How have you refined your understanding of “Englishness” during this last week? What specifically has helped you gain a better understanding? 

My expectations for London were that it was going to be a very traditional and conservative city. Although it is a metropolitan that invites people worldwide to explore itself, media always portrayed English culture in a very stiff manner. Perhaps it’s exclusive to the city, but I was surprised to find large adds in subways about menstruation and sex. I don’t really see anything in Boston or in American, for that matter, quite like it. It was also a shock to see that as soon as I leave the station that I can find churches situated on every corner. In my experience, these “taboo” topics and religion were not openly discussed, let alone publicly coexisting. These topics were handled in very separate spaces. London truly humbled me in breaking down these expectations and it made my experience more enlightening. My understanding of “Englishness” has also broadened and allowed me to see the culture and Shakespeare with a new perspective.