- CRITTER TALK
- NEWS I FIND INTERESTING
I very nearly titled this little offering as ‘What IS Western Culture?’ until it dawned on me that I was about to have enough trouble fathoming out the culture of my own country without babbling on about the western world in general. Clearly there are different cultures around the globe and equally clearly each culture is proud and protective of it’s culture but, in what passes for my mind, I find I have a wee problem. What IS British culture?
Now. Lots of indigenous Brits are apt to say, regarding immigrants, “We don’t mind them coming here as long as they respect British culture”.
This, on the face of it, is quite a reasonable request to make of immigrants.
I myself tend to get all hot around the colour when immigrants or, indeed, second or third generation immigrants carry on with ‘their’ culture seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are now in, and indeed in the case of second, third and so forth generations, born in Britain and yet, it sometimes seems, the culture from their homeland or ancestral land takes precedence with them.
If they come over to Britain or, even more so, are born in Britain, then surely, out of respect for Britain they should adapt to, integrate into and respect British culture.
I have said this so many times I’ve thought of just recording it and hitting ‘play’ now and again.
The wee problem I referred to earlier is this.
Like so many Brits who get hot under the collar when immigrants seemingly behave in a way that completely disrespects British culture I find that, when I am asked precisely what the term ‘British culture’ means I dig a hole, keep digging and, finally, realising that I can dig myself no further into said hole, open another beer and sit in silence sulking.
That, chaps and chapesses, is the nub of the matter.
What IS British culture?
Many refer to ‘the good old days’ but, to be honest, this mystifies me. All I know about ‘the good old days’ is that people had rickets, poor people tended to be dead by their mid-thirties if they were lucky and, basically, life generally sucked unless you were extraordinarily wealthy.
The more recent ‘good old days’ would take us to the 1940’s or so.
Fine. The Second World War and lots of people dying. No. That can’t be right. Besides, I can’t see any culture in that.
Right. We can dispense with the ‘good old days’ as, to my way of thinking, they weren’t all that good unless you were stinking rich.
Right. British culture now.
Well, we’ve got The Queen and the Royal Family. Fine, we’re back onto stinking rich so that doesn’t really count.
Let’s look at British culture from an ‘everyman’ perspective (and I do apologise to those of a delicate nature who object to ‘every man’ rather than ‘every person’ but, to be honest, bugger off).
What have we in Britain got or, at least, recently been recognised for, that qualifies as British culture?
Football! That’s a start! We won the World Cup in 1966! The nation rejoiced!
Oh. No. That was just England. That doesn’t work.
Pies! Meat pies! They’re as traditional as – well – as – oh I don’t know. Meat pies. They have to pop up in British culture somewhere.
Football fans! There are no football fans that can get anywhere close to any football fans in Britain! Yes! That’s a start!
Uh-oh. Oh yeah. Oops. Hooligans. Ah, yes. Once the bane of the game across the globe. The only reason British football hooligans aren’t always in the headlines anymore is because the rest of the world caught up and have hooligans every bit as bad as ours now.
Not exactly cultural is it?
Oh for Gods (or the deity of your choice) sake! There must be a ‘British culture’ to protect from all these heathens entering our country! I mean to say we once had an empire! Surely we have a discernable culture to protect!!!
I know. I’ll ask my daughter to help me. She’s clever. Has her mother’s brains (obviously if she’s clever).
“Help me describe British culture”
“Well you’re British dad. Tell me what you love about Britain and that should do it”
See? I told you she was clever!
Me : “Food!”
J : “What’s your favourite food dad?”
Me : “Curry”
J : “That’s Asian”
J : “What’s your favourite beer?”
Me : “Becks or Kronenburg or Stella Artois”
J : “Fine. German, German and French”
Me : “What?????”
J : “Let’s keep trying dad. What’s your favourite thing about Britain?”
Me : “Er – I don’t know. Jessica Ennis-Hill ’cause she’s a fit bird!”
J : “Stop digging dad. The hole’s too deep”.
So, there you have it from this sulking beer swilling Brit.
I have no idea what ‘British culture’ is other than those damn immigrants should respect it and, if they can fathom out what it is they are respecting I would very much appreciate them telling me so I can too.
What have I got culturally as an individual British man?
Curry (Asian), German and French beers, football hooligans, rickets, WWII, The Queen and a fetish over a ‘fit’ British athlete bird.
Now that’s a bit of British culture for you. A good looking woman is often referred to as a ‘bird’. There you go.
I will now give you a rousing rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’ – or I would if I knew the bloody words.
God save The Queen!Click here for reuse options!