Emma Raducanu: Another immigrant praised as ‘British’ since her win


Aside from her skill on the court, social media has been alight with conversations around Raducanu’s heritage (Picture: EPA)

British society often seems to want those from immigrant backgrounds, regardless whether they were born or grew up here, to excel in order to be accepted. 

While British expats (never immigrants, of course) are allowed to spend their retirement in sunny Spain without even attempting to win the World Cup, those wanting to settle in the UK – whether for a better life or just because they want to – are often treated with hostility until they have ‘proven themselves’.

On Saturday, 18-year-old Emma Raducanu became the first British woman to land a grand slam title since 1977.

Since her win, Raducanu has been labelled as a national hero and a global icon, as well as receiving congratulations from the Queen, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and former world no. 1 tennis legend, Billie Jean King. 

But aside from her skill on the court, social media has been alight with conversations around Raducanu’s heritage. 

Raducanu, who hails from Bromley, was originally born in Toronto, Canada, to a Romanian father and Chinese mother. The family moved to England when Emma was two years old, three years before she picked up her first racket. 

Holding both British and Canadian citizenship, and also speaking Mandarin, Raducanu is just one of the 1.2 million mixed-ethnicity people in the UK. 

I am another, with mixed-Punjabi Indian and white British heritage. The figure counting us mixed people is expected to shoot up when the 2021 census results are released, with ‘mixed’ also being the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK.

I’ll never forget an older white lady muttering to me and my mixed-Iranian friend six years ago as we laughed while slipping on snow that ‘if we didn’t like the snow, we should go back to our own countries’. I was too stunned to explain to her that a lack of traction on ice is a pretty universal experience. 

Source : metro

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