A Sense of Belonging: Episode 2

A Sense of Belonging: Episode 2

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Belfast, County Antrim






24min 55sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Westway Films

Rights Holder

ITV, Westway Films

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In this episode, Joe Mahon explores how ethnic minorities go about maintaining their cultural identity whilst living in Northern Ireland and the challenges they face in doing so. Also, he asks 'how are we able to assist in the process'?

The largest ethnic group in Northern Ireland is the Chinese community, with many emigrating from Hong Kong from the 1960s onwards. We are introduced to Stan Lee, the second generation of his family to live in NI. Being born in Ulster, he considers himself an 'Ulsterman' however, he still stresses the importance of teaching his children the Chinese language and culture.

Michelle Lyons married a local man and moved to Northern Ireland to start a family. She was asked by the local council to research the needs of the Chinese community and assists elderly and vulnerable Chinese people, many of whom do not speak English. A point raised within this interview is that there is a growing generational divide within NI's Chinese community, language being a particular point of contrast, with younger members of the community who cannot speak Chinese and much of the older generation having never learnt English. 

David White provides a lesson on the particularities of language, specifically interpretations of the word 'tolerance', a word that can be used to promotes subservience, or a sense that tolerance equates with permission, or allowing someone to have something which is their human right in the first place. 

What is echoed across the interviews with Stan, Michelle, David and Yuko Chiba is the everyday racism which they encounter. Michelle has gotten around this by teaching her children Chinese history, so that their culture and background cannot be used as an insult against them.


Presented by Joe Mahon

Funded by Northern Ireland Screen

A Westway Film Production for UTV

Supported by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council 

Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI). 



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