Warning: this article may contain outlandish stereotypes!
When you move to a foreign country people always assume you will adhere to any stereotypes your country has; the Germans wear lederhosen, the French smell of garlic and the Italians are supposedly rude (and good looking)! Perceptions that all go back many, many years.
Then in England you have something similar between the North and London ( very different to other parts of the southwest and southeast). Living down here you become very aware of Londoner’s perception of the North and also how different the people from these places are. So whilst living amongst the people who speak like the Queen and go shooting on the weekend in the country (no stereotypes there), it becomes almost fun to rev up your northerness and not succumb to southern life. So here are 5 ways to becoming the perfect northerner down south:
1. Be as common as muck. As far as every southerner knows everyone above the m25, I daren’t mention any further above that, is middle class at best! So continue talking about mucking in, the ‘struggle’ and hand-me-down clothes just to hammer home the fact maids and butlers don’t travel up ‘there’.
2. Pick a northern accent, whether it be Manc, Scouse, Yorkshire or Geordie and speak loudly and quickly in it, making sure no Londoner can understand a word you’re saying. This only confirms the North is a foreign land.
3. Re-enact Peter Kay’s jokes – be surprised at garlic bread, substitute the for t’ and talk about the bingo hall like you’re a regular!
4. Emphasise that a Friday night takeaway is a northern tradition. Not Thai, too posh, Indian or Chinese at a push, but what we love is a chippy tea! Fully-equipped with gravy (not the watered down stuff you get down here) and curry sauce; can’t go wrong.
5. Two words, one man – Jeremy Kyle (or jezza up north). Claim to know someone on it, or have been on it yourself and you’ll be branded a northerner for life!
These stereotypes aren’t offensive, or necessarily wrong in some cases (we do love gravy), they’re just based on television, media and the ‘olden days. And despite the terrible stereotypes of the North and then the worse ones of Merseyside, I can definitely say I’m a proud northerner!