Thursday, 12 December 2013

Is Britain Becoming Less British?

Following the news during the last few weeks, you could certainly be forgiven to think so. Once we'd got used to the fact that sipping "Glu-wein" on one of the many many German Christmas markets now scattered all over the UK ( I believe there's even one in Belfast) is now the thing to do, the next hammer blow was falling. Apparently "Stollen" is now more popular in Britain than the once ubiquitous mince pie. Food for thought, indeed.

Apologies to my Atheist readers but have never heard "stollen" referred to other than "Christ-Stollen". (Stollen on its own meaning a mineshaft.) But is the abbreviated version also an indication of culinary shortcomings? Christstollen is a yeasty sort of cake with plenty of dried fruit and (regionally )a dollop of marzipan in it. At its best it tastes like wonderful Italian panettone, at its worst, it could double up as a self-defense tool.

Plus, I saw a picture of a British Christmas tree. Had the description not included its origin, I would have assumed it was the real continental thing. Tastefully decked out with traditional wooden ornaments (rocking horse, trumpet, drum) and real candles, I was thoroughly perplexed. What about the plastic tree that would open up like an umbrella? What about the multi-coloured fairy lights that blink omnichromatically in 3-second intervals so that your eyesight becomes disturbed? What about the pink fluffy tinsel?

And apparently it's not just the Christmas spirit that makes Britons borrow heavily from their Continental neighbours. An article in The Guardian suggested that on top of those Christmas Markets, The UK could also benefit from a less centralised, more federal governmental structure. You can read the article here

Whatever next I wonder. No more bare legs on January evenings out? Winter coats instead of fleeces? Mixer taps in a bathroom which is no longer carpeted? It's all beginning to sound very scary.....


  1. Yes it definitely is thankfully, I love those markets, they bring a lovely atmosphere to this time of year :-)
    Maybe we can start to learn languages, so that we can communicate at the very least at a conversational level.
    It is polite and respectful to be able to do that, but alas it is assumed that everyone else "has English" so why bother :-(
    I have a smattering of words and phrases in French, German, Dutch and Norwegian.
    It is not really enough, I should learn more.
    During my school days, only one language was allowed as an option :-(
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but perhaps on the day Britain was admitted to the EU, the education system should have rolled out a compulsory European Studies which would have encompassed language and customs.
    Maybe the general attitude here would be a bit better to the rest of Europe.
    The long gone pink bits on the map empire is still in the mind set of many I'm afraid :-(
    Sorry I've ranted a bit here, you've written another thought provoking, they always do that for me and make me smile too
    Well done M :-) x

  2. Nearly every quintessential "British" thing from fish and chips, tea, heck even the Royal family pretty much came from elsewhere. Perhaps in 500 years, Glu-wein will be the British national drink and it's origins will have been forgotten ;)