Why Europe is still my cup of tea

After being human, being European has always been an identity with which I could identify the most. This might sound a bit silly from someone born in a country which, though geographically in Europe, never quite made it into the EU and now living in a country that has voted to leave the EU.

Beautiful illustration by Katie Robinson

But moving around a lot and living in various European countries I’ve found that the pan-European identity describes me best. Me and a whole generation of millennials moving and working in different European countries - not being tied to a single country and its values, not being limited by borders but being free to choose where to live and grow. People who have outgrown the 20th century’s obsession with national identity, nationalism and fear of differentness. Who still cherish their unique culture and heritage while embracing and learning from others.

I’ve found London, especially East London, to be a true embodiment of this spirit - the city of rich cultural diversity, openness and tolerance. It would take much more than one tightly won referendum to change this.

Whether or not Britain is officially in the EU my neighbours and friends will still be from all over Europe (and all over the world). We will still keep speaking three languages in our house. I will raise my children as European with British passports. I will teach them to be open and learn from differences instead of being confronted by them.

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