"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group

Let's talk about growing up as a POC in Britain today

January 27, 2022 Season 1 Episode 16
"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group
Let's talk about growing up as a POC in Britain today
Show Notes Transcript

Podcast host Naomi gets real with colleagues Barish Mata, Malkesh Vaghela & Denise Kawooya on their  journeys in navigating their identities as first and second generation immigrants in the U.K.  Listen as they talk being a POC within the wider community, feelings of isolation as well as their specific experiences of understanding those that came before them. Join us and laugh along with us as we attempt to navigate a space that is somewhere between.

About our guests:

Malkesh Vaghela
Instagram: Malky16 / Malkygaming
YouTube: youtube.com/malkygaming


Denise Kawooya
https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-kawooya-572841147/

Barish Mata
https://www.linkedin.com/in/barish-mata-197675134/



Trigger Warning - This podcast contains references to sexism and racism.
 
This podcast is produced by Diversifying.io - Keep up to date on how we're changing hearts and minds on Instagram: @diversifyingio or via our website: www.diversifying.io 

Naomi:

Diversifying.io presents. You can't say anything anymore. The podcast where we bring you the latest diversity news, and in depth meaningful conversations about how we can make a future. Better for. Hi everyone, welcome to this month's podcast. I'm your host, Naomi. I've got three very special guests with me who are my lovely colleagues, so I can't say anything mean about them on camera. If you'd like to introduce yourself, please.

Denise:

Hi, my name is Denise and my pronouns are she her, and I am one of the senior talent acquisition consultants from BAME recruitment.

Malkesh:

Hi, my name is Malkesh, my pronouns are he him, and I'm a customer success assistant at diversifying and BAME and I live in London.

Barish:

Hey guys. My name is rish. I'm the marketing assistant. And I also live in London.

Naomi:

London and crew anyway. Also shout out to anyone listening, not in London. As many of you know,

Malkesh:

we love you.

Naomi:

So what are we here to talk about? So I think there's something what's quite interesting is that we've all kind of got different experiences. And I think that we've all got a different take on the topic we're talking about today. So we just want to go on to a little bit of a warm up question. And let's get the ball rolling is what is Britishness? How do you know how do we define that? What do we think when that word comes to mind? And how does that differ? We all relate to with how we identify personally. So if anyone wants to take it away without question.

Denise:

And I think Britishness for me is being immersed in, I guess, some of the English culture, I think, maybe the British culture has changed. I don't know if I'm speaking from someone who is a Londoner, as opposed to someone who's not in London, it might differ. But I think it's just being in this like multicultural society. You know, we're all able to relate and have that common ground with regards to Britishness, but then we also have our own separate cultures. And I think that's what makes British culture quite exciting, actually.

Barish:

Oh, would say the British culture is basically a diverse culture, a mix of multiple cultures, which is what makes us British, it would definitely be different if it was to talk about the English culture, which will be I would think, is a bit more like the white side. Whereas the British culture is like a mix of white, black, Asian and other cultures as well.

Malkesh:

I think, I think the, I think what it is its definition personally has changed for me. Like, it's like, when I was younger, it meant one thing. But at this age, it means something else like so. When I was younger, I think Britishness and English, like it was all just the same for me. It was all if your name isn't Jack, Nick, Tom Nicholas or something like that, you're not really British. Because everyone I knew was with had that sort of name. But now as I'm older, their sort of is like a mix of cultures. I think being British is just living on this land, but being of any colour, any race, any religion, that sort of thing is just living it. And it's nice to be part of that sort of, like, group or identified to be part of that group.

Naomi:

Yeah, I think it's interesting. You picked up on a really interesting point about names. I mean, did anyone have similar experiences with their name and British identity?

Denise:

And I think for me, obviously, I have a African surname, a Ugandan surname, to be specific. And people. Yeah, I guess people who are more ignorant and yeah, I guess they will kind of question you know, why is your first name British and why is your surname? not British? So they would expect me to have two African or two Ugandan names as opposed to, you know, a British name, but I don't necessarily think my first name is British. I think it's just a westernised name. So yes, just having to explain that. Actually. It's not British it's westernised and you'll find people with my name all over the world. It's not just in the UK,

Malkesh:

I think so. I've still never met anyone with my name, but again at school, you know, when the teacher is trying to pronounce your name in front of the class is just so awkward. And even if it's wrong, you will like Yeah, yeah, that's, that's my name. Whereas if it is any sort of like, as I mentioned before, Britishness name, then what's really easy to pronounce it Everyone's heard it. So, yeah, names, names is a big thing. But I feel like as time has gone on, and I've experienced this personnally as well, when you when someone like spelled your name wrong, and you point out that they really are apologetic about it, they try to pronounce it right now. Whereas back then maybe probably not so much. But yeah, so I'm glad, like, we're moving towards that where people are, because I feel like name, name means a lot to a lot of people. It's quite literally who you are. So I think it's important for people to spell it right, say it right. If people get it wrong, then correct them. Until recently, I wasn't really correcting people. But now I've started correcting them and it feels it feels more empowering. It feels better to do that

