The annual Big Lunch, in which Britons of all walks of life gather to share meals, has been wrapped into Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee festivities this year.
Known as the Big Lunch, the idea is to foster community with some cucumber sandwiches, curry, and conversation. Local volunteers organize the block parties across Britain, with last year’s effort turning out nearly 2 million people.
IN PICTURES – The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Ms. Ihenacho says the Turks offered to volunteer at an annual ceremony in London put on by the African community. Sharing each other’s cultures, she says, "That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?”
By incorporating the annual Big Lunch into the jubilee, the palace joins successive British governments and parts of civil society who have tried to improve social cohesion in the country. However, what’s driving people apart and how to bring them together again remain heavily disputed in Britain, undercutting many but the most uncontroversial efforts like the Lunch.
“We’re a society of ever decreasing circles. Most of us just meet and hang out with people like ourselves, and we don’t cross many class barriers or indeed racial or religious barriers,” says Phillip Blond, one of the intellectual architects for Prime Minister David Cameron’s social cohesion program called the Big Society.
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