My sister-in-law passed this email on to me. Interesting question – one that may or may not be easy to answer depending on where you come from and what your experience has been. For me, it’s not an easy question or at least there is no easy answer. For ‘Britishness’ is not simple to describe when you have conflicting ideas about it. When you live amongst it as a foreigner but have a permanent connection to it which grows stronger every day, it becomes less straightforward as a concept. I’d love to hear how British people define Britishness. Perhaps it’s easier to do if you live outside Britain and are able to reflect on your ‘Britishness’ by seeing yourself through the eyes of a different culture. Or maybe it’s just as easy when you live here as a British person in Britain.

While doing research for my Book Bringing Up Brits, I was fascinated by some of the personal accounts from European parents which were completely different to what I thought about Britain and British people. I learned a lot about my own American culture from this as well.

Take a look at this email and if this intrigues you, submit your answer directly to the contact below.

From: Faye Brown on behalf of Alumni
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 3:58 PM
To: uni info
Subject: What does Britishness mean to you?

University of Brighton alumnus, designer and cerebrated tailor Gresham Blake would like your help in his quest to define “Britishness”.

Gresham’s aim is to publish a book containing a variety of contributions on the subject of Britishness and is working with researchers at the University of Brighton to help ensure the validity of the pre-publication research, support the compilation of the content and to provide assistance in identifying outcomes.

We are asking 365 varied citizens to answer a simple question, with the hope that we will find a common thread that will define the term. If you would like to be involved, all you have to do is answer the following question.

‘What does Britishness mean to you? (A personal account)

There is no wrong or right answer; it’s not a test. If you write 250 words you will fill a page in the book, but please feel free to write as little or as much as you like.  You can sign the entry in any way you prefer e.g. name, occupation, ethnicity, anonymous or anything you wish.

All information will be treated with the upmost confidentiality.  If your piece is chosen you will able to check you are happy with the statement before it goes to print.

Please feel free to pass on this email to anyone else that you think maybe interested.

We hope that you are happy to be part of this study and we look forward to receiving your contribution. Please refer any questions or responses to:
Mollie Adamson-Hope
mollie@greshamblake.com

To me, this sounds like a very interesting project. Let me know if you’re going to take part!

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Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits and co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs with Heidi Mulligan Walker. Meghan is also the Director and Chief Designer at her own design company, White Ochre Design Ltd. And, she is an award winning expat blogger.