Unknown:

in regards to names, I have one of those names where you have to be like from, I would say an African background, French speaking country or even Arabic to be able to pronounce my name properly. So it's been a thing where I've just shortened my name, just make it easier for people. Because since primary, some people pronounce my name barish, some people pronounce a bearish, but it's actually pronounced Barish. The obviously people won't always be able to see that that's what I'm always like, okay, just call me rich, just to make it easier for people. And I feel like coming from where I'm from, a lot of the times we do tend to show and our names to make it easier for everyone else. And there's something I wanted to also something that Malkesh said I wanted to pick up on. Yeah, I completely agree with both of you and your experiences. And I've always made it a conscious effort since I was young to always correct people with my surname. So always, you know, telling them how to pronounce it correctly. And I think as Malkesh says , you know, your name is very important. So I think it is important for you to correct people and I think, yeah, people are more understanding now and willing to make the effort whereas back then, I don't think people made that much effort. And sometimes they would also laugh at your name because it wasn't, you know, thin or common name. So, yeah, definitely agree with that and relate to that. Did anybody else have a second name For when they went to Starbucks?

Naomi:

Yeah.

Unknown:

I use mark or martin just so it's easy. Just get it right. Sometimes they gotten that wrong.

Naomi:

Oh, wow. Wow. Like a Martin.

Unknown:

My mum actually really wanted to call me Martin when I was born. So I could have been a Martin today.

Naomi:

Another life Hey, another life

Unknown:

in some way in the multiverse, huh? Yeah. Sorry, I've just, spider man is still in my head.

Naomi:

I love Spider Man. But I don't want to give any spoilers on here. Yeah, it's not that's not what it's about.

Malkesh:

But we're starting a new topic. We're talking about spiderman.

Naomi:

Spider, if you haven't seen a spider man, go out and get it or, you know, sufficiently by totally legal means find it, and viewing host you're in your home,

Denise:

support your local cinemas, but also

Naomi:

visit us for your local cinema. By getting by on the topic about names, I think that's so important, I think, in relation to another Marvel movie this year, in Chang Shi, what's all that there was also really important speech there, but how your name connects you to people that came before you, and how like, that's a really important part about you. And not knowing your name or not using your name, or you forgetting your name is is like a part of like a lost identity. And I think from what I've heard from all of you, that's all what you're speaking to. And I think that what you said about the change now and you know, really having the courage to try to correct people your name. You know, I think that's something that a lot of people are working on. And I think it's really cool because a lot of people, we've even seen a lot of actors and celebrities who are going back to their actual names. No, they're not using a westernised version or shorter version. They're saying, actually, you can know my name, you know, and you should learn my name, you know, and I think that definitely helps a lot of other people kind of do that as well.

Denise:

Yeah, definitely speak for more confidence.

Unknown:

Thank you. I'm not sure if is the same way you guys are from the from Congo. Names actually have a meaning and whatever your code is what you're meant to represent. So I'm not sure if it's like that where you guys are from?

Naomi:

Yeah, 100% like because you're Chinese your names are characters. So it literally represents like your parents wish for you and like to amazing Yeah, and it's like it's like your your characters made up of like to explain this, like different. What's the word like? Morphemes are Like different, the different the different lines and strokes mean different things and they add to the wider picture of your name, so that there's a character of like beauty or grace or whatever. But there might be something else in there that might be like the stem that makes water or something like that. So it will make all these different imagery. And I think like, Yeah, I think I think it's really interesting what you said about how names can have so much meaning, and then when that is kind of lost. It can be kind of, like they're not seeing that part, I guess.

Unknown:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for us, in Uganda, our names show you exactly where in Uganda you're from. So you know, from particular areas, particular tribes. So yeah, there is a lot of meaning in our names. And yeah, it just takes us back to you know, our roots. So they are very important.

Malkesh:

For sure. I've actually so Rishs name, name means rain. In Gujarati. He already knows us. So.

Unknown:

You know, he so my mum side, right? There's a lot of Indians on my mom's side. So even the name Rishi Mater, the way out, basically didn't know. When I shortened my name barrier. There's people in my family who are called Rishi Mata. So whenever I go to a place, they always tend to think I'm Indian. And I always have to be like, Nah, I'm Congolese. There's a few Mata's, like everywhere. for some crazy reason. I noticed people, Spain, Portugal with the same surname as me as well as India. Yeah, it's crazy. There's I think that that's just when I think when people moving from country to country a lot back then yeah, it's just sort of just sort of spreading it. But then people are true to stay who they are, you know, like, so I know. Some people actually have changed their surname from moving from India to like, here. I have no idea why. But I don't know. I just feel like, you can't just change the surname. But then there's this whole topic of like, you know, when people get married, and they change their surname? Like, I've never thought about it, but how does how does everyone actually feel about it?

Naomi:

just celebrities as well that have changed their names. Like, you know, like Jennifer Aniston. That's not her real loss because she's Greek, right? She's praying. So why would her last name be Aniston? Her real name is like much longer Greek name. But when her like family emigrated to the US, they changed their name to sound more westernised. There's a lot of other celebrities as well that have like, much longer names.

