Monday 31 December 2007

Who Do You Think You Are?

I've been watching SBS's Who Do You Think You Are?

It's a show that traces one UK celebrity's family history per episode.

It's so amazing what some of these people - nearly all of whom are as British as beans on toast - Bill Oddy, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Clarkson - have in their family history.

Stephen Fry had one side of his family wiped out by the Germans.

Last night they had Gurinder Chadha, the woman who directed "Bend It Like Beckham" and she's Indian, but from Kenya. Although wealthy, her family were in refugee camps after the separation of Pakistan from India. Her brother's sister died fleeing Pakistan.

These things were happening only 50 - 60 years ago.

Over a million people were dispossessed when India and Pakistan split. A Million people who had family, friends, history, land and homes told to piss off somewhere else. And I don't need to mention the Holocaust. Even if it's exaggerated the amounts of people killed, it's still a terrible waste.

And it happens over and over and over again all over the world.

This is why I get so upset with people who are racist and blame immigrants for everything and anything - I've got a sense of home, a sense of history. Sure, my knowledge of it only goes back 3 generations, but that's 3 generations of people who've lived in the one place not having to deal with being told we had to move or be killed because we prayed to the wrong god, or had the wrong coloured skin.

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