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Monday, 1 February 2016

Poems About Britain, by British-Asian Girls

I am Poet in Residence at a school that consists primarily of British-Asian girls. They are having a day celebrating 'British Values', for which I am leading an assembly. I always think 'British Values' is a nebulous concept, and the values people cite as somehow British - tolerance, fairness, etc - have always struck me as basic human values. Be that as it may, I wanted to elicit from the students their own views on Britishness. With this in mind, the following two poems are comprised entirely from the ideas of a Year 7 class that I have been working with. Enjoy!

The Best Thing About Britain

The best thing about Britain is
We are all different religions and
We can learn from each other –
Democracy, respect, tolerance
And the rule of law.
The best thing about Britain is
Free health care, delicious food
And high quality education.
The best thing about Britain is
The burgers, the football,
The chicken and chips.
The best thing about Britain is
The toilets that have everything –
 Wash basin, closet, mirror.
The best thing about Britain is
You get to be your own religion,
And laughter, happiness and joy.
The best thing about Britain is
The landmarks that catch your eye,
The teachers and the police.
The best thing about Britain is
That it has a mix of different cultures.
The best thing about Britain is
We are safe. We are free.

The Worst Thing About Britain

The worst thing about Britain is
My siblings always thinking my dad’s a millionaire,
But he’s not and they waste his money.
The worst thing about Britain is
The bullying in every school
And paying money to the shopkeeper.
The worst thing about Britain is
One day it’s freezing and the next
It’s very hot.
The worst thing about Britain is
You can’t find chicken tikka in the shops,
And people don’t care about the homeless.
The worst thing about Britain is
Living next to West Ham United,
And drunk people walking down the street.
The worst thing about Britain is
When people get angry for no good reason,
And not being able to watch full movies on Youtube.
The worst thing about Britain is
The accidents on the road,
The crazy people,
The upside down weather.
The worst thing about Britain is
Technology, rain,

And no tropical fruit. 

Image result for britain

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