Britain and British Culture

  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    Well, there are a few threads for other cultures, and being the Brit that I am, I thought this would be a good idea :shifty

    So, background info:

    Britain, or the United Kingdom, is an island nation situated in northern Europe. Britain is comprised of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each with their own culture and history. Britain is a constitutional monarcy, the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, and it is also a Parliamentary democracy. It has no written constitution. It was the world's first industrialised nation. The offical language is English.

    I won't even attempt to sum up everything about British culture here. I'm leaving that open to you. So the key question, really, is:

    What does 'British culture' mean to you?

    I'm not just interested in British opinions here. In fact, those would probably be the least revealing.
    My personal answer to that question would be a few lines from the film Love Actually.



    "We may be a small country, but we're a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham's right foot. David Beckham's left foot, come to that."

    But on my my second question.

    What do you like/dislike about British culture?

    Bring on the tea and scones.
    April 10th, 2009 at 10:52pm
  • Stephen Fry

    Stephen Fry (100)

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    I like the kind of tweeness of it - Oscar Wilde. William Skaespeare. Jane Austem. Tea. Crumpets. Stephen Fry. Alan Bennet. Morrissey. Shortbread. The BBC. The NME. Glasgow West End. London West End. Ceilidh dancing. Old Universities. The Herald. The Financial Times. The Guardian/Observer. And much, much more.

    I don't like - hearing people in Scotland bad-mouth England (I'm Scottish, so I'm not exposed to it the other way round as much...though my extended step family has given me a sense of it). The Daily Mail. That's about it.
    April 10th, 2009 at 11:40pm
  • Blue Demon

    Blue Demon (100)

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    British Culture? I'm not sure, I think that with four contries being bunged into one it's not exactly an easy way to get a full sense of Britishness since we are stereotypical of our own countries behaviour; ie Scots are drunks - more to the point Glasgow drunks are really loud, but friendly. England are die-hard football fans. Wales are hardcore rugby fanatics. And old ladies and men go out at 10 in the morning for crumpets and scones along with a cup of tea.

    I think over all Brittish culture is more BBC, the Royal family and Gordon Brown and the weather.

    I like the fact that Britian is multicultural, that it has so many different divides and the history in each individual country is unique to the other; although similar in some cases, ie England trying to rule Wales and Scotland and Ireland; and every country in the UK have helped to put the UK on the map.

    I dislike about the UK woud be:
    neds, people complaining about Gordon Brown, people complaining about the Royal family.
    April 11th, 2009 at 12:48am
  • vonny

    vonny (355)

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    I love the humour. :shifty

    I'm from Australia, so Britain is supposed to be like the "motherland". :tehe: But I think that whole view of Britain is dying out now.

    But, I see many similarities between British culture and Australian culture, well, in my family anyway. Such as food, etc. And I mean, I was brought up watching British shows and British music. So in a way I feel connected to Britain, even though I've never been there. :shifty

    I'd like to go one day and maybe live there for a year or something. ~~
    April 11th, 2009 at 09:32am
  • The Master

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    Well, where else on Earth could a bloke with two hearts living in a 1960 Po9lice Box whose enemy is a flying metal Nazi dustbin ever take off the ground?
    April 11th, 2009 at 11:13am
  • Stephen Fry

    Stephen Fry (100)

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    ^^^ How could I have missed that one out?! :D
    April 11th, 2009 at 11:34am
  • The Master

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    Hells yeah.

    i mean, the British culture has no fixed identity. I mean, if you say...Scottish culture then you think of kilts and haggis and tartan and stuff. Welsh culture you have a vast history of ale, Welsh Rarebit, music, leeks, daffodils. England is a bit more divided. Yeah you have tea and such but in different areas that means different things.

    The alcohol culture is a geographical thing. You have gin in London and Plymouth. Wine in Cornwall. Whiskey in Scotland and Ireland. Beers. Ales. Cider.
    April 11th, 2009 at 05:34pm
  • Mind Reader.

