Unit 4.1

Ethnic minorities

Main ethnic and religious minorities

  • Main ethnic minorities that can be found in the United Kingdom are:
    • Indians are a diverse nation, so they form different ethnic groups in the UK. Most of them follow religions like Hinduism or Sikhism. Part of them still follows the caste system, which leads to abuse of lower caste people. Indian cuisine is the most liked one in the UK, with hybrid dish Chicken Tikka Masala being one of the most popular dishes in the United Kingdom.
    • Pakistanis people in the UK form the biggest Pakistan community in Europe. The majority of them are Muslim. A large number of them tend to be self-employed or work in transport. Their cuisine is also popular in the UK. In Birmingham, they created a Balti dish which is lamb or goat meat curry served in a thin wok. Current London mayor, Sadiq Khan, comes from a Pakistani family.
    • Bangladeshi people in the UK are largely a young population, concentrated mostly in London. They are mostly hired in the distribution, hotel and restaurant industries but the new generation is taking new career paths often more payable like a doctor or IT management. Majority of the Bangladeshi population are Sunni Muslim. They became politically active, mainly at the local level. Rushanara Ali is the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected as a member of parliament.
    • British Chinese are the biggest group of East Asians in the UK’s population. It is believed to be the oldest Chinese community in Western Europe. There are Chinatowns and Chinese community centres in almost every place with a big Chinese community. Chinese New Year celebrations in London are famous for colourful parades, fireworks, and street dancing. Accommodation tied to work is still a common practice for Chinese working in restaurants. As a result, homelessness is a problem faced by elderly people.
    • British Black at the beginning of migrations they met with strong racism, but overtime racism started to decrease in the UK. British Black are far more likely to be unemployed than the white population. Many of Black British state that it is due to racism and bad stereotypes in which many people still believe in. Music of this minority had a big influence on part of British music.
    • Polish people are now becoming a dominant minority in the UK. During the Second World War, many polish soldiers were based in England, and after it ended many of them choose to remain there. The biggest increase happened after Poland joined the EU in 2004. They come mostly for work and are employed in all sectors. Polish markets are becoming common. In past years racism toward Polish people started to increase, especially after Brexit vote.
  • Main religious minorities that can be found in the United Kingdom are:
    • Muslim4.8 % of the population. They are people who follow or practice Islam. Their holy book is the Quran. There are 1600 mosques in the UK. Muslim people role in political life is becoming bigger. The British media has been criticized for propagating the negative image of this religion. There have been cases of threats and attacks on Muslims. Extremist Muslim ideology is seen as a problem in the UK and is often linked to terrorist attacks.
    • Hindu – 1.5 % of population. It is known to be in the UK since the early 19th century. There are 150 Hindu temples in the UK. Half of Hindu people live in the London metropolitan area. They had the highest economical activity in 2011 and both Hindu men and women are more likely than the general population to have higher education. Hindus in the United Kingdom celebrate major festivals such as Diwali.
    • Sikh0.8 % of the population. They are seen as one of the best examples of cultural integration in the United Kingdom with 95% of them being proud of living in Britain. 65% of Sikhs have a graduate-level qualification or above. The most popular employment sectors for British Sikhs include Healthcare, IT and Technology, Teaching and Education. 64% of the British Sikhs engage in some volunteering work. Sikhs are excluded from a couple of British laws: they can ride motorcycles without a helmet (but have to wear a turban) and are allowed to carry around their Kirpan (a type of dagger) in most places. 
    • Jewish0.5 % of the population. The first recorded Jewish community in Britain was in 1070. There are around 454 synagogues in the country, and around 56.3% of all homes have at least one Jew living within them. Jewish day schools and yeshivas are found everywhere in the country. In a 2010 study, Jews had, on average, the highest income and wealth of any religious group.
    • Buddhist0.5 % of the population. It came to the UK in the 19th century. There are now many Buddhist groups and centres in Britain.

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