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Hey all,

Please forgive me for not introducing myself before posting this topic (I'm not sure there's even a board for it, but okay :p). I'm Robert, eighteen years old and I live in the Netherlands (luckily not for long!). I've never felt at home in the Netherlands, but ever since I went to the United Kingdom, I knew that's where I had to live. It just feels like home (is that strange?). There are a few things that bother me, however, and I hope you can help me. I've heard a lot of articles regarding the British attitude towards immigration. What I'd like to know is, how much would that affect me when...

  • I actually speak English and I'm actually looking forward to using it as my primary language
  • I'd more than happy to adopt the British culture
  • I throw trash in the tras bin
  • I respect other people, no matter their nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
  • I pay taxes just like most other citizens
  • I won't make too much noise when I'm at home
  • I look forward to celebrating British holidays
  • I'm nice to people (let's just say I hope I am, hehe)

A few other things about me: I was born in the Netherlands. My family has been Dutch for at least 15 generations on my father's side. I'm not so sure about my mother's side, but both her mother and grandmother are Dutch. When I speak English, I try to speak with a southern English accent. While it's definitely not perfect, it should still help, right?

I'm sure most of you will think I'm crazy, but I don't want to live in a country where I'm not welcome. I understand it depends on the region, but I'm especially interested in England and Scotland in gebneral (yes, I know there's going to be a referendum in a few days, but I doubt that'd make much of a difference).

Any help would be mostly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Robert
 

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Hey all,

Please forgive me for not introducing myself before posting this topic (I'm not sure there's even a board for it, but okay :p). I'm Robert, eighteen years old and I live in the Netherlands (luckily not for long!). I've never felt at home in the Netherlands, but ever since I went to the United Kingdom, I knew that's where I had to live. It just feels like home (is that strange?). There are a few things that bother me, however, and I hope you can help me. I've heard a lot of articles regarding the British attitude towards immigration. What I'd like to know is, how much would that affect me when...

  • I actually speak English and I'm actually looking forward to using it as my primary language
  • I'd more than happy to adopt the British culture
  • I throw trash in the tras bin
  • I respect other people, no matter their nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
  • I pay taxes just like most other citizens
  • I won't make too much noise when I'm at home
  • I look forward to celebrating British holidays
  • I'm nice to people (let's just say I hope I am, hehe)

A few other things about me: I was born in the Netherlands. My family has been Dutch for at least 15 generations on my father's side. I'm not so sure about my mother's side, but both her mother and grandmother are Dutch. When I speak English, I try to speak with a southern English accent. While it's definitely not perfect, it should still help, right?

I'm sure most of you will think I'm crazy, but I don't want to live in a country where I'm not welcome. I understand it depends on the region, but I'm especially interested in England and Scotland in gebneral (yes, I know there's going to be a referendum in a few days, but I doubt that'd make much of a difference).

Any help would be mostly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Robert

Hi Robert and welcome :D

I think the best is to just be yourself without trying too hard to be anything else.

A lot will depend on the attitude of those which you come into contact with rather than anything you have done or said.

A lot of people are simply ignorant! I have an accent as I lived in Africa for 40 years. As a result I was told by one person to go back from where I came! When I pointed out I was as English as them as I was born there they did not know where to put their face haha!

My DIL has been in UK for 3 weeks now and has already been told by one person not to come with her "South African attitude" Firstly she is not South African and secondly it was the first time she had met the person :rolleyes:

Try not to let it bother you as it's often about them and not you :cool:
 

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Hi Robert, just like everywhere there are some idiot about, but you could come across them in any corner of the world.

In my experience, British people can be very kind, especially if they see that you are lost or insecure. I have been here for two years and I never had anyone directly making me feel not welcome, but I noticed every once in a while a certain passive agressiveness or impatience.
We lived a few years ago in Germany and observed the same thing there, it is generally just normal everywhere. I remember my husband being very confused about having to put a coin in a supermarket trolley and people getting a bit funny about it because they had to wait, but you learn to laugh these things off. The only situations I can think of where like this.

Btw, the only times I have been jelled at was when cycling (on the footpath, I go past a dangerous stretch each day). I am certain they would have jelled at any person regardless of their nationality. But that happens only a few times, and that would happen at home as well.
 

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Just be you and don't try to please people. I'm UK born and raised and as other people have said I often get told to go home as I may be in an area other than where I was born.

There are ignorant people wherever you go but welcome to UK and enjoy living here.
 

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Hello Robert,

You have absolutely nothing to worry about. People in the UK are one of the friendliest and helpful in the world. But like any country, certain cities will be less friendlier than others...usually, the bigger the size, the more stressed/grumpy/cold people are.

I am a British born Asian and have experienced all kinds of people from kind to abusive. It doesn't matter where you live, you will get the same treatment as most developed western civilisations. I predominately live in London because of the great opportunities, fast-paced lifestyle and diverse culture. For some people, London can be incredibly frightening and the people aren't always nice to you but in general, people are very interested in other cultures and helpful if you need help.

I also teach Dutch students and they all have had an amazing time here with no problems at all. The only cultural difference is that Dutch people are more direct and frank than the usual polite and reserved English person, so you may have to soften your true thoughts/feelings at the start as that has caused some problems for some of my Dutch students. Other than that, they've all had a positive experience and many have immigrated here.

