The Meaning of Britshness

Topics: England, United Kingdom, Great Britain Pages: 2 (379 words) Published: May 25, 2013
What is Britishness? A question that has been asked many a time, but an unclear definition has developed. One automatically thinks that Britishness relates to being English or originating from England. This is not the case as Britain contains England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is generally overlooked and irritates each nation as all are put in a generalisation. Another topic of discussion is that of immigrants that add to a multicultural Britain. A lot has be observed about this subject, but as Derek Draper believes,

'I increasingly think we should abandon the idea of Britishness and acknowledge that we're really talking about what it means to be English. Scotland has its own identity. To me the best things about English people are originality, tolerance and, most of all, understatedness.'

I feel this point to be the most important in defining Britishness, as it is well known that are sentiments of resentment held be each, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, but I shall go into this more later.

There is undoubtedly the stereotypical view of being British. The 'stiff upper lip' combines nicely with the concept that we only drink tea and is used to its fullest across the globe. However, another trait would tend to be embarrassment. This view is well thought of due to the poor performance in many sporting arena and up until recently music and film. Nevertheless, being British is improving, and people are becoming more proud of their country, as Tracy Emin believes,

'It's a good time to be British, especially for an artist. I wouldn't say I'm proud to be British, but for the first time, I'm not ashamed to be British. Britishness is looking out of a bus window, seeing sexy, stylish people laughing.'

Being British has to include an illustrious heritage. However, it is no longer about imperialism and a vast empire, but a rather subdued nation compared to hundreds of years ago. No longer are there the animosity for previous years, but...
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