Thursday, September 28, 2006

What it means to be English

More often that not, an outsiders perspective gives you a much better idea of your own culture than you will ever have, because they see the differences... at least that's how the theory goes.

By and large I go along with that, as discomforting as it can sometimes be.
Chief Giorgio Locatelli, revealed something about us in the Observer Food Monthly, which I'd never really considered particularly associating with us.

I quote:
"They are very passionate, the English. They are very passionate about different things. They are passionate about fair play"

I really wasn't expecting that, I mean fair play is not the first thing that would come to mind in describing the English, but when you think about it...

Maybe that really is a unifying factor, a sense of justice and fair play is something that we hold true. Lets face it, we don't like cheats be it sportsmen or businessmen, if you're successful fine, but play by the rules.

Having said that, in comparison to Italy where corruption seems to part and parcel of life, 'fair play' might well seem enhanced. And I'm not convinced historically we've always adhered to these principles, but I do wonder if the US held 'fair playness' more centrally as an ethos, perhaps the world and their own country wouldn't be in quite such a mess.

Must remember this, could be a useful brand positioning: x the fair play brand.

4 Thoughts?:

Anonymous Marcus Brown said...

You also get a different perspective on your own country when you live abroad.

The Germans, think that the English are funny; that we were all born the god's gift of humour. Fair play, for the Germans, is backed up by what they see as our fascination for queuing. My Englishness has been an asset for me.

1:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks god you have never been to Argentina, if you think Italians are corrupt can you imagine Argentinians? Especially politicians, policemen, sportsmen, etc.
Is it possible that this is the result of Falkland fair play long time ago?

1:28 pm  
Anonymous An American said...

I've recently finished spending 9 months in England and I definately noticed the humo(u)r aspect. It's an extremely dry and relaxed humor, not the zany, arm-waving, eyes bulging humor found in America. I didn't once hear a laugh track in England, which is something I need to hear in order to feel I have permission to laugh.

2:37 am  
Anonymous A Pom living in Australia said...

(American -what's a laugh track?)

I get continuously laid into at work for all sorts of spurious reasons just because I'm a "Pom" living in Australia. Apparently I'm just meant to shrug off the predictable "anything goes" offensive comments whereas in Europe and the US I could file lawsuit for the abuse and mockery I get. And they don't even understand my sense of humour!!

Its a level of systematic prejudice that would not be tolerated anywhere else.

11:59 am  

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