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The UK Left Embarrassed By Lack Of Knowledge On USA

Picture of Antonia Kunzel
Updated: 21 December 2016
It is sensible to study up on a country before traveling there. Though some seem to skip this preemptive step of cultural digestion. According to a recent survey, it would seem that UK citizens aren’t too bothered. Apparently, less than 60 % know sufficiently enough about the United States, even though it is one of the most popular travel destinations according to Hayes and Jarvis, Great Britain’s leading long haul specialists of the TUI Group’s Specialist Holiday Group.

 The test was taken by 1,000 random residents, 100 in each city, all across the country- the cities include Southampton, Leeds, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and London – the latter registering the smallest amount out of all cities with only 30% correct answers, whereas Southampton can, more or less, proudly call itself the winner with 40%. 

New York Skyline| pixabay

New York Skyline| pixabay

Questions were, among others, to name the capital of the state of Washington, where more than a half answered Washington D.C, when the correct answer was actually Seattle.

While the residents in Cambridge had seemingly been watching too much ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, and therefore thought that Kim Kardashian’s dad was a former president, the U-25’s were stuck with the thought of John F. Kennedy having given the Declaration Of Independence speech. 

JFK | Pixabay

JFK | Pixabay

The lack of common knowledge about the United States of America is quite surprising. More than 2000 Brits every year are leaving the island in order to start a new life over the pond. American music and TV programs are  incessantly screened over here, and even cities share names such as Birmingham in the state of Alabama or London in Ohio – so why are UK citizens not aware of the history or politics over there? With a history of diplomatic ties to one another, in addition to the insurmountable amount of cross culture saturation that seeps into the membranes of  more than half of Britain’s population, why the lapse in memory when it comes to ‘the important stuff’? Does it have to do with a lack of education (from internal and external sources) or what people in certain societies prescribe value to?

Jacob Creswick | Unsplash

Jacob Creswick | Unsplash

In order to beef up the knowledge of their fellow citizens, Hayes and Jarvis have produced a Trivial Pursuit-style quiz, the follow-up edition of their Big American Quiz in honor of 4th July celebrations. Their hope was that a combination of fun and entertainment would help the more weighted facts sink in. The travel company aims to expand the British’ general knowledge on the USA in their new game. So who knows, Great Britain might be able to show improvement next time around.