10 Modern Myths about England And the real Truth behind them
Modern English Myths Oh how wrong they can be!
Every country in the world has a social or psychological worldwide image of it. Whatever the country you live in, it always has it's stereotypes. Or is stereotypical. Sometimes these stereotypes are true, but mostly they are completely false.
For some reason, modern myths and legends seem to grow up around them and become stereotypical. For example, when someone mentions Scotland, we automatically think of Tartan, Castles and a broad accent, that can't always be understood however lovely it sounds!
The last one is oh so true! I worked in an office where I had to talk to people on the phone. The main office was in Glasgow, Scotland. I could never understand a word they said! We used to have such a laugh, in the end my friend, we had become friends by then, decided in his wisdom to don a English accent, much to the hilarity of his colleagues! It was funny, and we continued doing this for all the time I worked there. We still keep in touch. But my point is, why do we always believe in the modern myth or legend?
Not all Scottish people wear kilts and carry the bagpipes, not every Greek island is always hot and sunny. Get my point? Good. So I am going to dispel once and for all the modern myths and legends that is talked about around the world about good old England. I think you are going to be surprised!
1. The good old English Weather!I thought I would start with the obvious! Many people, mainly tourists I might add, always presume that England is a rainy, wet soggy country. Whenever you see TV programmes from America, for example, they always portray poor little England as this sopping wet, miserable little Island where everybody runs around with big umbrella's, looking like drowned rats. And that is just the summer! This is so not true. In fact it couldn't be farther off the mark. England is divided into two halves. In more ways than one, I might add, but I am coming to that!
But seriously, the North of England does get it's fair share of bad weather. Evidently according to wildlife programmes that I watched recently, the North of England comes into spring six weeks later than the south, and starts getting winter a few weeks earlier than down south. Certain parts farther up the country, like Manchester for example, do have more than their fair share of rain because of the Lake District. This part of the country has a lot of woodlands and hills which draw the rain to them. Down south where I live, we are much luckier. Being at least four hundred miles from there, we get a lot more sun.
Over the last few years we have had very hot summers, and even on a typical summers day we have more sun than rain. Apart from three years ago when we had a bad summer, the usual summer season can be so hot, we don't experience rain for weeks. Over the last thirty years we have had to have a hosepipe ban because of the lack of rainfall. So if you are visiting England, especially down South, which includes London and the coast, and of course Cornwall and Devon in the West, make sure you pack a lot of summer clothing!
Stiff Upper Lip!
Now I am sure you know exactly what I mean about the English 'Stiff upper lip' syndrome! For those who have no idea what I am talking about, I will explain. Foreigners always believe that the English always take everything thrown at them with the good old 'fighting spirit'. This entails the fact that we never show emotion, even in the tightest corner, or the hardest situation. To some degree it is true, we are great at 'keeping going' through thick and thin. But we do show a lot of emotion. We get frightened, we get scared and we do cry! And of course we have bravery.
Usually the great armed forces that I believe are the best in the world. We also have a wicked sense of humour! Some would say it was a very dry sense of humour, but believe me when I say, it is fantastic! We are open and friendly, and mix with every culture that comes to live here. Of course we have the 'Upper Class' who tend to look down on the rest of us unworthy minions, but then again I am sure that every country in the world has those!
Love and Relationships
Notice I haven't added the S word! I don't want loads of ads popping up about, well, you know what! So I will put it in a way that I am sure you will understand! We discovered in the sixties that we could have any relationship that we wanted, mainly because the pill had come into being, and when we got over the shock of realising that we could do what we wanted to, we have been at it like, well, rabbits!
The English are not cold lovers and partners, in fact, we tend to have gone the other way! Especially the teens of today. They change partners like they change their socks! There is warmth and love and laughter, in fact it is a wonder that we are not over populated! So please dispel that myth, because if you come over here expecting everybody to eat English afternoon tea, and talk like a lady, you are going to be very shocked and surprised. Sorry about that!
The English Bobby (Policeman)
Every time I see a TV programme about England, made in another country, the one thing I always notice is how they always portray the good old English Bobby as a policeman with a tall hat, a bicycle and, this one will tickle you, the fact that he stands there and says ' 'ello 'ello 'ello, what's going on 'ere then?' He then pats the kids on their heads and helps old ladies across the street. Sorry, wrong again.
We are in the 21st Century. The Police wear modern uniforms, carry tasers and can get quite aggressive if you don't do as you're told! Don't get me wrong, they do a great job, but they are the same as the American police, and just about everywhere else! Sorry about that too!
Streets, Cars and Buses
Now here's the thing. Why does everybody always believe that we drive around in little Mini cars, the streets are always half empty, and the buses look like something out of the middle of the last century? The truth is that our street's are jam packed with cars, buses, motorbikes and just about everything else. The driver's can and do suffer with road rage, and there has been many incidents where the driver has got out of his car and punched another one who has been tailgating him!