Denise:

I did not know that. sorry,

Naomi:

Jennifer Aniston's like, changed her. Like, that's not her original Greek name. Yeah. And there's a few other celebrities as well that have had the like, names like shorten to kind of be more appealing. Or for example, as by like, you know, Leonardo DiCaprio. He was told by like, loads of talent agents that he should definitely change his name because his name sounded too spicy.

Malkesh:

Spicy. His name sounds cool.

Denise:

Like, no one else has that name like Leonardo DiCaprio? Like, that's his brand. It's amazing. What the hell? Yeah, that's also so complex. Because you obviously like I know. You know, it can mean various different things, as you said, like, you could have been married, you could have mixed heritage. But no one knows. I think yeah, people do tend to make assumptions based off your name. So yeah, they're obviously really complex. And I completely understand.

Malkesh:

We just say that your name is more important than your surname?

Denise:

That's a good question.

Barish:

I think my surname, because of the family lineage, I would say that means more than my first name. Like I need to uphold that a bit more. I reckon I can easily change my first name, but not so much my second name just because of that family history. For me, I think surname is way more important and first name,

Naomi:

we can call you, Bob then.

Barish:

Definitely not Bob, Patrick, maybe not Bob.

Naomi:

Where did Come from

Malkesh:

spongebob and Patrick, yeah.

Denise:

I mean, I don't know because I'm assuming that if I get married, then my surname will change. I've always just some time that my name is not going to stay. It actually might, I don't know. Depends. But I mean, I think I have obviously my middle name is also Ugandan. So that again, connects me to my roots. It tells people where I'm from. So I always have that name.

Barish:

So I didn't think about the name change in terms of you getting married. I was thinking of you that we're just going to change it. You know how you change your name for the marriage one make sense? Oh, sorry. So malkesh you as a man, would you change your your name your surname, let's see if you got married to a woman, could you consider taking her name,

Malkesh:

I would, I would consider maybe like making it like double barreled, like having both. But I feel like a surname. As you said, it really speaks to like your your lineage and everyone, like in the past, and as Naomi mentioned, Shang chi, it's all about the Chinese name and your western name, especially at that dinner table scene, it does represent everyone before you and then in the whole movie, there's a whole relation to you are the product of the past. So I think is really I think your surname is more important than your first name. I know your first name, it could be given to you by a parent, it could be given to you by someone else or whatever. But you're surname, surname him could represent a whole past and that that past could start with you. Or that past could have started with somebody like further in the past? So yeah, I think is more important than your first name. And I would, I would, I would consider making a double barreled , I wouldn't change it up. I wouldn't like just scrap it all together, especially I think, also plays into who your siblings are, if you have siblings or not. And if you're i So normally, like if your son or daughter, then you know, the son normally carries the name into the future, and the daughter normally changes the surname. So I'm the I'm the only son. So I feel like it's sort of my duty to keep my surname going. So that also adds on to that.

Naomi:

Yeah, that's interesting idea about names and gender expectations. The differences in those, like you said, like, Denise for the ball, you know, I guess it's kind of expected, like not expected, but is shown and projected from day one, like, oh, yeah, a cist woman in heteronormative relationship, you will, you know, you're going to change your name. And yeah, you will be part of this magical pairing of Mr. And Mrs. Blah, blah. I guess there's different expectations for gender roles. If we move onto another little topic, I think we've we've definitely dived deep into the exciting not even dived deep before really barely scratched the surface, about names and identity. So we just go into a little bit more about like, when somebody says, like, your culture, I think that's such an ambiguous statement. And it's really hard to describe, and I think often it's using a sort of very aggressive context like an othering, like, oh, you from over there. But what does it actually mean to you? And like, what does it mean to have or not have a connection with that?

Denise:

If someone asked me about my culture, to be honest, it really does depend on who I'm speaking to. But a lot of the time if it's someone from Britain, I guess. So from young, I've always known that. Like, I'm, I always tend to call myself Ugandan first before I call myself British. So whenever someone asks me about my culture, I assume they're talking about the Ugandan culture. So I will always refer to that. However, I think my culture is very complex, because of course, I was born in Britain. So I do have that British aspect. And so you know, sometimes I will touch on the British aspects. But yeah, more time, I will first refer to like the Ugandan culture, what happens in you know, my country and, you know, some of our traditions and things like that. But yeah, I think culture is a very complex thing. It's not one dimensional at the right time, right? Yeah,

Barish:

I definitely agree. I would say the same as well, whenever I'm asked about culture. The first thing that comes to mind for me is Congo, even though there's a big difference between me living here, and those who live back home. The one thing I've noticed is that the Congolese who live in France, that consider themselves French, that straight away, whereas here, the ones who live here, would never really call ourselves English, let alone British. So yeah, I think it depends on where you're coming from and who you're also talking to, but definitely agree with. Denise,

Naomi:

What do you think there are differences between because I've actually had like French Congolese friends as well. And they Yes, just for my personal experience, again, I'll speak every single person, but they do identify as French but I guess from what I've heard about the committee here, not so much. So what do you think speaks the difference there?

