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  • November 2007
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i know what i like…

Posted by hema on November 11, 2007

and it’s white, white white.

remember that advert for Hovis bread? Not that i’m implying Hovis is racist in any way, i was just reminded of it!

i was reminded of it because i was thinking of the issue of racism. i was thinking of it because i don’t think of it enough. i don’t think of it enough because it doesn’t really affect me on a day to day basis. it doesn’t affect me because.. i don’t know actually, maybe i’ve just been lucky but i don’t seem to have experienced the same problems as some people have. i think partly because i live in my own cosy, little world and haven’t experienced anything much, but i hope it’s partly due to my own attitude.

i don’t have an inferiority complex because of my skin colour. i don’t automatically assume i don’t get the job i want because of the way i dress or because my name is too difficult to pronounce(maybe it’s because i wasn’t good enough for the job!) i might have to work extra hard to prove i’m good enough for the job and i might have to smile a lot more so people aren’t so wary of me, but a bit of hard work and friendliness never killed anyone!

but what is making me feel uncomfortable is the perception amongst asian people in this country that in order to fit in and get on in society, you have to become as “white” as possible.  you have to dye your hair brown (bleach your face??), you have to shorten your name to “Mo”, you have to dress a certain way.i’m not even saying there is anything wrong with these things, it’s just the reasoning behind them that is a little sad. it implies that being British and being white are synonymous.

isn’t it possible for me to be proud to be British even if i’m not white?

i will leave  you with a couple of my favourite quotes from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, about a young black girl growing up in 1940’s America.

“It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights-if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different.”

“Then she stopped staring at the green chairs, at the delivery truck; she went to the movies instead. There in the dark her memory was refreshed, and she succumbed to earlier dreams. Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another–physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap. ……… She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty, and the scale was one she absorbed in full from the silver screen.”

“So it was. A little black girl yearns for the eyes of a little white girl, and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of its fulfillment”

7 Responses to “i know what i like…”


    Salaam Hema ;),

    I’m so proud of you for your attitude regarding how you present yourself.You are who you are,and be always proud of it.
    Oh…about teaching these boys of yours…hm…you did the right thing!!!I did once the same with a girl I was teaching english.I said to her to leave my room and I phoned her parents to come and pick her up.I was scared of the reaction,but actually the parents were glad I did so.They said alone they’re having problems with the girl.However,the girl never came back to me.This I understand in a way.Later her older sister told me that what happened at my home helped their parents to talk openly with the girl about her problems.Things are much better with her now.
    My point is,never be scared to follow your ideas if you feel they are ok.

    Bye and take care cutie ;)!

  2. amal said

    hema babes your tagged ! check the rules on my blog 🙂

    oh by the way I liek hovis ! totally irrlavent I know .

  3. Sumera said

    I never felt “different” at all until I went to Uni. That was when I realised my skin was different and all those other things you get. I AM aware that people may treat me differently and they most often do – most of the questions I get asked are “were you born here?” and when I say “yes” they go “yeah I thought so you have a strong accent” 😐 Really annoys me so I then indirectly speak about looking different and so people treat you differently.

    It usually sinks in and so they dont wonder about my background anymore after that!

  4. hema said

    thanks natasha

    amal. hovis is good, but warburtons is much better! i’ll check out the tag as soon as i’ve figured how to get my punkymood on my new layout. i use that thing to decide my mood!

    sumi. don’t you have a scottish accent? i would class that as strong!
    i was reading some of “Trainspotting” with my class, and they were trying to get me to do it in a Scottish accent

  5. Sumera said

    Yep I have a Scottish accent. But when people first see me they expect me to speak in broken english or have an exaggerated “foreign” accent :-/

  6. 'liya said

    I think it’s important to break down barriers on your own like how you have. “friendliness never killed anyone” – that’s right (for both sides). You shouldn’t have to change anything about yourself to get ahead.

  7. amal said

    hahahah no way ! warburtons ? you buy that bread as well ? my friend told me when she did a consumer study she said warbutons was a well broaght brand , I was like what ?! I did not even know such a bread name existed , I mean the name is off putting .
    I love nimble tasted that ? danish sliced toast emmmm

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