Hair stylist, Nikolina, brings a multicolour approach to Irish life
2017-11-15 14:50:00 -
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The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin

‘Irska’ (Ireland in Croatian) by the popular Balkan band Postolar Tripper is a song that resonates in Ireland for many Croatian migrants here. The tune’s lyrics are about escaping the scarcity of Croatia for the abundance of Dublin; in the past four years well over 10,000 Croats, at the community’s own estimation, have made the move from east to west.

 

Nikolina Dropulic Rahaman has been in Ireland a few years longer than that — more than enough to determine that the native Irish actually share a lot of similarities with Croatians, such as being hardworking, welcoming and fun to be around.

 

Her own journey to Ireland didn’t mirror that of the song, however, as what attracted her here was more professional development. With three years as a hair stylist already under her belt, Nikolina arrived in 2004 to begin a master course in hair colouring.

 

But the most colourful moments in her life so far are when she opened her own beauty salon, when she had her daughter and the day she married her husband Akeem.

 

After working as a salon manager in Ireland for seven years, Nikolina knew the time was right to establish her own business. That was the start of Medniks Hair and Beauty Salon in Leixlip, now regarded as one of the top salons in Co Kildare.

 

“Ireland is a land of opportunities,” she says, and the results speak for themselves.

 

She puts at least part of the success of her business down to her relationships with her Irish clients, at first based solely on her skills as a hair stylist but soon growing more fond and personal – connections that have stood the test of time.

 

“I have been so lucky enough to have a diverse collection of customers from all different background and social status,” she says. “They are all more of a friendly nature now rather than just customers.”

 

As the Irish Government continues to work on the integration of minorities, Nikolina feels more emphasis should be put on encouraging Irish people to mingle with minorities in their local communities. At the same time, she is also realistic about efforts to combat ethnic prejudice.

 

“Racism comes in different facets and it will always be felt once you are not native,” she says. “I have not felt it as much as my partner but we have learnt to deal with it on a person-by-person basis since most of our friends are Irish and other foreigners like ourselves.”

 

This multiculturalism is even reflected in their family home, with her husband and daughter. “We both bring a ‘multicolour’ approach to all our dealings and have the best relationship. As a couple, we will always be from three different countries: Nigeria, Croatia and Ireland.”

 

- Princess Pamela Toyin has gained experience since the mid 1980s working in various fields and interacting with people of different tribes and ethnicity. With her passion for diversity, she is propelled to report a diverse range of issues that facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration, which can change social, economic, and cultural stereotypes, and believes there are lessons to be learned from everyone. Talk to her on +353 (0) 87 417 9640 or email echoesmediainternational@gmail.com

 

 

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