Migrants.

Listen:

My father speaks Urdu,

Language of dancing peacocks,

Rosewater fountains-

Even its curses are beautiful.

He speaks Hindi, suave melodic,

Earthy Panjabi,

Salty rich as saag paneer,

Costal Swahili laces with Arabic.

He speaks Gujarati,

Solid ancestral pride.

Five languages,

Five different worlds.

Yet English

Shrinks

Him

Down

Before

White men.

-anonymous

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.

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7 thoughts on “Migrants.

  1. Thank you for writing this down, Hajra.
    I am very happy that your parents have passed down the legacy of languages to you, indeed we South Asians are an amazing lot, but that all that changes when we reach the center of the globe that is EUROPEAN SHORES, where we suddenly become “migrants” while white people migrating to third world countries are termed “expats” all rules and presuppositions sets by the great white nations.
    I also find their appalling lack of respect towards languages of others deeply unsettling and frustrating, I feel strongly for you and cannot imagine the situation over the there but I do relate towards it and salute your courage in speaking up against this sort of injustices.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the read Saadia and tell me about it! When we speak our mother tongue we’re just deemed as illiterate immigrants. However, when Westerners say “Namaste” their deemed as cultural experts with ampels of ethnic knowledge. The irony is now amusing. These double standards only feed White supremacy. We can’t even be good at our thing, only White people can understand our culture more than us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, tell me about it. How have you been, not seen you lately and hope all is well? Ramazan going well with you?

        Like

      2. LOL, tell me about it. You missed some posts on my site too probably with this low energy! Yes, surviving the heat wave :-/ and not fasting regularly with the annoying 3-4 days of no electricity nonsense!

        Liked by 1 person

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