Thought for the day: Don’t let foreign voices make you feel nervous

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I am all to aware of a growing , if unfounded concern, about the number of Eastern Europeans living in the Mansfield area.

Just the other day someone commented that there are now more Polish people than English people in our town.

This is patently not true but why let the truth get in the way of a good scare story?

I hear it all the time, statements like “every other shop is a Polish shop” and again the statement is not true but it serves the purpose of those who like to stir up concerns about immigration.

This country has a proud heritage of taking in people from around the globe and they have repaid us many times over by adding to the culture of this nation.

Those who worry about Polish shops might also consider the Indian restaurants, the Chinese takeaways, the Italian pizza parlours, the kebabs from the Middle East, and then there are Mexican, Greek, French and Spanish inspired cuisines on offer in Mansfield. And that’s just the culinary influences.

We should also say thank you to the Jewish refugees, who in the 16th century gave us fried fish (the British did add chips).

If I hear a foreign accent being spoken when I’m out and about it doesn’t make me worried.

When I walk down the supermarket aisle which displays Polish food, I don’t feel threatened, in fact it gives me an insight into the lives of my new Polish neighbours.

Don’t let a foreign voice make you nervous, remember there are parts of Wales and Scotland and Cornwall that have their own language.

The Mansfield/Notts dialect is not always easy to grasp to an outsider like me, but that doesn’t make you bad people!

DREW BAXTER, Humanist

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