–ефераты. ќбычаи и традиции англо-говор€щих стран






Anglo-Saxons and ruled by the Vikings. Birmingham is often called the УCity

of 1500 tradesФ because of the great variety of its industries.

Ways of Everyday Live

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 УtraditionФ does not mean only that. First and foremost

УtraditionФ 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 Ц the

weather; in England, if you do not repeat the phrase УLovely day, isnТt

it?Ф at least two hundred times a day, you are considered a bit dull. On

the Continent Sunday papers appear on Monday; in England Ц a country of

exotic oddities Ц 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 Ц 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 Ц dream of telling you the truth.

Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a

game.

Lunch at 1 oТclock

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 Ц

a parliamentary debate or any kind of business routine Ц as soon as the

clock strikes one everybody breaks for lunch.

The time from one to two oТclock is a УsacredФ hour in England. And it

appears to be not only good for health Ц having meals at regular times is

certainly healthy Ц but it is very convenient socially as well. Everybody

knows that there is no use trying to get in touch with some official,

business executive or firm representative at this time. They wonТt be in.

it is no use no waste your time going from one shop to another at one

oТclock sharp they will open. For punctuality is also one of the English

traditions.

English Sunday

The so called Sunday Observance laws* prohibiting all kind of public

entertainment on Sunday date back to the 17-18 century. The idea was to

encourage people to go church and not to allow them Уto profane the LordТs

DayФ by amusing themselves.

Three hundred years have passed since then. Church services are

attended by fewer people now than some decades ago. But the old custom of

having a quiet Sunday is still alive. This is another English tradition

preserved by law.

On Sunday you may visit a museum or go to a concert but all shops,

theatres, dance and music halls are closed. This is rather illogical when

compared with the unrestricted variety programmes on radio and television

or the fact that one can always go to the bingo-club to enjoy himself or to

the cinema to see a УthrillerФ or the latest American УhitФ.

Pubs* and restaurants are open only from 12 to 2, and from 5 to 10 p.m.

The police are very strict and do not hesitate to withdraw the licence from

the proprietors who disregard closing time.

English Tea

The trouble with the tea is that originally is was quite a good drink.

So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together,

and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it.

To eternal glory of British science their labour bore fruit. They suggested

that if you do not drink it clear, or with lemon or rum and sugar, but pour

a few drops of cold milk into it, and no sugar at all, the desired object

is achieved. Once this refreshing, aromatic, oriental beverage was

successfully transformed into colorless and tasteless gargling-water*, it

suddenly became the national drink of Great Britain and Ireland Ц still

retaining, indeed usurping, the high-sounding title of tea.

There are some occasions when you must not refuse a cup of tea,

otherwise you are judged an exotic and barbarous bird without any hope of

ever being able to take your place in civilized society.

If you are invited to an English home, at five oТclock in the morning

you get a cup of tea. It is either brought in by a heartily smiling hostes

or an almost malevolently silent maid. When you are disturbed in your

sweetest morning sleep you must not say: УMadame (or Mabel), I think you

are a cruel, spiteful and malignant person who deserved to be shot.Ф On the

contrary, you have to declare with your best five oТclock smile: УThank you

so much. I do adore a cup of early morning tea, especially early in the

morning.Ф If they live you alone with the liquid, you may pour it down the

washbasin.

Than you have tea for breakfast; then you have tea at eleven oТclock in

the morning; then after lunch; then you have tea for tea; then for supper;

and again at eleven oТclock at night. You mast not refuse any additional

cups of tea under the following circumstances: is it is hot; if it is cold;

if you are tired; if anybody thinks that you might be tired; if you are

nervous; if you are gay; before you go out; if you have just returned home;

if you feel like it; if you do not feel like it; if you have had no tea for

some time; if you have just had a cupЕ

Fireplaces

In English homes, the fireplace has always been, until recent times,

the natural center of interest in a room. People may like to sit at a

window on a summer day, but for many months of the year prefer to sit round

the fire and watch the dancing flames.

In the Middle Ages the fireplaces in the halls of large castles were

very wide. Only wood was burnt, and large logs were carted in from the

forests, and supported as they burnt, on metal bars. Such wide fireplaces

may still be seen in old inns, and in some of them there are even seats

inside the fireplace.

