Britain and British Culture

  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    schrodinger's cat.:
    On a different note, NHS bashing gets on my nerves, without it me and Stephen Hawking would both be dead. I love the NHS.
    I agree, and I think far too many people in this country get off so much on complaining that we forget to appreciate how well off we are as a country in matters other than finance. Shit could be a hell of a lot worse.
    April 5th, 2013 at 10:42pm
  • Jack Donaghy

    Jack Donaghy (450)

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    schrodinger's cat.:
    Well, I had terrible teeth and when I was eleven I got referred to an orthodontist and have had braces twice (it didn't work the first time because I was a bratty kid that hated doing anything with my teeth) again when I was thirteen. My bestfriend is really paranoid about her teeth she uses whitener and has these retainers she wears at night even though she doesn't need them, which cost a small fortune. And my boyfriend uses whitening tooth paste. Basically everyone I know apart from my dad (because he hates dentists) are super serious about dental care, my boyfriend even tells me off for not brushing my teeth before bed time.
    Also about ten of the kids in my last year of school had braces, dentists will refer you to a nhs orthodontist even if you're not sure because it is free for children in full time education under the age of 19.
    Oh yes, I know – I didn't mean that English people actually have bad (ie, rotting, yellow) teeth or anything like that. I think a lot of Americans / non-Brits think they do, but what I meant was that whatever tiny bit of truth that myth came from was that in the UK and Ireland, in my experience, dentists aren't as quick to recommend orthodontia as in the US. Nothing to do with actually taking care of your teeth. And I'm sure the orthodontia standards have changed in recent years – most of my cousins are about ten years older than me – but I'd still guess America has a higher rate of orthodontia in some places than the UK and Ireland; it seems like most people who get braces or wear retainers here do it for cosmetic reasons. I mean, in my town, at least half the kids I went to school with had braces or wore a retainer at some point. Granted that's a middle class town so most people could afford it. But yeah. And the whole "Oh the English and their terrible teeth~" thing is quite an old stereotype, so likely any part of it that was ever true is not true anymore.

    Anyway yeah I didn't mean to impugn Brits' teeth as a whole; I was strictly talking about the straightness of said teeth and really just my own experience (which is probably totally the opposite of reality, you know~). Shifty
    April 6th, 2013 at 05:21am
  • schrodinger's cat.

    schrodinger's cat. (100)

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    battalions:
    Oh yes, I know – I didn't mean that English people actually have bad (ie, rotting, yellow) teeth or anything like that. I think a lot of Americans / non-Brits think they do, but what I meant was that whatever tiny bit of truth that myth came from was that in the UK and Ireland, in my experience, dentists aren't as quick to recommend orthodontia as in the US. Nothing to do with actually taking care of your teeth. And I'm sure the orthodontia standards have changed in recent years – most of my cousins are about ten years older than me – but I'd still guess America has a higher rate of orthodontia in some places than the UK and Ireland; it seems like most people who get braces or wear retainers here do it for cosmetic reasons. I mean, in my town, at least half the kids I went to school with had braces or wore a retainer at some point. Granted that's a middle class town so most people could afford it. But yeah. And the whole "Oh the English and their terrible teeth~" thing is quite an old stereotype, so likely any part of it that was ever true is not true anymore.

    Anyway yeah I didn't mean to impugn Brits' teeth as a whole; I was strictly talking about the straightness of said teeth and really just my own experience (which is probably totally the opposite of reality, you know~). Shifty
    No, I wasn't saying that you were wrong in anyway, I was just saying what I know from personal experience. I have honestly hardly been outside of Essex and Norwich so I'm not exactly an expert on the country's dental services. You may well be right.
    April 6th, 2013 at 10:55pm
  • Daughter Monster

    Daughter Monster (150)

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    I love British culture; the BEATLES were from there for crying out loud. THE FREAKIN' BEATLES! Not to mention the Rolling Stones.
    Tea; I'm obsessed with teas. I love their films and their accents, and I also love how classy they are. They seem to hold themselves a little higher than the norm, not arrogantly but more confidence and pride in themselves.
    I've wanted to visit there since I was like, 12. I think I'm going to try to make it someday :)
    April 9th, 2013 at 07:18pm
  • anthony watt

    anthony watt (100)

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    I’d firstly say that although born on British occupied land, I do not see myself as British. I identify myself as Irish and only that. I’ll always be on the inside looking out and if that obscures some of my observation then so be it. Reading through this thread, looking at what everyone associates to be British, it all sounds so trivial and casual to me.

