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Being British





TheGifted
Britishness

Should we be taught about being British? What does it mean to be british?

I think we ought to. Even though there is History GCSE/AS/A Levels, the majority of kids don't bother with it because it is hard.

There is lots of great british traditions that are being forgotten. There is less meaning of bank holidays etc such as St Georges day or respect for the queen. Not forgetting Tea n Fish n Chips.

What do you think? SHould there be more Britishness? Should we remember/honour our country much like the Americans with July 4th?
crdowner
I am American but I think you are correct. Britians should leave about British history, the meanings of holidays, etc.
Duncan Idaho
I, too, believe that they should be taught. I am also American, but others preserving their own traditions is as important as me to mine.
madsencarl
I am a British convict. I care not for their history.
reddishblue
madsencarl wrote:
I am a British convict. I care not for their history.

You tell em Carl!
No really I love British History, I study it in school and its the most interesting of all countries too me, I hate the idea of it all being erased so I support its reiteration Cool
ReubenWilliams
I think as a nation we don't really know what being british means anymore, because we had such a pioneering role in colonisation and the slave trade that when it was declared globally unnaceptable and when countries all over the globe had to fight us in order to win sovreighnity over their own country I guess we kind got a bit embarrassed, and look at the floor coughing and mumbling now when ever the other countries are talking about history.

I love this country and am proud to live here, I also consider myself very lucky to live ina country where I have a lot of freedom and a supportive government and good public services. I also think we should be taught british history, but also more recent history, and how it all fits in together on a global scale. History can be combined with science and geography and RE.

As for worshipping the Queen being a british tradition. She is a german.
Manofgames
I was taught it at school, but I gave it up for better subjects when it was time to choose GCSE subjects.

I'm still interested in British history though, I sometimes watch history documentrys on UKTV history or the BBC channels, its just that I didn't really like the way they taught us the subjects.

IE: making posters, writing essays etc.

I prefer to watch documentrys.

I do feel though that the PC police are trying to take away our right to be British though.
Last year, there was a big thing because some prison offical was visiting a prison around about St. George's day, and told a member of staff at the prison not to wear a badge realted to the holiday.

Its very annoying when we are told to forgot what makes us who we are.
TribalArt
I think there should be more from the governemnt about being british.

I think america has it the right way. They are taught about pride for their country i.e the Independance Day, Thanksgiving. Wher has britains tradiotions gone?

Back in the 19th/19th century when britain had established itself as a major power, the country was respected but now I feel, and sure some would agree, that we are being brushed aside and put under control by Brussels.

We need to find a way to define what it means to be british.
NoManLeftBehind
Well I for one am an american, and we typically stereotype british people as having funny accents and not brushing their teeth.
reddishblue
^
They mean something to be proud of, and I'm sure they brush their teeth lol
Manofgames
yes we do thank you Very Happy
*slightly off track*
i use colgate, and i never understand why americans find us funny or cool.
reddishblue
Manofgames wrote:
and i never understand why americans find us funny or cool.

Americans find anything funny or cool if it has a very strong stereotype attached to it, thats why I am proud to be Australian, with Kangaroos in my backyard and wrestling crocs on a daily basis, also I carry a huge dagger.
Captain Fertile
I know what day Independance day is in the US but can't tell you what day Saint Georges Day falls on.

I could probably name more American Presidents than Prime Minsters of England.

I enjoy the sound of the Star Spangled Banner more than the dreary tones of God Save the Queen, and probably know more of the words.

I have wathced the Superbowl Live all the way through more times than I have watched the last night of the Proms.

I do not think I am alone, yes we should learn more at school about what it is to be British and the government should enforce upon everyone, whether born here or not, to join in the clebration of all that hadshaped the history of Great Britain.

We are close to either becoming an annex of the USA or even worse, losing our identity completly through political correctness and appeasement of foriegn influence.

Thank You

Cue Land of Hope and Glory played by the brass band of the household cavelry.

(Salutes, steps off soap box, wipes himself down with a damp flannel and walks off)
java_nel
well, i got it.. that how being a british.. well i wanna go to britain someday.. Uhm at last I have an Idea of the brit fella.
meet in rio
I suppose it wouldn't hurt if everyone were a little more patriotic. It's nice that we're not in some ways, though, because we're reasonably multicultural and perhaps our ignorance prevents crazy nationalism. Perhaps.

I have noticed, though, that the Scots, Welsh and Irish are a lot more conscious of their nationality than the English. I suppose 'British' is almost synonymous with 'English' nowadays, and they feel the need to assert themselves.
tijn01
I think the Americans being so into their country and the way it runs causes a lot of problems....
I think Britishness is a natural attribute that you can't deny, I am British, but have lived very little in England in my life, but when I go back I am always astounded at how British I am naturally.....
We should try and minimise the differences in people rather than excentuate them, that doesn't mean our countries histories aren't important....
jongoldsz
If you live in Britain, you should know Britain's history. I don't see why you are not learning it, since US schools not only talk about US history, but they also talk about foreign history.
Vrythramax
I am the son on Irish travelers who migrated because of repression and the Troubles.

