Kristina Dimitrova: Immigration – A Different Point of View

GMT 13:40 Wednesday ,08 January 2014

 Migrant Voice - Kristina Dimitrova: Immigration – A Different Point of View

Kristina Dimitrova

As a Bulgarian in the UK, since last year, I’ve been hearing so much about the British concerns about the immigration of Romanians and Bulgarians, so many facts and news in the leading British publications and media that are not true, but I still chose to speak my mind only to those who were actually interested in hearing a different point of view. Couple of days ago however, I came across this humiliating article from The Economist which sparked a lot of discussions and provoked me to write a honest blog offering another view at the issue of immigration. Looking at twisted facts and statistics, let’s remember that the Government decided to delay an EU immigration report because its findings were too positive. This only comes to confirm that many people believe what they are told to. Millions of Bulgarians and Romanians were not queuing for entry as soon as the restrictions were lifted but this has been said by the majority of the British media, causing panic, hate and anxiety. The whole perception of the two nations and the characteristics of their people are wrong. It should be said that this is also partly our fault, as we have got used to not speaking up and being looked down on. As Nazek Ramadan, founder of Migrant Voice, recently said in a debate about immigration, one of the main issues about the topic is that the immigrants are not actually participating in this debate but rather left out of the conversation, portrayed by the media as passive and disempowered. I reached out to both Brits and Bulgarians for their opinions on the immigration issue. Here’s what they said: “There are many young and smart ambitious people who are coming to the UK to find more opportunities and develop themselves. I will probably include myself here too. So please don't talk about us in general.” – Hristiana Kirova, student at University of Greenwich “It's all too easy for the press to forget that 39% of those born here are on benefits - I know people who I went to school with who have never worked a day in their lives. On the other hand, I know many, many foreigners who have moved here and who work, not only hard, but also conscientiously. As a former Scots Guard, who has often worked in very close proximity to HM The Queen and other members of the Royal family, I have been at the heart of the British 'system' and I welcome any foreign national who comes here with the intention of working and contributing to our society. In my experience, most of those from Bulgaria do a damned fine job of it!” – Kevin Wyllie, former Scots Guard, photographer, living in Scotland "For the unenlightened in UK, the Bulgariasn have little interest in coming to UK, they prefer Germany and Italy. The ones who do go to the UK are hard-working, bright and are not going there for benefit tourism! I think Bulgarians’ contribution to UK society is not being highlighted." – Peter O’Neil, British photographer living in Bulgaria My aim with this article is not to compare Brits and Bulgarians, just to offer a different point of view, because as Hristiana said, when press generalises it ultimately creates a false image for these nations and their people. The same apply to Brits – There are many bright and open-minded people who see the bigger picture on this issue. I still find it unbelievable how the press managed to keep the immigration conversation as a hot topic throughout the last couple of months but failed to cover broadly an incredibly powerful human act — A Bulgarian who saved a British girl’s life and lost his. At the end of the day, we are all human beings. Next time you meet someone, regardless of their sex, age, nationality, try and get to know them first, instead of categorising them based on what you’ve heard. I will leave you with this quote from Vanessa German – “Bad is determined by what you do, not where you live”.   Written by: Kristina Dimitrova ( Final year Marketing,Advertising & PR student/ freelance marketing consultant & event manager Blog originally published on:


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