Although England’s recent world cup semi-final defeat has sent a lot of people home upset last week, it was definitely one of the most patriotic moments I have ever felt from the UK. Especially coming from Hong Kong where there hasn't been a lot of patriotism for a very long time (whatever the reason may be).
I think there has been a few speculations over why I moved over to the UK, some say it is because of my relationship with my very British boyfriend, some say I ran away from my fears, and the closest few know that I came here for a better opportunity in life and self discovery. So we know why I moved to the UK, but why to the UK?
As the former Prime Minister Hugh Grant describes his country (in the fictional film Love Actually), we’re the country of Churchill, Shakespeare and Harry Potter. We’re a country that’s synonymous with integrity, respect and determination. We saw through the blitz with our “make do and mend” attitude, and our ability to triumph over adversity with good grace and modesty pervades to this day.
Whether you live and work in Britain, or are about to apply for a UK work visa , rest assured that there’s still a whole lot to love about being a Brit. Sure, we may get it wrong at times, sure our cuisine didn’t get interesting until we started borrowing from other cultures. Sure we’ve created some exports of which we’re less than proud like the Sinclair C5 and Katie Price. And sure we may not be as boisterous in our national pride as our American (or even Canadian) cousins, but when you think about it, we’re still basically brilliant. Here’s why...
Opportunity for all
America may be the world’s great melting pot, but Britain remains a land of opportunity in which all can find fortune and acceptance. We’re proud of our multicultural democracy and the way in which our citizens can still retain strong cultural links to their homeland without compromising their Britishness. As much as the class system may pervade in other nations’ perception of us we remain a fair and egalitarian nation. Whatever the colour of your skin, whatever accent you may have and wherever you may live, there’s every opportunity for you to be the best that you can be here.
You’re never without a hot drinkSure, chain coffee shops like Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero may be proliferate in our high street, but they’ll never take the place of the great British cuppa. Although the transatlantic coffee craze may have many of us in its thrall, the latte swilling hordes don’t diminish the fact that we’re a nation fuelled by tea! In fact we drink over 60 billion cups of it a year. Wherever you work, whatever it is you do, it’s unlikely that you need to go more than half an hour without a colleague informing you that they’re brewing up and offering to make one for you. We have each other’s backs that way! Oh, and don’t forget the biccies!
Everyone’s so darned polite We as a nation have an allergy to brashness, rudeness and aggression. As such, we’re positively Edwardian in our manners. Rarely do we pass a closed door in a busy corridor without someone leaping out of nowhere to hold it open for us. We take our manners very seriously in this country and we’re very quietly disdainful of those that don’t… At least until we get behind the wheel of a car.
You’re never more than half an hour away from something gorgeous
While Canadians and Australians may need to drive for three quarters of an hour to get to a corner shop, Britain’s diminutive size means that wherever you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you never need to drive or hop on a train for more than a few minutes to see an area of outstanding natural beauty or a National Trust heritage site .
They respect the past and embrace the future When we look around we see the past all around us. Even our busiest and most modern cities are built around beautiful and compelling monuments to the past.
While we may have a healthy respect and even reverence for the past, never let it be said that we aren’t a forward thinking lot. Britain has long been at the forefront of technological innovation. We’ve brought the world everything from the steam engine to the internet and a whole lot of other wacky stuff in between.
They’re actually hilarious
We pride ourselves on our dry wit and our media output cements our reputation as arguably the funniest people on the planet. From The Goon Show to Peep Show, our comedic reputation is unsurpassed and our comedy is quite possibly our finest export?
What’s your favourite thing about living and / or working in Britain?