First Generation.....and Proud.

*Erin Go Braugh*
OutlawSpirit
i was born in england, uk... i dont really like the british traditions.. the history 2 much... i want outta this country...
ratfungus
I'm from Scotland and we were not taught British history in school. We were taught English history in school. In Rhodesia when diamonds or gold (can't remember which) were discovered just over a hundred years ago, those in the know dreaded it. They knew it meant the British would be there some time soon to claim that wealth as their own (or try to at least). Many, many countries know exactly what the British were - murdering, thieving bastards. Many Scots were also an integral part of it. As for me, I don't give a shit about what it means to be British. I want an independent Scottish republic. I can't think of any other modern, democratic country that chooses to be ruled over by another country. The hallmark of any country is that it has its own culture, its own language, its own government and its own money. Scotland has none of these. Whether it was wearing tartan, playing bagpipes, living in clans, carrying traditional weapons or whatever, these were all banned by the English - on pain of death. Culture ruined. Our language was either Scots (distinct and separate from English - no native English speaker would understand Scots at the time it was used) or Gaelic. So no language either. The currency in Britain says Bank of England (Not Bank of Scotland or Bank of Great Britain or Bank of the UK). For the record Bank of Scotland notes (and Royal Bank of Scotland notes and Clydesdale Bank notes) are not legal tender - not even in Scotland. You can check this on the Bank of England web site. So no money either. As for the 'so called' Scottish Parliament - what other sovereign country in the world has a parliament that receives all its authority from another Parliament? The difference between the suffering that millions of people from countries all over the world have suffered and what the Scots have suffered (at the hands of the British) is that Scots were very often the puppets, the instruments of the English masters these traitorous Scots bastards aspired to be.
truespeed
ratfungus wrote:
I'm from Scotland and we were not taught British history in school. We were taught English history in school. In Rhodesia when diamonds or gold (can't remember which) were discovered just over a hundred years ago, those in the know dreaded it. They knew it meant the British would be there some time soon to claim that wealth as their own (or try to at least). Many, many countries know exactly what the British were - murdering, thieving bastards. Many Scots were also an integral part of it. As for me, I don't give a shit about what it means to be British. I want an independent Scottish republic. I can't think of any other modern, democratic country that chooses to be ruled over by another country. The hallmark of any country is that it has its own culture, its own language, its own government and its own money. Scotland has none of these. Whether it was wearing tartan, playing bagpipes, living in clans, carrying traditional weapons or whatever, these were all banned by the English - on pain of death. Culture ruined. Our language was either Scots (distinct and separate from English - no native English speaker would understand Scots at the time it was used) or Gaelic. So no language either. The currency in Britain says Bank of England (Not Bank of Scotland or Bank of Great Britain or Bank of the UK). For the record Bank of Scotland notes (and Royal Bank of Scotland notes and Clydesdale Bank notes) are not legal tender - not even in Scotland. You can check this on the Bank of England web site. So no money either. As for the 'so called' Scottish Parliament - what other sovereign country in the world has a parliament that receives all its authority from another Parliament? The difference between the suffering that millions of people from countries all over the world have suffered and what the Scots have suffered (at the hands of the British) is that Scots were very often the puppets, the instruments of the English masters these traitorous Scots bastards aspired to be.


Bank of Scotland money is legal tender in scotland,if it werent then what would be the point of producing it,you can even spend it in shops in England,as for england being a race of conquerers and murderers,thats always been the case with any dominant country look at the romans,look at the spanish,look back in history and you will find that all the leading nations got what they got by taking. so its not an English thing.

But thats in the past,you cant live in the past,and hold grudges for something that happened 100's of years ago,as for language,nothing stands still, everything evolves,the english of today would be an alien language to those of shakespeares time,the past is past,its good to be proud of where your from,but you shouldnt blame a country for its past misdemeanours and hold them accountable for ever more.

