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Sixth Form

July 3rd, 2016, marks the sixth year I've spent living in Britain. Comparing things from 2010 to how they are now, I can tell this was a different country, even though only six years have passed.

Especially the referendum-related events have really highlighted it to me how much this country has changed, and still even just the coming years, if not months, bring mostly uncertainty. Brexit. And then even the future of the United Kingdom with its four constituent states, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Will it last should Westminster vote to leave the EU?

I will admit that June 23rd was a pretty dark day for me. I was at my dad's, getting ready for a lovely day hiking up Smerek mountain, but the in the morning I read this shit and I could feel something cracking inside of me. Thus, I cannot tell whether Britain will be my home for much longer. Perhaps it will, but in the EU member state Scotland, or we'll be moving somewhere else, I don't know.

I do know that the UK feels like my home, hence why it was incredibly sad to see all the post-referendum racism and hate kicking off against the Polish and other ethnic groups which make up this wonderful and diverse country. This isn't the Britain I recall from even just a few years back. And it happens to be the Britain I've come to love, an open and diverse society where every language in the world is spoken, where every culture and cuisine in the world come together.

I don't want this taken away but ultimately only time will tell what happens and what's the best course of action. Here's hoping by the time my seventh year in Britain has passed I'll be having a better outlook on the future. And hopefully with a British citizenship by then.

Got my family round for a week and a bit in Liverpool. To mark this day we've had a good time out in town and enjoyed some gourmet burgers. Today definitely made me feel positive and feels like a worthy celebration of a pretty big chunk of my life here.


Obviously as a native who's always lived here I'm seeing this from a different angle, but I think the nastiness has always been there. The level of racism in the 1970s was very high, for example. It's just that in the last few decades it's been suppressed. Since the vote, more people have felt emboldened to be open about their racism again.

I fear that we're entering one of those "not learning from history" periods, perhaps partly because there are fewer and fewer people alive who remember the 1930s. My grandmother, who is over 90 and does remember, is heartbroken at the Leave vote. She thinks it's the worst thing to happen to the UK in decades. One of the major reasons is that people like you are wondering whether they are even welcome any more.

Still, I don't think everything is dark. There's still a lot of kindness and decency, and some places (eg Liverpool!) stood out against the trend and voted Remain. I don't like what's happened to the country recently, but nothing is ever forever. I try to remind myself of that.
That's what I've been hearing a lot too, that the racism has always been there but suppressed. And now and slime started pouring out again, as if the referendum result somehow validated that.

I like to think eventually things can improve but then again nobody can tell when exactly and how much crap we'll be going through. I guess only time will tell. Certainly, I am blessed to live in a wonderful city which, similarly to my good old Leeds area, has given me some feeling of belonging and pride. Most of England, sadly, has not done that.