Reclaiming England's patron saint
April 23, 2004 3:03 AM   Subscribe

Cry God for Harry! England and Saint George!
posted by nthdegx (7 comments total)
Here in Catalonia, St. George is called St. Jordi. The tradition is for men and women to give each other a rose and a book. There are book and flower stands set up all over the city, and people take the afternoon off to wander and browse. It's a lot better to celebrate love and literature than Crusaders and English nationalism.
posted by fuzz at 4:19 AM on April 23, 2004

Aye, that sounds good, fuzz. For me it's a question of reclaiming national idents. England has some sorry moments in its history, and I think as a result we've somehow forgotten to celebrate our rich cultural heritage, and see diversity as a tension-point rather than a thing to be proud of.

I'm slightly uncomfortable with the idea that a celebration of St. George's Day is seen as celebrating the crusades and nationalism. I'm no fan of his (to put it mildly), but I must agree with Gary Bushell when he said in today's Independent that "English history is as much about Tolpuddle and Shelley as the battles of Waterloo and Trafalgar".

I accept inherited responsibility for the past, but with that I'd hope to be able to participate in celebration of a diverse culture such as ours and that's what this post is about. Any jingoism in the post phrasing is meant entirely ironically, by the way - but I do like a good bit of Shakespeare.

Happy St. George's Day everyone

posted by nthdegx at 4:43 AM on April 23, 2004

Is celebrating our patron saint's day necessarily celebrating English nationalism? I'm celebrating some of the more positive sides of our culture - tolerance, fair play, democracy, warm beer, cricket on a village green etc.
posted by squealy at 4:47 AM on April 23, 2004

Is celebrating our patron saint's day necessarily celebrating English nationalism?

Ipso facto, no but I've no doubt at all that you're aware of the appropriation of the mythos of St George - in particular the Cross of St George - by an odious minority of racist, bigotted thugs - the kind of scum that you used to see on the terraces before Murdoch's money priced them out of football
Besides which, warm beer, cricket? Add maids on bicycles and you've just become John Major! :-)
posted by dmt at 5:21 AM on April 23, 2004

I know dmt. I loathe warm beer and don't have much time for cricket. Give me a good old English pint of ice cold Kronenburg and a game of football any day of the week.
posted by squealy at 5:34 AM on April 23, 2004

great links...good post! And Fuzz, just one more plus in Spain's column. :)
posted by dejah420 at 9:41 AM on April 23, 2004

Late to the party (four day weekend!)

Happy St. George's Day, from the English in America!
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:55 PM on April 25, 2004

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