We love the queen, London is great, and it does rain a lot, but that’s not the end of the story! The UK is full of stereotypes, but which ones are true? Today we'll continue with our look at some of the most typical thoughts that people have about Brits and the UK, and I'll tell you the reality.
Check out the first part of this article here.
People aren’t friendly
One of the biggest differences between Mediterranean cultures and British culture is the physical closeness. Spaniards and Italians kiss and hug when they meet, even in more formal contexts, but we Brits tend to maintain a bit more distance. The famous ‘cold’ handshake is something we are quite well known for.
However, this is really just about habit and customs, not about a desire to stay far away from each other. If you spend an hour at the pub with some good British friends, you’ll see that we are just as friendly, warm and loving as anyone else, it’s just expressed in different ways sometimes.
Everyone speaks English
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not a single area, and the people certainly are not a single culture. If British culture means anything, it means multi-culturalism.
In British schools, 850,000 children were asked what their first language was, and the results were amazing. English was the mot-common first language, but many spoke Bengali, Punjabi, Gujerati, Hindu, Turkish, Arabic, Yorubu, Somali, Cantonese and many others too.
Whilst almost everyone does speak English well, many Brits come from other cultural backgrounds and maintain their culture strongly. We love diversity and that amazing mix!
And speaking of that mix, you can see it most strongly in the food we eat. Tourists and foreigners have a strange concept of ‘British’ food being fish and chips, but that’s something we rarely eat. In reality, the most popular ‘British’ food is Chinese, or Indian, or Thai or Mexican.
Almost everyone loves different types of food, and that same US culture of pizzas and burgers is also very present. We love Italian food, and Spanish restaurants are all over the place too.
When people ask about ‘British’ food, there are dishes like roast chicken and potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and sausages and fish and chips, but these are more often for special occasions. The few exceptions are the ‘Sunday Roast’, and the ‘Full English breakfast’ which are stereotypes, and we do eat them quite a lot!