With parents from Gujarat in India, but born in Kenya and Zambia, EastEnders actor Himesh Patel has been able to draw on his heritage, as well as his own British identity. Himesh, who plays the part of Tanwar in EastEnders, as well as writing and directing for the show, talks about his British identity and his Indian heritage.
“I have this extra bank of background to draw from, which is where I come from and my parents come from,” he said. “But for me being British is just the same as everyone else – fish and chips and taking part in the Olympics.”
But Britishness has changed, and will carry on changing, says Himesh.
“The fact that my parents and their generations came to this country means that Britishness itself is changing, because now people ascociate a curry as something British, and that came from their generation.”
“Because these people have come to this country and brought their experiences with them, Britishness itself is changing. You could come and ask me in 10 years time what it means to be British and there might be different answers.”