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Reader response: How to avoid trouble in the UK

Last updated on: December 27, 2011 18:26 IST

Reader response: How to avoid trouble in the UK



We asked our readers How to avoid trouble in the UK in the wake of the murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford, Greater Manchester on December 26. Here are three responses. 

First up is Shailesh Bhanage's dos and don'ts to avoid trouble while in the UK:

'Never show off your wealth when you are on streets'

It is very sad to hear about the news. I am not a student but I have lived near Manchester and want to share few things which may be helpful for others who are living in UK.
1) Never go outside your house after 8 pm unless it is really essential.
2) It is essential (OR MUST) to have a car in the UK. If you are going out in the evening or late at night always take a car with you, don't use public transport. This will prevent you from coming in contact with people who have bad intentions.
3) Use your weekend day time for enjoyment outside your house (Public places like restaurant,theaters).
4) Try to make local friends who are British. You are mostly safe when you go out in the evening with some British person accopanying you.
5) Never show off your wealth when you are on streets, like showing off costly mobiles or wearing gold chains which attracts thieves.
6) Even after taking all the care if you come across a person who is abusing you, don't reply to him with anger or bad words. Try to get away from that location. Or if you cannot escape from that location speak politely.
Hope this will help students or any other Indian people living in UK.

Image: Students Alison Coxon (L, 5 A stars) and Claire Abrahams (3 A stars and one A) react as they open envelopes containing their A level examination results at Withington Girls School in Manchester, northern England August 18, 2011.
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters


Reader response: How to avoid trouble in the UK

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Next is Sravan Kumar's advice based from his experiences of living there for three years and doing all kinds of part time jobs.

'We tend to stay with Indians and follow the herd mentality, we should avoid that'

I have lived in the UK for three years and faced physical and racial abuse sometimes but I had the best time of my life there and the most important thing is that everyone is not racist. Most of my best friends were white, coloured, Chinese etc.

Racists are basically frustrated that they are not going anywhere in their jobs and live off on government handouts and belong to the weaker section of the society. They are the most dangerous ones as they tend to attack or knife or mug you a lot and they are mostly drug addicts.
The most important things Indians should follow in UK are:
1. Respect their customs and mannerisms
2. Be soft and say a lot of please and thank yous (we are very rude)
3. Stand in the line or queue (We always break the queue)
4. Don't shout loudly on your phone in your native language in public areas
5. Avoid staying in low-cost areas, as they have the most slums and unemployed people (Council colonies are the most dangerous ones)
6. Try to mingle with locals
7. If going out with friends for a night out, always go in a group and its better if it's a mixed group (whites, blacks, Asians ... men & women)
8. Avoid working late night shifts (drunks are at their worst behaviour)
9. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery and flashing too much of cash
10. Always have minimal amount in the wallet and keep a photocopy of all important documents
11. If attacked or abused, please go the nearby police station and make a complaint immediately
12. If walking alone and if suddenly shouted or accosted by a group of people, don't make eye contact, just walk away quickly or go to a place where there are lots of people
13. If mugged, give away your wallet and phone and whatever you are carrying; don't argue or fight and make eye contact and get away from there (life is more important than money)
14. We tend to stay with Indians and follow the herd mentality, we should avoid that
15. Be politically correct (don't be too brash and obnoxious)
16. If drunk in a club or party, always walk back home with friends
17. Avoid being too loud, flashy.

Image: Police maintain a security cordon following a fatal stabbing on Oxford Street in London December 26, 2011. A male was pronounced dead at the scene and a number of arrests had been made, police said.
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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Finally, we have Arjun Narayanan, product marketing associate, Prodex Technologies and an Alumni of the University of Stirling giving his advice.

I have been in the UK for two years and I have never had a chance to face such attacks. People in the UK are predominantly nice and friendly unlike many other countries. However, they have always had this fear that Indians will be taking away their jobs especially in the IT sector.

UK is a great place to be especially for students who are first time away from home. They get to hone their English language skills, get trained in an international format, learning to be independent and also to live life on their own terms. Most students make this mistake of either not interacting with the locals or over doing things at other times.

A sense of balance needs to be incorporated and a trust is needed to be developed between them. Indians often go out in groups but that group comprises only Indians. So, whenever an attack takes place, a sense of anxiety and panic develops among the group. It is often recommended that Indians interact more with the locals, know more about them and also develop an affinity towards their culture.

It certainly does not mean to give up on our individual cultures and upbringing. It is best advised that Indians also should develop some restraint in behaviours outside from home such as too much howling, loud laughter and shouting are quite unheard of in UK. There are racist people in UK too and many of them belong to the labour or worker class of the society.

It is unfair to say all of UK are the same. During my experiences while studying and working in UK, I have noticed that people in Scotland are friendlier and nicer than people in England or Wales. Part of the reason could be that there are not many Indians in Scotland unlike the rest of the UK so they feel safer in terms of job security.

Students should join the International Societies in their respective universities to start interacting with people of different cultural backgrounds and also be part of other clubs within their universities to get a chance to interact with the local students. If they do so, then the possibility of being attacked is nil or minimal. It's always safer to go out in groups. Finally, many Indian students will prefer not to go to UK at this point of time when there is no visa extension possibility after successful completion of their degrees.

Your experience in warding off such attacks when you studied in Great Britain would be invaluable and help other Indian students studying in that country to stay away from trouble.

If you have studied or are studying in the UK and have tips to share with other readers on how to avoid being attacked, please do e-mail us at (subject line: Avoiding attacks in the UK). Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to be revealed.

Image: Head boy Mathew Chandy (R) celebrates his 4 A grades with Lilia Kazem who earned an A*, A, B result on their A level college entrance exams at the Harris Academy in Crystal Palace in south London August 18, 2011. Sixth-form students face a scramble for university places in the final year before tuition fees rise after another record set of A-level results.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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