Many Asians 'do not feel British'

July 31, 2007 - 0:0

Over a third of British Asians do not feel British, a BBC poll suggests. The research for the Asian Network discovered 38% of the UK residents of South Asian origin polled felt only slightly or not at all British.

Over a third agreed that to get on in the UK they needed to be a ""coconut"", a term for somebody who is ""brown on the outside but white on the inside"".
Yet 84% are satisfied with life in Britain and almost half think they have more opportunities here.
Half of the South Asians and nearly two-thirds of the white people interviewed agreed it was too easy for immigrants to settle in Britain.
Three-quarters feel their culture is being diluted by living in the UK and nearly half believe white people do not treat them as British.
The poll was commissioned to coincide with the BBC's India and Pakistan '07 season of programs to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1947 partition of India.
Some 12% of those polled said they considered themselves to be ""coconuts"".
Meenal Sachdev, director of Connect India - which works with young Asians to strengthen identity - said she did not think British Asians needed to be ""coconuts"" to be successful.
""Identity can be a tool for success. I feel very confident about being a British Indian,"" she said.
""Confidence with identity comes down to ability and knowing you have as many opportunities as other people,"" she added.
Reena Combo, editor of Ikonz, a monthly Asian magazine aimed at young British Asians said: ""I feel British but I feel very Asian as well.
""Many British Asians consider themselves to be British but at home they are more in touch with their cultural and ancestral roots.""
But she agreed that some British Asians think they need to become ""coconuts"".
""They feel they need to fit into society and that society looks at them in a bad way,"" she added.
(Source: BBC