So the world sees British people as having bad teeth, a complete lack of rhythm and a strange obsession with tea and biscuits.
Okay, so these may be outdated claims. But the British are known for being able to laugh at themselves. As a nation, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We take the mickey out of ourselves. We love social media videos of people failing at life, whether it be falling over, attempting to do sport or simply going on a date and it ending badly. Really badly.
For this reason, Britain is Great. But it’s also a funny little island and has wonders we may not all know about (even though we’ve lived here all our lives!) whilst being one of the most tolerant, multicultural and richly diverse nations on earth.
But how much do you know about Britain? In the first in a series, we highlight a few quirky facts about this island we call home…
Favourite dish origins
Britain’s favourite Indian meal, the Chicken Tikka Masala, was actually invented in Glasgow, Scotland. Yes, really! It’s thought that the mild curry was created decades ago in a Glaswegian kitchen by Asian immigrants catering to Western palates. That’s what we call fusion cuisine! The dish remains one of the country’s favourite things to eat but many don’t realise it’s not the real taste of India! D’oh!
We are a beautifully diverse melting pot of cultures
Did you know that 12.4% of Londoners are Muslims? That’s more than one-in-ten people in our capital city identifying as Muslim. In the 2011 census, which surveys every citizen of the UK, Christianity was the major religion, followed by Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.
Say wot? Languages in Britain.
Obviously, English is the most spoken language, with 98% of us using it every day. However, there are officially 11 indigenous languages spoken across the country, including Welsh, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati and Arabic are among the other top languages used.
Is tea really the nations favourite drink?
Tea has long been associated with the UK. And for good reason: we drink a lot of it. But the jury’s out on whether it’s still the nation’s favourite. Some say that the rise of coffee chains (such as Starbucks and Costa) is making us drink more and more of the heavier stuff. Others say that it depends where we drink them. Outside the home, some reports say that us British are now drinking almost two-and-a-half cups of coffee for every one of tea – 2.1 billion versus 874 million annually. But at home, we prefer a good old cuppa. The real question is BISCUITS: to dunk or not to dunk?
See you next time for more bonkers Britishness!