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Topic section: The New Commonwealth: over here because you were over there
TOPIC SECTION:
The New Commonwealth: over here because you were over there
Crowds at a meeting in Trafalgar Square, 1935.
Credit: NMPFT/Daily Herald Archive
Immigrants from former colonies are a growing presence in Europe. This legacy of colonial times has seen a migration of South Asians and Caribbeans into Britain, Indonesians into the Netherlands and Algerians into France.

The exchange of ideas and values is a far more organic and hidden process when these ideas and values are transferred by relatively small groups of

African and Caribbean styles of music have transformed American and British pop music.

 individuals rather than a large colonial power. However, after over fifty years of immigrants from former colonies being a significant presence in Britain and other European countries, it is clear that these groups have had a major impact. The success of the irreverent spoof TV chat show The Kumars at Number 42 depends on high-profile personalities, usually white, colluding in being made objects of benign mockery. Bollywood imagery is used with flair and wit in British fashion and advertising, while African and Caribbean styles of music have transformed American and British pop music.
Picture: 02_Here-to-Stay-87-161-37a.jpg
A former congregational chapel in Bradford, now used as a Shree Hindu Temple.
Credit: Tim Smith/Bradford Heritage Recording Unit


Geraldine Connor’s musical drama Carnival Messiah pays homage both to Handel and to Trinidadian carnival traditions, and its vibrancy derives from a cast that includes as many white as black performers. South Asian, Indonesian and Thai restaurants now dominate the culinary scene of countries like Holland and Britain.

In medicine the National Health Service has long been reliant upon doctors trained in India and Pakistan – in 2001 almost one in eight of NHS hospital doctors had received their primary training there. Information technology is another area in which Britain is attempting to draw heavily on Indian expertise. In the year 2000, 11,000 visas were allocated to Indian information technology spe
A tipster performing tricks at Epsom, 1939.
Credit: NMPFT/Daily Herald Archive
cialists to work in the UK, and the following year restrictions on travel for visa holders were relaxed to encourage more take-up from India.

This subtle sharing and exchange of ideas between cultures clearly results in richer engagement. However, some individuals – from white and minority groups alike – find the process threatening. Globalisation is now a morally fraught word as ideas and technologies are transferred with increasing rapidity across the world.

 
 
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Topic section: Imperial expansion – not a visit but a takeover
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One of the most enduring legacies of the British Empire was the spread of the English language across the world. In the twenty-first century, whether in IT or literature, the contributions of former colonies are in an now exciting the world.  > more

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Topic section: Asylum seekers – entrepreneurs or scroungers?
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Past seekers of asylum in Britain have ranged from the seventeenth-century French Protestant ancestor, founder of the Courtaulds textile company, to such refugees as Sigmund Freud. However, today, thousands of applicants a year, the concept of asylum and its limitations continue to challenge.  > more
 
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