History > 2009 > UK > Race relations (I)
All together now?
A portrait of race in BritainFebruary 2009 marks 10 years
the institutional racism that marred
investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Here, 10 Britons, all born in
1974 - the same year as the south London student - describe their experiences of
race relations in this country
Sunday 18 January 2009
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk at 00.01 GMT on Sunday 18
It appeared in the Observer on Sunday 18 January 2009 on p14 of the Comment &
It was last updated at 00.06 GMT on Sunday 18 January 2009.
Pete Turner, bass player in Elbow
Pete Turner is the bassist for the Mercury Music Prize winning band, Elbow. He
grew up near Manchester and was adopted by a white British couple. He is not in
touch with his birth parents, but he knows that his father was black and from
Kenya and his mother was white
I was about four or five months old when I was adopted, and it's the best thing
that ever happened to me. My parents are white, and from a very early age I've
known they weren't my birth parents - it's not like they could have hidden it! I
think adopting a black child in the 70s was quite a thing, really, and I'm proud
of my mum and dad for that. It's funny - I've got three or four friends who are
adopted and, if you're not, you assume that you'd need to find out about your
natural parents, but none of us do. I know that my natural father was a Kenyan
and my natural mother was a white lady, but that's all I need to know.
I was always aware that I was the only black kid in school, but I just got on
with it. Looking back on that period of time, I know that in certain areas of
the country it must have been horrible, but for me it was never really an issue.
I remember when I was dead little, though, about the first time that I was
allowed to walk into the village and get some sweets. I was walking in with my
sister and I remember a guy sitting on the other side of the road who looked a
proper skinhead. I remember him shouting "nigger", but not loud enough that my
sister could hear properly, and she asked me whether he was talking to us. Even
though she was two years older I didn't want her to know that someone had said
that to me - I thought it would hurt her as much as it would hurt me, so I just
said: "Oh it's all right, I know him."
When I was about 15, a mate of mine called Chris - who isn't black but used to
think he was - moved up to near where I lived. He introduced me to Public Enemy
and my life changed completely: that really was a massive, defining moment. It
was so important for me hearing that music because it made me really aware of
black culture; it made me aware of being a black person. I used to sit and look
at Chuck D's lyrics and it took me to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and
hip-hop music, and the whole of black history. Since then I don't think a band
has made such an impact on my life. Me and Chris used to walk round this little
village north of Bury with an absolutely massive ghetto blaster, playing "Fight
the Power" really loud. We must have looked ridiculous.
These days there's a lot of black people in indie bands - it's changed
enormously over the last few years. But a lot of the bands that I've always
liked, such as the Specials, have had black members in them, so it's never
really been a thing. In the band everything is fair game with us, so someone
will say something and I'll kill myself laughing. Like recently, there was a
picture of TV On The Radio - they're a band with four black guys and one white
guy. One of the guys in the band pointed to the one white guy and said: "Pete,
On one hand I think there's been a lot of progress, but then I remember my mum
being absolutely horrified and gutted when she got a leaflet from the BNP
through the door recently. It's people's fears: if you watch the news or you
read the Mail you're going to panic about things. Maybe it's there as much as it
ever was, but if people have racist views in this day and age I think they keep
them to themselves because they know they should be embarrassed.
I've gone to places where I've been very aware that I'm the only black person in
town - but not in this country. I'm a Mancunian before I'm British, though.
Manchester is a very cosmopolitan, liberal place and it's got a lot to do with
the way I am: it's a good place, full of good people. I don't walk round telling
people how black I am - unlike my friend Chris! - but I know that when I walk
into a room the first thing someone's going to see is a black man. I'm a black
Mancunian man, but before that I'm Pete, and that's it.
Maneera Stenhouse, PR manager
Maneera Stenhouse works for a disability charity in London. Her parents are both
I met my husband at university in Salford in the first week, and to be honest it
was never really a problem that he was English and I was Asian and Muslim
because we fell in love and any differences were irrelevant. I think that
because of the way I grew up - a nice, middle-class upbringing in Northampton -
I always had both English and Asian friends, and so my parents were very
welcoming to him. I went to a private Anglican girls' school, so most of my
friends were English and had a fairly privileged upbringing. Also, my parents
and I have seen quite a few arranged marriages struggle, so they were very keen
to make sure that I was happy - that was first and foremost.
