Where are you from? England. No, where are you really from?

This encounter is something far too familiar to someone like me – born in Britain with a complexion resembling that of a South Asian and headgear reminiscent of a woman from the Arab world.

Albeit my experience of this disillusioned questioning has usually occurred abroad, it fits all too well with the identity crisis many young, British Asian people are facing today.

While at ‘home’ in England, it is clear from an early age that you and your family are not quite like the white neighbours next door.

Apart from the differences in outwardly appearance, the cultural distinction can be vast, from food to clothes to traditions. 

Except, a visit to the motherland can bring about similar feelings with potential language barriers arising and constantly being reminded that you are a foreigner.

This feeling of being too brown to be English but too white to be a proper Pakistani, or any ethnic minority, is one that will be familiar to many second or third generation immigrants.

Yet it is an issue that is not being adequately addressed, resulting in people feeling ostracised from both communities.

Unlike a number of problems faced by society, this one is not exclusive to those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Oxford graduate and Emmy winning actor Rizwan Ahmed discussed his racial identity in an interview with US television show host Stephen Colbert. He explained that while growing up in the UK, he felt he had to “qualify” by telling others that he was British Pakistani.

Nevertheless, the actor proclaims that now, gesturing at himself, “this is what British looks like”.

Although Ahmed appears to have reached a stage where he is comfortable with his identity, I believe there are still many young Asians who feel unsure about where they fit in.

The recent BBC drama Informer does well to highlight this as it takes a new, and more relatable take on young British Asian Muslims in Britain – very much unlike the BBC series Bodyguard.

While critics have drawn parallels between both, the latter does little than to recklessly peddle Islamophobia.

A scene in Informer shows British Pakistani Raza Shar (who acts as an informant) playing FIFA with prolific terrorist, Ahmed Al-Adoua. Here, Al-Adoua questions Raza’s decision behind choosing to play as England.

While Raza nonchalantly says it is because he is English, he is hit with a refutation, “no, you’re Muslim”.

As if there is not enough confusion, Raza adds that if it was cricket, he would pick Pakistan.

This scene is far from innocuous, especially as the series unfolds to show Raza’s lost teen brother massacring locals in a café.

But my question is, why do we have to pick one identity? It would indeed be easier for those from the far right to put us all in neat, individual boxes – the Muslim, the Indian, the black one.

I say no, I refuse to be easy, I refuse to make others feel comfortable at my own expense.

It is high time that we, as minorities, accepted our multiple identities. Let’s make it difficult for others to label or define us.

So next time that I am asked where I am really from, my response will be similar to one said over 2000 years ago: ‘I am a citizen of the world, and my nationality is goodwill’ - Socrates