Barish:

I think is because in France in general, they tend to consider everyone. Basically as soon as you get your nationality, they call you French, there is no morphism between, not not, maybe in terms of like, speaking they acknowledge you as being French, but not so much in the living sense bear here, there's literally categories, even if my, my kids are born here, they will never be considered English, at least I don't believe so even if they have a British passport, they're born in their parents money. I don't feel as if like they'll ever be, even if they are considered as English, they may not be accepted as English. And yeah, that's a difference even in America is different is what a lot of people that they don't, some may take themself as American by being Congolese, you always put that first. You know, depending on where you go,

Malkesh:

Hi. I felt like everyone was looking at me. I think cul culture is a really difficult one, because, like, I don't know, it just, it could change depending where you are. Geographically, I mean, it'll be in a western world, be it England or America, and your culture could still be different. And so what people would see you as would be different, too. Whereas I recently learned that like, if you're in America, and somebody calls you Asian, they string straight to like East Asian, so Chinese, Japanese, that sort of thing. But when you say Asian, here, Asian here means well Asian guys, you could be Chinese, Japanese, both be Indian. And that's like, but it's weird how that's perceived over there. And that was a recent, like, shock to me that, that that's all they see when when they have Asian but i think culture. So with culture so I was born in India, but came here when I was like, one, I think something like that. So I think I so would culture mean that because I live here, I like tea with culture here. mean that that I love the monarchy or something? I mean, does being British to somebody purely British, does that culture resonate with them or not? That's, that's what I really want to know. For me. I mean, I love tea. I can't lie, I love coffee as well. And I like I like aspects of both culture. So I don't really know what to call myself. Which one I'm closer to either Indian culture or British culture, I feel like I resonate with them both. And like, if I go India, then I imagine i turn more British. I went on that, like I just said, British like that somebody this British?

Naomi:

british on all the aunties.

Malkesh:

Yes. I don't know why it just, it just happens. It just comes out. And but then when I'm here, I tried to sort of like, protect my culture of being Indian. Like, I mean, proud of it. Over there. I'm proud to be British. It's very, I don't know, it's very topsy turvy. But I feel like it gives you a really great a really interesting point of view, being of two different cultures. Yeah, it can make, you can help you make decisions in life. And it can teach you a lot more than somebody who's just one culture, I think, having two different cultures two different point of views. So I think I think culture is such a such a heavy question. It's such a heavy term for so many people. So like it, I mean, if you're listening this just take five seconds, think about culture have like five seconds, and you'll go into a whole whirlwind of information just come out. Like it's crazy, is crazy.

Denise:

I think with like culture in general, if you are like within the British culture, there are different types of British culture within British culture, if that makes sense. So like, there is black British culture that is that Asian British cultures, what would you say?

Malkesh:

There is, there definetly is

Naomi:

Different asian different Asian cultures? Yeah,

Denise:

yeah, exactly. It's I think, again, that's what makes British culture so like, interesting and fascinating is the fact that there are, you know, different sections have been the whole British culture. So, yeah. Sorry, I don't know if that input was necessary. But yeah.

Barish:

No, I was saying yeah, I agree with Denise was saying about having different sections of like, the culture. Could you see you see, literally, even if, let's say we're talking about Black culture, and Nigeria would have its own Jamaica would have its own Congo, Uganda. Everybody, even though we're all black, British. We all have our little sub genres of the British culture,

Naomi:

I think was well, what you were all speaking about is the kind of transient nature of nature of it, and how it can vary in context and vary depending on who you're talking to. And there's so many intricacies, you know, and as you just had rish, like, every single person, like British person has still has a different culture, depending on their income, where they live, and what specific heritage they come from, what specific tribe, language, religion, all of those things are completely different. And what was i gonna say, Oh, I was gonna have a mini rant about how in the UK, when you said about the Asian means South Asian, I will never stop ranting about the fact that on the stupid forms, and every single form, Chinese is always outside of Asian is so annoying.

Malkesh:

That doesn't make sense. Hmm,

Denise:

I've noticed that but I thinking surely, China's in Asia, but

Naomi:

sociolinguistic thing, but it's your obviously, right, it speaks to the idea about the way that we group people is societal. And it is cultural. Because in the US as well, which really blows my mind, as well as the fact that Pacific Islanders and Asians are in the same group. Even though I feel like, linguistically and like a lot of culturally they're very different. But in American US Pacific Islanders, or, like, grouped in with Asians. Kind of yeah, that really blows my mind. Yeah,

Denise:

education needs to take place over there. It sounds like

Naomi:

interesting. And I think now's a good time for breaks and listeners will be back after the break.

Bame Recruitment:

Diversifying is a purpose led career platform that is proud to promote opportunities for all, check out our website for job opportunities at diversifying.io. And don't forget to follow us on social media.

