What do foreigners like about Britain?

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What drives people to come to Britain?

Do people genuinely like Britain or do they just come here for job prospects/money?

 

I'm just curious. 

A lot of places in Europe seem a lot more interesting visually and culturally than Britain in my personal opinion so I would love to hear foreigners points of view on how they look at us. 

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When I was working in a different European state, the hotel had one of those "Travel Guide to Europe" books that documents each country.   It was American.

 

It started the UK section by basically saying: "Many countries may lay claim to being the best country in the world, for example France for...(and so on)....but the UK is quite probably it".  It went on to list the vast range of wonders on offer.   There is probably anglophone bias there but many Britons do not appreciate the esteem in which the UK is held.   Quite a lot of that is centuries of influence (for good or ill) and the ongoing cultural influence (especially music, TV and film).

 

It is also important to bear in mind that the UK has on obsession with inward immigration but the % is no more than in peer nations such as Germany and far far behind Aus, US, Canada et al.

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20 minutes ago, swimmer said:

When I was working in a different European state, the hotel had one of those "Travel Guide to Europe" books that documents each country.   It was American.

 

It started the UK section by basically saying: "Many countries may lay claim to being the best country in the world, for example France for...(and so on)...but the UK is quite probably it".  It went on to list the vast range of wonders on offer.   There is probably anglophone bias there but many Britons do not appreciate the esteem in which the UK is held.   Quite a lot of that is centuries of influence (for good or ill) and the ongoing cultural influence (especially music, TV and film).

 

It is also important to bear in mind that the UK has on obsession with inward immigration but the % is no more than in peer nations such as Germany and far far behind Aus, US, Canada et al.

I've never really understood why so many people like Britain but if there is one thing I would think it is our history and our influence over the world we had in the past that draws peoples curiosity here, that and being the center of English alongside America. 

That said I'd also be inclined to think many people probably don't care about our history but I could be wrong as I'm ignorant on the matter. 

Like I said I think other countries in Europe are visually and culturally more interesting. Maybe I'm a victim of being uninterested about my home country which I've lived in my entire life, (apart from the politics which I am interested in) 

It's hard for me to understand because I wasn't born in another country to think what the significance is to visit Britain. 

 

I'd go as far as to say Britain has an unhealthy obsession with inward Immigration for sure. 

 

19 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Well, people don't come to Britain for the weather, cuisine or cricket :).

But it is always sunny here, it never rains!  hahahaha 

 

 

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People certainly love our history and they also love the royals.

 

Having spoken to many many foreigners in my life the stream of things they like amazes me.  The japanese apparently like The Cotswolds (dont ask me why, nice enough place but hardly worth the flight).  A lot of people want to see the Jurassic Coast (again, nice enough). No end of people want to see buckingham palace and windsor (again, not something Id bother visiting).  Stone Henge.   The list goes on and on and almost all of it is kind of nice, there are things like leeds castle that I think are far nicer but noone is interested in.

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Greets, Xiomn!

Many Germans have grown up watching certain films and TV programmes eg James Bond, Mr Bean, anything to do with gardens eg in Cornwall, the Monarchy and stately homes, British music (Beatles etc and much more ), Scottish Highlands, London anyway, Sherlock Holmes and all the rest of it. Pubs.

:PI lived in Hamburg for 25 years ---embarrassingly Anglophile!!!

A couple of anecdotes:

my ex-brother-in-law from Brazil ( a beautiful country I lived in for many years ) once toured Scotland for about 3 weeks and told me it was the most beautiful country he had ever visited.

 

Where I´m now living on Crete in a village, a local taverna owner has twice in the last year visited my home town of Southend on Sea and is love with the place .." such culture "..( I couldn´t possibly get into a discussion on that!!!! )...:lol:

 

PS: when I was 18, I was at a bus stop in Bonn one evening and  it was cold and raining. I remember talking to an elderly German man whilst waiting  for the bus. He asked me where I was from so I just said the convenient " London" and I asked him if he´d ever been there.

I remember him smiling wryly and answering  " well, I once flew over it ! ":P

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6 minutes ago, john g. said:

:PSo why go 7 times, Mike?

 

 

Exactly what I was thinking. 

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I used to teach English to foreigners in London and I remember a young-ish Japanese student who came to the UK because he was a fan of Donovan ( a Scottish folk singer from way back then..a sort of British Bob Dylan ) and he was a sort of groupie of his...:D

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16 minutes ago, john g. said:

I used to teach English to foreigners in London and I remember a young-ish Japanese student who came to the UK because he was a fan of Donovan ( a Scottish folk singer from way back then..a sort of British Bob Dylan ) and he was a sort of groupie of his...:D

You have lived 25 years in Hamburg,have lived in Brazil for a few years and are now living in Crete. A long time out of the country, what made you want to leave for such a long time, would you say you don't like it here? 

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1 hour ago, swimmer said:

When I was working in a different European state, the hotel had one of those "Travel Guide to Europe" books that documents each country.   It was American.

 

It started the UK section by basically saying: "Many countries may lay claim to being the best country in the world, for example France for...(and so on)...but the UK is quite probably it".  It went on to list the vast range of wonders on offer.   There is probably anglophone bias there but many Britons do not appreciate the esteem in which the UK is held.   Quite a lot of that is centuries of influence (for good or ill) and the ongoing cultural influence (especially music, TV and film).

 

It is also important to bear in mind that the UK has on obsession with inward immigration but the % is no more than in peer nations such as Germany and far far behind Aus, US, Canada et al.

http://www.worldcat.org/title/europe-on-5-dollars-a-day/oclc/291761?referer=di&ht=edition

 

I´m old enough to remember this American´s " Europe on 5 dollars a day " !!

