Fraser McGruer


"Being Brazilian means that you are a bit of everything; the question is, what bits do you have?"

My name is Karina. I am forty-two years old. I live in Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. I am from Brazil, from a city called Recife, which is in the North East of Brazil. I’ve been living in England on and off for eighteen years. I live in England because I met my husband when he was teaching in Brazil. We now have three children, one is eight years old and we also have twins who are six. I’m a teacher, I teach English in an adult community college. 

I do feel sometimes that I'm becoming less Brazilian but I do think it’s all part of the adaptation part of being, you know, wanting to fit in, because every time am back in Brazil, I believe that, you know, I feel that within twenty four hours am as Brazilian as anyone there and I think that it’s all part of as if you’ve got two personalities, yeah. Yeah, sometimes I do feel like am two people in one. When I get to Brazil the first couple of days can be a bit difficult because I still have memories of how everything is so much easier over here and adapting to the way Brazil is and adapting to the way things are done over there is hard but then you get used to it very very quickly because it’s in me,

Being Brazilian means that you are a bit of everything, the question is, what bits do you have? So in my case for example as far as I know, I’ve got indigenous blood from my father’s side and I’ve got European blood from my mother’s side, my mother is a mixture of Italian, Portuguese and German and on my father’s side they are a bit of Portuguese and indigenous. it’s not something the people really talk about or something the people investigate because being Brazilian is just being part of everything. Over here I see it’s more of an issue and people ask and people are much more curious about maybe also because it’s much easier to find out where you came from,

Am I British? Perhaps yes, in a true sense of the word, because again being British is being a bit of everything. You know, you are British because you are Scottish, a bit Welsh, a bit Irish, a bit of everything. So I could say, yeah perhaps I am British because maybe I’m more than British, a bit of the new, a bit of everything of the new people that have come to this land.

But, you know, even though I may say 'Yes, I am British', meaning I am a bit of everything, the fact is in the end am still 100% Brazilian. My mother-in-law - who I get along with really well, we are great friends - still calls me a "Bloody Brazilian"! So, no matter if I lived here a hundred years and spoke like a true English person, it wouldn’t change a thing, I would still be "Bloody Brazilian"! 

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