Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I'm still shaking my head at this. The Council has spent so much on something noone wants. I don't know why the English don't stand up to this sort of thing. It would never happen in Turkey or Greece. This guy sums it up perfectly.

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An understanding of culture and heritage isn’t genetic - someone isn’t born with it.  We learn through experience and exposure.

Exactly. If your parents were born elsewhere then you're very unlikely to have that experience or exposure. They'll have at best peripheral awareness.

As I said in an earlier post my parents were both born in Ireland.  That didn’t prevent me from developing an interest in the history and culture of England, studying for a degree in art history and passing on my knowledge to visitors to buildings managed by English Heritage.

And as I said in my earlier post, well done.

So how does this fit?

I was trying to be conciliatory.

Studying history and taking tourists around old houses is different from being 'of' a culture. What you've described is observing from the outside. You could study Egyptian history and take tourists to the pyramids but that's different from being brought up in the culture and intuitively knowing how it works, what to expect and how to behave in different circumstances. It's not very inclusive I admit but we each have our own.

The histories and cultures of Britain and Ireland have so often been intimately intertwined (often with terrible results). So hardly a great leap. But your point stands, I think.

To expand on your point, James, it is interesting to note that the same forces (colonialism, empire) which 'intertwined' the histories and cultures of Britain and Ireland are at play between Britain and, say, the Indian subcontinent.

The first exposure for most of us comes from our parents.  My Anglo-Indian mother spoke of 'the British' as if they were a different race - they were not quite the same as us.  Yet we felt it was our responsibility to adapt to their culture rather than their responsibility to adapt to ours.  Eighty years later I have not lost that feeling.  Understanding of culture and heritage, while not genetic, for me is almost as good as. 

It also completely discounts the many of us who are of mixed heritage where often our names don't reveal the totality of our culture or heritage - mine deliberately obscures it and I expect if I had been born 20 years later it would have been different. 

Cem - Your last point sums it up perfectly! Well said.

Well said, Cem.  I totally agree and speak from experience.



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