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What's Good About Britain and Britishness?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by JosieWhitehead, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. sparklesparkle

    sparklesparkle Established commenter

    Wow, you don't say!!
  2. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    I like the landscape (so various and interesting). I like the literature (unsurpassed) and the history (fascinating). Love the music but not too nuts about the visual arts (inferior to France and USA). Best of all are the people (so welcoming, patient and tolerant).
    Don't care much for the cringing, self-abnegation thing though and continually embarrassed at having to tell Brit people how excellent they are and how brilliant their country is.
  3. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The British have long been slating about the attitude of French waiters, but then again, the British themselves have a reputation for talking loudly to foreigners in English, adding characteristics of the languages of the places they visit, as though these will aid communication.

    I wouldn't dream of visiting Spain and expect a waiter to to be accommodating if I asked for "El fisho and chipso and a pint of wino, although I expect they'd be kind enough to provide a pitcher of wine.

    It's bad manners to expect people who are unfamiliar with our language to understand what we want, if we aren't prepared to meet them half way. I'm no expert in foreign, but I've always taken the trouble to try and speak a little bit of the language of the places I've visited to show that I'm doing my best, but struggling and in doing so, found they would fall over themselves in doing their best to help.

    For example, when my sweetheart dragged me out on a Greek holiday, shortly after we met, I said to the barman of the first bar we visited "Yassou Giánnis, got a new motor? He couldn't have been more helpful, took me round the back of the bar to show it to me and even offered me the keys to have a drive in it. I thanked him for that, but declined.

    Back in the bar, I pointed to the drinks we wanted and he courteously obliged, waving my money away when I offered it. That's the difference between you're average Brit abroad and those who show foreigners a bit of respect. "Over here, John", will rarely work in my experience, in attracting the attention of a barman.

    If we think Britain should be proud of its manners, why don't we try exporting them?
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Nor English.
  5. fraisier

    fraisier Lead commenter

    And this is only the half of it, if you knew just how rude our waiters can really be...

  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    There's a story I previously related about a couple of English blokes having a drink outside a pub. A car drew up outside and the driver called out "Parlez vouz Francais?"

    The two blokes looked blankly at the driver, looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

    The driver called out "Sprechen sie Deutsch?"

    Again the two blokes looked blanklt at the driver and shrugged their shoulders.

    Finally the driver called out "On parle Italiano?" but on receiving no better response drove on.

    One of the two blokes asked the other if he thought they would benefit from learning other languages but his mate put him right by pointing out that the driver could speak three languages, but that didn't do him any good.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    sodalime, Oscillatingass and colpee like this.
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmm...to me Britishness is a multi-cultural society. In fact with many languages being spoken ..
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  8. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    The UK has one enormous advantage of all other countries.
  9. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Aye no problem - just pop up and ask for the
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  10. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    And so say the Americans, quite rightly, about how so many of us judge them all on the 'obnoxious' ones that often travel as tourists.

    Quite rightly too, as I found the Americans (in the USA) incredibly hospitable and genuine people.

    Of course we have bad apples here and sadly more and more but there is still a decent standard of basic manners here. People talk politely, stand in line and there is a general sense of fair play still.

    All decaying yes and this is not the same as saying we are better than others. The thread was asking about things the British should be proud of and I will maintain it is our basic manners as a whole.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  11. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Over a number of years and many visits, that has always been my experience too.
    JosieWhitehead and dumpty like this.
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Cant they just reuse the one Hadrin left behind?
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Ah - come on. Didn't you read the title of my discussion? 'What's GOOD about Britain and Britishness? I've met so many good mannered and pleasant people everywhere I go, and especially in my home town. There is so much that we should celebrate about for being British. Aren't we good at ceremony? Yes, it costs a lot of money but it draws the crowds in from all over the world because no-one can beat us at ceremony can they? (Say yes and cheer us up with some good examples p l e a s e!).
  14. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I've heard people from foreign countries say how good we are at many things, ie When something needs doing in our town, eg a play area for children in the Riverside Gardens, work clearing the streams on the moors, some of the gardens in our town - - whatever the project - there are always lots of people ready to help, to raise money and to give money. We have seats all over the place here that have been donated by people remembering people who used to love the place where the seat is etc - and you'll see their name on the seat in remembrance. How many other countries do things like this?
  15. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

  16. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Its neighbours?
    coffeekid likes this.
  17. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    PS What do you like about BRITAIN and BRITISHNESS - - - ha ha - We'll do America next.
  18. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    The language - it was so easy to learn:rolleyes:

    I don’t really believe in Britishness - I see people much more regionally all of which have their peculiarities. Oft quoted British traits are usually a bit trite, and similar to how most countries see themselves.
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    As I noted, "the Napoleonic Wars era".

    As far as I recall (and I was very young at the time) Lord Nelson said "England expects every man to do his duty."
    mathsmutt likes this.
  20. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Yes, he obviously thought that the English crews needed reminding to be trustworthy.
    mathsmutt and nomad like this.

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