Naomi:

And we are back after the break, we just move on to a bit about I think we've touched on a little bit. But so if we think about we've talked a lot about our experiences, and we're all, you know, under 35 in the UK, but how does this differ than with what we've been talking about with older generations? And with maybe those that came before us? And what would you say that the differences in perceptions about culture and identity are? Because yeah, I think it's definitely an interesting point to touch on.

Denise:

So when you say the older generation do you mean, within the UK in general or like, people?

Naomi:

Oh, sorry.Sorry, I don't know if that means like, all either your parents or grandparents?

Denise:

Okay. Well, my parents, again, even though, you know, they gained British citizens, citizens citizenship at some point. They always refer to themselves as Ugandan, like, we lived in a very Ugandan culture at home. You know, I was always spoken to from my elders about, you know, your culture, your culture, your culture, and that never refer to the British culture, it was always in reference to the Ugandan culture, what they know, back at home, and what their parents, their grandparents, and so on, taught them. Whereas for me, obviously, it's different. I've lived in a, in the UK, in London, and I've been able to interact with other people from different cultures and who have different backgrounds, and I've been able to understand, you know, their world, and I guess, learn from them as well. And I feel like we've kind of taken some of their culture and kind of that to theirs, if that makes sense. So for example, I may go to my friend's house and greet them in the way that their culture teaches them to greet people just to, you know, not feel involved. That's not the right term, but I hope I'm making sense like to. Yeah. So I think I think that's what differs from, I guess, my parents or people from the older generation.

Barish:

With me, I would say, a bit of mentality. Just because I feel as if, like one point. I don't want to just put it as if it's my parents, my lord, the older generation had some sort of limitations, in a sense that they always felt as if like, you couldn't do this. We couldn't do that. But we've kind of achieved I don't want to say a lot more than them because they were basically the blueprints. They came in and done a lot of things for us. So they basically laid a path for us, but we've been able to break barriers I'd say and the mentality is different. Because when they came at one point, they believe like certain jobs, certain roles, and certain Position certain areas wasn't for them, and maybe even, let's say, living in a posh area they would afford now, we could never do that. But we've come, we've been able to do it, we've been able to literally break the barriers in a lot of fields, which they have some sort of limitations

Malkesh:

Yeah to piggyback off Rish for what they've done. Like the older generation, they've come to this country they've got they've moved to a whole new country like, I've not, I've not done that i've not experienced that. By can't imagine it's easy. And they've come here, they've learned the language they've really broken through. And yeah, they really have paved the path for us. And yeah, like, I guess, for them, so specifically with Indian culture. Why I find it is that, I think, I think with Indian culture, Indian culture is really closely tied to religious culture as well, like, it's kind of intertwined. So much, so that can't really tell the difference between culture and religion when it comes to Indians. So I'd say that, yeah, it was the same way like, yeah, you can do particular things, or Yeah, like, like we've said, living in a posh area, just being there would make you uncomfortable. Because you'd feel like you, you don't belong there. And maybe that's added, like three generations, maybe that's a little bit guilty complex in some Indian people, where they feel like they've done wrong, but they're not they're not doing wrong, no one's doing anything wrong, but it just feels wrong. I, and I think that we have overcome that. Like, I think we're maybe slowly overcoming that. But yeah, like they've, they've also dealt with the whole, like, when there was like, a lot of racism back in the day, like, that's a whole subject go into, but I know that I know that with my with my, with my dad and stuff like, so my dad is from Aden, which is in Saudi Arabia. So he came from there mom came mom was mom's from India. And when they came here, like, they didn't, they didn't have a lot of white friends. Their friends was mainly. So it was, it was mainly brown people and black people were like, very close, because they're the minorities at that time. And it's real. And in some aspect, it's actually pretty nice. But now it's a lot more open. Now. I think there's there's less racism, but we're in London as well. Like, we got a we can't, we can't, like disregard the rest of the UK. And I'm sure I'm sure you guys have you. I'm sure everyone on this call has experienced going outside the UK sorry, going outside of London. And being a not being in a major city. People think you're an alien. And they just stare at you. And it's so uncomfortable. I I mean, it's just so it's so bad. I mean, if you're not in a big city, and you go somewhere, like I don't know, can someone give me a place? I don't know. But yeah, yeah, like Yorkshire, or something like that, where there is Indian people that have lived there. Were born there. But still, like, they look at you as if you're as if you're aliens. And like, wow, I don't know what it is. Because I saw I've been exposed as a bunch of time because like, so my dad loves to do like, travelling, outdoorsy sort of things. So when we were younger, my dad was take us to like so we'll go stay at this like caravan park. And then go hiking and stuff like that. But when we were in the caravan park, where we were the only people have any colour that in this massive caravan park. And yes, sometimes it was uncomfortable because people stare you. But other times you're and I'm sure my dad was thinking this why he's probably thinking safety wise as well. Because you don't know what's going through people's minds. If they're thinking in an aggressive nature. Like they're like, Oh, these guys are here, blah, blah, blah. We don't like them. Whatever. But like yeah, now now I could see if I was my dad. I would be scared. I should be there like yeah, I don't want to be here anymore. Like, I think there's a whole thing of being like safety in numbers. Will I don't know I if I if I was my dad and I was with my family that I wouldn't want to be there anymore. i would sort of go home, we'll go somewhere else. But we stuck it out. And that's happened a couple of times. So I could say I'm pretty used to it now. Now if someone stares at me, I'll stare back at them. You're white? Yeah, I've just I've just learned to be that confident now. But back then yeah, it was it was definitely hard to do that. And I'm sure that I know that I'm sure we have all experienced that in some sense. Yeah, but, but then sorry to bring it back. But then if I go to India, then people sort of look at me in that sense as well. So it's, I think, this is the, this is why people have trouble with sort of like, defining who they are, because they're not accepted in certain places. Or they looked at differently. So I'm from here, but I'm still gonna look differently outside of London. I'll go to India. But we look different because I'm outside of India. Because I know, I know, this has mentioned it in the last podcast, because I was listening to it when I was on the treadmill. I think I think Eddie brought it up, or almaas that this happens with them as well as like, like the you sort of can't identify with either one. But you identify with both at the same time. Yeah, I don't know. That's a weird. It's a weird topic. It's a weird thing to bring up here. What does everyone think?

