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Ethnic minorities more British than Brits?

A study claims that the ethnic minorities of UK are more likely to feel Brtish than the white people themselves.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 16:42 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The ethnic minority population in Britain is more likely to feel British than the white people, says a study.

According to research conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain is in the grip of a national identity crisis as the white population increasingly fragments into English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish identities.

It found a steady decline in the sense of 'Britishness' among the white population and warned of a growing divide between those who consider themselves English or British, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

"To the immigrant, Britishness is essentially a legal and political structure. It doesn't mean the culture," said Sir Bernard Crick, an educational expert.

"When the immigrant says I am British, he is not saying he wants to be English or Scottish or Welsh. Britishness does not threaten their own culture. It is not an all-embracing term. Minorities preferred the term British because it can be combined with their own ethnic or racial terms such as British Pakistani or British African," Crick added.

Writer and comedian Meera Syal calls herself British Indian and said that British identity was "in crisis".

"The whole label 'British' is being redefined at the moment," she added.

"I don't think people know what that means any more. There has been a lot of debate about what exactly is the British character, what is the British identity. Britishness is a bit nebulous. I think our borders are more fluid now and that's why everybody is having to redefine Britishness and I don't think it will be clear for another 20 years," Syal said.

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 21:00 IST