Official: Britons are most cultured Europeans

John Hooper in Rome, Saturday February 19, 2005
The Guardian

The Italians have Michelangelo, the French Moli

Hmm, actually I’m not surprised. I’ve found that the more a culture prides itself on something, the less the individual members of the culture actually embody the quality. I’ve met lots of Quebecers, for example, who deride English (and therefore English Canadian) food, and brag about how much better French food is, but who themselves eat the kind of vile swill (such as Kraft Dinner) that would never pass my lips.
Likewise, ALL of the Chinese, Koreans, and Taiwanese who have boasted to me about Asians’ supposed superiority in math where themselves hopeless idiots at it.

Rule Britannia!


The findings don’t surprise me in the least. :slight_smile:
Please take note, I am not British - and I certainly don’t wish so, but the findings don’t surprise me in the least. :smiley:

Just on personal experience, no surprises here.

That’s an interesting conception of “culture.” I wonder what made them pick those activities as the ones that would count? Are Marilyn Manson fans concert-goers? Is “Cats” high culture or low? What about Leonardo DiCaprio in “William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet”? Dog shows?

Besides the highbrow / lowbrow problem, there’s also an issue of cultural forms that aren’t sufficiently international. Bull-fighting, for instance, or sumo wrestling. Isn’t that cultural? If you go to Spain / Japan and skip all the local stuff and just go to the opera all the time, aren’t you being a philistine?

I wonder if the survey included residents of Vatican City. I reckon they are a fairly cultured bunch, on average. Then again, as others have mentioned, given the activities that were included (going to see the latest Keanu Reeves film, attending a football match etc.) what it really sounded like the survey was asking was: [color=blue]“How often do you get out of the house?” [/color]

Maybe the College of Cardinals spends too much of their time in their own residences reading about art and philosophy, and discussing theological issues with one another. Such activity would seem to score a zero in the cultural consumption survey. It would also follow that many of my childhood friends back in the US are far more cultured than the Vatican City residents. (They spend a fair amount of their free time watching movies at the mall cineplex, getting drunk at the local stock-car races, or watching WWF wrestlers break chairs over people’s heads.)

Cultured? Wot, me? Gorblimy, where’s me lager?

“I have no interest in Shakespeare and all that British nonsense… I just wanted to get famous and all the rest is hogwash.” - Anthony Hopkins


I can understand that.

I can understand that.[/quote]

Huh??? :s

Since when do Frenchmen like cats so much? I thought they liked frogs and so on, and not to wash? :s

Right! My English aunt and uncle always know someone at a castle standing around somewhere and know what the local lord did on 1347 mid-winter.

Really interesting by the way. Always some spooky story involved.

And my English uncle from “working class” is my favourite, as he always knows someone at a pub standing around somewhere and invites me for pint of some stuff, which tastes like German beer left open for 2 days, but it gets better with every pint!

Newcastle Brown tastes real good, btw.

Do you mean to say that if you leave an opened bottle of German lager sitting around for two days it will eventually taste as good as an English ale?

That’s absolutely amazing!