Denise:

Yeah, I've definitely experienced the same thing. So yeah, going out of London, if it's a predominantly white area, they kind of look because the only black person or person of colour they've seen it's been on TV or the internet. So they kind of look at you like, okay, and, again, you know, if I go to Uganda, for example, not so much in this city. But if I go to like, a countryside or village, people definitely look at you because they know that you're not from there , just from the way that you look, or the way that you dress.

Malkesh:

I don't know how they know, by the way.

Denise:

they know, I guess

Naomi:

as everything is clothes, posture, there's a little indicator

Denise:

hair style just different things that like, okay, they're not from here. So yeah, definitely. I do I do relate to that. But with regards to like, you know, obviously, our parents coming over here. And yeah, as Malkesh , I said, it must have been very difficult coming over to the country, especially like leaving majority of your work, let me not speak for everyone, but I know like with my family, they left the majority of their family to try and make a better life. And, obviously, don't really have that many opportunities, but had to make something out of nothing. And I completely understand that, where they're coming from with the mindset of, oh, you know, why you need to go to school, like school, so important, and you need to go into these jobs, or it's like being a doctor, being an engineer, being a lawyer, and going into finance, because they feel like, you get that security, and they feel like you'll make money. And, you know, obviously, they've also been told that education is so important, because it will help you to get out of your situation at home. You know, if you are in a poverty driven area, you know, things like that. Also, I'm not speaking for everyone. So I completely understand that mindset. But of course, you know, being British, we understand that actually, that those that mentality is not necessarily the case, obviously, we have more opportunity here. And we have, you know, the security to try certain things. And if we fail, okay, that's fine. Like, we'll be supported. Whereas over there, it's more about, you know, we don't have time to experiment with what you're gonna do. Because we need stability, we need to make sure that, you know, we can put food on the table. So yeah, I think British culture has definitely affected that mindset for me, and for a lot of like other first generation children as well. So yeah.

Malkesh:

I think those jobs that you mentioned, as well as engineer and stuff like that, it's not only about the pay, it was also the fact of stature.

Naomi:

Clout!. Asians love clout.

Malkesh:

It was all clout, It was all clout. So if you're a doctor if you're an engineer, then like, people would like not maybe look at your colour first, but look at your job first. I don't know if that's what our parents are thinking. But yeah, that's all I'm thinking.

Barish:

Most definitely agree with you guys. I feel like every time I speak to different people, right it's really seems that blacks Asians, Latinos, black education, right during uni as part of the 10 commandments, which is crazy and I was one of the guys who in my family made the decision not to go to uni and it was crazy because I was scared I was thinking shoot all my brothers I've gone to uni I'm literally the last my whole family they've gone uni. Done well, but I've decided not to go uni and innercommunity. Literally when the parents get together. That's all they talk about. My son does this. My daughter does this.

Naomi:

Aunties, Aunties brigade

Malkesh:

Oh, for sure.

Barish:

To bragging about the grades, the kids got this For me, I felt like it was very, very hard, you know, having to grow up with that, and especially, decided to go against my parents because my parents didn't want me to go uni. And I just, it wasn't for me because truth be told, I was afraid of failing. And I'm not the type of guy who likes to go into something, and then quit. I always thought if I go uni, I go give him an all and I wasn't ready for that time, I didn't feel like I was mature enough, I didn't feel like I was independent. And I just didn't want to do it. But luckily, I decided to take another route, which worked out and was my parents saw me, you know, I'm handling stuff on my own, they were very proud, you know, they're very proud. And I feel as if like is our job is what to talk to our parents in a way to kind of let them you know, some of the things they're thinking of, especially when you're in a community of the aunties and uncles. It's not real like that space does not ruin, it doesn't matter.

