Channel 4 television recently aired the first instalment of a 2 part series called “Making Bradford British, which you can watch here. The aim of this program is to try and find out what it means to be British in 2012. It started out interestingly enough as they asked all of the potential participants to take a UK citizenship test. In most cases 90% of people taking the test failed, this included people from all over the city, even people who have generations of british relatives.
Eight of the few hundred candidates were then asked to spend sometime living in a house together, seemingly to get to understand and appreciate the other kinds of people that are living in Bradford. You have all kinds of people in the house and it is definitely interesting to see how they interact with one another.
The thing i found most interesting about this episode was the interaction between a muslim man called Rashid and the rest of the group. There had been some objection to Rashid having to leave the house 5 times a day to pray at mosque, so eventually they came to a compromise which involved him taking the whole group in a mini-bus to a local park, so that he could pray there. A couple of the christians were deeply moved by how devout he was to his faith, and Maura, one of the other participants even found herself praying into herself as she watched him.
Even simple things, like them all saying “grace” in their own way before they eat their meal were very interesting to watch.
There are many different groups of people living in Belfast and truthfully i have come into contact with very few of these. In a city were it is still accepted that there are Protestant and Catholic areas, i cant help feeling that we are pretty far off having an integrated society.
Anyone else watching it? Thoughts?