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The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Welcome to Small Heath

I'm just starting to settle into my new home. It's pleasant enough. Kids play in the streets, adults mostly keep to themselves. The most striking thing? Erm.. Well, my Hungarian housemate arrived a couple days ago, and we chatted a bit. She said she'd lived in Bristol but this place was... a little different... *pause* "So many Black faces!"

Indeed, while there is a sprinkling of Afro-Caribbeans, that's not the kind of 'Black' she meant. Small Heath has the highest concentrations of Asians in the whole UK. Not sure if there are many Hindus, but there's plenty of beards and even a few (oh-so-last-century) burqas. The religion of most people seems reflected in most of the things around here.

You can shop at Mohammedi's...



...or Mohamm
adi's.



You can send your kids to religious school (being French I love the name)



(not the most sinister-looking institution)



You can even get your little girl some Islamo-fashion:



And in case anyone's wondering, the community doesn't appear to be the most monolithic bloc:



I'm somewhat surprised pigeons were worth the effort signpost-wise. It is true that while most of the kids around talk and holler in English, you do hear some youths on the bus speaking what I'm guessing is Urdu or Pashtun. This ain't quite anthropology, but I'm sure the best antidote (or, heaven forbid, qualification) to all this Death-o-Europe nonsense, is to be with Muslim Brits up close.

4 Comments:

Blogger cswilly said...

Glad you noted the difference between Mohammedi and Mohammadi as I surely would have missed it. On the other hand, I am surprised you cannot tell the difference between Urdu or Pashtun :-)

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Joella said...

We are a global world, aren't we? I didn't know pigeons were so multi-lingual. Do they move on to a new neighborhood when they read they're not getting handouts?

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Joella said...

We are a global world, aren't we? I didn't know pigeons were so multi-lingual. Do they move on to a new neighborhood when they read they're not getting handouts?

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enoch powell WAS right!!!

6:50 PM  

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