    Mind Reader. (100)

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    I adore the Brit culture. I am British, and I just couldn't picture myself living anywhere else. I went to America once for two weeks, and even though I thought it was a brilliant place for a holiday, I just coukdn't picture myself living there. For one thing, I disliked a lot of the food there, and thought ti was too hot :shifty but over all I liked it there.

    I would never leave England though, I just loves it so much. :cute:
    Hey, has anyone else heard that British sweets are meant to be like really sweet? I don't think they're as sweet as some foureners think they are.
    There's a Canadian boy in my class, and all he eats every day are these really sugary fruity wind up thingys, and he can't get anough of them. :shifty That might be saying something...
    April 12th, 2009 at 06:26pm
  • Angelus.

    Angelus. (100)

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    I love all the history England has :D There are many bad things about modern England, just like everywhere else in the world... But I personally love being British, Even the word 'British' sounds British :XD
    April 12th, 2009 at 11:19pm
  • Djinnverso

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    Buffy-willow:
    I love all the history England has :D There are many bad things about modern England, just like everywhere else in the world... But I personally love being British, Even the word 'British' sounds British :XD
    I agree with buffy-willow. There are lots of bad things about England, but htere are probably lots of good things too, not the least of which are amazing movies and writers. And really good actors and sci-fi shows. (I'm a torchwood and Doctor Who addict) The Beatles rock, as do most of the bands from England, though I cannot think of any right now, it being 10 o'clock at night here in America.

    Best things (from England, at least) : P. B. Kerr, the Children of the Lamp author (Groanin rocks. No competition.) Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, and Maggie Smith. Oh, and Philip and Oliver Pullman and, or course, David Thewlis. (Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Gred and Forge, and Lupin) OH, and Douglas Adams, creator of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

    Worst things: Too many sexual references in TV shows. Aparently it's, for want of a better term, 'looser' over there when it comes to partying and the like.

    Pardon me if I do not have an accurate view of Britain and or British culture. I'm American.
    April 13th, 2009 at 05:17am
  • bateman

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    kohakusothersis:
    Worst things: Too many sexual references in TV shows. Aparently it's, for want of a better term, 'looser' over there when it comes to partying and the like.
    I actually love the fact that not many things get bleeped or edited out in our media. :tehe: I mean, sometimes people take it a little too far but at least they're not bleeping out every other word.

    I used to watch That 70s Show on an American channel and they beeped out anything remotely... I don't want to say offensive because even that's to strong a word. :tehe:

    And I agree with vonny, too, I love the humour.
    April 13th, 2009 at 05:09pm
  • Djinnverso

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    saint gut-free.:
    kohakusothersis:
    I used to watch That 70s Show on an American channel and they beeped out anything remotely... I don't want to say offensive because even that's to strong a word. :tehe:
    Actually, you'd be surprised how much stuff doesn't get bleeped out. If you get Comedy Central (it shows things like South Park, Reno 911, and, of course, the Colbert Report) over there, then voila. You have some very nasty stuff. I was watching the BBC channel the other day, and it was on.. gahh, I forgot the guy's name, but Torchwood was about to come on. They had a girl on a gondola, inging the song 'Happy Together'. If you listen to the band Simple Plan, then you've probably heard their rendition of it. Or, at least the Beatles version. It was quite funny, to me at least.
    April 14th, 2009 at 01:59am
  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    kohakusothersis:
    Worst things: Too many sexual references in TV shows. Aparently it's, for want of a better term, 'looser' over there when it comes to partying and the like.
    Gosh, really? :shifty
    I never knew there was this perception of us being more...liberal with these things. Perhaps, growing up with it, I'm not very sensitive to it. But it's interesting that you say that.

    I mean, there was that thing about Frankie Boyle getting ito trouble for making jokes about the Queen's vagina, but he's probably one of the most 'edgy' comedians on TV anyway.

    Now I think about it, there is quite a bit of sexual innuendo on comedy TV shows like QI, Mock the Week and so on. But I never thought we were any worse than any other country xD
    April 14th, 2009 at 05:19pm
  • The Master

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    kohakusothersis:
    Worst things: Too many sexual references in TV shows. Aparently it's, for want of a better term, 'looser' over there when it comes to partying and the like.
    Gosh, really? :shifty
    I never knew there was this perception of us being more...liberal with these things. Perhaps, growing up with it, I'm not very sensitive to it. But it's interesting that you say that.

