Talking yesterday to a woman from Peru, resident permanently in the UK, she was lamenting the fact that Peruvians in London seem so divided. She illustrated this by observing that several separate groups have formed all raising money in support of the Peru earthquake victims, yet these groups are not collaborating. "There are just too many events now...", she said, "...and I cannot support them all. I just wish Peruvians would work together to deliver something that is really worth supporting." As if to reinforce this perception, there was a sign posted above the shop counter over which we were talking asking 'latino' patrons to refrain from "bitching" and other negative forms of social behaviour.
So often I hear discussions of there being a Peruvian "community" in London, yet the example above suggests that such a thing does not exist.
Is there really such a thing as a Peruvian community here?
The word "community" implies to me a group of people living together (or in close proximity to each other) having common goals and values; or a group that is, at least, communicating and sharing something similar.
Is this, in fact, happening or are notions that there is a "community" of Peruvians here, in London, a delusion?
If there is a Peruvian Community, where is it?
Community, Identity and Culture: add online references for tutors, mentors and studentsEdit
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For example, the author of this piece is "Mentor". Click on Mentor in the history page to know more! Mentor is the joint user name of the three current members of the Education Sub-Committee of PEAC, the Peru Earthquake Aid Committee which initiated (http://peruearthquake.wikia.com) which is part of the "education bit" of Wikia.
The questions are simple, but some answers are seemingly unfathomable! Where are Peruvians in the UK? Are there communities? Are we one community? Are the English-Brits a community? Are the English-Brits English or British or multi-rooted? Are Peruvians who have lived in the UK 30 years still "Peruvian"? And our children? Grandchildren? Is there "an" identity any longer - or was there ever? Ironic that just as in the UK we are giving up the idea of having just one identity, the government wants to issue identity cards.
At this point a wiki-watcher should say "citations and references needed"! So here goes: For the Ecuadorians and Bolivians in London - but not yet for Peruvians (¿?) - there are two reports from the Runnymede Trust.
Of the two, that on Bolivians is easier to understand. Just a tad too much vocabulary from cultural theory in the first section of the Ecuadorian report for the general reader, who after all, has an interest in these matters.
Imagined communities. .
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.
Cultural archipelago / transnational community .
History of a "various or multi heritage" society.
Winder, Robert. Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain by Robert Winder. 544pp, Little, Brown, £20. Bloody Foreigners is an unsurprisingly popular book written for the non-academic which of course is not about "bloody" foreigners, but about the "multiple mestizaje" coursing in the bloodstream of the average Brit. It seems there is more migration at the top and at the bottom of the social pile than in the centre. The "difference-gene" in the top layer is : German, Dutch, French rather than Celt, Saxon, Dane.
Access: book not online, Meet the author online http://www.meettheauthor.co.uk/bookbites/118.html
Book review online .
Anthony Sampson" in the Guardian June 4, 2004 writes that Winder "tells the story vividly, with fascinating contemporary quotations describing the impact of each new group of immigrants, from Jewish moneylenders to Huguenot weavers, from Irish labourers to Indian shopkeepers - until it seems hard to imagine Britain without these stimuli. He contends that we owe much more to immigrants than we think, and he hopes that by understanding the benefits "our own national pride can feel less clenched, less besieged . . . " Anthony Sampson himself is a walking compendium of Britishness.
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