Lancastrian milkman picks up Gujarati while dealing with Asian customers

July 13th, 2010 - 5:42 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 13 (ANI): A Lancastrian milkman has learned to speak Gujarati while dealing with his Asian customers who can’t talk in English.

John Jimmy Mather, 69, first delivered pints in 1960 and soon made friends with the few immigrants on his round from India and Bangladesh.

“When I began in 1960 there used to be a handful of Asian families in the region. I can still remember the first few people I served,” the Daily Express quoted Jimmy as saying.

“They were good, decent folk but ­obviously their English wasn’t good. So I picked it up myself and it made things a whole lot easier,” he added.

Rachel Dwyer, an expert in Indian cultures, said: “Very few non-Indians learn Gujarati. I’ve heard a few Arab traders in Oman and there’s a handful of scholars who know it.”

“I remember he went into somebody’s house and asked her what she wanted. I was shocked that he was speaking such fluent Gujarati,” said Mohammed Sufi, who has known Mather since 1974.

Another friend, Saeed Adam said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and just great that a white English person can speak it. All the locals love him.”

“Gujarati is not an easy language for a westerner to master and this is also in the best traditions of the English milkman who looks for the best ways to serve his customer,” said Alp Mehmet UK spokesman for MigrationWatch. (ANI)

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