noise to them and our roots are like a bad smell.