Scotland today and Scotland in the future can be anything you want it to be.
ratfungus
In response to Truespeed.
You did not check the Bank Of England web site - it is not legal tender. Also I'm not talking about English people of today being able to understand antiquated Olde English - I was saying that 300 years ago, those who understood English as native English speakers (as it was spoken 300 years ago) would not understand Scots or Gaelic - both of which were different languages - to each other and to English. The primary blame (if blame is the right word) for Scotland being the only westernised modern country that I know of, being dominated by a larger neighbour, is the fault of the Scots themselves (having been so Anglisized they don't have any ambition to become a real nation - a country). Do you deny that the Westminster parliament can dictate anything they want to the 'so called' Scottish parliament or even abolish it if they choose? And do you concede that the Wesminster parliament is dominated by the English (de facto Scotland is ruled by England). These are the points I was trying to make. If the Westminster parliament decided to abolish the Bank of England and call it the Bank of Scotland instead and made Bank of Scotland notes the only legal tender in the UK (even if England continued to be allowed to use Bank of England notes (as the Scots are allowed to use notes issued by Scottish banks)) what, in your 'heart of hearts' do you think would be the result. My guess is riots in the streets and the break up of the UK. What do you think? You can insist that a debt is paid with Bank of England notes (whether in Scotland or England). You may argue that that would never happen. My point, however, is that both in principal and legally a creditor can insisted a debt is paid with legal tender (Bank of England issued bank notes) and the debtor is obliged to pay using Bank of England notes. If what is printed on the notes is only semantics, then why not abolish Bank of England notes and only use Bank of Scotland? The English would not tolerate the total domination of their country by the Scots (as every facet of Scotland is dominated by the English) and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Scotland is so apathetic. My anger (and yes I am angry) is projected towards those Scots who want to remain the only westernised modern country IN THE WORLD, ruled by another country.
truespeed
Every time theres an election, the people of Scotland get the chance to vote for the scottish national party,as opposed to the british conservative,liberal and labour alternatives,independence is now a choice they are able to make,yet every election they choose to be part of a united kingdom rather than an independent Scotland.

Languages come and go,for instance its only a matter of time before the welsh language goes the same way as latin and other ancient languages,and i think with the modern media this will speed up with the extinction of many languages across the globe,i dont think its something you can stop or change,and i dont think it is something you should cling on to anyway.

And i wouldnt say Scotland is ruled by westminister,and nor is Wales,as they are part of westminister ,Gordon Brown a Scot could well be the next prime minister afterall.
ratfungus
truespeed wrote:
Every time theres an election, the people of Scotland get the chance to vote for the scottish national party,as opposed to the british conservative,liberal and labour alternatives,independence is now a choice they are able to make,yet every election they choose to be part of a united kingdom rather than an independent Scotland.

Languages come and go,for instance its only a matter of time before the welsh language goes the same way as latin and other ancient languages,and i think with the modern media this will speed up with the extinction of many languages across the globe,i dont think its something you can stop or change,and i dont think it is something you should cling on to anyway.

And i wouldnt say Scotland is ruled by westminister,and nor is Wales,as they are part of westminister ,Gordon Brown a Scot could well be the next prime minister afterall.


Hi Truespeed. Yes, they get the chance to vote but I think you've missed my point. They vote for the English parliament (it's in England, It's dominated by the English, and it can abolish the 'so called' Scottish parliament - it's the English parliament) because they are so anglicized the Scottish people cannot see that there is no other western, democratized country in the world which votes to be ruled by another. Again, missing the point, I'm talking about the former languages of Scotland from a historical perspective. Scotland could not go back to these languages (nor would it be desirable because English is the language of, more or less, the whole world now (at least from a business perspective)). English is here to stay - just as it is for many countries of the world as a first language and as it is as a second language for most of the rest of the world. I was not advocating the abolition of the English language merely pointing out what was abolished by force and threats. Many Scots know nothing of what was done to their country - because they were not taught Scots history (except in small cameos). Westminster is dominated by English MPs, Westminster can abolish the 'so called' Scottish parliament, de facto - Scotland is ruled by Westminster. The majority of the money it has is granted to it from Westminster. I don't know how much more clearly Scotland could be ruled by England. The 'so called' Scottish parliament can make decisions but... only those decisions that the Westminster parliament allows. As for Gordon Brown - he is an Anglophile. I don't believe he will be Prime Minister - and for the very reason you yourself highlighted - he's Scottish (at least by birth). Does anyone else agree with Truespeed - that Scotland is not ruled by Westminster? And Truespeed, did you check the Bank of England web site? Where are you from? I'm from Fife in Scotland.
achowles
I don't think that there is a unified "Britishness" to be taught anymore.

I wouldn't be interested in it if there was. Why not teach people to think for themselves? To like what they like and look at the world from their own perspective?

Change is the nature of the universe, you can't fight it. Work with it and you get far better results.

The only thing that I would like to see reintroduced into schools that you could call an aspect of Britishness, is discipline.

I'm not talking about corporal punishment as such (although I do think that teachers shouldn't be forbidden from laying a hand on kids, that's just nuts).

What I'm talking about is teaching kids some kind of self control again. It's things like that which will do more than sex ed ever will to reduce teenage pregnancy for example.
arranf
I'm British and to be honest I havn't had a single lesson that really taked about being British at all..

