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Why is it so cool to trash talk your hometown?

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I consider myself to have two hometowns.

hometownThe first is Stafford, the West Midland’s county town in which I was born and raised. (And no, before you say it, not Shakespeare’s town, that’s Stratford.)

The second is Birmingham, the UK’s second city. Although I have only lived here for a couple of years since coming to the University of Birmingham, I consider it home because it was home to both my parents and grandparents; it is where my roots lie.

In my recent attempts at travel journalism, I have written a few articles that promote the culture of Birmingham, and I will tell anyone that asks that I am proud to live here. However, it seems that being proud of your hometown is most definitely not in fashion.

Time and time again I have seen whiney, complaining tweets or Facebook statuses such as ‘I can’t wait to get out of this place’ or the rather less polite, ‘This town is such a shithole.’

I even apparently offended someone on a night out because I said I liked living in Birmingham; he claimed that I have not lived here long enough to have an opinion, and if I had, I would have certainly realised by now that it is “a crap city and a horrible place to live.”

Then I thought to myself, have I really ever heard someone say something nice about where they live? It seems so normal for someone to say, “I come from [insert place name], yeah it’s just a [derogatory description] near [another place name].”

It definitely seems that the majority of people think it is super-trendy to moan about where they live, but let me tell you something, it’s just boring. As people of Britain, we hear enough complaints; complaining about school, work, money, politics, the weather - I think anyone would rather listen to someone that has something nice to say about where they live, it’s much more interesting!

Now, before you go ahead and inform me that your whining is for good reason, because your hometown actually is terrible, let me ask you something: is it really though? Or are you just being ungrateful?

After living somewhere for God knows how many years, it is likely that you have started to take your hometown for granted. And it is about time you start seeing the positives.

If you live in a big city and you constantly complain about noise, traffic, crime, pollution, etc., then it is likely you are overlooking the fact that there is always something to do in your hometown, I bet there is a plethora of things activities going on that you could get involved with and enjoy, but you just cannot be bothered.

Big cities are endlessly rich in culture, with countless things to see and do, and so many interesting characters to meet.

If you live in a remote little village and you never stop whinging about how there’s 'nothing to do here', you are almost certainly failing to notice the beauty around you. Some people would do anything to live somewhere tranquil, surrounded by green countryside, and there you are trashing it. It’s also probably a very safe place to live, and you take it for granted that in some parts of the world, people live every day in fear for their lives.

OK, your hometown is probably not perfect, but here’s the thing: nowhere is.

Before you say something bad about where you live, try to remember that all places have both advantages and disadvantages, maybe it’s time that you change your outlook, and try to focus on the good things. Believe me, being a proud resident is a refreshing feeling; every day becomes an opportunity to discover and appreciate something new about your home.

So, in answer to the question, “Why is it so cool to trash talk your hometown?”

I tell you, it’s not, stop being an ungrateful little sod.




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