Am I who you think I am?

I don’t generally talk politics but am fed up of all this talk about European migrants.

My mum was an Italian migrant who, at the age of 7, moved to the UKage where she later met my dad. They had me in the UK, my brother and sister in Italy. Does that make me more British than my siblings? Am I allowed to consider myself British?

My great – grandmother on my mother’s side was Italo-American having been born there after her parents went to New York on a ship at the end of the 1800s. What exactly does that make my mum?

My nan on my dad’s side was Irish. Either Tipperary born or the daughter of Irish migrants so… is my dad really English? I mean either way, Pop married a migrant ‘s daughter .

I used to be very proud- I still am but maybe less so now- of my English roots (yes, I’m talking specifically of those roots. My general British roots I’m still Ok with!). I’m extremely embarrassed by all the comments I’ve been reading, and hearing, recently.

I though Italy was bad when it came to commenting on, critisizing, treating non-EU citizens badly- obviously only those who look ‘foreign’ (?!?!) because if you’re Australian, well that’s not a problem.

This week my adult EL students wanted to talk about Brexit. I didn’t. So we have been talking about identity , what it means to them and who they are.  We watched Hetain Patel talk about identity.

Who are we?

Who am I?

Who are you to decide who stays and who goes?

7 thoughts on “Am I who you think I am?

  1. My roots are also eclectic. My father’s parents were Eastern European Jewish mix, who escaped Nazi Austria in the late 1930s. My mother was English. I do not feel completely English, and never have done. I feel very European – I love describing myself as European – because it reflects where all of my family come from. Until today – when I think my heart could be broken. I feel so passionately about it I think I should have been campaigning. But campaigning for me – for the right for me to exist as a European. I don’t know if I stand up to the hatred rhetoric of the leave campaigners. They would overlook me. I voted. I signed a petition to stop the referendum. I pray that the British people will do the right thing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for replying Gen.

      I’ve been in a state of shock all day. I’ve just read an newspaper article which reports people looking up what EU means… today. This has saddened me even more.

      Fingers crossed for the future.


  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my post Gen.

    It is definitely a difficult time for us all. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion but to base a campaign on ‘Englishness’ is just ridiculous. We are all mixed race- one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely sympathise Gemma…
    Unfortunately the comments you refer to are not only heard in the UK. 😦
    It is only when I lived in such a “foreign” country as China that I realised how European we truly are, how much I had in common with all the Europeans I was meeting (even compared to other westerners like Americans or Australians).

    Next time the topic comes up, you could try this video/lesson:
    I used it with my students when they asked me the same question, and it really worked. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I dream of a day when it will be as rude to ask someone one has just met where they are from as it is to ask them how much they earn. It’s obvious we are all human beings born on this planet. So far I have always replied in the conventional way to the the question “Where are you from?” for fear of sounding pretentious. Hope I’ll be more courageous in the future.

    For a wry laugh: Where are you from?


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