Malkesh:

No, it does not matter. So with me, right, so it says me and my two other siblings, and we sort of decided who's going to take a hit on particular things. So I took the hit of going and getting a degree. So my parents can tell other parents, that their son has got a degree and stuff like that. And then someone else will take the hit of the first one to get married to then they can say that, like, it's just, it's I don't know why it's a competition. But again, it comes back to stature. And then it's like, with the whole jobs thing as well, engineer, doctor, that sort of thing. So my son, my daughter is an engineer, he's a doctor, I don't know why there's this, this is such a weird kitty party. Like, they have to chat about this little thing.

Denise:

It's so funny. I'm just thinking about like, when I was a kid, you're always told, okay, you're going to go to school, you're going to go and get your A levels, you're going to go to uni, there was no conversation around other options like that's all we knew. And it's only until I got older, that I found out, obviously, there are options. And but you know, in my household, it was just okay, after school, you go to college, after college, you go to uni, you get your job. And that's that. So yeah, it's just funny how we've all had similar experiences. And yeah, it's definitely a way for them to brag to their friends about you know, whose child is more successful and whatnot and who's child is a failure.

Malkesh:

That's just toxic,

Denise:

quote, unquote, failure. Sorry, because I don't agree with that. But yeah. And I also do believe that, you know, if you don't decide to go to uni, and take the traditional route, and it's only until you start making money and start being responsible, and you know, your parents visibly see that, that they start respecting your decision. But until they see any kind of money, it's like, okay, well, you didn't go to uni, your failure. You're useless. So yeah, it's just interesting mindset that they have,

Barish:

I feel like our parents. A lot of them had good intention in the sense that they believe they truly believe that going to uni, getting a degree will, or equals having a nice job and a good future. But I feel like in this day and age, it's not so necessary, like you can still work. But there's so many other options. And it's all about us trying to talk to them and let them know, you know, this isn't the only route because that's that is what they were told at one point that we have to go you need to be successful.

Naomi:

Really think about some of the background for like, a lot of people's parents come from like, you know, if your parents are from like a fishing village, you know, the guy who owns the most stuff in the town probably did get a business degree or something. Yeah, when the back of we think about the availability of jobs and kind of career paths, and who the sort of successful that was pretty much one model of that I have been born into it, or joining the ranks of the upper echelons. And you know, because today, there's so many different ways to make money. There's so many different ways to become successful, you know, you can write a book and it becomes smash hit overnight or something like that. And I don't know if anyone saw that meme. It was it was like that guy who like, was an astronaut, a lawyer and a surgeon. And then it was like my worst nightmares. But his mom is friends with my mom.

Denise:

That is because they would be comparing me to that person. Look, does he have four heads now he has one head. Sowhile you're not able to achieve what

Malkesh:

you lose every time,

Denise:

literally, there's no point.

Naomi:

It's to about the next generation. I mean, do you see yourselves? You know becoming in that position next time or do you think that you know all of you are speaking about kind of a first or one point or point five generational experience? Do you think that the next generation will be similar Either way or different.

Denise:

I think, you know, the parents for the next generation are going to be more open to what choices, you know, a person takes with their career. I completely understand that whole argument from our parents around going to uni and having that security. And I think that's what it comes from, like, they just want us to have security. But you know, I think, especially because some of us have friends who have not taken that university route, and have been successful and are doing well. And we have these connections. So, you know, if, if our children wanted experience in a particular area, you know, helping them to network would be a lot easier, I think. So I think I'd be more open anyways,

Naomi:

I think it's interesting, as well as the idea that so all of you have gone through the experience of kind of like, somewhere, we saw somewhere between the sort of two dualities. And it's interesting how that carries on to the next generation, because there is that bit further of removal. But then there's a bit more mix, if that makes sense. It's yeah, I guess, diving into different complexities. And I guess, you know, the only insights that we have are those that have already experienced it, you know, communities where you're on second, third, or even fourth generation already, which I think is really interesting.

Barish:

What was it like growing up for you guys in school? Yeah, although for me, it was cool. So I, I grew up in a very white area, so we very white area, I believe, at the time, when I moved in with three black families out of like 50, in my flat, that I went to a school where was very, very diverse. Literally everyone, anyone you can think of went to my school. And I feel as if like, that really taught me a lot, you know, living in an area where you just see one type of people and then going to school. And it was very different. You're literally talking to everyone in finding out so much about people. I literally learned that there were so many similarities between my people and other people, which I had no idea of, and that only came through conversation, which was a great

Denise:

And I think for me, so I went to a predominantly white thing. school, predominately white Primary School. So there wasn't that many people that I connected to. And there's not many people that kind of understood where I was coming from. Not many people understood, like the food that I ate. So people would ask that as well. What did you eat for dinner? And they were saying, you know, these meals, and you're feeling embarrassed to say, Oh, I had to have one of your cultural dishes, because they wouldn't understand. Yeah, and just not having the same experiences as to like what we did on the weekend. But then, secondary school was more diverse. And I was actually able to meet people who looked like me, we had similarities and some differences. So you know, like, for example, me and other black people, I had some similarities, but obviously some differences if they came from a different country, for example, you know, meeting people from your actual country, and then having that common ground, being able to speak the same language in school, like I've never had that experience in primary school. You know, people not laughing at the fact that you're the one of the few people that have like a non British or westernised surname, you know, that was nice to fill in secondary school was in primary school. It was like, oh, everyone kind of laugh at your surname. So I think that was my experience, and I think it was a lot better in secondary school. 100%. And I felt like, I connect to people a lot more. And I felt like I could see myself in other people walking around a school within my classroom and things like that

