Рефераты. Обычаи и традиции англо-говорящих стран

either G.C.S.E. (General Certificate of Secondary education) or “O level”

(ordinary level). After that students can either leave school and start

working or continue their studies in the same school as before. If they

continue, when they are 18, they have to take further examinations which

are necessary for getting into university or college.

Some parents choose private schools for their children. They are very

expensive but considered to provide a better education and good job


In England there are 47 universities, including the Open University

which teaches via TV and radio, about 400 colleges and institutes of higher

education. The oldest universities in England are Oxford and Cambridge.

Generally, universities award two kinds of degrees: the Bachelor’s degree

and the Master’s degree.


Cambridge is situated at a distance of 70 miles from London; the

greater part of the town lies on the left bank of the river Cam crossed by

several bridges.

Cambridge is one of the loveliest towns of England. It is very green

presenting to a visitor a series of beautiful groupings of architecture,

trees, gardens, lawns and bridges. The main building material is stone

having a pinkish color which adds life and warms to the picture at all

seasons of the year.

The dominating factor in Cambridge is University, a center of education

and learning. Newton, Byron, Darwin, Rutherford and many other scientists

and writers were educated at Cambridge. In Cambridge everything centers on

the university and its Colleges, the eldest of which was founded in 1284.

They are 27 in number. The college is a group of buildings forming a square

with a green lawn in the center. An old tradition does not allow the

students to walk on the grass, this is the privilege of professors and head-

students only. There is another tradition which the students are to follow:

after sunset they are not allowed to go out without wearing a black cap and

a black cloak.

The University trains about 7.000 students. They study for 4 years, 3

teams a year. The long vacation lasts 3 months. They are trained by a

tutor; each tutor has 10-12 students reading under his guidance. There is a

close connection between the University and colleges, through they era

separate in theory and practice.

A college is a place where you live no matter what profession you are

trained for; so that students studying literature and those trained for

physics belong to one and the same college. However the fact is that you

are to be a member of a college in order to be a member of the University.

The students eat their meals in the college dining-hall. At some

colleges there is a curious custom known as “sooncing”. If a should come

late to dinner or not be correctly dressed or if he should break one of the

little unwritten laws of behaviour, then the senior student present may

order him to be “soonced”. The Butler brings in a large silver cup, known

as “sconce cup”, filled with offender, who must drink it in one attempt

without taking the cup from his lips. (It holds two and half pints). If he

succeeds then the senior student pays for it, if not, the cup is passed

round the table at the expense of the student who has been “sconced”. Now

the origin of this custom.

Until 1954, undergraduates (students studying for the first degree)

had to wear cloaks, called gowns, after dark, but now they are only obliged

to wear them for dinner and some lectures. This tradition is disappearing,

but one which is still upheld is that of punting on the Cam. It is a

favorite summer pastime for students to take food, drink, guitars (or,

alas, transistor radios) and girl friends on to a punt (a long, slim boat,

rather like a gondola) and sail down the rive, trying very hard to forget

about exams. Many students feel that they have not been christened into the

University until they have fallen into the River Cam. This has almost

become a tourist attraction.

Students also have an official excuse to “let themselves loose” once a

year (usually in November) on Rag Day*.

On this day, hundreds of different schemes are thought up to collect

money for charity, and it is not unusual to see students in the streets

playing guitars, pianos, violins, singing, dancing, eating fire, fishing in

drains for money, or even just lying in beds suspended over the street

swinging a bucket for money to be thrown into.

On May 21st every year, Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge,

honour the memory of their founder, Henry VI, who died very suddenly, and

was almost certainly murdered, in the Tower of London on that day in 1471.

he is generally supposed to have been killed whilst at prayer in the

Oratory of the Wakefield Tower, and here, on the anniversary, the Ceremony

of the lilies and Roses now takes place. Representatives of both colleges

walk in procession with Beefeaters and the Chaplain of the Tower, and the

short service is conducted by the latter, during which a player composed by

Henry himself is said. A marble tablet in the in the Oratory marks the

place where the King is believed to have died, and on each side of it

flowers are laid - lilies from Eton bound with pale blue silk, and white

roses from King’s College, bound with purple ribbon. They are left there

for twenty-four hours, and then they are burnt.

Transport in Britain

You can reach England either by plane, by train, by car or by ship. The

fastest way is by plane. London has three international airports: Heathrow,

the largest, connected to the city by underground; Gatwick, south of

London, with a frequent train service; Luton, the smallest, used for

charter flights.

If you go to England by train or by car you have to cross the Channel.

There is a frequent service of steamers and ferry-boats which connect the

continent to the south-east of England.

People in Britain drive on the left and generally overtake on right.

The speed limit is 0 miles per hour (50km/h) in towns and cities and 70 mph

(110 km/h) on motorways.