That said, my dad expected me to marry someone similar to him - a nice Bengali
doctor - but now he adores Tom; so does my mum. Just because you marry someone
from the same ethnic background it doesn't mean it's going to work out. But if I
had picked someone who had a very different background to mine in terms of
education - as snobby as that sounds - I think my parents may have objected.
Because lots of my friends were English, celebrating Christmas has never been a
no-no for me, so once I was married and was celebrating the festive period with
Tom's family in Somerset, it didn't seem such an alien thing to do. Similarly,
Tom has always been interested in the culture he's married into. So he wanted to
understand what Ramadan was all about, and why fasting is such a big thing in
Muslim people's lives; now he takes part in it every year. The whole essence of
fasting is that you appreciate the food that you have and that you share it, and
those things are completely universal. The excitement of all sitting down to eat
together and breaking a fast during Ramadan is almost like having Christmas
When we got married we had a civic ceremony followed by an Islamic ceremony -
the two ceremonies pretty much mean the same thing: the union of two
individuals, one in front of the law and the other with Allah or God. I wore an
ivory wedding dress for the first bit of the civil ceremony and a veil over my
head for the Islamic ceremony. In the evening we had a formal Indian reception
where I wore a gold lehenga - a traditional Indian dress - and Tom wore a gold
sherwani suit. I wanted to make sure that the clothes reflected our different
cultures, and the two dresses were both made by the same designer, so even
though the first dress looked English it had Indian embroidery on it. I think it
was a really good mix. There were aspects of the ceremonies that were perhaps a
bit strange to Tom's family, because the norm is to marry in a traditional
village church, but they just took it all on board with open arms.
For some people religion is the most important thing, but I've been brought up
to appreciate that being a good human being is first and foremost, so I
shouldn't discriminate against anyone who's from a different religion. If I had,
for example, grown up in a very strong Indian community and I had gone on to
marry an Indian person as well, then it would be much more straightforward, but
instead I've got lots of different influences. I feel that my identity is quite
mixed because I'm Muslim, though not strict; Bengali, though I'm part of the
Indian subcontinent as well, and I'm British, but then I'm English because I was
born and brought up in England. I don't think anyone's straightforwardly British
- I think everyone's got a little bit of everything in them anyway. We have our
differences and we might have a different way of looking at life, but in essence
we're all the same; we all wake up in the morning the same way and brush our
teeth at night.
Ade Akinbiyi, footballer
Ade Akinbiyi is a striker for Burnley Football Club. His parents are Nigerian
After growing up in a mixed area like Hackney in London it was a shock to join
Norwich football club. I was 16 at the time and moved into digs with an old lady
in the middle of the countryside.
I was probably the first black person she had ever looked after and I found it
very difficult; she probably did, too. It wasn't just race - there were cultural
differences as well. My parents are Nigerian and I was used to eating jollof
rice and chicken, but she cooked potatoes and roast dinners. I used to sneak
home whenever I could.
Norwich was a very white place. To see another black person in those days was
kind of a relief. I used to think about how other people might see me: what were
they thinking? If I missed the bus to get to training I would walk instead of
standing about waiting, because I was worried that people would question what a
black guy was doing around the area. They might not have done, but I was young
and insecure at the time.
When I started playing football my mum didn't like coming to watch me. She hated
the abusive side of it, the swearing and shouting. Even today I am appalled by
what people will shout in front of their children; of course the kids then grow
up and carry on shouting it. The racism is still there. It's quieter than it
used to be and the police are trying to step up their work on it, but I don't
think it will ever stop.
As a black man driving a nice car with tinted windows I get stopped by the
police a lot. The famous phrase is, "It fits your description, blah blah blah."
I'm never rude to them, because the ruder you are the longer it takes. Arguing
with them is a waste of time.
Being a footballer, you move around a lot, and I've lived in all kinds of areas.
I've always kept my principles about mixing with all people and all colours, but
not everyone is like that. You get those people who talk to black people at
work, but they don't want to socialise with them outside. It happens in
football, I'm not gonna lie. Even within the black community there are
differences. You get banter between Africans and West Indians. I had a team-mate
at one of the clubs I played for who kept calling me "African this" and "African
that". I kept saying to the guy, "You do know we're all from Africa?" That boy
didn't know his roots. I don't think white people see any of that. They just see
black people as all the same, just like how people get Indians mixed up with
I had a bunch of kids wanting to touch my hair at one club I played for. I
didn't mind, I just let them do it because they had never felt hair like that
before and they wanted to know what it was like. It was the first step for them,
finding out about someone else's culture. That's something that is very
important to me. I love reading about history and other cultures and I've tried
to pass that on to my son - we always watch the news together. He's mixed race
and goes to school in a very white area, so when he was younger kids used to go
up to him and say, "How come you're dark skinned?" I had to sit him down and
explain that a lot of parents don't teach their kids about these things.
Darren Nelson, concierge
Daren Nelson used to be in the RAF and now works at a police training academy.
Both his parents are Jamaican
I've always been very patriotic, and I think that comes from being really into
old black and white war films as a kid. It's also from talking to ex-servicemen
and thinking: "You must have been really proud to do that job." It's something
that's always been in me, so when I was 25 I joined the RAF and was there for
five years. I was definitely in the minority as a black guy - I could go on a
camp with 200 or 300 people and there would literally be just one or two black
guys there. But in terms of racism, colourwise I really didn't get any at all.
The only aggro I got was from the Scots and Welsh and Irish about being English!
My mix of friends now is about half black guys and half white guys. I grew up in
Basingstoke, which even today is still mainly a white area, so my closest
friends from school are all white guys. Some of the other black lads that I muck
about with are quite a lot shorter than me, so when I say I don't really get any
racist bullying, they go: "Yeah, it's all right for you - you're 6ft 2in and 18
I suppose my size maybe makes me a bit intimidating, so that's probably why I've
never been affected by hostile racism. You do get the jokey stuff from the older
guys who think that the Bernard Manning/Jim Davidson sense of humour is still
tolerable. So they'll come out with daft comments, like in the summer they'll
say: "Oh blimey, you've got a good tan there, mate, where did you go on
holiday?" But these are the same sorts who come out with mother-in-law jokes, so
you can't really take them seriously.
But as a big black guy I do get stereotyped a lot. When I'm out I get people
coming up to me all the time and saying: "Got any more of those pills, mate?"
They see a big black guy and automatically think he must be some sort of drug
dealer. At first I found it quite funny, but after a while it grates a bit. I've
got an older sister, and I do think maybe it's harder being a black guy than a
black woman because there aren't so many preconceptions about black women. When
people see a black guy wearing casual urban clothes, they think: "That geezer
must be in a gang, he's a bit of a hoodie." I'd say those stereotypes have
actually got worse because of the rise in drug use and gang violence: people are
even more intimidated by groups of black guys hanging around now.
Unfortunately I do think that the race card is still being played. I've seen
people in the air force who were incompetent during basic training, but they'd
come out and say: "Oh the sarge just don't like me 'cause I'm black."
As a black guy you just have to do your job properly, be efficient at what you
do, and only then, if you don't get the promotion, have you got grounds to say:
"Well, I think there's some racial undertones here." But in general I feel
pretty positive about how far we've come in this country - back in the day it
used to be that black guys just hung out with black guys, but now there's much
more of a mix: kids are growing up together, black kids and white kids hang
around together, and everyone gets to know everyone else's culture. It's
definitely a positive thing.
Radha Jenkins, mother
Radha Jenkins's parents were both British. Her mother was mixed race, her father
is white. She lives in north London with her three children
Some people used to have a go at my mum because they couldn't understand how
this black woman had two white children. And even now when I fill in those forms
there's not really a box for me - sometimes I tick "white" and sometimes I tick
"other", but I do wonder why we have to be put in a box. Why can't we just stand
outside it? In family pictures it's like "spot the white person", because most
of my family are a shade of brown. It bothered me that I was different when I
was little, but my mum would tell me I was her English rose.
