The Jubilee weekend is finally here and everywhere you go, Union Jack’s have gone forth and multiplied and now adorn every lamp post, car, building and square in the entire Kingdom!
Couple this with the extended weekend that the Queen has so graciously provided to us subjects, it’s really enough to make even the staunchest anti-royalist feel patriotic.
So, in celebration of the Queen, her reign, and that, unlike under many English rulers of old, us Jews haven’t been expelled just yet, here are some summer experiences that’ll make you feel like a real Englishman:
Did you know that the National Anthem is longer than those 7 lines we mumble at every sporting ceremony? Yep, its got some whole other verses that talk about knaves, politics, gifts and enemies! Exciting! Here is the full anthem – get learning and impress everybody else come Olympics time!
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen!
PS: Another upside to learning this bad boy is that if it ever came down to a sing-off with the National Front, we’d totally kick their asses. Go us!
Afternoon tea at the Ritz is an English institution, and whilst expensive (£42 per person for some cucumber sandwiches and scones!?), there is no better way to feel like a real member of English high society than by sampling the delectable treats in the sumptuous setting of the Ritz hotel. Booking in advance is strongly recommended, and the dress code is smart – just make sure you don’t slop your Devonshire cream down your top and you’ll blend right in. Who needs Carmellis?
For many Jews, our past is heavily rooted in the histories of other countries. However, England has an impressive ancient pedigree of its own. Connect with England’s pagan past by visiting Stonehenge in Amesbury, Wiltshire. Those druids were great at building impressive structures, and to this day, scholars still can’t figure out how they transported the gigantic stones used in the construction of Stonehenge to their final setting. Perhaps those druids had taken some tips from us Pyramid builders! Visit Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice to witness a massive party right through the night to celebrate the rising of the sun!
So its not just about the Jubilee and the Olympics. There’s a little footie tournament coming up this Summer where we get our chance to display our English patriotism! And there’s no better way to do so than down the local pub – real British ales, roaring at the TV with friends and strangers alike, an inevitable sporting rollercoaster – the scene is all set for a truly English experience, particularly if we get to penalties! So paint your face with that St George’s Cross, start forming opinions about the England manager and his brilliant/ridiculous/uninspired decisions (delete as appropriate) and join in the fun with the rest of the English fans!
Us Jews are not that well-known for our sea-faring capabilities – being that far away from a good cholent and fresh challas probably never went down too well with our ancestors. Luckily, Britain has come up with an ingenious solution that makes sure we are never that far away from our creature comforts but that still allow us to take to the high seas (read: rolling streams). So dust off your captain’s hat, take some friends and rent your own narrowboat, a la Rosie and Jim, and go for a jaunt down some of the 3000 miles worth of canals in England. A truly English holiday (where you’re never too far away from dry land, hot showers, and home cooking – perfect!)
What other English experiences do you want to get stuck into this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Note: This article is part of a series looking at some of the best and most essential experiences of modern Jewish life! To play along at home, make your life list and add your favourite experiences each month.