Sunday, June 29, 2008


You may remember a recent post I did on how the government were considering plans for a special Bank holiday to celebrate Britishness. But how do we define Britishness? Obviously it means different things to some people than it does to others. But it seems that the majority of us are agreed on the things we love most about Britain, with fish and chips coming top of the list. The popular British takeaway food came in at No. 1 according to the results of a poll conducted by the popular Holiday Inn chain. The poll questioned 7,000 Brits to find out the things we most love about Britain. The Queen came in at No 2; with old fashioned pubs third; Sunday roasts fourth and red phone boxes fifth. Big Ben; cream teas; The Beatles; the pound and the Royal Family took the next five places on the list. A Holiday Inn representative said the poll results gave a “fascinating insight into what it means to be British”.

Britain has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts including mine. As soon as you hear Big Ben’s chimes and see the red buses and black cabs, you know you’ve arrived! Singer Tom Jones missed the “green green grass of home” so much that he had a red telephone box shipped over to his American home which now takes pride of place in his back garden, a nostalgic reminder of his British roots. Sadly the famous red telephone boxes have now been replaced by newer more modern looking boxes. With the invention of mobiles, phone boxes are now a rare site in Britain. Thankfully some red postboxes still remain. For most Brits there's no place like home or Blighty as it’s affectionately known!

Contrary to popular opinion there is a lot more to Britain than fish and chips and Sunday roast dinners! Modern Britain has many sides to it. Today’s Britain is a multi-cultural society with people of many different cultures and religions living here. Britons love their soaps like EastEnders and Coronation Street and it’s interesting to note that some people regard soap characters as like members of their family! Oh dear! Britain is famous for its Pantomine and theatre traditions. I personally believe that British sporting heroes like Kelly Holmes, writers like JK Rowling and musicians like Coldplay make good role models and are motivating and inspirational for youngsters growing up in Britain today.

The Monarchy plays a big part in Britain’s history and is an important part of British heritage and tradition. Also we must never forget those brave men who fought for us in the First and Second World Wars, a big part of Britain’s history. I personally would never want to live in a republic with a president. Britain is a country steeped in history and tradition. I like the fact that Britain is one of the few countries of the world that still has a Monarch on the throne. I’ve always been a Royalist. I know some members of the Royal family have let the Queen down badly by their behaviour. But the Queen has always served the country well and even in her eighties is one of the hardest working members of the Royal family. Long may she reign over us!


kalafudra said...

It's interesting to think about what makes a country. But it seems like the study you cite stops at the point where it would become more interesting.

It's when you start thinking about why it is that people chose those symbols and what they stand for that we come closer to the definition of britishness.

Tomas Karkalas said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. I doubly rejoiced over your article. It was well written indeed, but I was the most attracted by your love to your homeland.
Thank you.

Jackie said...

I tend to think country wise rather than Britain. England will always be to me London/Big Ben/Trafalgar Square/roasted chestnuts on street corners/Harrods. Scotland ....Balmoral and the Queen/Edinburgh Castle/fried scampi and chips (actually frid anything)/bagpipes. Ireland.. Guinness.

Marion said...

This is a good post, Naomi...those items on the list is how I think of Britain, as well, although I have never been there.

Through reading your blog, however, I feel as if I have visited Britain. Thank you!

Jay Croft said...

On this day we celebrate American Independence on this side of the pond, you brought back good memories of my dozen-or-so trips to Merrie Olde since 1992.

I always enjoy the special quality that is England!

Naomi said...

Britishness means so many different things to different people Kalafudra. Everybody it seems has their own definition of what it means to them.

Glad you enjoyed the post Tomas. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit here.

I must admit I tend to think the same way Jackie. I always associate Guinness with Ireland. It's my Irish ancestry!

Thanks Marion. That's always what I aim to do at Diary From England - to give my readers a virtual tour of life here.

Glad you enjoyed the post Jay. Sounds like you know quite a bit about England already from your many visits here. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Diary From England.