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‘Not everything is so festive’: five Birmingham residents on Commonwealth | Birmingham

The eyes of in world Was on Birmingham like city hosts the Commonwealth Games. But in one of various cities in questions have been raised around the world about what the Commonwealth means in 21st century. How event included in his final day, five people of Birmingham meditate on what does this mean for them:

Kashi Mistry, 23, an accountant in Solihull.

My grandparents moved here in 1960s from Kenya. They were born in India and moved to Kenya for work so much people moved to another British Empire countries for workplaces.

Commonwealth Games – an exciting event there are many of celebration around him, how should to be. But if you think about history of Commonwealth and why it arose, for me, it’s not all festive. When people from the Commonwealth countries began moving they were not accepted to Britain after the war, they were not accepted.

Birmingham was place where is enoch powell made his “Rivers of blood” and it was directly criticism of some of mass immigration from the Commonwealth. I think these parts of history should remember we don’t have to just ignore them because they are uncomfortable and do not fit with our values ​​today.

I know that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for for British Empire. But while I was at university and studying empire for in first time – because we are not taught this in schools – I learned about his cruel darkness past all violence and submission, and how heritage of i.e. the Commonwealth.

I’m so excited that games are in Birmingham, but they were only in Scotland four years ago. How often do they in smaller, lesser-known Commonwealth countries?

Kamani Anderson. Photograph: Kamani Anderson

Kamani Anderson, 23, master student

i grew up up in south Birmingham in Balsall Heath but I’m from the Caribbean community. Majority of us from Handsworth and Lozells, where everyone moved when they arrived over here in 60s and beyond.

city It never happened great reputation. Everything from how it looks, with an accent, people always have an opinion of Birmingham. But city absolutely buzzing at the moment, I’ve never seen anything like this and I feel like it deserves it so, so much.

The Caribbean is a source of energy of world Athletics. I think it makes sense of this pride of the diaspora, especially in a place like Birmingham, which has one of largest Jamaican communities in England.

But they took the real Commonwealth out of in games, in my opinion. Political and historical aspects have been removed.

We saw in opening ceremony a celebration of how varied Birmingham. Nearly the majority of in population not white and most of these communities from the Commonwealth countries, especially India, Pakistan, Jamaica. But we don’t talk about why, what led us here, why we’re here and everything we’ve been through as these communities.

Zafar Hussain.
Zafar Hussain. Photograph: Fabio de Paolo/The Guardian

Zafar Hussein, 36, owner of Shababs restaurant in in baltic triangle

My father came over to Birmingham from Kashmir in Pakistan in from 1961 to work in factories. The plan was then just to work pair of yo and go back to Kashmir but then mine mother was allowed join his. my senior brother, who started it restaurant off with my father in 1987, born in Pakistan and this how Shababs have come.

It was a Balti trip back in early 90s – Ladypool Road was packed with Balti houses next door to each other. restaurant was largely part of of my life from the day one.

The Commonwealth Games are definitely brilliant for the hospitality industry is a push that we really need after Covid. It’s what lifts everyone up and to get people together again.

Saima Razzak.
Saima Razzak. Photograph: Andrew Fox/The Guardian

Saima Razzak37, head of Diversity and Inclusion at Birmingham Pride

I would say it complicated relationships that I have with Commonwealth. fact that we have such a large sports event in Birmingham is truly breathtaking.

But there are many more of countries where our existence is illegal. We still have a long time way go but I think we should recognize progress Existence made within the Commonwealth countries. Pakistan had its last year first Ever national Transgender Day. In India in 2018 discriminatory article 377 was repealed.

We need nuanced conversation. Sometimes this is the case of: “We are like that great over here they are bad”. In fact, we need to work with communities so that they understand that much of these laws came in on hands of colonialism.

My family migrated here in 70s from Kashmir – they moved to Pakistan from pre-partition India. Immigration to the UK has not been easy for my family. It has caused a lot of of trauma that is still embedded in the ecosystem of our family. I am here now and I have a positive story but a lot of people suffered for me to lead such a life.

Shuranjit Singh.
Shuranjit Singh. Photograph: Andrew Fox/The Guardian

Shuranjit Singh, 26 years old community organizer in Handsworth

My family moved to Handsworth in Birmingham in late 1960s – early 1970s They moved from Punjab in India in work in factories and foundries up in Smethwick and down in Hockley in Birmingham.

Were very lucky host the Commonwealth Games here in Birmingham but I’d love to see more of efforts city face his relationship with Commonwealth. BUT small feature on a specific program or project is not for me good enough.

Having any kind of mass sports event in a city really important for local economy and communities. i think mine main The question is about heritage. How will this affect communities? moving forward?

You have just introduced a whole load of people to the triathlon for example – will they have any opportunities for the real development of these skills? Or is this what happens and it will just leave?

is it so important for young people in Birmingham to see them city in in the spotlight. Birmingham gets a pretty negative reputation, so having games this is very positive for young people to see what’s going on here.

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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