Different Is Normal

17 December 2019

For Rajiv Chabria, a 2020 Community Advisor, the universal experience in Brent is that you can be yourself, no matter who you are. In Brent people are appreciated, not just accepted.

The magic of Brent is encapsulated by the word, diversity. It’s there everyday, on every corner. Everywhere I look, be it in the newsagents, next door or waiting at the bus stop I witness faiths and cultures of all backgrounds. It’s just accepted as normal that people from very different backgrounds get along well together. I’ve lived here my whole life of 30 years and I can’t remember ever hearing anyone saying something that you could describe as racist. One of my favourite places in Brent where you see everyone getting along is in Boxpark and the Brent Civic Centre. This is why I love Brent. No matter where you’re from, you can be yourself, and fit in. Although we’re all different, that’s the norm.

A few years ago I lived in Cambridge while I was working at an accounting firm, and I noticed the difference. Lack of diversity and culture in that area meant I would get ‘the looks’ or racial comments. One time when I was entering a bus with some work friends, and we received a lot of looks and even had a comment about the colour of our skin. It was horrible but I don’t really think it’s their fault - growing up in a place where there’s only type of person, shapes how you think.

When I’m in Brent I feel at home. It’s not just about ‘accepting’ each other here but also about appreciation and promotion of everyone as an individual with everyone’s varying opinions, culture and identity. I suppose I could leave Brent but I’d rather not. Next year I want to progress my career as a tax advisor whilst subsequently enhancing my creative career as an actor and dancer on stage. I hope you enjoy Brent as much as I have, and throw yourself into the world of multicultural diversity and enjoyment. There are so many opportunities to get involved with the borough, you just have to put yourself out there and grab them.

Different is normal by Rajiv Chabria.