If you were born in Britain but are of a family background which hails from somewhere else in the world, you can sometimes feel caught between two cultures and two different ways of life.
That is an issue that a lot of young people can face whilst they are still trying to forge their own identity.
Wherever you were born, wherever you live, it is still tremendously important to keep in touch with your roots and to regard the culture from whence your family came.
Britain’s Pakistani community is massive, and are now an integral part of the British way of life. Every major town and city across the country has a Pakistani district and each place that does is richer for it.
The first wave of Pakistani immigrants, mainly young men, came to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, heading mainly to industrial towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire to maintain the pre-eminent world position of British industry.
After political amendments in 1962, they were soon followed by their families and became permanent residents rather than transient workers.
In 1951 there were an estimated 5,000 Pakistanis (including Bangladeshis) in Britain. This had risen to 119,700 by 1966: the year of England’s famous World Cup win. In no time at all, Pakistani people were to be seen in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol, Sheffield and Leicester.
Struggling to fight prejudice and to forge a foothold in their adopted country, these early immigrants were driven, tenacious and dedicated people who refused to let up in pursuit of a better life for them and their families.
Despite having to adopt British ways and customs, they never forgot where they came from. Pakistani food, music and culture remained the ties that bound the community together and are now integral parts of Britain’s multicultural identity which we all enjoy.
If your forebears were amongst those first Pakistanis to come to Britain, you should feel very proud of your family – and what is more important than family? And like them, you should not forget your origins.
Keeping in contact with family abroad is very important. Although you might not see them in the flesh too often, and are brought up in a culture that is significantly different to theirs, family ties are vital to our development as human beings. Cheap calls to Pakistan won’t break the bank, whether from a landline or mobile, but they are worth so much more to you and your family.