Thursday, October 7

The Great British Asian Invasion

Wasn't it great? Really, one of the best pieces on British Asianess I've ever seen on telly, far surpassing my expectations. It was well made, well told, objective and stuck to the point (well, for the most part anyway).

I'm not too clued up on our Asian history either, so it was pretty educational for me too. At last I understand why some of my mates go to Africa to visit their relatives... And about the waves of migration... Why there's so much gold in Leicester... Really honourable stuff that I'm glad I'm a part of.

And then when they moved on to us, the current generations of British Asians, I related (I even asked my dad if he ever wanted me to be a doctor. He said no, of course). About how we're hardworking and breaking through in different areas and stuff - I was almost weeping I was so proud. Well ok not quite, but you get me.

I didn't feel that it was patronising towards us either - and I don't think it was to the white folk too. Even Nihal didn't piss me off! Speaking of which they had a pretty good range of "experts" imo; Tibbett and Syal actually made sense at times. A comment that the former said struck out actually - that all the bad habits of the British were rubbing off on the Asians instead of the good habits of the Asians rubbing off the British which if true is a bit sad.

However of course there were flaws: We've been hearing about Asians breaking through in Football for years now. And the programme did dwell on British Muslims a tad (although that could just be me being sensitive and I spose it was one of the fairer reflections anyway). They coulda also spoken to a few more normal Asians, instead of just the media celebs.

I have it available so if anyone missed it give me a shout and we'll sort something out. It's two hours long, but I felt it was well worth it. Interestingly I can't remember the last time I watched anything on the telly with my folks, so it must have been good!

3 comments:

  1. Nice review Spammy ;)... hahahah..
    They got through a lot in the (long) slot, even told everyone who the Mirpuris are. Pretty good work, spoiled a bit by the end...

    They went on about football too much, maybe I missed the bit about cricket? Especially with Tebbit on there too. And surely as many Pakis as Bangers running restaurants across a lot of the country, maybe thats just a symptom of the media's London-centricity though.

    Leicester looks a bit funkier than I imagined, was really nice to see... shame they didn't have Wimmy Road in there though!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought it was rubbish -- superficial and incredibly poorly researched. But that's Sarfraz Nawaz for you!

    A program that was ostensibly meant to show that Asians aren't homogenous basically tried to impose homogeneity at a different level. Indians are doctors / doctors are Indian. Bangladeshis are restaurant workers / restaurant workers are Bangladeshi. Pakistanis are labourers / labourers are Pakistani. East African Asians are corner shop / corner shop owners are East African Asians. We quite simply aren't that homogenised at the level of nation (or area) of origin. And gee, all us second generationers either study hard or become media wannabes? Bullshit!

    The bit on Asian music was very poorly researched. Any program that talks about Nitin Sawhney (and I can't remember who else) leading the way in the early 90s misses a lot of what happened prior to that with Monsoon hitting the charts in the mid-80s, the whole 'Asianz with Attitude' movement in the late 80s / early 90s prior to Nitin and all (listen to Voodo Quens, early Cornershop, early Fun-Da-Mental, er that hip-hop crew from Burnley whatever their names were, ...). Any piece on the history of British Asian music that doesn't include Monsoon, the whole daytime Bhangra thing, Apache Indian / the Duggal Brothers can't be taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was a superficial look from the outset, 2 hours to cover the origins, life and times of 3 million (?) people isn't really enough for anything more.

    There were various errors we both noticed, and they tended to put positive spins on quite a lot of things (cept for Muslims at the end, naturally) but as an overview it was pretty on the mark. Some major grouping trends were 'identified' rather than imposing anything - giving them the benefit of the doubt, the generalisations you mention were probably unintentionally implied by not showing the variety of sub-groups amongst original groups(again, lack of time imo).
    They did give a stat that there are 10,000 Indian doctors out of a total of 40,000 here (can't recall what type of doctors) - it's a bit of a shame there weren't more facts given to back up more of what was said, but I spose that's not the type of programme it was and might have put off some people. Bring on the statto version!

    PS - Does that Burnley crew you mentioned include that Aki Nawaz joker?

    ReplyDelete