Malkesh:

so with me. So my primary school was very mixed. It was it was very mixed. I'm very grateful for that. I think I think I live in a quite mixed mixie sort of area. So yeah, so with primary schools quite mixed. I made friends with anyone and everyone really, I think I would, I wasn't really looking at anything else. I was just like, do you wanna be mates Let's be mates. That's it. I mean, yet destitute. It was. And then my two best mates in primary school. One was Ethiopian, and the don't remember what the other one was, but I remember one was Ethiopian. So yeah, it was really cool. We were really close then. And then when I got to high school again, it was quite mixed. I mean, actually not. That's a lie. It was It wasn't that mixed. It was it was mixed to sense that there was a lot of there's a lot of like, Asian people, there's a lot of black people, but there was only in my year, I believe there was less than five white people. So yeah, it was a weird flip to everything that I would see outside and in some areas, and some areas. So So in, in high school, I mean, high school was a crappy time of my life. It was really bad. So yeah, I mean, friends wise, I had friends every now and then. They did range to different people. So I saw I was friends with the skateboarders for a while. So skateboard for a few years. I'll be friends with the football peoples. I, I mean, I think so with so we weren't. So in, say in high school were determined by where we were from. We were more determined by what we did at lunch. So do we skateboard at lunch? Did we play football or lunch? Did we do something else? I don't know what else there is. But, but yet, I think we were so determined by that. And so, yeah, I think people just hung out. And so met on that sort of level. Where they were they saw you know, somebody that likes the same sport as them, or that sort of thing. But yeah, I didn't, I don't think there was anybody would like, there probably was, but I wasn't friends with anybody were like similar. Was like Indian, like, like me and stuff like that. A lot of friends have different. Also, like, not a lot of friends. So just I knew some people at high school

Denise:

Yeah, I think in school, and that is a great time to expose you to different cultures. You know, so you're meeting people from different backgrounds and get an understanding of, you know, where they're from, what they do and what their traditions are. I think yeah, as I said, I think I've got more exposure to different cultures in secondary school. But yeah, both in primary and secondary it was, that's where I got real exposure to like, the British culture, I think. And even like that work as well, you know, you do get more exposure to like the British culture. And yeah, so I think that's one good thing about school and work is that you get to interact with people from, you know, who have different backgrounds, and yeah, fully understand their cultures as well

Malkesh:

School is the first place as a child that you're ever Yeah, into that sort of scenario where you're with multiple from different cultures, different religions, different. Everything, really. So yeah, I think I think it's great that that's the first time and then you see it so early on. So you know, people can be more accepting of it, you could be more open to more learning. Because now we do live in a very multicultural society. So yeah, I think it's good to have knowledge of a lot of different cultures.

Denise:

Yeah, absolutely. And just that understanding as well.

Naomi:

Then they say that, like work is one of the biggest places that is like helping to like kind of eradicate, like racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti semitism, because it forces people to be in a similar facility and workplace friendships, help break down those kind of barriers and help break down those kind of ignorances. You know, if you've never been exposed to somebody from that community before, but you see someone lunchtime eating something or doing something or maybe they go to pray, whatever, and then you have a kind of friendship with them. It helps you to kind of just by default get to learn a bit more about that. A bit more insightful. But anyway, I think that's all we got time for today. So thank you so much for everybody being on the podcast. It was a great chat.

Malkesh:

Yeah, it was great.

Naomi:

Ya know, I could go on for hours, honestly. I think we have to take it in here. But I just want to say thank you so much for being a podcast. I thank you for sharing about yourself and your experiences. Yeah, where can people find all of you? Do you have any social tool that you'd like to plug?

Barish:

I don't have socials but can I plug my Tinder

Malkesh:

love it.

Naomi:

Wow. Just went straight in there.

Malkesh:

Yeah, I mean, you could go @malky16 on Instagram. That's my photography mini personal. You could do @malkygaming which is my Instagram that complements my YouTube which is Malky Gaming. I mainly play COD but I swear. I'm trying to open not too different games

Denise:

and yeah my LinkedIn you can find me on LinkedIn. Yeah Denise from BAME recruitment, not showing any other personal Instagram pages. Your information,

Malkesh:

you know, there's a key there's a key thing that actually which I just noticed is that I changed my thing to @malky. Not Malkesh or something to make it easier for people to pronounce.

Naomi:

No, this is very deep isn't it. wait I changed mine as well ? Oh, we go into real deep territory there. Anyway, thanks.You'll hear from us in the next episode.

Bame Recruitment:

Thanks for listening to you can't say anything anymore. A podcast by diversifying.io. If you like our show and want to know more, check out our website and sign up for our newsletter@diversifying.io Or please leave us a review on iTunes. Join us next time as we explore more diversity News.