    In Northern Ireland, where I live in South Armagh, there are a handful of Loyalist communities in amongst a majority of Irish nationalist ones (like mine). Their take on being British is how it has always been defined to be by me. I don’t think, from what I’ve gathered from this thread, that anyone from the mainland is particularly nationalistic, perhaps patriotic to their country, but not nationalistic. In loyalist communities there’s this extreme feeling of Britishness that goes way beyond television programmes and tea – it’s this British nationalism. (Not like the BNP, though.) I agree that to some extent that British culture is dying away but not at all in Northern Ireland. I mean, these people are throwing petrol bombs at riot police because Belfast City Hall decided to only fly the Union Jack on designated days instead of 365 days a year – would you do that in England or Scotland or Wales? Yeah, and that’s just a flag they hold so dearly. (Though they have no problem burning tri-colours, and they wonder why we don’t like them.Grr) There’s also religion/Protestantism. I won’t expand any further. The Jubilee and Wedding last year, all that craze around the Royal Family, that’s just the norm for them.

    If people want to visit Britain, I strongly believe that the only place you will find Britain in its purest form is in Northern Ireland. (Though it'd probably put you off British accents.) But what Northern Ireland truly gives you is this ugly, extreme form of British tradition that’s glazed on the face of everything everywhere. If it’s possible, it seems to me that the people that many forget about (Norn Irish Loyalists) are the most British of all.

    I could be wrong. Unsure
    April 12th, 2013 at 12:51am
  • fjaratale

    fjaratale (100)

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    I've lived in Britain all my life and I just feel like all these people who have such high expectations of the country and want to come here so badly are going to be disappointed - unless you go to somewhere really historical / rural. London isn't the whole of the UK! Even then, I don't like London that much, not when I've visited anyway. Paris > London anyday.
    April 12th, 2013 at 01:02am
  • Charlie Brown.

    Charlie Brown. (100)

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    I lived in England for nine years, and I can say that apart from the weather, it was lovely!
    I mean, c'mon, curry chips anyone? tehe
    Although I have to say, it's rather annoying when you tell someone you lived there and the first thing they ask is 'omg, can you do the accent?' Grr
    May 30th, 2013 at 05:03am
  • schrodinger's cat.

    schrodinger's cat. (100)

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    @ anthony watt
    I think it's like that there because the Northern Irish had to truly fight to become British whereas in England, where I am from, we've always been on the inside and feel like we're the center of it. I think that's why they're much more passionate about it compared to the rest of us.
    I don't really believe in stuff like nationalism and patriotism, I do however think that England (I can't speak for the entirety of Britain) is one of the best places to live for many reasons.
    ______
    Everyone goes on about the weather, I just find it completely mild, there's not much to it which means that we don't really get extreme weather and I like that.
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:35pm
  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    schrodinger's cat.:
    Everyone goes on about the weather, I just find it completely mild, there's not much to it which means that we don't really get extreme weather and I like that.
    Aye, it's not that bad really; it's just unpredictable. Hence why we're often associated with complaining about it. It's not that it's shitty all the time, it's just that when it is it's usually when we don't expect it to be, and the same with scorching weather. One year it'll come in June/July as normal, and the next it'll suddenly come in April or not until late July/August. It's just temperamental, that's all.
    June 19th, 2013 at 02:15am
  • little motorkitty;

    little motorkitty; (630)

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    Can't say much about Britain as a whole seeing as I'm voting SNP but one thing I do hate is 'I want to go to England to hear a British accent' or 'Scotland? What part of England is that in?'

    dasjhdajhdas Twitch
    June 19th, 2013 at 04:38am
  • Unown

    Unown (190)

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    I feel like we steal a lot of tidbits from other cultures and sometimes make it our own. tehe For example, where did tea actually originate from? China? And...curry! Curry's not our own but is definitely popular down South, but I'm actually not sure about up North and to the West?
    I don't think we're the only guilty ones in doing so, though!

