British Histories: What's Your Story?

VIDEO: Harman, Watford

7 February 2013

Fish and chips, punk, bad weather and sarcasm are just a few things that come to mind when actor Harman Singh is questioned about what it means to be British. But does Harman himself feel British? It’s complicated explains the 21-year-old native of Watford.

He identifies as Punjabi since his father was born in Punjab and both his mother’s parents are from there, and says he feels very Indian a few weeks into trips to the country. But his Punjabi language skills are not that strong and he does not visit India often enough, making him feel quite Western in terms of his lifestyle. At the same time, when the football or rugby is on he feels English, and when it comes to the military he is British. In short, he feels “displaced”.

“I would like to be more patriotic,” says Singh, who states that Olympics aside he is not very patriotic. “I feel like I would be giving up on my roots in a sense.”

But with curry now being quoted as a national dish, he thinks that definitions of Britishness constantly change and that he could feel very differently about his identity in the future.