The British people have a unique cultural identity which is often misunderstood. Nevertheless, any English-speaking chap would be wondering why the Brits take the lift instead of the elevator, transport goods in a lorry instead of a truck, take an afternoon tea instead of a filling snack? Why should you ring someone when you can call him on the phone? Most noticeable among the British is their accent. Often, it is difficult to make sense of what a Briton is saying although he speaks the same language as most English speakers do. What's the difference?
The Britons are extremely obsessive about their sports. They love football and cricket intensely. Not even bad weather can pull them away from their game. The Britons consider American football as sissy sport. They may be right when one gets to see a rough and tumble rugby game. The British invented and introduced cricket to the world of sports and yet they feel threatened whenever other countries would beat them at their own game. Short of calling their more superior opponents cheats.
Just as Americans would think of the British as phlegmatic and bland, the British would think of Americans as vulgar and extremely rude. The British are so polite that they would apologize to you even if you happen to step on their toes! If you are looking for people with a lot of common sense (such a short supply of it these days), the Brits are known for their sensibility. Why do you think they carry an umbrella around? It's for the unpredictable weather. It is always damp and gray in London as some would say. But not necessarily true. There are bright and sunny days too.
The British are disdainful of excesses and yet they love their beer, rugby and Beckham quite passionately. Just as Americans are obsessed with basketball and football, one cannot fault the British when they express the same intensity for rugby and cricket. The Britons are also entranced with the Royals. Not quite far off from Americans' obsession with Hollywood superstars.
The British love tradition and sentiment. One can still view traditional royal practices centuries old today. The Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace is a sight to behold. With the soldiers in full regalia of red coat and bear skin hat, the spectacle reassures the audience that England will always be here. The guards exemplify the “stiff upper lip” persona whenever they are at their posts. Not even an earthquake will make them move from their post.
Mr. Bean, the funny comic from British television typifies an Englishman. Quite bumbling at times but manages to maintain a façade of formality. Underneath that formal countenance, the British have a great sense of humor. No, the British are not as quirky as Mr. Bean but they sure know how to have a great time.
Food is not their cup of tea but they can whip out a mean fish and chip meal, some buttery scones to go with your tea and perhaps some ginger ale to wash them down. The British culture often unfamiliar to other people tends to paint a negative picture on Britons. However, as one gets to know the Brits and their rich cultural heritage, one cannot help but wonder and remark, “What rubbish!” on all the negative stereotyping.