I've mainly been out with white guys, but my sister, who's olive-skinned, only
really goes out with black guys. But I'm not really a black guy's idea of a good
girlfriend. There's this cultural thing of a lot of black men wanting their
women to be dressed up, have their hair and nails done and the rest - I can't be
bothered with that. When I was about 18 I went out with an Irish guy and I
remember when his mum found out that mine was mixed race she said to me, "Oh,
you could get away with being Irish, couldn't you?" That shocked me, "What did
she mean 'Get away with it'?" - as if having a mixed-race mum was something you
I sometimes think there's more racism today - particularly with kids. There's
more segregation and people are more anxious. You used to have three distinct
groups: there were white people, Asian people and black people and they mostly
sort of stuck in their specific groups. Now that people are so much more mixed
it seems like everyone's racist against everyone. It used to be gangs of black
kids versus gangs of white kids, but now it's much more complicated. When I was
younger everyone just hung around with each other, but now there's Somalian
gangs, for example, who maybe don't like the Polish and the Polish kids don't
like the black kids, or whatever. When did this happen?
When Stephen Lawrence was killed everyone thought it was horrific, now almost
every day you hear about some kid that's been knifed or shot. My eldest son's 13
and I worry about him all the time. I even called the police once because he was
late home. He sometimes has this big, blonde afro and I remember once I was
walking behind him down the street and two older black guys walked past him and
said: "Check out the white boy with his afro!" I wondered if maybe he gets that
all the time. It looks amazing and unique, but some people don't like
Shezad Dawood, artist
Shezad Dawood lives in east London. His father is from Pakistan and his mother
My parents divorced when I was quite young and I remember my dad's house in
Barnes, west London, as being a kind of gem when I was growing up. He was a
music photographer in the States, so not your usual stereotype of an Asian dad,
and our house was very open. We had Jewish people, black people, gay people - I
hate trundling out one-dimensional caricatures, but these were all vital,
interesting, creative people who argued and discussed things together. It was
like a mini utopia.
Outside the walls of my dad's house it was a different story. As a teenager I
remember running for my life when I was chased by a gang of skinheads with
Stanley knives and baseball bats, and I certainly ran a lot faster than I did at
school doing PE. There was also this thing of bowing your head at school - a
sort of "know your place". I was not the sort to take it, so I'd punch someone,
but it was a hollow victory because all it would get me was a transfer to
honorary "non-Paki" status and I'd get to sit with the other kids who were not
racially defined while they told racist jokes. Every day I was not sure if I was
a traitor or a collaborator, so I had a really fraught sense of self and a
muddled identity. I think it wakes you up very quickly to what it is to be
human, to the worst and... I'm wary of saying "the best" because I think we have
yet to get there.
Now I think London is the most advanced place in the world in terms of being
allowed to be who you are. A lot of artist friends of mine have moved to Berlin,
but I'd loathe to give up living here because I like the freedom of not having
to identify. There was a bit of an upset after the 7/7 bombings, though: I was
living in Bethnal Green and suddenly 15 years after leaving school you had to be
aware of race again. I remember going to the tube and in front of me was another
"brown guy" with a beard. The police stopped him and I thought: "That could have
been me!" I had that feeling again, of having to be aware of yourself in a way
you shouldn't have to be. Now I do find myself shaving before I travel by air,
just for ease of passage.
I studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, and when I
graduated in 2000 there was, if I'm really honest, an envy of my peers being
able to go into shows without any racial designation while I was always being
labelled an Asian artist. Quite soon after graduating I was in a show at the
Whitechapel Gallery which was Asian themed and I thought: I wish I could be here
on my own merit rather than coming through the back door of the "Asian"
category. More recently, I've been the beneficiary of positive discrimination in
terms of funding, though. I see that as a kind of idiocy, but I have a strong
belief in the work I make and the importance of it, so: you want to give me some
money because I'm brown? Fine.
I see my make-up as pretty much three-way in terms of religion: I was brought up
with a Sufi understanding of Islam and an understanding of Hinduism, and went to
a C of E school, while gnosticism and other more esoteric aspects of
Christianity interest me just as much. To be entrenched in one's own culture and
not to engage in society is a problem. With disappointment, I've seen a younger
generation of Asians go back to their roots in a very one-dimensional way -
particularly in terms of adopting a much less complicated, more conservative
position on things. But what are your roots? They've multiplied and fragmented
since then. Rather than getting alarmist about losing culture, that multiplicity
is actually where it becomes interesting and is something we should all embrace.
