There are a group of people out there who claim to be anglophiles. So what is an anglophile you might ask? The formal definition -- the noun of the word -- is a person who strongly admires England or its people, culture, customs, influence etc.
This may seem to be strange to some, but as a child living in England, there were many English that admired the North American culture also. In my mind, it's simply a fascination with something that's different to the familiar. Anglophiles can be satisfied by visiting England, eating English food, watching English movies, and reading novels or histories about England. It can almost be described as the grass is always greener somewhere else, literally. But then again, anglophiles can be patriotic to their own countries but love the history of England's culture.
I’m a little bit of everything; British, Canadian, and now American. I tend to adapt to where I live -- my accents gone back and forth from British to Canadian, to a mix, and now no-one would ever guess I wasn't born and raised in the States -- unless of course I throw a strange word in conversation, or I'm talking to my mum on the phone, then it all comes back. And wherever I live, I always miss a little bit of the culture that's left behind, a part of me. So when I’m in North America, I could be described as a little bit of an anglophile although I was born in London, and when I lived in England as a girl, I was very proud of the fact that I'd spent time in California and I also had dual citizenship with Canada. So back to the subject, just why do anglophiles exist? What is so fascinating about England and its culture? There are three points which break down the enthrallment of such a country:
- History -- We've all heard of the Victorian era, the period when Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 and was beloved by her people. This was a time when both the British Empire and the British industrial revolution were at their peaks. The Victorian architecture is described as stunning. This was then followed by the Regency period and then the Edwardian era. Before World War II, England was a homogeneous society, but since then the diversity of its population has been continually increasing with England's accommodations of immigrant populations. So nowadays the English don't necessarily look or act in one particular way. The monarch, the history, fascinates some -- it's such an old country with so many stories to tell.
- Geography -- England is also known for its gardens which are beautiful most of the year. Some scoff at all the rain, but with that comes a lush benefit. You can enjoy the busy city life of a fast-moving place like London, or you can enjoy a quiet life in the small villages up in the hills -- although nowadays that's even changing. It's a small country so there aren't hundreds of miles and states or provinces to cover to get from one place to the next, although congestion is another story in itself.
- Food -- England has the traditional dishes of trifle, Yorkshire puddings, bangers and mash, black pudding, lamb and mint sauce etc. But with the diverse population, it also has a mixture of authentic dishes from other areas of the world. Nowadays, Britain's favorite dish is curry, which clearly demonstrates the cultural diversity even in the food.
Learning of other cultures and appreciating the differences is a healthy way to approach life, if not educate us on why others may behave differently to us.