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TITLE
Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Philomena de Lima
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_10_PHILOMENA_DE_LIMA_Q_04
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Philomena de Lima
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1516
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
humanaspect

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Philomena de Lima answers the question:

'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?'

'I have, well because we have a croft still and, you know, we have neighbours or crofters and so on, so I've been engaged with lots people at the local level, and it was interesting, I was having a conversation with some of my neighbours because we were trying to sort out some sheep or something and, and I've known them for a very long time, they looked after my children and things - and, you know, and one of them sort of said, you know, 'And we're being taken over by the Muslim world; the Muslims are taking over Britain, and we're getting Sharia Law here.' And I, and I said, 'But, you know, you've gone all over the world and done your stuff.' And, you know, and they, they don't see the - you know, that's a human aspect which is what I'm saying - which is, you have somebody, and you know, and literally they went on like that for, for ages. And I just thought, 'This is interesting. I don't know where they're getting it from but it's probably from the media, I don't know.' But, but they're saying it to me, but they wouldn't feel the same about me, you know? I might have been a Muslim. But they would have been saying, they would have been saying that to me and they still wouldn't see the irony of what they're saying. D'you, d'you know what I mean?

So I think there's this, there is a kind of, you know, interesting aspect, and I find that, you know, people sometimes, who are the most unfettered in their attitudes towards other people is, you know, we looked after an old man who was a stonemason, who had never even been to Inverness more than twice in his life, I mean, this is amazing - he died about ten years ago - and, you know, he had absolutely no idea of prejudices or whatever, you know? His kind of acceptance of anybody was amazing, you know?

So, I mean, it is interesting these kind of, how people relate to each other, you know? So people can say something to your face but they'll say something about a group of people they don't know a thing about. And this is what I think is lacking, even in my research is, I don't think (and it's partly because people won't fund it) is understanding how local people feel about it, you know? Because we make assumptions about local people, and I think it would be really interesting because I sometimes think, 'Well, you know, if you're in a place and you're competing for housing and you see somebody else also competing for the same housing, it's, it's bound to have tensions' and we can't just dismiss local people and say, 'Well, you know, of course, they're just being racist, or whatever' you have to be, you have to understand where they're coming at it from so, you know, I think it's a kind of two-way process.'


BIOGRAPHY

Dr Philomena de Lima is the Director of the UHI Centre for Remote and Rural Studies based in Inverness. She has lived in the Highlands for around 25 years. She has been actively involved in researching rural policy issues, particularly with regard to migration, social exclusion, minorities and equalities and has published widely on these topics. Recent publications include, with Wright (2009) 'Welcoming Migrants? Migrant labour in rural Scotland in Social Policy and Society', issue 8:3; 'Ticking the Ethnic Box: the experiences of minority ethnic young people in rural communities' in Education in the North, New Series , Number 15 Session 2007-2008, University of Aberdeen; with Jentsch and MacDonald, 'Migrant Workers in Rural Scotland: Going to the Middle of Nowhere' in International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS), Vol. 9, No. 1, 2007; and with Williams, 'Devolution, Multicultural Citizenship and Race Equality: from Laissez Faire to Nationally Responsible Policies' in Critical Social Policy, Vol. 26 (3) 2006.

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Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Philomena de Lima

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; humanaspect;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Philomena de Lima answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?' <br /> <br /> 'I have, well because we have a croft still and, you know, we have neighbours or crofters and so on, so I've been engaged with lots people at the local level, and it was interesting, I was having a conversation with some of my neighbours because we were trying to sort out some sheep or something and, and I've known them for a very long time, they looked after my children and things - and, you know, and one of them sort of said, you know, 'And we're being taken over by the Muslim world; the Muslims are taking over Britain, and we're getting Sharia Law here.' And I, and I said, 'But, you know, you've gone all over the world and done your stuff.' And, you know, and they, they don't see the - you know, that's a human aspect which is what I'm saying - which is, you have somebody, and you know, and literally they went on like that for, for ages. And I just thought, 'This is interesting. I don't know where they're getting it from but it's probably from the media, I don't know.' But, but they're saying it to me, but they wouldn't feel the same about me, you know? I might have been a Muslim. But they would have been saying, they would have been saying that to me and they still wouldn't see the irony of what they're saying. D'you, d'you know what I mean? <br /> <br /> So I think there's this, there is a kind of, you know, interesting aspect, and I find that, you know, people sometimes, who are the most unfettered in their attitudes towards other people is, you know, we looked after an old man who was a stonemason, who had never even been to Inverness more than twice in his life, I mean, this is amazing - he died about ten years ago - and, you know, he had absolutely no idea of prejudices or whatever, you know? His kind of acceptance of anybody was amazing, you know? <br /> <br /> So, I mean, it is interesting these kind of, how people relate to each other, you know? So people can say something to your face but they'll say something about a group of people they don't know a thing about. And this is what I think is lacking, even in my research is, I don't think (and it's partly because people won't fund it) is understanding how local people feel about it, you know? Because we make assumptions about local people, and I think it would be really interesting because I sometimes think, 'Well, you know, if you're in a place and you're competing for housing and you see somebody else also competing for the same housing, it's, it's bound to have tensions' and we can't just dismiss local people and say, 'Well, you know, of course, they're just being racist, or whatever' you have to be, you have to understand where they're coming at it from so, you know, I think it's a kind of two-way process.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Dr Philomena de Lima is the Director of the UHI Centre for Remote and Rural Studies based in Inverness. She has lived in the Highlands for around 25 years. She has been actively involved in researching rural policy issues, particularly with regard to migration, social exclusion, minorities and equalities and has published widely on these topics. Recent publications include, with Wright (2009) 'Welcoming Migrants? Migrant labour in rural Scotland in Social Policy and Society', issue 8:3; 'Ticking the Ethnic Box: the experiences of minority ethnic young people in rural communities' in Education in the North, New Series , Number 15 Session 2007-2008, University of Aberdeen; with Jentsch and MacDonald, 'Migrant Workers in Rural Scotland: Going to the Middle of Nowhere' in International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS), Vol. 9, No. 1, 2007; and with Williams, 'Devolution, Multicultural Citizenship and Race Equality: from Laissez Faire to Nationally Responsible Policies' in Critical Social Policy, Vol. 26 (3) 2006.