Defining a typical Brit is a tricky and dangerous thing to attempt. After all, this is a nation of immigrants and a product of four countries coming together over time. And one of the worst cultural mistakes you can make is confusing a Scot for being English and vice visa. So how do you differentiate the humans of Great Britain?
The biggest and most populated of the four nations is England. The home of the Beatles, Beckham and tea. And yes its true more cups of tea are drunk, per person, in England than anywhere else in the world.
The world often sees the typical English person as posh, sounding like the queen, drinking tea and eating sandwiches all day long. And men wearing a neat striped suit and maybe even a bowler hat, but in reality the era of wearing a bowler hat is long gone.
Whilst generalising is a dangerous game lets dive in and talk about the English reserve and the infamous ‘stiff upper lip’ which means you don’t let your feelings show.
It’s a common portrayal of the English and it does have some truth to it. English people can be incredibly reserved and in moments of crisis don’t often show their panic or upset, instead they choose to keep going and power through the problem with the aid of a cup of tea or something stronger.
Without being unkind to our American cousins, the English are very different. You won’t find us break over backwards to be jolly and we don’t have that familiar friendliness of many southern Europeans but don’t take quietness for rudeness, it just sometimes takes a little more time to get an English person talking.
Scotland is the wild, beautiful north of the United Kingdom. Home to the biggest mountains the UK has to offer, and some dramatic coastlines where the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean tides both rise and fall on its shores.
The famous image of a Scot is of being red-haired, fierce and liking a whisky or two. The national dress for men, the kilt, is also a strong association but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see a man bearing his legs unless you are invited to a formal gathering, such as a wedding.
Talking of gathering, the Scots don’t need much excuse to open a bottle of whisky and have a “wee dram”, making it no surprise that they are the biggest consumer of whisky in the UK. But their love of the stuff makes total sense. It gets cold in Scotland and on a wet and windy (which is often) day who would say no to a drink that acts like a radiator.
Northern Ireland is on an island, separate to Britain, which it shares with another country. The Republic of Ireland, boy that’s a lot of islands.
The Republic of Ireland lays in the south and Northern Ireland, the smaller bit, is part of the UK.
Both are famous for their festivities to mark their Patron Saint, Saint Patrick. The celebrations on 17th March were originally a holy day but these days the holiday is associated with parades and Guinness, the national drink of Ireland.
The day for many in the UK and other parts of the world is about a big party, alcohol and dressing up in green from head to foot. The reason for the green is because the Irish associate the clover plant with St Patrick, who used the plant as a symbol to teach his followers about the three principles of Christianity.
The two most striking things about the Irish is their accent, which is hard to understand but mesmerising. And their charm. They like to talk, they like to laugh and don’t be surprised if you meet an Irish person and end up spending several hours with them having a drink and by the end of it feeling you are best friends.
The Welsh are known for being extremely patriotic and fierce – like their Scottish cousins, but confusingly shy and reserved at the same time. And whilst Wales is part of the UK, they have their own language, Welsh, although everyone in Wales can also speak English.
To see the devotion the Welsh have for Wales and their language you just need to head to a rugby game, which is more popular than football and the unofficial religion of Wales. You will see people singing the national anthem with real joy and pride.
The Welsh are striking looking people with their twinkly green and blue eyes and their jet-black hair. Of course, the Welsh come in different sizes, but a positive stereotype of men is that they are strong looking and muscular, which makes sense given the regions’ mining and rural history.