Elizabethan fireplaces often had carved stone or woodwork over the

fireplace, reaching to the ceiling. There were sometimes columns on each

side of the fireplace. In the 18th century, place was often provided over

the fireplace for a painting or mirror.

When coal fires became common, fireplaces became much smaller. Grates

were used to hold the coal. Above the fireplace there was usually a shelf

on which there was often a clock, and perhaps framed photographs.

Pubs

Do you know what a pub is? The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

defines it as a public house or building where people go to drink and to

meet their friends. English men like to get together in the pub in the

evening. The usual opening hours for pubs are on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3

p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. On Sundays pubs may remain open for not more

than 5 and a half hours.

Pubs usually have two drinking rooms called bars - the public and the

saloon bar, which is more comfortable but more expensive. "Bar" also means

the counter at which drinks are served.

Pubs serve alcoholic and other drinks and often light meals. The main

drink served in pubs, is, of course, beer, light or dark. Light beer is

usually called bitter. As for other kinds of alcohol, most pubs serve

whisky, gin and wine. Beer is always sold in pint or half-pint glasses. A

pint is equivalent to 0.57 liter No alcoholic drinks may be served to young

people under eighteen under British law.

In Great Britain today there are some 80,000 pubs situated in different

cities, country towns, villages, and so on. Of London's 5.000 pubs some of

the most interesting are right by the River Thames, downstream as well as

up. Every English pub has its own sign and name. Some people refer to pub

signs as a great open-air portrait gallery, which covers the whole country.

But actually this gallery includes far more than portraits.

Some pub signs present different types of transport such as coaches,

trams, ships, airplanes and even flying boards. There are signboards

depicting animals, birds, fish as well as kings and queens, dukes and

lords, sailors, soldiers, fat men and giants. A first class example of an

heraldic pub sign is found near Leeds in

Yorkshire at Burley. The Butcher's Arms can be seen in Gloucestershire

on a small typical English country pub near Sheepscombe.

At Cheltenham also in the same county you will see a sign showing the

head of a horse, the name of the pub being Nags Head. At the village of

Slad, also in Gloucestershire you can have a pint of lager in Woolpack and

this pub sign shows a horse with two heavy packs of wool slung over it.

In Wales the most attractive sign in a number of pubs share the name of

Market Tavern because all of them are on the pubs adjoining the market

place.

In London the famous Sherlock Holmes pub with the big portrait of the

famous detective smoking his favourite pipe attracts thousands of visitors

to Northumberland Avenue.

History, geography, fairytales are kept alive by the name or sign of

the "local" (the neighbourhood pub). As history is being made, so the

owners of the pubs - usually the brewery companies - and individual

publicans are quick to record it by new signs. Typical example is the "Sir

Francis Chichester" named after the first man to sail alone around the

world.

Not all British pubs have individual signboards, but a considerable

effort is being made now to retain old signs. Jerome K. Jerome, the creator

of the internationally known book "Three Men In a Boat" over a hundred

years ago revealed himself at probably his most authoritative intro matter

or pubs. He clearly was a pub man and you can consider his famous book not

only a guidebook to the Thames but as the first of those now familiar

surveys of recommended places where to sleep, eat and enjoy beer. But in

many pubs one can also enjoy some traditional pub games. There are darts,

cards, skittles, coin games and various table games, of which playing darts

is the oldest one.

Some of these games are difficult to find, as pubs have updated their

amenities by offering TV and video games, such as two-men tennis, fruit

machines, pinball machines, and so on. There are also other pub

entertainments, such as piano playing, folk-singing, jazz performances and

even theatres. However, if such table games as billiards or table football

which are played with two or four players as well as cards, dominoes and

coin games are known in this country, skittles and darts are less familiar.

Skittles is one of the oldest pub games and dates back to medieval

England, the object of the game being to knock down as many skittles as

possible with a wooden ball. This pub game has lots of variations all over

Britain. Darts is also an old game, ' which was played by the Pilgrims in

1620 when they sailed, from England to the New World. That is why it is

well known in the USA, too. To play this game one must first of all have a

standard dartboard with numbers marked on it to indicate score. The outer

ring counts double, the middle one treble while at the very centre is the

bull (50) with its own outer circle (25). Dart players should stand at

least eight feet away from the board. The aim of the game is to score as

quickly as possible with the least number, of throws. The actual score a

player must get depends on the variety of game he is playing. Many pubs in

Great Britain have their own darts teams. So, if you come to Britain drop

in a pub, enjoy a pint of bitter and a "tongue sandwich, which speaks for

itselfФ.

