Thursday, October 7, 2010

The United Kingdom

This afternoon, I am going to teach a class of Chinese students all about what we might loosely call "Britain".
The individual nations are OK. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales. Ah but. Northern Ireland is a province and Wales is a principality. England and Scotland are nations though. With a monarch. The same monarch. A United Kingdom. Our Elizabeth II is, of course, Elizabeth I of Scotland. I know they will ask "What is the United Kingdom?" I'll stutter out England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Then they'll ask "...and the British Isles?" and I will chuck in The Irish Republic and probably the Isle of Man. But what about the Channel Islands? I think they are called Bailiwicks. Not sure. Part of the UK? Not sure. Back to the Isle of Man. Not sure. They'll ask what is the difference between Britain and Great Britain. Again, not sure. Does the UK include Northern Ireland? Not sure. How are the Channel Islands part of the EU? Not sure. How come they can be tax havens. Got me. Not sure.
I'm in for a great lesson where, ultimately, they will know exactly what I know. I know that I don't know.
Did Berwick ever make it up with Russia?

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