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2. Life in Britain, traditions

6. 1. 2008


British society is divided into classes. There are:

1) The aristocracy class has over 1000 people with a title Lord. They have a right to sit in the House of Lords.

2) The upper classes consist of rich landowners, bussines people and professionals. Their children attend private schools and speak with particular accent.

3) The middle classes consist mostly of professionals who work in offices, own houses and take holidays abroad.

4) The working classes - consist of people who work in factories and construction bussines. They often live in rented flats and they speak with a regional accent.

The English national flag consist of 3 different flags. In 1603 Scotland and England were united so their flags were united too (Scotland has a cross of St. Andrew and England the cross of St. George). After two centuries there was added the cross of St. Patrick - the patron of Ireland. Jack means a small national flag on the front of the ship.

The Royal family has an important role in Britain´s national life. The members of Royal family have to participate in many ceremonies, make state visits to foreign countries and represent Britain. Queen doesn´t have real power,but she is very popular. The British press likes sensitional stories about members of Royal family.

The British are polite and reserved. They hold the door open for the person behind them. They say „please“ a lot and apologize often. They are tolerant and open to other nations.

Police are polite too, especialy to tourists. They help you when you are lost. They are called „bobbies“ because of Sir Robert Peel who established the first police force in Britain in 1829. In London you can recognize them easily because they wear black helmet. The police uniforms are in every town different.

In London red double buses are part of city folklore. You have to pay according the distance you want to travel. Conductor takes your fare.

You can meet a traditional London taxi in the street, where you can stop it. Outside from London you have to go to a taxi office. Traditional London taxi is black but you can see them in all kinds of colour.

Underground railway system - was the first in the world in London. It was built in 1863.

London isn´t only city with underground system- it´s also in Glasgow and Liverpool.

While countryside seems to be clean, city streets are often dirty. Rubbishes and cigarette packets are everywhere.

British houses. The British house is usually separated from others by some hedges or fence. Near the house is a little garden. The Englishmen´s house is his castle. They like privacy. In typical British house are rooms separated.

Main types of houses are:

Terraced - are several houses, usually two storey, joined together in a row or terrace

Semi-detached - is a pair of houses joined together

Detached - is a single house separated from any other

Bungalow - is one storey, usually detached, for older people.

It is difficult for them to climb up and down stairs.

More flats are in cities and towns. A lot of flats were built after the second WW. Blocks of flats were tall, many stories and they were built quickly so they had a bad standart. Some of them had to be pulled down.

Modern housing estates consist of more than one kind of house. There are lawns, play areas for children, gardens etc...

Most of the British live in cities, but they want to live in country. They rent a country houses, comfortable and well-equipped, they keep lawns and gardens.

Morning newspapers are delivered to more than 60% families dy paper boys/girls

Milkman delivers milk in glass bottles to most British homes. He has a milk float- and electric vehicle to deliver milk.

British like tea very much. They used to have a tea and toast at 5 pm- but now it isn´t usual. Britain is the second biggest drinker of tea (an average of 3,4 per person). Tea is usually strong with milk.

Food: Traditional British food is tasty, but if you don´t like it you can visit a lot of different restaurants. Britain is cosmopolitain country and in the past had a lot of colonies, so it is why the foreign restaurants and food in great number is normal. We can find there these restaurants:Italian, French, Turkish, Greek, American, Mexican, Russian, most popular Chinese, India almost in every town and in larger cities also Vietnamese and Thai.

Traditional English sunday lunch - roast beef and Yorkshire puding which is made from flour, eggs, milk and baked in the oven.

Fish and chips is original British fast food - fried fish is served hot with fried potatoes (chips). It could be wrapped in paper if you want take it away. It is quick and cheap meal.

Sandwiches - consist two slices of bread with fillings in between. There are a lot of different fillings. Sandwiches eat people who don´t go for a lunch. They can buy them or prepare them at home.

Typical english breakfast - in the past consisted of cereals, bacon, eggs, toast and marmelade. Today 45% of population try to eat healtier food like a wholemeal bread, muesli and milk.

The british year:

January - they celebrate a New Year in the some way like people in other countries. People make fireworks and celebrate very much.

February - in 14th February is St. Valentine´s Day. People send Valentine cards to people who they love.

March - Pancake Day - on Shrove Thuesday, the day before Lent are made pancakes from flour, eggs and milk. They are eaten with fresh lemon, juice and sugar.

April - 1st April is Fool´s Day. After joke people say „April Fool!“

Easter - schools are closed two weeks. On Good Friday are eaten hot cross buns toasted with butter. For children are prepared chocholate eggs which usually contain sweets.

Real eggs are decorated or painted

London Marathon - one of the higest marathone in the world. 30 000 people start and 25 000 people finish. Everybody who finishes, gets a medal.

May - on May Day people welcome spring.On the country children dance around the maypole

June - is held Wimbledon Tennis Championships which takes two weeks. It is a chmpionship for the best players of the world.

The Derby in Ascort - the Queen drives to Ascort too

October - Guy Fawke´s Night - Bonfire Night. Guy Fawkes planned to kill king by blowing up the Houses of Parliament, but he was discovered and hanged. On 5th November people make a fireworks and models of Guy Fawkes are burnt.

December - people send Christmas cards to other numbers of family. The most important day

is 25th November. Children wake up early and they find small presents and socks. Larger presents are arranged around the Christmas tree.

Christmas dinner includes turkey and Christmas pudding.