Téma: The United Kingdom
The population of the UK is more than 60 milion. There are some Gross –English, Scotish, Irish and Welsh. British society is multiracial and multicultural. There are many different nationalities. Official languages is English. But there are minority languager – Welsh, Scotish and irish Gaelic.
Scotland -> Edinburg
England -> London
Wales -> Cardiff
Northerm Ireland(Ulster) -> Belfast
The United kingdom is located in notrh-west Europe on the island od Great Britain and northern part of the Ireland. It ismade up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The country has a temperate climate and is famous for its wet weather.
The landscape of England is mostly hilly and very green. There are many fields and pastures. The north is more moutainous, especially in Scotland.
Rivers and lakes:
In England is the most famous river is the Thames. The Severn is the longest river in the UK. The largest lake by volume is Loch Ness in Scotland. The largest lake by area Lough Neagh in Northerm Ireland.
The country’s political systém is constitutional monarchy, it has got a parlament and a monarch. There is queen Elizabeth II. The national flag is Union Jack.
Parlaiment is the most important autority in Britain. It first met in the 13st century. Technically parlament is made up of the free parts:
- The monarch
- The House od Lords
- The House of Commons
The monarch has a number of roles and servers formally as head of state, ‚supreme governor‘ of the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953. The leader od the government is called an MP.
London is the capital city od England and the capital city od the UK. It has got 7-9 mil. People.
London is a great political centre, a great commercial centre, a paradle for the theatre-goers and shoppers, but i tis also a very quiet place with its parks and its ancienit buildings, and a capital of culture with its museums and libraries.
Hitory od London:
London was founded by the Romans in 43 A.D, called Londonium. In 61 A.D. the town was burt down. Romans it was surrounded by the wall.
Shopping in London:
If you like shopping, London is the place to go! If you walk in Oxford Street or Regent Street you will find thousand of shops and department stores. Harrods and Selfridges is the largest department stores in Europe.
The British Museum is the largest in the world and has famous artefacts, like the Rossetta and the Elgin Marbles.
Madame Tussaud’s is an exhibition of lifesize wax. The cpůůection was started by Madame Tussaud in the 18th century.
London is also famous for its parks, such as Hyde Park, Regent Park and St. Jame’s Park. Hyde Park is famous for its ‘Speakers Corner’. Regent’s Park is the right place to go if you like animals. Here you can feed the ducks and watch the pelicans. And you can visit the Zoo.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence od the Queen and the Royal Family. When the Queen is at home the Royal Flag flies on top. Every day, at 11,30 a.m., at the gates of Buckingham palace, you can see the Changing of the Guards.
Trafalgar Square was names after Horation Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at Trafalgar. Nelson’s column commemorates the victory. The statue is over 5m high, and shows Nelson without one arm and one eye. He lost them in battle.
Poccadilly Circus is the centre od London’s entertainment world. There are many theatres, cinemas, restaurants, discos and night clubs. Its landmark is the statue of Eros, whis stands in the middle of the square.
St. James Cathedral is an the centre. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren. It was the cetting for the Royal Weddinf of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Houses of Parlaiment. Are also known as Westminster Palace. The buildings stands on the north bank of the river. House od Lords and the House of Commons meet to discuss and pass the laws. Whet Parliament is sitting a Union Jack flies od the tower.
Big Ben is the landmark of London. It is the nickname of the bell in the clock tower.
The tower of London is the old Norman fortress built by William the Conqueror. It was a royal residence before it was used as a prison. Beefeaters are in traditional Tudor uniforms and the Crown Jewels are show here. Many people, such as Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, were executed here. Eight ravens are kept at the Tower, a legend says that the tower will fall if they leave.
Tower Bridge is a drawbridge.
Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest buildings in London. William the Conqueror was crownded here.
Downing Street is the official London residece of the Prime Minister.
