Bangladeshi V Bangladeshi

January 17, 2010

Can Bangladeshis slag off Bangladeshis? Can Poles slag off Poles? It’s a rhetorical question because of course they can, though with the combination of reporting in the media and self-appointed spokespeople for the interests of ethnic or gender groups, you’d be forgiven for thinking they must all sing from the same hymn sheet. Let me tell you what happened last night.

I was on the cattle truck, also known as the number 25 bendy bus and found myself standing next to a group of three Asian men who were chatting in their language. Just another sound adding to the general cacophony of London. A couple of stops later, another Asian man got on with bags of shopping. He appeared to greet the men and asked if they were Bangladeshi. They said yes, again, nothing unusual. I see this all the time and thought it was another example of the brother/sisterhood you potentially forge when you meet another of your own kind. As I said, that’s what I thought it was, because what happened next blew that notion right out of the water.

This man proceeded to rip into them, mostly in English asking why they were slagging off Bangladeshis. Why diss your own people? He asked. The men speaking mostly in their language proceeded to have a go at him. I now found myself stuck between these men while they were going at each other, wondering how this was going to end and how I managed to totally misjudge the situation. Eventually he asked them if they were students. They said they were. He then said “No wonder. Give it two years in this country and you’ll change your tune.” He then left the bus and the conversation moved back to bitching about Bangladeshis as far as I could tell, not knowing the language of course, but not before they took the piss out of him. That was loud and clear.

I have no clear conclusion to this, but I thought I’d post it and see what you think.


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