Why do the British not feel European?


获得39.7k好评的回答 @Stuart Aitken:

I spent a year living in an international dormitory in China, with students from all over the world. “Birds of a feather flock together”, as they say. Of all the various categorisations that could be made based on the way people formed their groups, the most obvious collections were:

Westerners - (European and American mainly)

East Asians - (Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam)

South Asians - (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan)

Middle-easterners/Arabic - (Iran, Yemen etc)

Slavic/Central Asian - (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc)

People really do gravitate into groups based on ethnic and cultural identity. At that time, I knew more than ever that I was a European. The way I as a Brit acted, thought was entirely in tune with the Europeans I spent time with.

I am definitely European.

Before this experience, I’ll admit I wasn’t hugely aware of this.

As to why most Brits don’t feel European, I suspect it’s because of the rather large stretch of water that separates us from the mainland. So Brits not identifying as European is quite a standard phenomenon, I believe.


获得10.7k好评的回答 @Geoffrey Thorndyke:

Why do the British not feel European?

I am answering the question from a purely personal view. First I regard myself as “English” not British. Secondly I do not feel European as Europe is “abroad”. I have been there, Germany, Austria, France, but not since 1961.

However the question! - Europe is other countries, other languages, other histories Interesting but different. I do not feel any connection with these other countries, and certainly do not feel part of any group or association of other countries.

Living a quiet life in a rural part of England, I do not have much contact with citizens of other countries. I do not dislike them or object to them, they simply do not impact on my life.

It is the same with Europe, I know it’s there, know a reasonable amount about it, but have absolutely no contact with it.