Home > British Culture, Canadian Culture, Immigration > Multi-national Mash-up

Multi-national Mash-up

When I got my first job after University, it was in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. It’s a lovely place. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I worked at one of the town’s largest employers – a glass works. There had been a glass works on that same site since 1751. I will resist the temptation to suggest that many of the folks I worked with had probably been there since the opening day. But, there was a history of generations of families earning their living there. I worked with people whose Dad had worked there, and their Dad too.

Basically put, the majority of the workforce were local – from Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley and Doncaster. As a native of the Black Country, I was definitely the ‘exotic’ one. This type of local community was one that I was familiar with. Most of the folks I went to school with were from within a couple of miles radius. I suspect that things may have changed a little since I left the UK, but in my day, when you entered a community, you usually found yourself with locals.

Canada is made of immigrants. And they emanate from all corners of the globe. Montreal is a melting pot of diverse nationalities and cultures. In my first job in Canada, I remember working with 1st generation Canadians with Italian, Indian, Greek and Israeli heritage. Added to that, bona fide, just-off-the-boat immigrants from Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Lebanon and myself from England, and it was an extremely multi-cultural environment. I’m not talking about folks scattered throughout the company. These were not people I’d bump into every now and then – these were my closest working colleagues, sitting within yards of me every day.

Typical Canadians... kinda

At the moment, I work directly with two Iranians, a Japanese, a Filipino (spelled correctly, I checked), an Armenian, an Italian, a Venezuelan, and a couple of Canadians… not to mention the South Korean and the Frenchman I occasionally engage with, and the recently departed German.

I suspect that the UK is becoming more diverse too. When I speak to my old friends back home, they talk about the people from eastern Europe currently living their lives in the cities and towns of Britain. On my last visit, I was served coffee by a Czech, I was waited on by a Pole, and an Albanian cleaned my table. Three different venues between breakfast and lunch. And, they all seemed pretty Indian in Shimla Pinks (I recommend this Indian restaurant if you’re in Birmingham – and they’re not paying me to say that).

The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: November 2010, seems to support the theory of a changing demographic in the UK. The report, published by the UK Office for National Statistics, shows Poland as one of the top suppliers of immigrants for the year up to March 2010, joining more traditional immigrant providers such as India, Pakistan and Ireland.

Source: Office for National Statistics, Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: November 201

I’m not sure that the Brits are as comfortable with this type of diversity as the Canadians are, yet.

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  1. The Mighty Jags
    February 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Hey Jason, I didn’t know you worked in Rotherham!!!
    Here’s a little ditty to make you homesick!!!

    The reference is at 2:20

    • February 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      I usually prefer not to talk about it. :-)

      I lived in Sheffield for about 2 and a half years, worked on the other side of the M1. Actually lived in the same area they filmed The Full Monty.

      Thanks for the clip – enjoyed that. Have to go buy it on iTunes now.

  2. February 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Jason, The link really works.

    Will be back to take a closer look at your blog. I’m kind of busy these days but I will make the time. :-)

    • February 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Come back any time – I’m sticking around for a while. :-)

      Thanks again for helping out with those great instructions.

      • February 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        No problem, if you know anyone else with the same problem you know where to send to them now. :-)

  3. February 18, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Hello.Nice to meet you.I will learn many British things.I’m looking forward to read posts.

    • February 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and commenting. I hope you enjoy reading.

  4. P
    September 26, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Hi, Jason:
    Since your blog is visited by a lot of British people, could you please let me announce this specific Facebook group here for British-Indians who may have visited the town of Shimla, India, in 2011: https://www.facebook.com/groups/384909311579523/
    Thanks.

  5. February 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

  6. March 23, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

  1. February 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

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