The British famously believe that nearly everything can be cured by a cup of tea. Every day in the UK, we consume more than 165m cups of the stuff, but there is a grand version of this soothing, simple hot drink: traditional tea, enjoyed at around 4:00 p.m., accompanied by savouries and cakes. It is a British ritual that comes with age-old etiquette rules which are still adhered to today.
This is not mere ancient history. It is playing out today, and not just in the consequences of British (or French, or German, or American) imperial misadventures. It informs our Western portrayal of the "East" and our understanding of its peoples. We still see ourselves as the civilized world, the bearers of universal values. And we still portray the "East" as less civilized, more prone to violence, less respectful of human life and liberty.