Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dutch Somalis/Somalilanders in the UK

There was a very interesting article on Dutch TV yesterday evening about all the Somali/Somalilanders who have left Holland to start a better life in the UK.

Apparently, since 2000, about 95% (approx. 30,000) Somalis/Somalilanders have left Holland and many have gone to the UK, mainly Birmingham and Leicester. They were filmed speaking Dutch, on the street and in their shops, watching Dutch TV and singing in Dutch (something which no doubt our stupid minister of Integration would approve of, having recently repeated the Rotterdam City's idea that only Dutch should be spoken on the streets here in Holland).

Most of them have received good education and training in Holland. They cite Dutch bureaucracy, lack of enterprise culture, Dutch policies towards immigrants and asylum seekers as the main reasons. Apparently, the Dutch system is more directed at the less-well educated people (like maybe those from Tyurkey and Morocco - it was said), denying them the chance to get on in life.

The MP for Leicester, Keith Vaz was interviewed and he thanked the Dutch for giving the Somalis and Somalilanders a good education and allowing them to come over to enrich British society and culture. Now it seems that over half of teh Dutch living in the UK now have a Somali/Somalilander heritage.

If only Ayaan Hirschi Ali would find somewhere else to go... (and you don't want her in UK for sure)!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog you have here, Good work!

I would like to comment on the Somali(landers) exodus from the Netherlands.

A part from the reasons mentioned in the documentary, there are other factors which (at least in my opinion) play a far more important role.

The major factor contributing to this exodus is the general Islamo/xenophopic attitude, which was adopted in the Netherlands say from 11/9 onwards. It has become a hype, mainly by politicians, to constantly keep this issue on the political agenda to adhere to populist views which has unfortunately determined the Dutch political agenda for the last couple of years.

However, the political climate in the UK, despite the 7/7 bombings in London, isn't as far as tensed as it is in the Netherlands, which hasn’t (fortunately) seen any major terrorist attacks. The Muslim community and other religious minorities aren't constantly stigmatized and are practicing their religion in full freedom. These minorities aren't seen as "such" by the way! In the UK there isn't such thing as Allochtoon vs Autochtoon. These are in my opinion two definitions that sustain (for the ethnic minorities, including the Somalilanders) the idea that they will never form a part of the Dutch society and will always remain outsiders i.e. allochtonen, regardless how much cheese they eat, sing smartlappen or were clogs and dance around in Volendam.

Another important reason would be the fact that the Somali(lander) community has been living in a relative isolation in the Netherlands. For diverse reasons they couldn't establish a position among the other communities, whereas the Somalilander community in the UK (which was the first African community to settle in the UK in the late 40's) was an established one with a developed network of organizations. According to some estimation a million Somalis live in the UK.
These historical bonds and the existence of a rather large Somali community must have made the choice for settling in the UK an obvious choice to get out of the isolation.

Sami Yeshua

13 May, 2006 14:32  
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