SOME FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BRITAIN Agata Adamczyk II a
Social customs in Britain Social customs in Britain Meals in Britain Meals in Britain Charity work in Britain Charity work in Britain
In Britain young people do not usually kiss or shake hands when they see each other – they just smile and say Hello or Hi.
In Britain, adult friends sometimes kiss when they see each other. Women kiss other women, men and woman kiss each other, mens usually just shake hands.
In Britain, people hug close friends or other people in the family when they have not seen them for a while. Men usually only hug each other during sports matches.
People often hold hands with small children, and with their girlfriend, wife or husband. They do not usually hold hands with friends.
In every country, when people talk to each other, they stand a certain distance from the person they are talking to. People feel uncomfortable when someone comes too close, unless they are in a crowded area. Different countries have different ideas about exactly how close is close.
The British stand at fingertip distance from the person they are talking to.
People from Central Europe stand at wrist distance from the other person.
Anyone from a Latin culture will be much closer to their companion, at little more than elbow distance
Unless you understand this difference, you can make British people feel uncomfortable by standing too close and you can feel rejected if they move away.
British children do not call teachers by their first name. They use Ms, Mrs, Miss or Mr and their family name. Titles should not be used without a family name. In some schools students often answer teachers with Yes, sir./No, sir. or Yes, miss./No,miss.
Traditionally, adults called each other by their title and family name but this has changed. Nowadays, adults call each other by their first names except in formal or professional situations, such as talking to your bank menager, or when talking to old people who are not accustomed to such familiarity.
DanielDan KatherineKathy, Kate MichaelMike, Mick RobertBob, Rob SusanSue WilliamBill, Will Many people use short forms of their names. Children and adults use the same short names. However, different people may use a different short form of the same name, for example someone called Elizabeth could be Liz or Betty or Beth. These are some other common examples.
BREAKFAST The British generally eat three meals a day. The first maeal of the day is BREAKFAST. For most British people, the traditional English breakfast of bacon and eggs is a thing of the past. These days, people usually eat cereal and milk and/or toast and marmolade. They drink tea or coffe and/or fruit juice.
LUNCH LUNCH is eaten sometime between twelve and two oclock. Many schoolchildren bring a packed lunch to school because lessons continue after lunch. A typical packed lunch might be sandwiches, a packet of crisps, a yoghurt, an apple and something to drink.
British families usually have their main meal of the day in the evening, between six and eight oclock. In the past, it was always meat or fish with vegetables or salad.
These days the British diet is changing. People eat more pizza and pasta, Indian, Chinese and Thai food. In supermarkets, you can buy all kinds of frozen ready~made meals which can be prepared in a microwave in minutes.
There are many restaurants and it is quite cheap to eat out in an Indian or Chinese restaurant. Or you can order a take-away. Take-away is a meal that you can buy and take home, or you can phone the restaurant and ask them to deliver it to you. British people eat a lot of fast food, take-away food and ready- made meals.
Snacks have become big business in Britain. Only the Americans eat more snacks than the British! In the US the most popular snacks are hamburgers. Every day, Americans eat 15 millions burgers. Hamburgers are becoming more and more popular in Britain too. Today there are nearly a thousand McDonalds restaurants. But the most popular snacks in Britain are crisps and chocolates.
Charities are an important part of British culture. Many charities began before governments provided help for poor people.
Barnardos started in 1865. A young man called Thomas John Barnardo visited London and was shocked to see thousands of children living on the streets. He spent his life helping them and the organisation he started, Barndos is now one of the biggest charities in Britain.
In Royal Latin School there was special form of charity: students were allowed to throw wet sponge at their teachers after paying £1 for each throw. All money were given to Barnardos.
There are over 185 000 charities in Britain and each charity has a different aim. As well as charities to help children, there are charities to help old, poor or homeless people.
Some charities raise money for disabled people to buy them the special equipment they need. There are medical charities: some raise money for research into certain illnesses like cancer or AIDS, other buy expensive equipment for hospitals.
Some charities raise money to save environement. Some of the best-known charities look after abandoned pets.
The traditional method of raising money is to organize a flag day. Volunteers stand in busy streets asking people to put money in a collecting box. Sponsored walks, cycle rides and swims are also popular. Young people ask their friends and relatives to give them some money for every kilometre they walk, cycle or swim.
Another fund-raising activity is to sell second- hand clothes at a jumble sale.
Nowadays there are also many crazy ideas for raising money: being sponsored to sit in a bath of spaghetti, or - earlier mentioned - throwning sponges at teachers.