Kelly Regan-Mears, communications manager
Kelly Regan-Mears works for a construction company in Kent. Her parents are both
I went to a boarding school with lots of people from different countries, but to
me their difference was because of nationality. As a result, I actually had a
bit of a culture shock when I went to Kingston University in Surrey. I was
meeting people of British birth who looked different because of their skin
colour, and who formed these quite cliquey groups which seemed to be about being
of a similar race. They dressed in a particular way and used a particular type
of street slang that I couldn't understand.
I think people considered me a little bit of a snob, but my three best friends
at university were all non-white. One had a white mother and black father,
another had two black parents, and my other friend was of Chinese origin. One
thing that I did find very difficult was if we were out as a group and we'd get
racial slurs. I remember one instance where we actually didn't catch a bus into
Kingston because there was a group of white girls and boys making negative
comments. I said to my friends, "Do you not have a problem with this?" and they
said they didn't - but I did.
I've always been absolutely blind to race. I've had several boyfriends who
weren't white, but it was never a pride or trophy thing, they were just people I
liked. Equally, I think I'd be safe in hazarding a guess that none of those men
went out with me just because I was a white girl; they went out with me because
they liked me.
My family never made it an issue for me, though I do recall a friend of my
grandmother's saying: "It's not right for a white girl and a black boy to be
seen together." But that was probably a generational thing. My grandparents had
to overcome that themselves when my Irish father married my English mother. At
the time, when my parents were courting, it wasn't the done thing.
I had a slight Irish accent when I was younger and the girls at school could get
a bit nasty. I remember having to do a show-and-tell about our grandfather, and
mine was in the Irish Republican Army when it was just the army, but word got
out to girls at school that my family were members of the IRA. Just as not every
Irish person was a member of the IRA, similarly every Muslim is not going to be
a member of al-Qaida. It's the same with how Brits are typecast abroad: not
everybody in Britain goes out, gets absolutely trollied and walks around in an
England shirt abusing foreigners!
I always think that if people are prejudiced against something it's generally
because they are ignorant, and education goes a tremendously long way to putting
Abdul Chohan, assistant head teacher
Abdul Chohan teaches at a school in Lancashire. His parents are both Indian
I'm the assistant head of a school in Bolton where there are 40 languages
spoken. Here, there's tolerance - it's built in as so many different cultures
are part of the playground, so the staff have got to recognise that and take
into account the different needs of kids from different faiths and cultures. It
wasn't like that even five years ago, when I started. Then it was just white
British and Indian and Pakistani. When I was at school it was a different world:
there was such a big divide between the two groups of children, the white
British kids and then the Indian and Pakistani kids. Now, the kids in my school
are so much more integrated - for example, I've got this Sikh boy from
Afghanistan, the first Sikh at our school. When he came I had a chat with him
and he said he was a bit scared, but now he's fitted into a group made up of one
lad from Afghanistan, a lad from Senegal and a Kurdish boy, so there's this
foursome of friends who really get on, even though they're all completely
different and speak different languages.
When tensions arise it's usually to do with geography, and you get turf wars
between different groups. So, for example, the Pakistani kids are located in one
area and the Indian kids in another area, and when they fight people assume it's
racial, although it's actually just because they're from different parts of
town. I was speaking to a colleague of mine from Liverpool and she was saying
it's the same with Catholics and Protestants. So sometimes I think: is it a race
thing or is it just boys being boys? If I look at the same lads when they're
much older, the 30-plus generation in Bolton, there's no tension there; it's
gone by then.
I don't think my ethnicity - the fact that my parents are from India - has much
of an influence on anything. When I go to India it's very alien to me. Years
back I went to Pakistan and Nepal, but after two months all I could think of was
a cheese-and-onion pasty and I wanted to be back in Bolton. The weather's not
great here, but this is home.
I think the challenges now are more to do with religion than race. Especially
after 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings. It's strange how someone who's been brought up
here practising their religion can suddenly feel quite alienated. Islam was a
big part of my upbringing, and because of that I feel like I'm trying to be an
ambassador for my religion all the time, trying to promote myself and who I am.
But what I say to the boys I work with is that in a lot of countries if you want
to practise your faith you're in handcuffs, but you have your freedom to
practise your faith over here, the freedom to do so many things. That's one of
the main reasons I'm proud to be British.
