Polish friends, Sudanese music and Iftar meal.

Updated: Feb 26

Short stories with friends from around the World, in the UK.

Its four days since the 'Brexit' vote, and one consequence has been a visible rise in racism and xenophobic attacks.

On Sunday morning came news of the attack on POSK. Similar incidents were reported all day. Almost immediately on Friday afternoon, a friend posted on Facebook, that she'd been told to 'F**k off home' by a passing van driver. There is a page documenting similar incidents, many happening to people born in the UK, it seems we have returned to the 1970's.

POSK is the Polish cultural centre in London, built in the 1960s, it houses a library, restaurant and holds regular events. The Polish government regularly support cultural events, there and at other venues . I've been involved in some of these events, they are an opportunity to celebrate culture, and also an opportunity to share. POSK was built in an area of London were many Poles gathered during WW2. Many Polish airmen fought on our side, especially during the battle of Britain. At the end of the war, they were not allowed to march during the victory parade through London, as the UK government didn't want to offend Stalin.

Also on Sunday ITV filmed the Polish Mass in Brighton, established 14 years ago, its well attended. Some people spoke about feeling unwelcome in the UK. Some attending the Mass are friends, we've been working on music projects together for years. I've been to weddings, Christmas parties and other social gatherings.

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of recording a Sudanese musician and poet; he talked of the difficult times he'd faced in Sudan, and how now he uses his poetry and music to celebrate positive aspects of life. Many of his songs reflect events in his life, or people he has known, and the challenges they have faced. He's played many concerts in the UK, and has a book of poetry translated into English.

Sunday evening, Laila and I were invited to an Iftar meal in Tun Tun, a Bangladeshi cafe. Iftar is the meal at the end of a days fasting during Ramadan. We've  eaten there a few times, and are getting to know the owners, so it was nice to be invited.

It was a family and friends affair, and although relatively new to their group, we were made to feel very welcome, and ate a lot of tasty home made food.

Why am I writing this? We all know people come to the UK, and work hard, adding to the economy, its been written before.

But there is an important addition; many have actively reached out to UK citizens and made a concerted effort to build meaningful relationships. I feel so saddened that many Brits can't be bothered to do the same, over a matter of geographical birthplace.

Many voted 'leave' as a protest, against a corrupt political system, but they must have been aware of the nasty xenophobic elements within the 'leave' camp. Now we are seeing the consequences all over the UK. How many are now wishing they'd considered this more carefully?

http://www.posk.org/c5/en/home/

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-06-26/brightons-view-on-brexit/

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.leblanc.718/media_set?set=a.10101369198638985&type=3

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/26/racist-incidents-feared-to-be-linked-to-brexit-result-reported-in-england-and-wales