    We have close ties to India due to history, as I only recently learned whilst discussing a very good book I'm reading (Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman) with my dad.

    Um. Yeah. I don't really know what our culture is to be honest...I think it's so varied due to our lenience on immigration, religion etc. One thing I love about Britain, though, is our humour. Not gonna lie. I come from a family with a very typical London-English dry and fairly well-spoken accent (though it can sound pretty chavvy when we talk fast and drop the 't's), so our humour often comes across as very sarcastic and we take the absolute piss out of one another a lot for the laughs. I love this humour...tehe

    Actually, this kind of humour, in my opinion, holds lots of similarity toward the humour I've witnessed in many Korean dramas and movies. I just don't know whether it is actually correctly labelled as sarcastic humour...perhaps sharp humour?

    Oh, and we have a lot of good artists/groups and music too!
    March 21st, 2015 at 12:10am
  • nearly witches.

    nearly witches. (15250)

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    little motorkitty;:
    Can't say much about Britain as a whole seeing as I'm voting SNP but one thing I do hate is 'I want to go to England to hear a British accent' or 'Scotland? What part of England is that in?'

    dasjhdajhdas Twitch
    This is my biggest pet peeve. Twitch We're a small country, but we're a country nonetheless, not a town, a city or a region in England. No The amount of people from outwith Europe that I've met on my exchange trip that think we're a region of England is insane.
    I don't think there's one specific 'British' culture, per se. I reckon that the differences between the countries are so vast that we kind of draw from them all. There are aspects of the quintessential 'British' culture that I think are pretty true, though. For instance, I never did notice that we are insanely and painfully polite until I came to the Netherlands. Other people don't line up in queues, but I will do so and then tut loudly if anyone skips me. I think that's maybe the stereotype / part of British culture that I relate to the most. That and the dry, sarcastic humour. I think that's absolutely fantastic. Probably the thing I miss most about being away, I think.

    I'm not a huge fan of the term 'British' though, because I feel like the second you mention that to anyone that isn't from Britain, you get asked about the British accent, or the Queen or whatever. I always introduce myself as Scottish because that's what I identify as most and that's how I will always identify. I sometimes feel like Britain is a general term non-Brits use to refer to London as a whole, and not the entire thing. So I don't think it's more the culture that I dislike, but the way that everyone else perceives the culture as a whole.
    June 1st, 2015 at 07:00pm
  • bona drag.

    bona drag. (935)

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    nearly witches.:
    I'm not a huge fan of the term 'British' though, because I feel like the second you mention that to anyone that isn't from Britain, you get asked about the British accent, or the Queen or whatever. I always introduce myself as Scottish because that's what I identify as most and that's how I will always identify. I sometimes feel like Britain is a general term non-Brits use to refer to London as a whole, and not the entire thing. So I don't think it's more the culture that I dislike, but the way that everyone else perceives the culture as a whole.
    I introduce myself as English abroad otherwise people will assume I'm Scottish because my accent isn't the nice standard RP they're used to hearing in films and television. Even then, I don't even say English that much. I really tend to label myself specifically as Mancunian or just Northern when asked. When it comes to culture, I strongly identify myself with my city and the North rather than England or the nation as a whole. I just feel like there's a big lifestyle difference even within England. Class disparity plays a big part. I think most stereotypes about British culture are attributed to activities of the historically wealthy and more people than not these days have never had formal afternoon tea or been to a regatta, but that level of poshness is a common worldwide perception of Britain as a whole.

    The one thing I will say about British culture across the board is panto. That's just the one thing I have a hard time explaining to people from other countries, but you say panto in Britain and every single person has experienced one at some point in their life. Whether or not that's a good unifying experience is another story. XD
    June 1st, 2015 at 09:19pm