Regular trips to the theatre, extensive art knowledge and listening to classical music top a list of the 40 things that contribute to whether you consider yourself cultured. Watching the Antiques Road Show, knowing about cheese and wine also feature.
The research by Yakult, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary, found that seven in ten of us consider ourselves ‘cultured’ – but the majority admit to not knowing exactly what the term means. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘cultured’ as ‘improved by education and training; possessed of or characterized by culture, esp. with reference to the arts and intellectual pursuits; refined, cultivated.’
Seven in ten confessed they wish they were more cultured
But many consider someone ‘cultured’ if they go on city breaks over beach holidays, read a book before bed and drink ‘proper’ coffee over instant. Additionally, three in four Brits think you can be cultured without ever having left the country. According to the study, Brits are at their most cultured at age 38 and feel the most need to project a cultured persona at dinner parties, high-end restaurants and job interviews.
A cut above
Perhaps unsurprisingly, going to the theatre was named the top sign of being cultured – along with listening to classical music, having an interest in politics and the ability to recognise art. But less obvious factors included reading a book before bed, having a sound knowledge of cheese and choosing to watch the news rather than change channel.
When it comes to TV, documentaries are the high-brow choice according to one in four – while other refined picks should include Question Time and the Antiques Road Show.
Cuts of meat
A well-informed Brit should also take countryside walks, visit local heritage sites and be able to read music, the poll showed. And as well as holding dinner parties, civilised adults should know about cuts of meat, get food from the ‘finer’ supermarket ranges and know which wine would go best with the meal.
Simply having a library card means you’re cultured said one in ten, while almost a fifth said a classy Brit would read the book first before watching a film adaptation.
Making up the list of 40 were traits such as correctly guessing the Countdown conundrum, putting on an accent to pronounce foreign words and drinking herbal tea. Finally, snubbing superstore furniture is a cultured decision, said one in twenty – who would instead go for individual or vintage items.
In light of the cultural check-list, seven in ten confessed they wish they were more cultured – with 31 per cent even admitting they sometimes ‘fake it’ to impress others. How many of the list below can you tick off?
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You're cultured if you...
- Go to the theatre
- Can recognise paintings/art
- Visit local heritage sites
- Listen to classical music
- Go to the ballet
- Know what wine goes with what
- Don’t skip the news when it’s on TV
- Watch documentaries
- Can read music
- Take an avid interest in politics
- Read daily newspapers
- Take countryside walks
- Read a book before bed
- Choose city breaks over beach holidays
- Watch Question Time
- Host dinner parties
- Know about cheese
- Enjoy crosswords or Sudoku
- Go to vintage markets
- Know about cuts of meat
- Watch tennis or cricket
- Read a book before the film comes out
- Watch Antiques Road Show
- Own a library card
- Watch films with subtitles
- Visit farm shops
- Use chopsticks over a knife and fork
- Drink ‘proper’ coffee – not instant
- Know how to pronounce ‘quinoa’
- Grow your own fruit/veg on an allotment
- Go to music festivals
- Collect music on vinyl
- Read Wikipedia articles
- Only eat local produce
- Get the conundrum on Countdown
- Wear bow-ties or brooches
- Get food from supermarket ‘finer’ ranges
- Drink herbal tea
- Put on an accent to pronounce foreign words
- Avoid superstore furniture