    I mean, there was that thing about Frankie Boyle getting ito trouble for making jokes about the Queen's vagina, but he's probably one of the most 'edgy' comedians on TV anyway.

    Now I think about it, there is quite a bit of sexual innuendo on comedy TV shows like QI, Mock the Week and so on. But I never thought we were any worse than any other country xD
    I suppose if you consider things that lurk on BBC3 of an evening: Two Pints..., Grownups, Coming of Age, Little Britain...they're quite...racy.

    And Borat and things. All about bodily functions and poor representations of whatever class or group of people they are trying to promote and - voila!
    April 14th, 2009 at 06:17pm
  • kafka.

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    I wonder if anyone's read Julian Barnes' England, England. I found it quite creepy. You should read it, it's about Britishness.
    I'm not particularly interested in British culture, yes, I think it's a lovely country, but I'm somewhat more drawn to French culture because I live in a francophone country. I think I just wanted to say that I think contemporary British writers scare me a little.
    April 14th, 2009 at 07:33pm
  • The Master

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    emma bovary.:
    I wonder if anyone's read Julian Barnes' England, England. I found it quite creepy. You should read it, it's about Britishness.
    I'm not particularly interested in British culture, yes, I think it's a lovely country, but I'm somewhat more drawn to French culture because I live in a francophone country. I think I just wanted to say that I think contemporary British writers scare me a little.
    I am inclined to agree with you. Will Self - for example - is a brilliant man but he does sometimes scare me.
    April 14th, 2009 at 07:36pm
  • bateman

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    Gosh, really? :shifty
    I never knew there was this perception of us being more...liberal with these things. Perhaps, growing up with it, I'm not very sensitive to it. But it's interesting that you say that.

    I mean, there was that thing about Frankie Boyle getting ito trouble for making jokes about the Queen's vagina, but he's probably one of the most 'edgy' comedians on TV anyway.

    Now I think about it, there is quite a bit of sexual innuendo on comedy TV shows like QI, Mock the Week and so on. But I never thought we were any worse than any other country xD
    If you watch Jonathan Ross ever, sometimes you'll see American actors or comedians getting really worried because they've said 'fuck' or 'shit' and they don't think they're allowed to say it here, because they can't say it in America. :tehe:
    April 15th, 2009 at 11:00am
  • college dropout

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    Not British, but I know British humor is very distinct.
    Like differences between the British Office and the American one.
    And if Skins was shown in America (well, it is already, on BBC America) but I mean if it was an American show that was British, if that makes any sense. Americans wouldn't really like it.
    April 19th, 2009 at 05:38am
  • Bells.

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    I love the accents more than anything else :XD And this really clandestine sexiness of British men... But enough about that.

    Like Australians, New Zealanders see Britain as the motherland also. We use a lot of the same words as British people, like "mate" and... other stuff. :XD

    I really hope to visit Britain some day.
    April 19th, 2009 at 10:20am
  • Namber

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    dancingtoelectropop:
    Not British, but I know British humor is very distinct.
    Like differences between the British Office and the American one.
    And if Skins was shown in America (well, it is already, on BBC America) but I mean if it was an American show that was British, if that makes any sense. Americans wouldn't really like it.
    :shock: :shock: :shock:
    How could Americans not like skins?
    I'm addicted to it! But saying that, I am British.

    I know these might be very regional thingsbut they're what I think of when you say British culture: pubs, beer, common as muck (<3 that saying In Love) council estates, drinking, smoking, Barnsley Accent. For those of you who don't know what the typical Barnsley accent it misses alot of words, is very common and uses the word thee alot. E.g. When a was a lad.... Al tell thee lass.... blahblahblah, and so on. Me mates dad talks like that, and so does me uncle, - it's hard to understand unless you know what their on abart, :file:
    April 19th, 2009 at 04:51pm