Your views on this area
As a somali living in St Pauls, I think st pauls residents as a general have helped somalis to settle in the area and showed great respect and tolerence towards our culture. However, there are unfortunetly very few individuals who do not undrstand the values and the benefits of multiculturalism. Most of the Somalis in St pauls are newly arrived and made a sudden impact in the society by opening new businesses such as internet cafes, barbershops and grocery shops that benefit the local residents.
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The reason somalians dont choose to intergrate into the english culture and society is because both cutlures have huge differences between them. Somali muslim parents dont want there children to get mixed up and drawn into the english culture, which if you ask me i say thats fair. But nowadays things arent what they used to be. The younger generation of somalians are much different to the older ones. As you see for yourself on the streets the younger generation of somali's are intergrated into the society because a lot of them were born here. But the older generation are still what people like to call 'old fashion' they are much more strict and have stronger values.
I love st pauls, some people are so friendly. But then there is the 'ghetto' side of it and many people who live in Bristol wont even go into St Pauls if they no the reputation of it. Non St Pauls residents can be very harsh about it which i dont like.
Though I find "meepmeep"'s comments about Somalis a tad surprising in today's society, I do think he's heading towards a valid point. We have many different cultures in Bristol now, with values different to our own, and in my view, the only way we can ever hope to be a true multicultural society is to appreciate this, instead of people just jumping on the racism bandwagon like Trevor here. Meepmeep is not personally attacking every Somali in Bristol, he is saying that the Somali culture has certain beliefs which are not accepted in England. Though I admit that, in theory, it's regretful to ask them to change in order to settle in here, they must also appreciate that the English frown upon such attitudes and this will impede their integration. I have lived in France and Spain, and though the differences are lesser, I have still had to make an effort to adopt the trends of the country in order to integrate, and have been glad to. It seems only polite. It appears it's only when skin colour comes into it that we appear to get so jumpy.
And I fully support his idea about induction courses. As I say, it's only by embracing differences between the cultures and tackling issues arising from that, that we will learn to live together harmoniously.
Does that apply to all Somalis?
I have lived in St Paul's for 30 odd years & am despairing of the so-called regeneration that is being foisted on unsuspecting people by self-interested parties such as the housing associations & city council all of whom are doing well & getting plenty of jobs & money as a result. There is no true representation, little (& ineffective) consultation and the housing policies are encouraging ghettoisation. There is some community cohesion but that is pretty tenuous and likely to be limited to the people you know in your street. I am lucky I have many long standing neighbours. The influx of Somalians is a real issue particularly as their refusal to understand the society they have come to (e.g. attitude to women) and to integrate (or even to say hello) is, I feel, going to result in a backlash. More should be done to help the resettlement process such as induction courses into how people think and operate in the UK. Cultural awareness cuts both ways as does tolerance and understanding.