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest and the most prestigious universities in the world. Beatles came from Liverpool. In Manchester is the most famous fotball team. In Bath is a beautiful spa Down. Nottingham is known for its forest and castle because they are home to the legendary Robin Hood. In Birmingham is Cadbury’s chocolade museum.
Belfast is the capital city of Northerm Ireland.
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. On of the main attractions is Edinburgh Castle. Many festivals take place in the city. If you’re in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve you can celebrate Hogmanay – the Scottish New Year’s celebration.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and has a Unique culture.
Cardiff is the capital and the largest city in Wales. Some od the main landmarks are Cardiff Castle, and the milenium Stadium, which is the home of Welsh Rugby and is a major events venue.
You can reach England either by plane, by train, ba car or by shop. Now, the fastest way is by the plane. London has three international airports: Heathrow-the largest, Gatwick and Luton. If you go to England by train or by car you have to cross the Channel. There is streamers and ferry-boats. The Chunnel (tunnel under the Channel). It was opened in 1994.
Driving a car in Britain
People in Britain drive on the left. Drivers and passengers sitting in front must a wear seat-belt.
Transport in London
When you are in london you can choose from four different means of transport: bus, train, undeground and taxi. The typical bus in London is a red double-decker. The world’s first underground line was opened in London. The London underground is also called the Tube by Londoners.
British people are very fond of sports and organized games are part of normaln school life. The two most popular games are fotball or soccer and cricket, but there are many others such as rugby, golf, tennis, rowing, swimming, horse-racing and fox-hunting.
Cricket is the English national game. Outside Britain cricket is very popular in India, pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies.
Rugby originated in the town of Rugby in England, when, during a fotball match, a student at Rugby public school picket up the ball and ran to score a goal. Rugby is very popular in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia ane New Zealand.
Football, also called soccer, is the most popular sport in the UK as it is in Italy.
Golf is the Scottish national game. It originated in the 15th century and it is the most famous golf course in the world.
Lawn Tennis. The most famous british championship is Wimbledon.
In England and Wales compulsory school begins at the age of five, but before that age children can go to a nursary school, aslo called play school. School is compulsory till the children are 16 years old.
In state schools children go to Primary School from 5 to 11 and to Secondary School from 11 to 16/18. In Primary School and First School children learn to read and write and the basic of arithmetic. In the higher classes of Primary School children learn geography, history, religion and, in some schools, also a foreign language. Physical education is usually done a twice a week. Outside the normal time-table there are many activities in which students may take part: sports, drama, table tennis and so on.
Secondary school can be divided into: Grammar, Secondary Modern and Comprehensive.
When students are 16 years old. They may take an exam in varrious subject in order to have a qualification, called G.C.S.E(General Certificate od Secondary Education) or O level (Ordinary level).
After exams ‘O levels’ or G.C.S.E.s students can either leave school and start working or continue their studies in the same school as before. It they continue, when they are 18, they have to take further examinations, called ‘A levels’. It’s necessary for getting into university or college.
Some parents, only 6%, choose independent schools. These are very expensive but considered to provide a better education and good job opportunities.
The oldest and most exclusive Public Schools are Eton College, Harrow and Rugby.
The oldest universities in England are Oxford and Cambridge, founded at the end twelfth century for the training of priests.
TRADITIONAL BRITISH FOOD:
Even if Britain has a very bad reputation for food, there are some dishes which are really good: meat pies, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties and cheeses are excellent. Welsh lamb has a world-wide reputaion and Scotland is well-known for it hagis, made of sheep’s liver, oatmeat and suet.
Breakfast is served in the morning; it used to be a very large meal with cereal, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes. Today, Britain’s most popular breakfast consist of a lighter meal of cereal and toast and marmalade, fruit juice and yoghurt with cup of coffee and tea.
Lunch is a light meal. Most people have no time to go back home for lunch; children eat at school, workers in the factory canteen, in self-services cafes, called cafeterians, in pubs or in fast-food restaurants.
