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Saturday, May 21, 2016
I overheard a British man at the next table telling his friends that he had left Britain and come to Spain because he could no longer abide the fact that the country was becoming overrun by Muslim immigrants. They had come into the country in droves, and they insisted on carrying on their way of life, instead of integrating into the English way.
He felt that it was just too much that they insisted on speaking in Arabic; they did not socially mix with English society, and that in fact they were a nation within a nation.
I thought, if only you could hear what the Spanish are saying about the British impact in Spain.
The man did have a point. He was describing how the world has always worked to cross pollinate cultures around the world. Stronger nations deliberately invaded other weaker nations and colonised and exploited them. The weaker nations even benefited by learning of new ways to do things. Britain was the country who boasted that they had invaded so many countries that the sun never set on their empire, and India was the jewel in the crown.
It didn't seem to occur to Britain that in invading a country that belonged to other people was wrong in principle. The only thing that made it right was might. The problem with that was once having taken over someone's country the population became awakened and aware of the existence of what was referred to as the Mother Land. It was only natural that in the fullness of time people would want to visit the invader's home.
Just as British invaders spoke their own language and practised their own customs and religion, so it is with even mere tourists. Very few people deliberately make the effort to change their own customs to adopt those of the host country. A person's way of life is what they know and is who they are. Also, we tend to think that our way is best, so why change.
British Muslims appear to find life in England more to their liking as they are able to practise their religion freely, which is not always the case in their homelands. However, they don't want to be Englishmen and Englishwomen. Some have arrived in England due to escape from persecution, and having had their lives interrupted they now simply want to continue on as before.
I am one of the few people I know who consciously make the effort to integrate totally into the culture of Spain. That is because I freely made to decision to move here because I fell in love with Spain and her people. I think the Spanish way of life is wonderful and I have chosen to adopt it for myself. It also helps that a Spanish explorer first discovered Bermuda, which is where the name comes from: Juan de Bermudez. The Spanish crown decided it did not have an interest in maintaining its claim to the island, and so it left Bermuda to be re-discovered by someone else. That person was Sir George Somers who claimed it for the British Throne.
I always wondered what life would have been like for me had Spain retained its right to the territory. I'm here finding out, and I'm not disappointed.
Meanwhile, life goes on in the United Kingdom as a rainbow of immigrants continue to come and go, and the country becomes more diversified as a result. Old-time Brits may indeed take umbrage with the changes, but it is the way of the world.
Nothing stands absolutely still. We are moving ahead or falling behind but change is relentless!
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