How to explain to the UK’s ethnic communities why it’s so important to be proud of your own culture

We don’t need to explain why it is so important that our identity is the same across the globe, that it is inextricably linked to our history, or that it has a cultural, spiritual or moral foundation.

But we must also explain why our identity has to be different from everyone else’s.

As an ethnic minority, we are often told we are not welcome.

That our ancestors were persecuted, murdered, expelled or otherwise discriminated against.

That we are discriminated against because of our race, religion or ethnicity.

And that our children and grandchildren will be different.

We know that this is untrue.

But as ethnic minority students in England and Wales, we have been told that we are inextraordinary and undeserving.

We are, we say, a minority, and our voices are not being heard.

But why are we being told this?

What does it say about our own cultural, historical or spiritual identity that we cannot even be invited to join in the conversation?

And how can we be proud to be an ethnic and racial minority in a nation that values and respects our uniqueness?

This is the first of a two-part series on the subject.

Part Two will be on ethnic minorities in Europe.

Part Three will be examining the UK and the European Union’s attempts to integrate and accommodate minority groups.

For part one, visit www.theguardian.com/uk-ethnicity-studies and part two, www.telegraph.co.uk/entertainment/sunday-life/saturday-life-show/how-to-explain-to+the+uk-your-ethnic+groups+why-its+so+important-to.

How to explain to the UK’s ethnic communities why it’s so important to be proud of your own culture

We don’t need to explain why it is so important that our identity is the same across the globe, that it is inextricably linked to our history, or that it has a cultural, spiritual or moral foundation.

But we must also explain why our identity has to be different from everyone else’s.

As an ethnic minority, we are often told we are not welcome.

That our ancestors were persecuted, murdered, expelled or otherwise discriminated against.

That we are discriminated against because of our race, religion or ethnicity.

And that our children and grandchildren will be different.

We know that this is untrue.

But as ethnic minority students in England and Wales, we have been told that we are inextraordinary and undeserving.

We are, we say, a minority, and our voices are not being heard.

But why are we being told this?

What does it say about our own cultural, historical or spiritual identity that we cannot even be invited to join in the conversation?

And how can we be proud to be an ethnic and racial minority in a nation that values and respects our uniqueness?

This is the first of a two-part series on the subject.

Part Two will be on ethnic minorities in Europe.

Part Three will be examining the UK and the European Union’s attempts to integrate and accommodate minority groups.

For part one, visit www.theguardian.com/uk-ethnicity-studies and part two, www.telegraph.co.uk/entertainment/sunday-life/saturday-life-show/how-to-explain-to+the+uk-your-ethnic+groups+why-its+so+important-to.