It sounds funny to foreigners but when it is closing time, the pub

barman calls "Time!" or "Time, gentlemen, pleaser!Ф

English Habits of Politeness

Some greetings in England are very informal: a simple Уgood morningФ or

a wave of the hand across the street is quite enough. Handshakes are only

exchanged on a first introduction or as a token of agreement or

congratulation. УSorryФ takes the place of УnoФ when you cannot do

something for a person or give a positive answer in situation like УMay I

use your pen?Ф, УDo you know the time?Ф or УHave you any size seven

shoes?Ф. УPardonФ is the polite way of asking somebody to repeat what he

has said.

English people do not readily ask each other to do anything, they

prefer to wait for a service to be offered before asking for it. If they do

ask, then they say something like УI donТt really like asking you, butЕФ

It is considered polite to give up oneТs seat a woman who is standing,

to open door for her, carry things for her, and so on.

Manners in Public

Our manners in public, like our manners in our homes, are based on self-

respect and consideration for other people.

It is really surprising how stingy we are with our УPleaseФ when we ask

anyone to do something for us. We unwillingly part with our УThank youФ, as

if it were the most difficult and costly thing in the world. We donТt stand

aside for others to pass us in the trams, buses or the underground. We

donТt rice to let people pass us to their seats in the theatres or movies.

1.Not to make yourself conspicuous, not to attract unfavourable

attention to yourself or others, here are some of the rules for correct

behaviour in a public place.

2.Not to be conspicuous, donТt wear conspicuous clothes.

3.One should not talk loud or laugh loud.

4.No matter how trying the circumstance, do not give way to anger or

uncontrolled emotion.

5.Never eat anything in the street, or in a public place (restaurants,

buffets and cafes excluded).

6.Do not rudely push your way through crowds.

7.Never stare at people or point at them.

8.Do not ridicule or comment on anyone in public.

9.Reserve Уaffectionate demonstrationФ (kissing, embracing, etc.) for

appropriate places.

10.DonТt monopolise the sidewalk, by walking 3 or 4 abreast, or by

stopping in the centre to speak with someone.

When in the street keep to the right.

British institutes

Parliament is the most important authority in Britain. Parliament first

met in the 13th century. Britain does not have a written constitution, but

a set of laws. In 1689 Mary II and William III became the first

constitution monarchs. They could rule only with the support of the

Parliament. Technically Parliament is made up of three parts: the Monarch,

the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

The continuity of the English monarchy has been interrupted only once

during the Cromwell republic. Succession to the throne is hereditary but

only for Protestants in the direct line of descent. Formally the monarch

has a number of roles. The monarch is expected to be politically neutral,

and should not make political decisions. Nevertheless, the monarch still

performs some important executive and legislative duties including opening

and dissolving Parliament, singing bills passed by both Houses and

fulfilling international duties as head of state. The present sovereign is

Queen Elizabeth II who was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953.

The House of Lords comprises about 1,200 peers. The house is presided

over by the Lord Chancellor. The House of Lords has no real power but acts

as an advisory council for the House of Commons. As well as having

legislative functions, the Lords is the highest court of appeal.

The House of Commons consist of members of Parliament who are elected

by the adult suffrage of the British people in general elections which are

held at least every five years. The country is divided into 650

constituencies each of which elects one Member of Parliament. The Commons

therefore, has 650 Members of Parliament. The party which wins the most

seats forms the Government and its leader becomes the Prime Minister. The

functions of Commons are registration and security of government

activities. The house is presided over by the Speaker. The government party

sits on the SpeakerТs right while on his left sit the members of the

Opposition.

Education in Britain

In England and Wales compulsory school begins at the age of five, but

before that age children can go to a nursery school, also called play

school. School in compulsory till the children are 16 years old.

In Primary School and First School children learn to read and write and

the basis of arithmetic. In the higher classes of Primary School (or in

Middle School) children learn geography, history, religion and, in some

schools, a foreign language. Than children go to Secondary School.

When students are 16 years old they may take an exam in various

subjects on order to have a qualification. These qualifications can be

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