Monday, November 03, 2008


Once upon a time, Britain ruled the world. It exported its language and way of thinking and running a country to the rest of the world, trying to 'civilise' it. Along the way, Britons learnt a few things also - that other countries and peoples can be beautiful too, and that they do have something to teach the world. However, the relationship was one of power, and so Britons were too proud to admit it.

Fast forward to the present. Britain is no longer a world power. However, the world lives in Britain. However, has the attitude to 'foreigners' changed? Is it still 'we will use you, but not share power with you'? Recently, someone who was born and raised as a white Briton said to me that the British are very arrogant. Is there truth in this?

In an increasingly inter-dependent world, Britain needs to change its attitude. Especially its pride and arrogance. It also needs to admit its flaws and failures. And allow other cultures to help it solve its problems. The British mind needs to change its colour screens. It also needs to learn to see other cultures in their own terms. Here is an example - my daughter was asked by her friends whether she is going to have an arranged marriage when she grows up. The people who asked her come from a culture where one in three marriages break up, yet they had the arrogance to insult my daughter in this way. This shows the depth of ignorance in our society. This needs to change, especially among those in positions of power and influence.

Do you agree? Let me have your comments.

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