Being a good neighbour has always been important to Andreea Neacsu. She grew up in a small town in Romania where the necessity of being considerate to whomever lives next door was drummed into her.
For the last year Ms Neacsu, 28, has lived in south-west London with her six-year-old daughter Maria and her partner Martin. Since she moved to Britain five years ago to work as a nanny, she has made a point of befriending her neighbours, an attitude that doesn’t quite fit with the disparaging insinuation made by Nigel Farage last week that Romanians are the last people one would hope to have living next door.
The Ukip leader has since tried to wriggle away from the comments that he would be “concerned” at having Romanian neighbours, instead criticising the country as a whole and quoting crime statistics about Romanians in Britain.
But Ms Neacsu is bemused by Mr Farage’s comments since she believes Romanian culture specifically encourages neighbourliness.
“For him to say that everyone in their right mind should be worrying about Romanians moving next door is terrible. I remember my parents teaching me to get along with our neighbours,” she said. “We were all Christian Orthodox and it was part of that teaching that it was very important. My parents became like family with their neighbours, that’s the tradition.
“I understand that there are some Romanians who do naughty things but it doesn’t mean that we’re all the same. It’s the same in every nation, we have good and bad people. It’s about the individual not the nation.”