Katherine Gibb, teaching assistant
Katherine Gibb lives in south London. Her father is a white Briton and her
mother was a black Ugandan
In many ways I feel more black than white, and I find myself veering towards an
African attitude, especially in the cultural things, like disciplining children.
In quite a few African families there tends to be a lot more discipline with
regards to children, and I kind of respect that. I don't mean corporal
punishment, but rather letting the child know right from wrong and having
certain standards and expecting the child to have standards, too. It's strange
that I identify with my African heritage in this way because my mum left Britain
and went back to Uganda when I was five. I never got to meet her family or see
her again - Idi Amin was in power and she and the rest of her family were
I've never really grown up considering myself African or English though - I just
consider myself a human being and a woman, and it's other people who pigeonhole
me when they see my skin colour. I've got close black friends and close white
friends, and my black friends say that they see me as a woman, and when I'm with
them I sort of think of myself as black whereas I suppose my white friends think
of me as mixed race.
It annoys me when I hear the black youth of today using the concept of "you're
discriminating against me because of my colour" as an excuse. I think: "Well,
maybe you're not using your brain!" I think a lot of them still feel that
they're owed something; they still hark back to slavery. Come on: that was 400
years ago. That said, I have quite a few black male friends who've got their
qualifications, got a job, and they're on the right path: they're not leaving
school without qualifications and signing on the dole for the rest of their
There's still slavery going on in Africa, though - black-on-black tribalism -
but none of the black community ever condemns it. And that's where the black
community falls apart. If you look at Africa as a whole, not one country has
stepped forward to condemn what Robert Mugabe is doing and said: "You're doing
this in the name of all black people and we disagree."
I think British culture has a lot of negative things about it, but in terms of
race I actually think Britain can be proud, I think we've done well for a
country that was predominantly white 20 years ago.
I live in Plumstead in south London, and the place where Stephen Lawrence died
isn't that far away from me. I think the area's changed a lot since he was
killed and it's certainly become a lot more cosmopolitan. I moved here when I
was 10, and it was fairly white - a typical suburb of London. Now I walk down to
my local greengrocer's and I hear Polish, Albanian and Nigerian accents. We've
Ed Davidson, IT manager
Ed Davidson lives and works in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. His parents are both
I don't actively go out to seek black or Asian friends, but nor do I actively
seek white friends. It just doesn't really register that much with me. There's
this phrase, "ethnic ambiguity", that's bandied round at the moment, which is
about how much attention we pay to people's creed and background. I'd much
rather base the interactions I have with an individual on their personality -
it's never in line with their racial background. How much would I want someone
to pay attention to the fact that I'm a stereotypical white male? Not at all, to
Of course there are certain privileges that I've enjoyed throughout my life
because I am a white male from a middle-class background, who's financially
stable. It's a comfortableness with many situations: I can remember standing in
a queue to book into a hotel a couple of years ago and the guy in front of me
was black. I remember the tension and the hostility coming from the man behind
the desk. But when I moved up to the desk, immediately he was all: "Oh, hello,
sir. Welcome." It was as if he was thinking: "You're the sort of person we want
to stay at this hotel." I noticed it, but did I say anything? No. But I do say
something when I hear racist jokes. I've got friends who are comfortable making
a racist joke, and it's usually the people who are equally ignorant who actually
laugh at them. But I'll say: "I don't really think that's particularly funny."
My mum and dad are from a generation where it's far more politically correct to
be "politically incorrect", but they're both intelligent enough people to
realise that's not right. Every now and again, if my dad and I have had a couple
of beers he'll make some sort of jokey comment and use a potentially politically
incorrect word which I don't think should be said. There's certain race-related
slang that seems to be far more offensive. I wouldn't dream of calling a
Pakistani person a "Paki", for example, but I call my Australian friend an
I'm proud of being British, very proud. I get quite upset when people slag this
country off. I can't stand people who whinge and moan and don't do anything
about it. If immigrants to this country bring some value to society, then I
think it's a good thing; what I don't approve of is people coming into this
country, irrespective of what country they're from, and not adding value to the
economy, to society, to culture. When I heard talk about a "Britishness day" I
thought, "You'll never get away with that." It sounds too colonial. I'm very
patriotic, though: I strapped a Union Jack to the back of my motorbike and
zoomed up and down the streets when Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix -
he's from Stevenage as well!
All together now?, O, 18.1.2009,