Algerians are a VERY proud nation (a little too proud if you ask me) and are very proud of being Algerian but due to recent events, social unrest, tainted picture of terrorist related activities and islamophobia that is spreading like the plague, some Algerians are more reticent about admitting their nationality openly or without hesitation and a close study of the reaction of the interlocutor.
Apart from the tainted image we Algerians have been left to deal with after the black decade of terrorism and civil unrest we lived through and have been renowned for, in London I noticed there are other reasons for this, the large number of Algerian over-stayers or illegally residing in the UK are shy about presenting their Nationality as and when asked.
How many times I found myself dancing Salsa with an Algerian (How did I know he is Algerian? its like asking if the sky is blue) who when I return the Nationality question to him, says he’s from Portugal and that his name is Maurice only to confess he’s actually Algerian when I say casually “me? I am Algerian” so Maurice do you speak Portuguese? No? OH really well I never….
At least lie about a Nationality you have some knoweldge of, like maybe the geographical location or a few words to save your life.
Maurice: Si si Grazie Senorita
Me: Maurice, thats Italian...
Question: Why does Maurice, Tony, Pascal (swapping their Arabic names for European ones) and co ask people where they are from, if they can’t handle the question being returned to them.
I am so bored with this question, I am so over it in fact we need a new ice-breaker and no “what’s your name” wont do…we need to come up with something new.
Sitting at a restaurant once, my friend asked our waitress where she was from, whilst I was rolling my eyes at the question, the waitress sheepishly says “I am polish, sorry”
This shocked me to my core…people are now apologising for being here, for being born? Of course I felt so bad; I was extra nice to her and tipped her like Charles Bronson would.
Certain Nationalities have a bad reputation or are usually misrepresented, thank you to the BBC and The Evening Standard for convincing the very naïve
I will always remember the puzzled looks I get when I freely and casually drop the bomb that is my Nationality on people, some give me sad looks, some give me half smiles and some are so daunted by the revelation they start stuttering silly questions like, so what language do you speak there? I dutifully inform them that we speak Chinese and that we are located near
I will continue actively discouraging people from asking this question and will from here on ignore it unless I am feeling generous or am at the Air Algerie boarding gate where words are unnecessary,
This question should be considered rude and categorised with the likes of how old are you and what size are your trousers! Hello????