The Discussion group is held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10am at the same venue.
A programme of six months is compiled by the members, and the one who suggests a subject is the chair for that meeting. A short introduction is given and then the group take up the discussion.
We have very lively discussions on a great variety of subjects.
For further information contact Shirley Marney 02080013784
|Does U3A complement for the lack of adult education?||Chair Alan|
|How are we funding the Arts?||Chair Jenny|
|Is the E.U. connection more important than U.S?||Chair Erwin|
|How can Britain’s knife crime be solved?||TBA|
|Should foreign tourists be charged for NHS care?||Chair Mike|
|Short term thinking and it’s effects||TBA|
A number of us gathered at Shirley’s flat in Southgate on Wednesday 23rd October for the Discussion Group. The topic was Nationality and Identity and was chaired by Erwin who introduced the topic by relating 3 different anecdotes: 2 factual and 1 hypothetical. This led to an open, interesting and friendly discussion about how people see themselves and what nationality and identity mean to them. Everyone participated in the discussion and it covered such diverse topics as gender, religion and – dare I mention it? – Brexit. The differences between living in a cosmopolitan city such as London and a small village in the north of England and how that defines a person’s sense of belonging was explored. Some felt that living in London makes one a citizen of the world rather than identifying oneself nationally as British whereas those living in a small village might feel the opposite. What it means to be “British” was also discussed. Some considered their identify to be defined in terms of which country in the UK they were born in, i.e. Scotland, Wales, England or Northern Ireland, whereas other considered this was an unnecessary distinction and considered themselves “British” irrespective of which UK country they were born in. This led to a discussion of religion as a means of defining one’s identity. A number of the group, including myself, are Jewish but do not necessary participate in any of the Jewish rituals, festivals etc. Nevertheless we still identify ourselves as being Jewish as well as British, both religion and nationality therefore defining our identity. The discussion also included the question of gender and how we identify as either male or female. This led to a consideration of how transsexuals identify themselves despite their biological origin. Finally, the thorny question of Brexit reared its ugly head and how people relate to the European Union and whether leaving this institution will change people’s sense of identity regarding where they belong.
This was a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable discussion, exploring people’s perceptions of what nationality and identity meant to them. It certainly gave food for thought regarding how we view ourselves and how other people view us. Here’s to the next discussion.