Thursday, 6 December 2007

Stolen Identity!

Only 1 in 5 schools this year are having a traditional nativity play. By panicking that we might offend someone, we are losing our identity as a nation. Why don't we just paint the world beige and abandon all the things, which make us who we are?

I am an Englishman living in Wales. One of the primary things I love about living here is this nations huge pride in its own identity. Traditions, nationalism and iconic Welsh-isms are oozing out of every pore of every brick, that built this proud people. The Welsh make no apology for their absolute indulgence in their historical landmarks and their reminiscent branding of their modern behaviour. And why the heck should they?

The UK has opened its arms to people of many nations for hundreds of years. Our country only exists in its current healthy socioeconomic state thanks to all those people who left their lives far away and made old Blighty their home.

Some came here by direct request, some came here speculatively, but whether press ganged or refugee, holiday maker or migrant, they all came to a place which understood its own self, which proudly wore its uniform with buttons polished and collars starched.

What is happening to us as a nation? Our history and traditions are the things which glue us together as a multicoloured melting pot of glory and strength. Many of our proudest historical moments include references to the part played by the many cultures who have helped secure our victories.

The Christmas nativity itself is based around the story of a prophet, born in the middle east. Its many facets reflect a conglomerate of fables and legends from all over the world. Did you spot a Christmas tree to the left of the manger? Even the date itself is based on the ancient winter solstice celebrations, Jesus was actually born nearer to October - do the maths, its fact.

The point I am making is, our history, our culture, our traditions, already reflect a multiculturalism which other nations do not even come close to. So why, Oh why, Oh why, are we in such a hysterical rush to 'dumb down' in an attempt to pacify our own fear of offending someone. The very people we are in fear of offending are the very people we already represent.

So, we can either paint the whole country beige, including the Red London buses and Prince Philips nose and slowly slip into a gloop of universal uniformity, (which neither offends nor inspires) and probably, given time, the whole country will resemble a great big Beige GAP outlet and there will be a MacDonald's in the garden of every house and the PC Police stood on every corner.

Or.... we can halt all this nonsense, maintain the traditions and celebrations which come from a rich and colourful multicultural heritage and shout out, loud and proud that we are British, we are inclusive, an we are here to stay, wrinkles and all!

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