United Kingdom:: Flag ::
The flag called The Union
Jack is a combination of the flags of St George
(patron of England), St Andrew (patron of
Scotland) and Saint Patrick (patron of Ireland)
:: General Info ::
The official name of United Kingdom is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. Using the short form we say “United Kingdom”, and the abbreviation is “UK.”. The capital is London and the population is about 60,000,000. Most of the population lives in towns and cities and the most densely populated region is the southeast. United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and 15 territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands. The UK is a democracy. Although in theory the head of the state is HM Queen Elizabeth II, in practice she holds no real power.
:: The English ::
England is a part (I think the most popular part) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It's situated in North-West Europe, on British Isles, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Notrh Sea. Well, to tell the truth I'm not going to give you economical or political pieces of information about England, because if someone is interested in it, he can find it in an encyclopedia. And that's why I want to introduce you only Englishmen.
I'm sure you have heard some stereotypes about
the inhabitants of England. For example that they
are out of sense of humour. It's not quite true.
Because their humour is based on self-
depreciation and irony. They often
joke at the
weather and their country, but they don't like
when someone else does that. That's because of
belief that England and London are the best
country with the finest capital city in the
world. I have also heard an opinion that the
British generally don't learn any foreign
languages, because if a foreigner comes to Great
Britain, he is supposed to speak English. And
another thing: if you like the English language
you are fun for Englishmen, but if you don't like
it, then you are more fun :) ! To make your
accent sound perfectly, all you have to do is to
put a pencil or a cigarette (or something like
that) into your mouth:) .
Englishmen are also perceived as reserved people. For instatnce, lovers shouldn't kiss on the street, in front of the other people. Holding hands is quite enough, but this image is false. I think you remember the time after Princess Diana's death. In those days a lot of people were crying and bringing flowers outside her home at Keningstone Palace. So as you can see Englishmen can be be very emotional people. Typical for England are left side driving rules. This is a strange custom for other Europeans. Everything started in the Middle Ages, when people walked on the left side of the road, because they wanted to be able to take out fast their sword. If they were attacked by a stranger passing on the right. Keeping to the left became English law in 1756. In England there are two passions- football and queuing. Majority of Englishmen have their favourite football team. (I think the most popular is Manchaster United) Aport from English football, their football fans, or we should rather say hooligans are famous for their behaviour too. But this opinion changed after Margaret Tatcher imposed strict fines on hooligans. I must say it's a great idea and in my opinion it should be obeyed on each stadium. As I wrote Englishmen love staying in queues. And it doesn't matter where it is: on the bus stop, in a shop, or I don't know where else. It's their hobby :). so be prepared to see many queues while visiting England:).
Each country has its own alcohol law. So does England. The legal age to be able to buy alcoholic drinks is 18. The legal driving limit is 0,08%. There's also an uncanny custom. Did you know that English beers were served warm? But now you can get this kind of drink only in more traditional pubs.
OK, now let's be serious. I know that most of
pieces of information are based on the
stereotypes. And we shouldn't believe in
everything what is written here. I must admit
that some of them are really fun, aren't they?!
If you want to know something more about English
customs and behaviour, you have to read "How to
be an Alien" by George Mikes. However to find out
the real England, just go there on your own:).