What does it mean to be European?

We’re here in a restaurant: one German, one Brit, one Rumanian, two Turks, two Hungarians and a Dutchman. Our gestures give us away; the sweep of the hand from the plate to the waitress, the cough, the handshake, the momentary awkwardness which signifies major, troubling difference.

But there’s a generational context to this idea of Europe: the younger ones here are laughing as if nothing were amiss. This is about us, here and now, putting our history behind us and ignoring the coughs and embarrassments of their elders and adopting the easy going nature of a young Hungarian lad whose laughing with a Romanian girl with no more to it than that.

And what binds us? Allegedly a spirit of peace, democracy and don’t forget the economy… Of course, it’s all about that and where we can get the next generation of refuge workers from who will do shite jobs for the lousiest of pay and then not unreasonably apply for a national, legal identity.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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