The main meal is dinner, which is usually eaten between 6 and 7 pm. A typical evening meal is a meat dish with vegetables and a desert. Fruit juice od water is drunk and coffee od tea is served on the end of the meal.
Sunday dinner, which is usually eaten at 1 pm. The traditional Sunday dish used to be roast beef, now is more common pork, chicken or lamb. On evening they have supper or high tea.
Typical food is fish and chips by fast-food.
It is a place where you can meet people, chat, listen to music, play darts and of course have a drink. The most common is beer.
The official day of BANK HOLIDAY. The banks close for day.
For example: New Year’s Day, May Day…
There are a lot of festivals – some traditional, some religious and some modern.
In May Day the traditional activities are dancing around the Maypole and Morris dancing.
Cheese rolling, Rowing…
SUMMER – Horse racing event in Ascot, Glastonbury festival, Nothinghill carnival
Thanksgiving in the USA
Hogmanay/ New Year’s Day
Nobody knows exactly when this tradition at Cooper’s Hill in the centre od England started. The rules are simple:you have to chase a large chesse down a very steep hill. This dangerous event takes place every year at the end of May.
Every year on 31 October people in Britain celebrate halloween. This is because hundred of years ago people thought that bad spirits, like ghosts, came on that night.
Children still do this if they go to Halloween parties on 31 October. People often put up decorations for Halloween parties, and play games.
One Halloween party game is called ‘bobbing for apples’. Someone puts some apples in a big bowl of water. The apples stay on top of the water. The first playes often puts something over their eyes so they can’t see. Each player must keep their hands behind their back and take an apple out of water with their teeth.
In other English-speaking countries, children go ‘trick or treating’. They dress like witches and ghosts and go to the houses of people who live near them. When someone answer the door, the children say: ‘Trick or treat?’ Then the person in the house must decide. Either they give the children a treat – something nice, like fruit or chocolate – or the children play a trick on them. Like throw an egg or some flour at the house.
Every yeat on 5th November people in Britain celebrate Bonfire Night. People say, ‘Remember, remember, the fifth of November. They light big bonfires in their gardens and inparks and organise firework displays. Pople sometimes cood potatoes in the fire and drink soup while they watch the fireworks. Traditionally, people make a model of man, called ‘guy’. With old clother and newspaper, ane burn him on the fire. The first Binfire Night took place in 1606. Originally, it was an occasion on which people celebrated the fact that Guy Fawkes didn’t kill the king.
THANKSGIVING IN THE USA
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving every yeae on the fourth Thursday in November. It’s a very important festival for families, who usually come together for a long weekend. The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, soon after the first European settlers arrived in North America. The most common meal is roast turkey and vegetables. Lobster and crab are also popular. The Thanksgiving weekend is also a tome for sport, parades and shopping. In many US cities, volunteers spend some of the holiday working in soup kitchens which distribute free food to the poor and homeless.
CHRISTMAS IN THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD
Christmas is an important holiday in the ESW. People put decorations in their houses. There are Christmas trees in houses and in towns too. People also use holly and mistletoe. Some families have a crib. Santa Claus goes down the chimney and leaves presents for the children. Children usually leave a stocking for Santa and he fill it with presents. Children leave food and drink for him. Small children often go to visit Santa Claus in department stores. Christians in the English-speaking world often go to church. On Christmas Day, people usually open their presents in the morning. Then they have Christmas dinner. In britain, people often have a roast turkey. For dessert, there is a special Christmas pudding. Before the meal, they often pull Christmas crackers. Inside there is a joke, a little present and a paper hat. In Autralia, Christmas is in the summer, so the traditional Christmas meal is a barbecue.
In Scotland, the biggest celebration of the year is Hogmanay. On 31st December in Edinburgh, there is an enormous forework display at the castle. Thousand od people is in the streets, cafes and bars. Then, at 12 o’clock, church bells ring all over the city. After midnight, people go ‘first footing’. They gou visit their neighbours. The visitors must step into the house with their right foot first, to bring good luck.
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