Wednesday, 22 June 2016

About my Romanian blouse, Brexit and everything in between

You might now be able to tell that every year on the 24th of June I decide to post about me wearing a Romanian blouse. Big deal. Anything new? Well, yes, because funnily enough every time I wear it I understand a new side of my identity in terms of my nationality, cultural identity and relationship with the rest of the world. 
I went from phase a) respect for ancestral traditions and pride in my heritage to phase b) faith in my nationality and the fact that diversity is the way forward last year. This year, I'm looking more towards the future and my place in it as the official day of celebrating the otherwise sartorially beautiful Romanian blouse coincides with the EU referendum over in Britain. It's as if the stars aligned - let's hope they actually have and the outcome is remain!

After more than 6 years spent living and going through teenage-hood in the UK, I genuinely find myself at a crossroads. I don't want to choose in between feeling Romanian or English but I seem to be faced with that choice daily. To what extent am I defined by my childhood spent in the nook of the Carpathian mountains, a mere 2 hour drive away from Dracula's Castle (there goes the stereotype) and why does your place of birth entail automatic labelling such as a job-stealer, lazy, illegal etc etc?

It's saddening that the principle of free travel and work in the EU that has enriched my identity in so many ways and is a constant in my life as I ship boxes from one place to another is being brought into question. It's a two way system in which people are allowed to come study or work or live in the UK (and trust me, most of them are deserving bright students or hardworking men and women, *shock horror*) and where English people in turn have the freedom to visit any EU country sans visa and retire to Benidorm when they so wish to. Closing borders means making everyone's life difficult and in the end it's tourism and the pound sterling that are going to take the worst hit.

Now, I'm not a politics expert nor do I understand FTSE 100 but I did attempt to understand the mess that is Brexit whilst on a 4 hour flight. My weapons of choice: The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. It was quite entertaining to see the change in tone between them. The #teamleave newspapers were aggressive and quick to throw terms like terrorism and independence and British pride around like mad. When asked why she wanted to leave the EU, a woman said that it was because those 'Poles are taking all our jobs and stuff'. When asked is she has recently experienced that personally and if she had had a job taken away from her by a foreigner she said she hadn't yet applied for one but will surely do so in the future. EXCUSE YOU THEN! In the end it's all one big propaganda stunt, a tug of war between political parties - big surprise here huh? Only this time, the implications at large are huge and no one knows what to predict worst comes to worst and Britain leaves the EU. 

Personally, I'm a EU citizen. Not really Romanian, not really British. I like having the freedom to choose where I belong and at the moment I belong wherever my 10 boxes fit. I am proud to wear my beautiful Romanian blouse amidst peonies (fun fact, they're a symbol of Romania and my fave flower) in the very English gardens at Polesden Lacey because the two parts of me are content and in their element. This is one story I could not have written if Brexit were to happen...

********* Pls pls pls pls VOTE ***********

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