Though I think that we actually have a instinct about being British right from the start and besides Britain is changing all the time.
Aless
What's the point in teaching in school? "Teaching" Britishness certainly isn't going to make people learn it (assuming it exists in the first place).
watersoul
What really is being a Brit?!
...we're made up of 4 distinct bits - Wales, N.Ireland, Scotland & England, and apart from national defence & education & the Olympic games, we don't really do much together under the Union flag!
When you add the many cultures that have joined us over the years, and the fact we've been invaded numerous times over the last few thousand years, I don't really see a common "Brit", more a collection of different tribal elements that share a tiny island.
Now the English media may like to portray a tea-drinking, eloquent speaking, suit wearing, image of red London busses, fish & chips & the Royal family, but thats just a stereotype which sells well in the USA!
In closing, I kind of reckon that we're just becoming another "western state" anyway now, with the same western shops & eating/drinking places in every town, and national identity being sidelined to corporate brands?
Crying or Very sad
Davidgr1200
It's a big question: What does it mean to be British?

Firstly: Who decides the answer?
Secondly: How do you get to an answer. Do you just take an average of every British person alive?
The culture that is usually presented as British is only representative of a small number of very privileged people. The rich people usually get to decide what the "culture" is. The same happens in the USA.
Personally I think that everybody has their own culture which is only partly formed by their country of birth and their country of residence. With the growth of internet people can make their own cultures and meet with other people who share the same culture irrespective of where they live.
Fuzzy-Duck
Manofgames wrote:
I was taught it at school


Really? Did you really have lessons on "Britishness" in school or was it just history of sorts? I only ask as someone who left school less than 10 years ago and, although it crops up in various newspapers on slow news days, i wasn't aware official lessons in what it means to be British has been set in the curriculum...

Can anybody enlighten me?

Cheers,
fuzzy
truespeed
ratfungus wrote:

Hi Truespeed. Yes, they get the chance to vote but I think you've missed my point. They vote for the English parliament (it's in England, It's dominated by the English, and it can abolish the 'so called' Scottish parliament - it's the English parliament) because they are so anglicized the Scottish people cannot see that there is no other western, democratized country in the world which votes to be ruled by another. Again, missing the point, I'm talking about the former languages of Scotland from a historical perspective. Scotland could not go back to these languages (nor would it be desirable because English is the language of, more or less, the whole world now (at least from a business perspective)). English is here to stay - just as it is for many countries of the world as a first language and as it is as a second language for most of the rest of the world. I was not advocating the abolition of the English language merely pointing out what was abolished by force and threats. Many Scots know nothing of what was done to their country - because they were not taught Scots history (except in small cameos). Westminster is dominated by English MPs, Westminster can abolish the 'so called' Scottish parliament, de facto - Scotland is ruled by Westminster. The majority of the money it has is granted to it from Westminster. I don't know how much more clearly Scotland could be ruled by England. The 'so called' Scottish parliament can make decisions but... only those decisions that the Westminster parliament allows. As for Gordon Brown - he is an Anglophile. I don't believe he will be Prime Minister - and for the very reason you yourself highlighted - he's Scottish (at least by birth). Does anyone else agree with Truespeed - that Scotland is not ruled by Westminster? And Truespeed, did you check the Bank of England web site? Where are you from? I'm from Fife in Scotland.


The reason why Scotland has little influence in the british parliment is purely down to their small population,Scotands population is only 5.6 million,whereas Englands is 49 million hence why Scotland has so few seats in the house of commons compared to the English.

Scotland i think has benefited from its association with England down the years,150 years ago,Great Britain (Scotland included) had the biggest empire the world has ever known,Scotland was part of that,of course we had to give that empire up,and rightly so. Instead of seeing England as a bully keeping the Scots down,you should look at England as partners,under the umbrella of what is Britain.

At some point in the future Scotland may decide that it wants to become independent from Westminister,if thats the case nobody would stand in their way.

As was said above though,we have all lost part of what made us unique,as world culture takes over our own,coca cola,mcdonalds,britney spears,these are the cultural things that bond us all for better or worse,with the advent of commercialisation and cheap travel and the internet,national identitys are becoming ever more blurred into each other.

Maybe thats not a bad thing.
dayveday
ratfungus wrote:
As for the 'so called' Scottish Parliament - what other sovereign country in the world has a parliament that receives all its authority from another Parliament?


Well, technically all Commonwealth parliaments receive their authority from the Queen. She reigns, the people rule. So really, many countries get their power from Britain... In Australia, she is the Queen of Australia. Although she would never interfere in the political process, her representative (the governor general) is one of the many checks and balances. Maybe I missed your point, but I think it's interesting to note...
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