When you are in London you can choose from different means of

transport: bus, train, underground or taxi. The typical bus in London is a

red double-decker. The first London bus started running between Paddington

and the City in 1829. It carried 40 passengers and cost a shilling for six


The next to arrive were the trains; now there are twelve railway

stations in London. The world’s first underground line was opened between

Baker St. and the City in 1863. Now there are ten underground lines and 273

underground is also called the Tube, because of the circular shape of its

deep tunnels.

British Literature

Great Britain gave the world a lot of talented people. Many famous

writers and poets were born in Great Britain.

One of the best known English playwrights was William Shakespeare. He

draw ideas for his tragedies and comedies from the history of England and

ancient Rome. Many experts consider Shakespeare the greatest writer and the

greatest playwright in England language. William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays

which may be divided into: comedies (such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream),

tragedies (such as Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth) and historical

plays (such as Richard II, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra).

Robert Burns represents the generation of Romantic writers. In his

poems he described with love and understanding the simple life he knew.

Among his well-known poems are Halloween, The Jolly Beggars, To a Mouse.

George Gordon Lord Byron. His free-spirited lie style combined with his

poetic gift makes him one of the most famous figures of the Romantic Era.

His famous works such as Stanzas to Augusta, The Prisoner of Chillon,

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Manfred draw readers into the passion, humors

and conviction of a poet whose life and work truly embodied the Romantic


Sir Walter Scott wrote the first examples of historical novel; Lewis

Carroll became famous when he published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Places of Interest in Great Britain

Britain is rich in its historic places which link the present with the


The oldest part of London is Lud Hill, where the city was originated.

About a mile west of it there is Westminster Palace, where the king lived

and the Parliament met, and there is also Westminster Abbey, the coronation


Liverpool, the “city of ships”, is England’s second greatest port

ranking after London. The most interesting sight in the Liverpool is the

docks. They occupy a river frontage of seven miles. The University of

Liverpool, established in 1903, is noted for its school of Tropical

Medicine. And in the music world Liverpool is a well-known name, for it’s

the town of “The Beatles”.

Stratford-on-Avon lies 93 miles north-west of London. Shakespeare was

born here in1564, and here he died in 1616. Cambridge and Oxford

Universities are famous centers of learning.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, presumably build by Druids,

members of an order of priests in ancient Britain. Tintagel Castle is King

Arthur’s reputed birthplace. Canterbury is the seat of the Archbishop o

Canterbury, head of the Church of England.

The British Museum is the largest and riches museum in the world. It

was founded in 1753 and contains one of the world’s richest collections of

antiquities. The Egyptian Galleries contain human and animal mummies. Some

parts of Athens’ Parthenon are in the Greek section.

Madam Tussaud’s Museum is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax

models of famous people of yesterday and today. The collection was started

by Madam Tussaud, a French modeler in wax, in the 18 century. Here you can

meet Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, Picasso, the Royal family, the Beatles and

many others: writers, movie stars, singers, politicians, sportsmen, etc.

Sports in Great Britain

British people are very fond of sports. Sport is a part of their normal

life. The two most popular games are football and cricket.

Football, also called soccer, is the most popular sport in the United

Kingdom. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own

Football Leagues and national teams. Games are played on Saturday

afternoons from August to April. In addition to the FL games there is a

competition called the Football Associations Cup. The Cup Final is played

at Wembley Stadium(London) in May.

Cricket is considered to be the English National game. Its rules are

very complicated. Two teams of eleven men each play it, the player at a

time tries to hit ball with a bat.

Golf is the Scottish national game. It originated in the XV century and

the most famous golf course in the world, known as a Royal and Ancient

Club, is at St. Andrew’s.

Lawn tennis was first played in Britain in the late 19th century. The

most famous British championship is Wimbledon, played annually during the

last week of June and the fist week of July.

Those are the most popular kinds of sport in the UK. But there are many

other sports such as rugby, golf, swimming, horse-racing and the

traditional fox-hunting.


Scotland is a country in the north of Great Britain. It is a part of

the United Kingdom. Scotland is divided into three natural regions: the

Southern Uplands, the Central Lowlands and the highlands and islands. A lot

of places in Scotland are a natural paradise, still untouched by man.

The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, well known for its castle.

Glasgow is the industrial capital of Scotland. It us the third largest city

in Great Britain. The typical products of Scotland are timber, whisky,

salmon. Golf is the Scottish natural sport it seems to have originated in

this country.

Scottish Traditions

The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. This is how, according

to a curious legend, this plant came to be chosen as a badge, in preference

to any other. Many years ago the Vikings once landed somewhere on the east

coast of Scotland. The Scots assembled with their arms and took their

stations behind the River Tay. As they arrived late in the day, weary and

tired after a long march, they pitched their camp and rested, not expecting

the enemy before the next day. The Vikings, however, were near: noticing

that no guards were protecting the camp, they crossed the Tay, intending to

take the Scots by surprise. For this purpose they took off their shoes so

as to make the least possible noise. But one of them stepped on a thistle.