I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do. You can assured that many people in the UK would be very welcoming to Dutch people. :)
 

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You'll be fine as long as you're pleasant, friendly and a good person!

England is having a few "wobbles" about the amount of foreigners in their country and some folk seem to think that "foreigners are taking our jobs", which isnt the case. Most come to England, work and pay taxes like everyone else. The job market is picking up. Its a safe, secure country and altho the weather is...... well unpredictable, its ok. There are good and bad areas just like anywhere else.

But I'm sure you will be welcome

Jo xxx
 

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Just to add - Since my return to the UK after 40 years I have made some amazing friends (through work) and have an English partner :D
 

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Just to add - Since my return to the UK after 40 years I have made some amazing friends (through work) and have an English partner :D
Hertsfem, what took you to Africa, what brought you back, and are you enjoying Tenerife? The Canary Islands look gorgeous in the photos I see online.
 

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Hertsfem, what took you to Africa, what brought you back, and are you enjoying Tenerife? The Canary Islands look gorgeous in the photos I see online.
My parents took my brother and I there when I was six. We left in 2001 because of the economic situation at the time. The family farm was later stolen by the present regime and is now in ruin.

My English partner took early retirement and we came here to the Canary Islands. I love it here and am truely blessed.

Thanks for asking
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys, you've given me a lot to think about. :)

A lot of people are simply ignorant! I have an accent as I lived in Africa for 40 years. As a result I was told by one person to go back from where I came! When I pointed out I was as English as them as I was born there they did not know where to put their face haha!

My DIL has been in UK for 3 weeks now and has already been told by one person not to come with her "South African attitude" Firstly she is not South African and secondly it was the first time she had met the person
I'm really sorry to hear that. :( It's just ridiculous how some people judge a person based solely on their skin color or accent.

Don't try to fake a British accent.
Haha, I'll try to remember that.

In my experience, British people can be very kind, especially if they see that you are lost or insecure. I have been here for two years and I never had anyone directly making me feel not welcome, but I noticed every once in a while a certain passive agressiveness or impatience.
I know what you mean. When I went to London with school and couldn't find the nearest underground station, the people I asked were really friendly. So were the other people I met. :)

Btw, the only times I have been jelled at was when cycling (on the footpath, I go past a dangerous stretch each day). I am certain they would have jelled at any person regardless of their nationality. But that happens only a few times, and that would happen at home as well.
Haha, yeah. :p

There are ignorant people wherever you go but welcome to UK and enjoy living here.
Thanks, I really can't wait. :)

I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do. You can assured that many people in the UK would be very welcoming to Dutch people.
Thanks, that's really nice to hear.

You'll be fine as long as you're pleasant, friendly and a good person!
I'll do my best, thanks. :)
 

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When I was last living in London, I was with some acquaintances and the subject of immigration came up. One of them started complaining about immigrants coming and ruining England, which as a Canadian, I took offence to. When I voiced my concerns, his response was "You aren't an immigrant, you're white"

Now I know this was an isolated incident, but it can still happen. It seemed highly racist to me and I obviously don't talk to that person anymore.
 

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Galulie said:
When I was last living in London, I was with some acquaintances and the subject of immigration came up. One of them started complaining about immigrants coming and ruining England, which as a Canadian, I took offence to. When I voiced my concerns, his response was "You aren't an immigrant, you're white"

Now I know this was an isolated incident, but it can still happen. It seemed highly racist to me and I obviously don't talk to that person anymore.
To be honest I would say that is the thoughts of a fair few. There are towns and parts of the UK that have very few indigenous, white English speakers, even the language isnt always english. To some, they feel these areas have been taken over

I think the annoyance isn't so much racism, as annoyance at the lack of integration.

But I maintain that anyone moving to Britain just needs to be friendly, pleasant, a nice person and willing to integrate - They'll be fine

Jo xxx
 

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Hey all,

I'm sure most of you will think I'm crazy, but I don't want to live in a country where I'm not welcome. I understand it depends on the region, but I'm especially interested in England and Scotland in gebneral (yes, I know there's going to be a referendum in a few days, but I doubt that'd make much of a difference).

Any help would be mostly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Robert
Robert, :wave:

Youre not crazy but unique! :tea:. So long as you use these three magic words 'Excuse me/sorry, please and thank you' and considerate.... Brits are very welcoming.

Life in London is like living in a different planet. They rat race in order to live a simple life. People living further north are actually far happier with where they live than the southern.

Overall, its a beautiful Island with a fantastic life style.
 

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'Sorry' is our favourite word. Sometimes you are not even sure what you are sorry for, but still say it!
It's also a Canadianism as well.


As for worrying about accents... don't.

People may be surprised to hear Dutch accented English coming out of your mouth (just as much as I'm sure that they're surprised to hear Canadian English come out of mine... i.e. a face that doesn't look Canadian), but at least you're making the effort to speak English, and I'm sure that your accent can't be any worse than the so-called "British English" accents that I've heard (and couldn't, for the life of me, understand) on the tannoy on the Tube in London.
 
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