It is not until you take one step away from England, that you begin to realize what this unique country is traditionally famous for. Speak to any foreigner around the globe and the words Queen, Big Ben and Fish & Chips will cross their lips with as much ease as a simple ‘hello’ in their own language. You will be surprised when they tell you about their cousin’s brother who lives in London who you surely must know! .
You will find out more about David Beckham, the premier league and Manchester United than you ever knew before. But despite all this, you will hear little about the real England as English people know it and about any cultural icon that local people think about when they consider their home land
According to real English people
‘Cockney’, ‘Brummie’ and ‘Scouse’ may be faster to spring to mind for the native Englishman than an internationally known cultural icon, with different dialects and accents within England long being the topic of jokes throughout history. On the other hand, ask an Englishman what English culture stands for and he might simply reply ‘a pint down the local’ (meaning: ‘a pint of beer at the local pub’, for those not familiar with local slang). Others however may consider the question in more depth and refer to known brands such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Tetley Tea or Cadbury.
English culture at the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Many people across the world were intrigued to see the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony which focused on England’s greatest cultural icons as known from the inside. It moved from Shakespeare to James Bond, from the history of the industrial revolution to the National Health Service (NHS), and from famous children’s literature such as Harry Potter, Peter Pan and Mary Poppins to the incredible success of the English music scene over the last century. England’s culture was uncovered for the world to see and understand.
Perhaps England will forever be known from the outside as red pillar boxes and buses, as Kate & William and as Rupert Bear, but through London 2012 at least, the world has been exposed to the real England, and therefore England’s truly greatest Cultural Icons.
Image by: Photographer Morozova Tatiana – Fotolia