Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Community Cohesion" or just Responsible Society?

This afternoon, I was invited with my family to the celebration of EID in Tunbridge Wells with the Bangladeshi Welfare Association.

The Association looks after members of the Bangladeshi community across Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. This afternoon's celebration marked Eid-Ur-Fitr, the traditional end of Ramadan, when those more financially able members of the community assist those less well off. I was told about the classes in Maths and English organised by the Association to help those young people whose parents were less able to assist because of a language barrier.

It's not the first time I've met with the Bangladeshi community in Tunbridge Wells - until fairly recently there was a weekly Bangladeshi School run on a Sunday to ensure that young people didn't forget how to read and write their national language.

Our Government is very adept at "buzzword politics" - one of their latest phrases is 'Community Cohesion'. For me, today was just a great example of how society can pull together to support itself - to provide its young people with values, with role models, with pride in its own history, and above all - with a sense of responsibility. Truly integrated society should allow sharing of each other's culture, and there's a huge amount that we all could learn from this community.

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