The sweet and caring people at Channel4 have recently aired (and keep on airing to their shame) a show that not only shows a few stereotypes as the general outlook of an entire nation, but are also encouraging dissensions among legal immigrants in the United Kingdom and Brits. I’m a Romanian, I am working in Northampton as a specialist (Software System Development), I have a phD in Computer Science and I have been feeling personally insulted by the show.
Why? Why take it on a personal level? Because the second day after the show aired I was welcomed at work with funny stares and questions about the country where I come from… As the saying goes, if it is in the newspaper or it’s on the telly, it must be true: That Romanians are thieves and rapists and tax “vacationists”.
I was short of losing my temper – we are nothing like the show depicted us. While they promised to look at Romanians from all levels and I was expecting a bit of “scum” to pass through the show’s documentary approach, I was appaled by the low quality of the script, the unflattering characters found to play and I can’t help but think that their add to star on the show was:
“We are looking for Romanian Thieves. We will pay you to appear on the show and tell us how bad you are. We will also make you tell us about every scam you made so you can be proud of yourself on national tv. No higher education necessary.”
Well – 2.5% of a population of Romanians that have their own ethnicity & customs and are refusing to integrate in the home country do not make 100% of the Romanian population who are (mostly) well adjusted adults, striving for higher education, working in high-skilled professions who love their children and respect their elders. We have Silicon Valley Transylvania – a group of Microsoft (and not only) specialized software developers, we outsource some of the greatest engineering brains Europe has to offer, we have great cities with massive universities. And we have access to free education and free healthcare. We know an average of 2.5 languages per person. We learn English as a second language since primary school and we also love French and German. My cousins both speak English, German, Greek and can read Latin. I can easily hold a conversation in French, German and a bit of Hungarian.
@Channel4 might try to spray our reputation with a pallet of shit, but there is nothing you can say to an individual who shows up to work every day of the year, regardless of colds and other illnesses, who is reliable, efficient and does not shy away from work.
You can’t put an honest man down. You can’t say a chemist, a bank manager or a doctor are less qualified because they come from a different background.
I’m not saying we are perfect. We, as any orchard, have our share of bad apples. But we are not the nation pointing the finger nor did we try to blow up the Channel4 building like some extremists might have done. (Remember #JeSuisCharlie?)
Thank you again @Channel4 for making me raise my voice. And believe me, my outrage is not singular.