The Buses are modern, in London we have bendy buses, which are split into two carriages with a well, bendy bit in the middle and they look really quite sleek. The street's are always full of pedestrians, car exhaust, people jostling and swearing trying to cross the street, and taxi's belting about everywhere! Just like America again! Sorry about that one too! Ha ha
Now it has been said that the English are not very friendly. That is absolutely not true. We are in fact, probably one of the friendliest countries in the world. We accept people. Simple as that. It doesn't matter where you come from, we like to chat. Oh do we! ha ha What comes across as being ignorant or unfriendly is, and please believe me, shyness. We are quite shy with strangers, but when you get us talking, we don't stop! Chatter, chatter, chatter! So, just start a conversation, we will keep you there for hours! So come on over!
North and South myths about Friendliness
This one you might not know about. There has been a myth about this for years. And it really gets my goat! (she frowns!) lol Evidently the people who live up the North of England are the friendliest in the country! Bunkum I say, Bunkum! I have spoken to nearly every county in England. I used to work in a call centre and had to phone around virtually everywhere. Whenever I spoke to someone up north, nine times out of ten I got the phone put down on me. I have been sworn at, badly, I might add, and to say the least, the Northerners are sometimes a suspicious and downright ignorant lot! Oh, don't get me wrong, not all of them.
In fact one older lady was so sweet she nearly made me cry! I could have hugged her! Every time I had to talk to her, she wanted me to come visit, and she kept calling me lovey! But that was very rare. A northerner will always say, ' We tell it like it is, we tell you straight' Tell me about it! But whenever I phoned someone down South, they were friendly, helpful and full of laughter. There wasn't one exception. The most amazing thing about it was that it didn't matter what nationality they were, English, West Indian, or Asian. If they live down south they are so friendly and helpful. I would like to add that it is usually the middle aged Northern women who are so miserable! The men are great! So there. The truth will out! Ha
Disclaimer: No northerner was harmed in the making of this hub! And I forget to say that it was just certain areas up North that were bad, twenty miles away even in the same county they could be very nice! You know who you are! Hee Hee
Happy Mixed Marriages
The one thing about England that I would like to put right is the fact that we do live right up to date in a modern society. There are so many countries in the world who have lots of different cultures living in them, and they tend to stay segregated from each other. In England we inter marry in droves. There are of course certain citizens from other countries who still stay together in marriage, but the majority of the rest marry who they please. West Indians or Africans marry lots of English girls, and of course there are as many other mixed races too.
I have lots of friends who are either a black woman married to a white man, or vice versa. In fact when we watch TV and see a problem with this in other countries, we are annoyed and a little bit surprised. Our attitude is, black, white or Asian, who cares? We are people, and that's that! Of course there is racism. What country wouldn't have that? but it is a very small amount compared to other countries. We are equal. And we like it that way.
Food, Manners and Dress Code
We have a certain myth about England that always curls me up in laughter. People abroad always seem to think that we all eat afternoon tea, dress in cocktail dresses and are polite in a very posh and well mannered way. Sorry, wrong again! We hardly ever have afternoon tea, that disappeared in the fifties. When we go to work we wear trouser's and jackets, or skirts. When we are at home we slob about in jeans or combats. Ever since the seventies when equality between the sexes hit us, we now seem to have lost the posh manners that I would have liked to see. Of course the older male will still open a door for you. But any man under thirty would take your seat in a bus if you were pregnant! Trust me, I have seen it!
We eat breakfast when we work, or we have a lay in if we don't. We sit on the couch to eat our evening meal in front of the TV, and we snack whenever we want too! Don't worry, we are not all slobs! But this day and age we are just like anybody else. Of course once again there are the 'higher class', yeah right! lol who still probably do all the right things, but on the whole we are generally very laid back. Sorry about that too! Um!
Nicknames for the English.
Like every other country, England has it's fair share of nicknames. The most well known are Limey, Tommy, and of course the famous Australian name for us. the Pom.
The word Limey comes from the late middle ages when we took to the seas and discovered new shores. And we all got scurvy! Scurvy is a disease that is caused by lack of vitamin C. It was one of the main scourges that took a lot of sailors lives. Until the English suddenly realised that we were not eating the right foods and started to load fruit onto the ships to eat. One of the first fruits we carried were Limes. Hence the name Limey.
The name Tommy, was started in the first world war. It is believed to have come from either the 'Tommy gun' which was an old fashioned machine gun. These two myths or sayings are true.
And finally Pom. The word Pom is used mainly by Australian people talking about the English. But this is a myth. In fact the word POM means either: Pomegranate, as in foreigners going a shade of pomegranate because of the sun. This was believed to be used recently because the English noted that actually the real name behind Pom is: Prisoners of Her Majesty! So in fact, when an Australian calls the English, Pom, they are actually referring to the original settlers in Australia who came over from England and Ireland in prison ships! It seems that when it is used in a derogatory manner, they are in fact referring to themselves! Strange fact.
So there we are! I hope that this clears up a few myths and legends about England, and if you decide to visit us, we will be really pleased to see you! And keep you chatting and chatting.....!!
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