The sudden and sharp pain he felt caused him to shriek. The alarm was given

in the Scots' camp. The Vikings were put to fight, and as an

acknowledgement for the timely and unexpected help from the thistle, the

Scots took it as their national emblem.

The Scottish national costume (Highland dress) includes a kilt worn by

men. For day wear, the kilt is worn with a tweed jacket, plain long socks,

a beret and a leather sporran, that is, a pouch hanging from a narrow belt

round the hips. The Scottish beret - tam-o'-shanter - is a woollen cap

without a brim but with a pompon or a feather on top, traditionally worn

pulled down at one side. It got its name after Tam o' Shanter, the hero of

Burns's poem of that name.

The Clan

The Gaelic word "clan" means "children", and the central idea of a clan

is kinship. Nowadays it refers, as a rule, only to Highland families, in

Scotland. A clan is a family, and theoretically the chief is the father of

it, although not every clansman can be a direct descendant of the founder.

Many people in Scotland today will be surprised to learn that those who

founded the present clans were not themselves always Highlanders, but

included Normans (Gordon, Eraser), Bretons (Stuart), Flemings (Murrey,

Sutherland). Irish (MacNeil), and Norsemen (MacLeod), Mac meaning "son of".

Concerning that early period of their settlement, which was between the

eleventh and fourteenth centuries, we must not be dogmatic on the subject

of nationality; the important point is that all these were "incomers" to

the Highlands.

When the incomers acquired their land they virtually took over a good

many people who were living on it, and who, perhaps, were already formed

into a family or clan unit. Gradually the old clan came to acknowledge the

protection of their new leader, and at last built up a nominal kinship with

him. In course of time intermarriage made it difficult to determine how

far this kinship was nominal and how far real.

Under the patriarchal system of clanship, which reached its peak in the

sixteenth century, order of precedence was strictly observed. First, after

the chief himself, came members of his immediate family, his younger sons

and grandsons, and then the clansmen. All of them, whether connected by

blood or not, owned a common heritage of loyalty as clansmen. In return for

the help and support of his clansmen, the chief was their leader in war and

their arbiter in peace. Even in the early days the king was, in theory at

least, the "chief of chiefs", and as the royal power spread through the

Highlands the chiefs were made responsible for the good conduct of their

clansmen. Among the most famous clans were: Campbell, Fraser, Munro,

Cameron, Stewart, Murray, MacDonald, Maclean and Mackenzie.

The great period of the clans declined by the beginning of the

eighteenth century and the failure of the Jacobite Risings in 1715 and 1745

completed the destruction. But today clan societies flourish in Scotland

and, perhaps more ' bravely, elsewhere in the world. These societies are

acquiring land and property in their respective clan countries, financing

magazines, establishing museums to preserve the relics, founding

educational trusts, and - perhaps above all - keeping alive the family


The Tartan

Tartan is and has for centuries been the distinguishing mark of the

Highlander. It has a long history. Evidence can be brought to show that as

long as the thirteenth century, and probably earlier, Highlanders wore

brightly coloured striped or checked tartan plaids, which they called

"breacan". There is some controversy about clan tartans as such.

Traditionalists state the Highlanders wore tartan as a badge so that they

could recognize each other and distinguish friend from foe in battle. Like

many theories, this looks well on paper, but in practice it seems to break

down. Even though the old tartans were simpler than the modern ones, they

could not easily be recognized at a distance.

On the other hand, various descriptions can be quoted to show that, in

the Highlands, the patterns of the tartans were considered important. A

district tartan is a very natural development in a country divided into

small communities. By the sixteenth century the particular patterns of

tartan worn in a district were connected with the predominant local clan.

But the study of the portraits shows that there was no uniformity of tartan

even in the early eighteenth century. Members of the same family are found

wearing very different tartan and, what is more surprising, many of the men

are seen to wear the kilt of one tartan and a Jacket of another. The

history of development of tartan was sharply broken in 1747, when wearing

of Highland dress was forbidden by law after the failure of 1745.

In the early years of the nineteenth century efforts were made to

collect authentic patterns of each clan tartan, but this does not seem to

have been very successful. The fashion for tartan was fostered by the

amazing spectacle of a kilted King George IV at holyrood in 1822, and

demands for clan tartan poured into the manufactures. The wave of

enthusiasm for tartan outstripped the traditional knowledge of the

Highlanders, and it was at this time and in response to popular demand that

a great many of familiar present-day tartans became associated with their

Страницы: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

2012 © Все права защищены
При использовании материалов активная ссылка на источник обязательна.