Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm turning British, I think I'm turning British, I really think so

Listening to: 'Those Sweet Words' by Norah Jones [Feels Like Home]

I know, I know, it doesn't work as well without 'Japanese'...ah well.

So yeah. I'm feeling strangely patriotic towards Old Blighty. I realised it on Friday when talking to someone at work about Team GB's amazing performance in Beijing. I recall saying...
"Yeah I heard the 11.30 news and [...pause...] Britain's gold medal tally has gone up to 12!"
Why the pause? Well I was going to say "our"...but it felt weird. So I had to say "Britain's"...but that felt weird too. Nothing like it should've felt, because I am truly proud of Team GB. Not just happy for Britain like I'm happy for Jamaica that Usain Bolt is superhuman, but proud, complete with the warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

It's been a weird Olympics for me. The Olympics just don't feel the same without my grandfather around...he used to be glued to the tv from start to finish (understandable, considering he was at the Munich Games in '72), with me by his side. So I wasn't expecting to be all that keen on this one. But then I read about Blake Aldridge's disgraceful post-dive comments, and I felt a pang of sympathy for Tom Daley. But then I thought maybe that's just 'cos he's a cute kid. But then the medals started coming in thick and fast, and I found myself grinning at my computer screen while reading the news (yeah, don't ask). Maybe it's because I think the UK lets itself down when it comes to sport. Maybe it's because I think the UK is too quick to criticise her sportsmen and women. Maybe it's just glory supporting. Or maybe it's because I'm starting to really think like a Briton.

I think Radio 1 has also had a lot to do with it. Listening to the radio every morning provides a brilliant insight into the life of the average British adult. The obsession with BB and X Factor, summer festivals and the weather...all part of British life, and I've come to appreciate it. I don't think I can ever bring myself to say 'cheers' when I want to say 'thank you', and you won't see me downing pints any time soon, but the rest, I can manage :-).

I think too many international students pass through the UK without being able to appreciate the life here...especially in Cambridge, where you can go for days without seeing someone who qualifies as being 'British'.

Six years is a long time to settle into a place, but I think I've finally settled in enough to call Britain 'home'. And no, don't worry...I'm as Sri Lankan as I always have been, and nothing will change that. But I am feeling a lot of love for Great Britain right now. I could end with Hugh Grant's monologue from Love Actually, but that might be a bit too cheesy :-).


  1. Heh you totally hit the nail on the head with the 'Team GB' patriotism. I even got rather peeved at that stupid Russian chick who was pulling on the leg of the 10km swimmers today(else they'd have got gold and silver rather than silver and bronze!). I didn't react quite so violently at the other Olympic drama!

    Too right about how most students just cram the books and make no effort to do anything else 'British'.

  2. I think it's because Britains show a sense of solidarity when we succeed in sport! And it was a common smile amongst us! Goooo Team GB!


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