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'The Other Side of Tourism'
Thu 24 Jun 2004
NAWE member Myrna Loy is publishing a memoir that highlights the dilemma of exporting the British culture to the West Indies. Book launch at the Hat Factory (Bute Street, Luton) on Thursday 5 August at 7.00 pm in the basement bar.
Mryna writes:

"The book is a symbolic product that allows the reader to experience the turbulent inner and outer explorative journey I took in order to accept my dual-heritage. It taps into the universality of hurt, resentment, disbelief and frustration when attempting to reconcile aspects of dislocation (that are part and parcel of being born in the UK of dual-heritage) while trying to assign oneself an identity from abroad.

"It is about personal development and is an honest, yet humorous account of the emotional journey I took when trying to connect with my Jamaican heritage after my experience of growing up in England with foster parents and parents who suppressed that part of my culture. My mother didn't allow me to speak patois in the house although I learnt it from visiting uncles and aunts. When I was 18, I married a Jamaican in defiance. He taught me how to cook Jamaican food and introduced me to reggae music. Ever since then I immersed myself in all aspects of Jamaican culture, which gave me a sense of identity.

"When I visited Jamaica in 1993, I assumed that I would fit in and was astonished to find that I had little in common with the people I met. I noticed how irritable and impatient I became with my various encounters and couldn't understand why I had such strong reactions. It was these post-Windrush experiences that prompted me to write 'The Other Side of Tourism'.

"There are so many in Great Britain of dual heritage who suffer from a conflict with loyalties (i.e. trying to adapt to the rules and culture of their parents while adjusting and accepting the British code of conduct) but not many have the wherewithal to export or transport their culture to find out how one culture compliments the other - The Other Side of Tourism highlights this common catch-22 situation which is often taken for granted.

"I was born in Britain of West-Indian descent in 1952 and wrote this book based on the impact of being born in a dual cultured environment, under a concept called 0,1 Space & Identity. The concept behind 0, 1 Space & Identity is to examine the effect of migration (0), and any subsequent experiences of reintegration, displacement, alienation and/or disillusionment, and how those experiences impacted on the next generation (1) and beyond. '0', equates to the generation of our parents (i.e. those born outside Great Britain) and '1' equates to 1st Generation (those born in Great Britain). 'O' symbolises space, and '1' symbolises Identity - 'Out of Many 1 People', an aspiration acquired from the ethnographic fieldwork in Jamaica."