Well, this post is in response to a comment Flora wrote for my Moving job markets. In that, she had asked What would you suggest, if anything, that non-Asians can do to show support of Asians in our community?
I apologise for the late reply Flora – I did spend a lot of time thinking of your question. I found, it wasn’t easy to answer. I couldn’t make a list of 10 things one could do to show one’s support of the Asians or other community folk. That was when it occured to me – maybe this is so ‘cos we do not want to be treated any different. If we are treated the same as the next bloke, that would do perfectly fine. For example, the pedestrian crossing near my office block is a death trap for me – the number of times a truck or a 4×4 has slowed down, only to speed up as I start crossing is countless. I always make sure I am standing at these things with a white person to avoid being mowed down! I’m not kidding!
There was this one memorable time in Ilford 5 years back, when I was 7 months pregnant and standing by myself at this busstop. The bus driver scanned the bus stop, saw only me and just kept on driving. I had to wait 15 mins more for the next bus, by which time couple of locals had joined me so the next one, I was sure, wouldn’t just keep going!
We do not expect any special attention or treatment just cos we are Asians – as long as we are treated like regular people, we are happy. A smile, a ‘hello’, would do wonders. Oooh, while you are at it, could we perhaps be called desi and not Asian? We have the same feeling towards that tag as you have to the label ‘European’!