Friday, 9 October 2015

The Great BRITISH Bake Off

A number of articles have appeared since Nadiya Hussain won the popular TV show. I'd just like to add my two cents worth. I watched the final on BBCiPLayer (as I don't own a TV) and got caught up like most by shedding a few tears at the end. However permit me to say the following:

I was amazed watching the show that contestants were using recipe cards. Surely that shouldn't be allowed if one is testing their ability to bake? But moving on to the winner. I think that the media underestimates the average Brit who is kind, good humoured and very welcoming to everyone. All that Brits ask in return is that when in Rome, please do as we do. I found the public reaction to the lovely Nadiya to be genuine and heart warming but not necessarily surprising. I do have one criticism- I disagree with considering oneself British and wearing a headscarf. That scarf essentially defines Nadiya more than anything else. Britain is completely multicultural and seeing ladies with veils, hijabs etc. is quite normal these days but I can't help thinking that the symbolism of covering one's head renders the woman subservient because she feels she has to. Having to do anything is the contrary of independent free thinking. But the argument goes further- how does one define Britishness these days? Well, Nadiya answered that with her wonderful mix of blending her roots- although she was born in the UK so what roots are those?- and traditional British ways- self-deprecating wit being one of them. I agree up to a point that she is a marvellous example but I retain a cautious view when I see anyone who has one foot in a cultural past and one in the present. A friend once remarked that having a mistress always proved too difficult as he could not sleep in two beds at the same time. The same analogy applies to being an immigrant- the best way in my view to become fully assimilated into any country is to remove the identifying factors that can only be interpreted that they wish they were somewhere else.

 Photo copyright SvD.

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