“I will always be a minority in every country I go to. I’m Punjabi but I was born and raised in Birmingham, England. My parents are both from East Africa, grandparents all from India. If I go to India, I’m a Brit. In the UK, I’m British Indian or British Asian. In Japan, I’m a foreigner obviously. But being a minority here doesn’t matter as much as it does in the UK. I think the UK is institutionally racist. From the police force, to the courts, to everything. The way they stop people. The way they will harass you. After 9/11, I was a 15-year-old school boy, and I was being called Bin Laden in the streets by people. I used to laugh it off. But these are grown men saying this to a teenage boy. When I’m in a whiter part of town, I almost get into fights at pubs just because I’m different. Here, even though I’m big and dark skinned, I don’t feel like I stand out as much. Japanese people will show love to you, regardless. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone in England is racist. But I’ve not experienced anything that has been even slightly uncomfortable here. I don’t see a woman grab her purse across the road when I’m walking towards her. I don’t get any issues in the airport here. People say I got a chip on my shoulder, but it’s not the case. I mean, Brexit has basically validated racism against people. You think Brexit is about the EU, but they talk about Africans or Asians or non-White people. It’s justified being able to say whatever they want. Japan, on the other hand, I feel less on edge here. I don’t feel like the police are trying to stop me all the time.”

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tokyointerlopers

Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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