Lisa's week: What’s that badge you’re wearing?
If I was walking down the street here in Germany right now and a British person passed me, without exchanging a single word with me they would immediately know that I was also a Brit. How come? That would be down to my red poppies, which I’m wearing with pride both on my coat and on my sweater. And what significance does this small, red flower have in British culture?
The red poppy is the popular symbol representing Remembrance Day, which is also celebrated in other countries under different names such as Veterans Day or Armistice Day. It came into being in 1919 to commemorate the fallen soldiers of World War I and has grown in importance since that time.
On 11th November, at 11 o’clock in the morning, people across Britain will be pausing for a 2-minute silence to remember those who have fallen in war and conflict. The 2-minute silence was first observed in 1919 but lost popularity over the years. A campaign in the 1990s brought its significance back into focus and these days, many shops and businesses stop all activity and sometimes even dim the lights in order to allow everyone to stop and take some time to think about those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
An official ceremony, attended by members of the Royal Family, occurs in London at the Cenotaph where wreaths of poppies are laid following the silence, which is signalled by the firing of canons.
The poppy became a symbol for remembrance due to its inclusion in the famous WWI poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Canadian Lt-Col John McRae. Poppies bloom across some of the most famous battlefields of Flanders and of course, their blood red colour also have a metaphorical significance.
So for now, I’m wearing my poppies with pride and on the 12th November, I’ll pack them away somewhere safe to be brought out when November next year rolls around.
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?
Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!
Episode 13: Up in the Highlands
Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends
Episode 15: Pie in the sky
Episode 16: Through the tunnel
Episode 17: Keep left!
Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise
Episode 19: How do you say that?
Episode 20: Back to School!
Episode 21: Sweet cravings
Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?
Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"
Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)
Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?
Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.
Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!
Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot