The Myths & Facts About Being British

Story By: Jasmine Yoro Bowles, Reporter

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As an international student who is California born and England raised, I’ve compiled a possibly illusion shattering list of myths and truths about the British:

First and foremost, Britain, the United Kingdom and England are not the same thing; and it’s technically called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In layman’s terms, the United Kingdom is composed of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is majorly England, Scotland and Wales; however, this does exclude many small islands on the outskirts. Ireland is not a country but contains two different countries; the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Secondly, tea. I’d be lying if I said the rumors weren’t true. Although not everyone loves tea, it’s by far one of the most truthful stereotypes. It’s practically impossible to find no tea in the average household, it would result in anarchy! We also don’t always have scones with our tea…but we do have biscuits. There’s nothing like a cup of tea and rich tea biscuits to dunk while indulging in crappy British soaps I’ll never admit to watching. There is also a difference between drinking a cuppa and going to someone’s house for tea; the latter is another way of phrasing that you’re going to someone’s house for dinner. But if there’s tea with tea then I’m not complaining!

The next one is about as bizarre as saying all Americans are friends with Barack Obama. No, the British are not all friends with the Queen and unfortunately, no, we do not have tea and scones with the Queen…as if she’d approach us peasants!

The biggest “unfortunately” of all, we don’t all live in fancy manors or live in beautiful remote countryside cottages with cobblestone paths that lead to the Queen’s home where we drink tea and scones together.

The Brits dental issues are trickier to define. If you put it on a scale of Hollywood to Hillbilly, it would justifiably place in the middle. It’s not as much of an issue as it was 20 odd years ago, but not entirely untrue.

London is not the only place in England! Although London is huge, England’s size is always underestimated. It’s one of many amazing places, but is, undoubtedly, the biggest tourist area, packed full of sightseeing destinations, markets, museums, galleries, concert venues, restaurants and malls. Also, Londoners, or even the English in general, do not all speak Cockney slang, it’s not that common to hear it being spoken.

The British are always pinned as introverted, rude and dry-humored, which in general would also not be entirely untrue…to the average American. It’s harder to appreciate a stereotypical British personality if you haven’t spent much time around it to understand it fully. It’s more that they aren’t as outspoken or outgoing in the same way that Americans stereotypically are. As for humor, not everyone has that Monty Python flare, but again, it’s another thing that is harder to appreciate when you don’t fully understand it.

Lastly, for some reason Britain is notorious for terrible food! I can agree to an extent, but it does depend on where you eat. Most places have pretty great Indian food, a few good Italian restaurants, and a handful of awesome fish and chip shops that are most likely among the many local chippies (yes, a real term for “fish and chip shop”) scattered across the town. Plus, nothing beats a good fry-up (or full English breakfast, if you please) in your local cafe to nurse the aftermath of a night out. I also yearn for Mexican food and it’s disappointing that it’s incredibly hard to find Mexican food in England. Vacation tip: don’t try the Mexican, you’ll be severely disappointed.

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