Wednesday, 28 November 2012


This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Differences just human nature
I have to agree with some of T Green's comments about harmony and toleration ("I no longer feel at home in my city", Mailbox, November 22).
However, he/she may have lived a more sheltered life than I and have fewer multicultural genes. (I have only been in Leicester for 40 years, with an immigrant background. My gran was Irish, great-granddad Scottish and goodness knows about the rest. I haven't had a DNA test).
There are parts of the city that are monocultural and appear to be inhabited by the stereotypical Brit.
Some of them wouldn't tolerate me – even though I look like them – any more than would the wealthy hunting brigade or people that live in very large houses in "posh" areas.
I have difficulty communicating with both cultures – they are nothing like me.
Sometimes their accents and vocabulary can be tricky and I have no idea what they are saying.
They wouldn't want to know me, any more than Welsh people did when we visited Wales years ago. I realised then what "shunned" really meant.
On the other hand, I worked with and employed people from different origins. Some I liked, some I didn't, but it was generally harmonious and most problems were caused by people's personalities and nothing to do with their ethnicity.
People don't like/understand foreigners, don't like people in the next city, don't like people in the next town, the next road, next door, their brothers and sisters.
Generally people tolerate each other, particularly in Leicester. As homo sapiens go, being a vicious lot, that is something to feel a little bit proud of.
And, I confess, we went to the Diwali concert at Curve and really enjoyed it – a lovely safe, family occasion.
Deirdre Harrow, Leicester

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