I had it in my hand in Rome in about 1971, looking for a really cheap place to eat. Yep, every bugger in the street had the same page open! All Americans ( except me ). 

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1 minute ago, Xiomn said:

You have lived 25 years in Hamburg,have lived in Brazil for a few years and are now living in Crete. A long time out of the country, what made you want to leave for such a long time, would you say you don't like it here? 

Dear Xiomn! I met the right (or wrong! ) women!!! :P All those years!

I was an idealist as a teenager and became a hippy!   ... which involved hitchhiking here and there and stuff like that. So I ended up in a few places...

I still have family in Britain and am not a dislike at all..just circumstances.

Now, I´m just too tired to hitchhike back home! 

Still follow the mighty Southend United!!!

Where are you from if I may ask?

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2 minutes ago, john g. said:

Dear Xiomn! I met the right (or wrong! ) women!!! :P All those years!

I was an idealist as a teenager and became a hippy!   ... which involved hitchhiking here and there and stuff like that. So I ended up in a few places...

I still have family in Britain and am not a dislike at all..just circumstances.

Now, I´m just too tired to hitchhike back home! 

Still follow the mighty Southend United!!!

Where are you from if I may ask?

 

It sounds like you had a very good time traveling around lots of places. You left Britain during the 1970s? A good time to escape some would say. 

 

I am from the Northwest of England. 

 

Have you found the right woman yet on your travels? 🤣

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1 hour ago, Xiomn said:

What drives people to come to Britain?

Do people genuinely like Britain or do they just come here for job prospects/money?

 

I'm just curious. 

A lot of places in Europe seem a lot more interesting visually and culturally than Britain in my personal opinion so I would love to hear foreigners points of view on how they look at us. 

British Empire drives people to Britain. Since it was the biggest empire it has also the most diverse migrant population.

 

Just like people from Marocco or Tunisia migrate to France and Belgium in mass numbers, people from Indonesia tend to go to Netherlands etc.

 

No magic, just former political and cultural connections with the former colonies.

 

Exception is Poland which was not a colony, but a former ally, I guess the Brits opened market to post communist Poland, that's why so many people emigrated. In 2004 the whole EU opened, so UK became of less significance, but many Poles now had relatives in the UK, this sparkled more migration to this country.

 

Turkey --> Germany, the same reason: former allies.

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Britain is unique as, I believe, it is the smallest country to have ever had such an important influence on the world.   I don’t approve of ‘Empire’ but it certainly was a country that fought above its weight,  as other countries tried to.

 

Family history, good marketing and friendly folk are invaluable assets.  

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Just now, Xiomn said:

 

It sounds like you had a very good time traveling around lots of places. You left Britain during the 1970s? A good time to escape some would say. 

 

I am from the Northwest of England. 

 

Have you found the right woman yet on your travels? 🤣

I left in 1973 cos I wanted to go to the US and , even more so,to Latin America. Mission accomplished!  Many years later, made it back and ended up studying at UCL in London. Lived happily in London for many years.

Oh yes, married a couple of times ( but in Brazil and in Indonesia )...:D

I often met the right woman but they never met the right man!!!

Have a lovely daughter living in Ireland and a German partner here on Crete and it´s all fine.

Northwest of England! Not Crewe by any chance?:P

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John and I are from the same place, slightly different ages.   That's one thing to understand.  Generations do specific things for a variety of reasons - typical 60s or 70s poor but aspirational / liberal place that bred well-educated freethinking kids, not many ops where we were necessarily, the world opening up in the 70s and 80s as John describes.   I also lived in London.  Slightly older family members also did the US touring thing.  It's no coincidence two people from that place at that time (and indeed more) pitched up in Germany.  Perfectly nice home town and these days quite sought after (unlike much of the north east area) but lives move on.

 

One thing I thought about saying is that one reason you may not see the UK as offering much "culturally" in 2018 is that a small elite that are mainly in London suck up your cash.  They have plenty of "culture" but you might doubt whether a lot of the rest of the UK - such as your locale - gets its share.   

 

EDIT - My family is from Poland.   Almost the entire population left during world war II and many did not go back.   The places they settled included the UK.  It's an outlying nation (also in terms of population make up) because of that, extending to USSR control of the region also including Belarus and Ukraine after.

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8 minutes ago, swimmer said:

John and I are from the same place, slightly different ages.   That's one thing to understand.  Generations do specific things for a variety of reasons - typical 60s or 70s poor but aspirational / liberal place that bred well-educated freethinking kids, not many ops where we were necessarily, the world opening up in the 70s and 80s as John describes.   I also lived in London.  Slightly older family members also did the US touring thing.  It's no coincidence two people from that place at that time (and indeed more) pitched up in Germany.  Perfectly nice home town and these days quite sought after (unlike much of the north east area) but lives move on.

 

One thing I thought about saying is that one reason you may not see the UK as offering much "culturally" in 2018 is that a small elite that are mainly in London suck up your cash.  They have plenty of "culture" but you might doubt whether a lot of the rest of the UK - such as your locale - gets its share.   

 

EDIT - My family is from Poland.   Almost the entire population left during world war II and many did not go back.   The places they settled included the UK.  It's an outlying nation (also in terms of population make up) because of that, extending to USSR control of the region also including Belarus and Ukraine after.

15 minutes ago, Xiomn said:

 

Sunday evening tea 1950s:

white bread with margarine

ONE slice of brown bread (unwillingly..not something kids liked, I think ) )

Pilchards out of a tin (hated it )

cup of tea

a slice of peach out of a tin

Boiled egg ( but I once spilt my tea into it, didn´t realise, hated the taste..and avoided eggs for a while )

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