Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Please sir, may I have a pumpkin?

The floor above me is being especially loud tonight, which means no sleep for me but a blog for you! Just one of the perks of dorm life. :)

How about a culture blog?

Today we had a lecture on British identity and culture. It's interesting to learn about immigration trends to this area of the world, as they are completely different from back home. It's also interesting to note that the British still keep WWII memories and lessons close to their heart, even the younger generations. It makes sense, as so much of the current society was shaped out of post-war efforts.

Here is a bit of our history lesson (mind you, a very small portion and generalized. Also, feel free to correct me if I get something wrong).

During the war, pretty much everyone in Great Britain was treated equally. Even the rich were on food rations, and the bombers had no preference where the bombs landed, as long as they hit something. This led to many innocent civilians being killed, both rich and poor alike.

After the war, the government in charge and the people of the nation decided that everyone deserved to be helped out of the damage the war caused. All citizens deserved health care--hence, the NHS was born. Everyone deserved a job--and the government bought up industries to create more jobs (most of which have now been sold and privatized again because they realized private industries are generally more efficient). Education ages were raised to 16, with everyone having the chance to test into university. They also believed everyone deserved proper housing, since so much was destroyed in the war. Unfortunately this problem was not dealt with as well as the others, leading to some rather poor public housing that still stands today.

The war was many years ago, but it really influenced Europe both in mindset and subsequent policy. I know it was very important on US soil as well, but I hear more individuals talk about "the war" here than I ever have at home (because of when I was born).

We're getting ready for Dublin in a few days. Due to Ryanair baggage restrictions, I'm backpacking for real.

Enjoy October in the midwest! As far as I can tell, the English simply don't celebrate harvest time as we know it in Kansas. No corn mazes or pumpkins in sight. However, we do have some turning leaves. Have you ever seen ivy turn red before?

1 comment:

  1. The Brits don't forget their history! The losses of WW1 are still very real to them too as you'll see when everything stops at 11a.m. on November 11 to commemorate the Armistice. (I hope I have the date right!!) A friend of mine's Mom (Mum, 'scuse me!) lived through the Blitz then became a War Bride and emmigrated to the U.S. where my friend was born!