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Culture and traditions of Great Britain

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Everything is the Other Way Round
Lunch at 1 o'clock
English Sunday
English Tea
English Habits of Politeness
Procedure in the House of Commons
The Chamber of the House of Lords
I choose this topic because it's very interesting and urgent for me now. This subject is closely connected with my feature profession. People of different countries have their own traditions. And I think, it is very important to know customs and traditions of that country, which you are going to visit. The national traditions absorb, accumulate and reflect the historic experience of the part generations.
The aim of my work is to describe in details customs and habits of English. And I should say, that English life is full of traditions. Some of them are very beautiful, colorful and picturesque, and seem to be quite reasonable; others are curious, sometimes funny, and they often are maintained simply as a tourist attraction.
In additions, many English traditions have long outlived themselves and became burdensome. Moreover, they make no sense in the present day like and only complicate things. But they are preserved and kept alive because of the well-known traditional English conservatism.
There are many traditions associated with some historical facts, parliamentary, court and state ceremonies, university life, and popular holidays. Others are connected with the mode of everyday life. They deal with customs, manners of behaviour, and habits of the people. Studying them will help us to understand better the English way of life.
Very often when speaking of English traditions we think first of some curious theatrical ceremonies of the court* or parliament procedure. There come to our mind the medieval uniforms of the guards, the solemn cloaks and wigs of the judges or the top hats (bowlers) and the invariable umbrellas of the clerks of the London City.
But the word «tradition» does not mean only that. First and foremost «tradition» is the generally accepted made or way of living, acting, behaving of just doing things. There are many very good traditions of this kind in the everyday life of the English.
Everything is the Other Way Round
In England everything is the other way round. On Sunday on the Continent even the poorest person puts on his best suit, tries to look respectable, and at the same time the life of the country becomes gay and cheerful; in England even the richest peer or motor-car manufacturer dresses in some peculiar rags, does not shave, and the country becomes dull and dreary.
On the Continent there is one topic, which should be avoided – the weather; in England, if you do not repeat the phrase «Lovely day, isn't it?» at least two hundred times a day, you are considered a bit dull. On the Continent Sunday papers appear on Monday; in England – a country of exotic oddities – they appear on Sunday.
On a continental bus approaching a request stop the conductor rings the bell if he wants his bus to go on without stopping; in England you ring the bell if you want the bus to stop. On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners.
On the Continent public orators try to learn to speak fluently and smoothly; in England they take a special course in Oxonian stuttering.
On the Continent learned person love to quote Aristotle, Horace, Montaigne and show off their knowledge; in England only uneducated people show off their knowledge, nobody quotes Latin or Greek authors in the course of a conversation, unless he has never read them.
Continental people are sensitive and touchy; the English take everything with an exquisite sense of humour – they are only offended if you tell them that they have no sense of humour.
People on the Continent either tell you the truth or lie; in England they hardly ever lie, but they would not – dream of telling you the truth.
Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.
Lunch at 1 o'clock
Many foreigners are sometimes taken aback when they are faced with this typically English custom for the first time.
Whatever one is doing, no matter how important it is, or seems to be – a parliamentary debate or any kind of business routine – as soon as the clock strikes one
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