This is OUR Norwich - Nine things that truly represent our fine city
PUBLISHED: 11:27 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:32 02 February 2020
There truly is no clear place to begin when describing just how abhorrent the now infamous poster which sadly - albeit only momentarily - found its way onto doors in Norwich’s Winchester Tower.
The poster, which was written under the banner 'Happy Brexit Day', called for people living in the city tower block to either speak English or move out.
Such frankly disturbing rhetoric has no place in this community. However, what is perhaps equally frustrating is the impression it must give out of this fine city, to those not fortunate enough to live here.
For generations, since the days of the Strangers, this city has prided itself on being forward-thinking, accepting and welcoming.
When I first saw the poster myself, I was not particularly surprised that there was somebody out there capable of spewing such garbage - we've all been able to sense growing tensions across the nation, particularly given how prominent a position immigration has had in the Brexit debate. However, what did shock me was that it was somebody in Norwich that had done the deed.
Something that has been cropping up on Twitter a fair bit following this disgraceful incident is the phrase 'Not My Norwich' - and it is difficult to find three more appropriate words to respond to this poster with.
Clearly, the words or the anonymous poster-writer do not represent Norwich in any way shape or form. So this is OUR Norwich:
OUR Norwich has a thriving LGBTQ+ community
Each year, thousands of people take to the streets in bright and beautiful colours to celebrate Norwich Pride - which this year will be in its 12th year.
For more than a decade Norwich Pride has been a beacon of everything this city stands for - accepting people for who they are, what they believe and how they choose to live their lives.
OUR Norwich looks out for its own
One does not have to look for in Norwich for examples of people giving up their own time to help others.
Whether it is organisations like The Feed or the Norwich Soup Movement pitching in to provide meals for those without a home or one of the many, many Norwich-based charities fighting to help those less fortunate, community spirit truly runs through the veins of this city.
OUR Norwich has one of the country's best family football club
Norwich City Football Club provides a perfect microcosm for everything this fine city is about as a whole.
It is led by a German, has a refugee who fled his war-ridden country amongst its ranks and has a rich tapestry built into its culture that sees young, domestic talent work harmoniously alongside a variety of other nationalities.
Onel Hernandez is the first Cuban to play in the Premier League and in 2013 the club also presented to opportunity for Kei Kamara to become the league's first player from Sierra Leone.
Off the field, the club's supporters are regularly named the best behaved in the country and the club is very much ran with the community in mind.
OUR Norwich loves its twins
Norwich has a host of twin cities in many corners of the world - Rouen in France, Koblenz in Germany, Novi Sad in Serbia and El Viejo in Nicaragua - and has bridges and gardens celebrating this fact.
The Novi Sad Friendship Bridge is one example of this, while last year a garden was forged in the city centre showcasing plants from each of the twin cities. Many cities have twins - but we are clearly proud of ours.
OUR Norwich is a sharing city
Only one city nationwide has been recognised as a sharing city - Norwich. This is an innovative new philosophy that already exists in places like New York and Barcelona, which looks to establish a collaborative economy.
It looks at ways that we can all benefit from each other's resources and support one another - this is the ethos Norwich is all about.
OUR Norwich is conscious about its environment
One of the largest and most active branches of Extinction Rebellion is based in Norwich - with more than 100 people offering their support.
Not everyone will agree with the group's method, but their passion, drive and determination to fight for future generations is just so typically Norwich.
OUR Norwich is award-winning - and rightfully so
Norwich has so many award-winning elements that show off everything that it is all about.
Take Norwich Market, for example, a multicultural, multifaceted and bustling place that brings so many flavours of the world into just one place.
Or how about the RIBA award-winning Goldsmith Street - a cutting edge council housing development that was named the best piece of new architecture in 2019?
OUR Norwich is creative, diverse and innovative
Our city's two universities bring students in from all corners of the globe. They are creative, diverse and innovative, whether they are producing stunning works of art, ground-breaking research or learning a trade, they are a credit to our city.
OUR Norwich has national treasures
If ever there was an individual that represents everything that Norwich is all about it is one of our favourite sons - Stephen Fry.
Mr Fry is intelligent, brave, bold, funny and unashamed to be who he is and campaign for the rights of others to do the same.
Then there's Delia Smith, another national treasure who has brought joy to millions over the years.
And how can we possibly mention national treasrues without speaking about our favourite fictional son - Alan Partridge? A-ha!
This weekend, Norwich may be in the headlines for an abysmal piece of hate - but that could truly not be further from away from what the city represents as a whole.
We call ourselves a fine city and that is exactly what we are.
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