1. Round the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIt is a well known fact that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These countries are all unique with their own customs, cultures and traditions. They are full of contrasts; whichever direction you travel you will find a wide variety of landscapes and diverse cultures to explore.
2. Who are the British?The 4 parts of the UK represent 4 nations, which are distinct from each other in almost every aspect of life. They are different racially. The people of Ireland, Wales and Scotland belonged to the Celtic race. Those in England and Scotland were mainly of Germanic origin. This difference was reflected in the languages they spoke, in their different economic, social and legal systems.Albion is a word used in some poetic or rhetorical contexts to refer to England. It was the original Roman name for Britain. Britannia is the name that the Romans gave to their southern British province. Caledonia, Cambria and Hibernia were the Roman names for Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Erin is a poetic name for Ireland. “The Emerald Isle” is another way of referring to Ireland.
3. Emblems and National Days Each country in Britain has its own patron saint and floral emblemSt. Georges Day falls on 23 April St. Andrews Day (the 30th of and is regarded as England November) is regarded as national day. A red rose is the Scotlands national day. On this national emblem of England. day some Scotsmen wear a thistle in their buttonhole. It is the national emblem of Scotland.
4. Emblems and National DaysSt. Patricks Day (the 17-th of St. Davids Day (the 1-st of March) is March) is considered as a the church festival of St. David, a national day in Northern Ireland 6th-century monk and bishop, and an official bank holiday the patron saint of Wales. The there. The national emblem of day is regarded as the national Ireland is shamrock. holiday of Wales. A yellow daffodil is the national emblem of Wales.
5. Coats of Arms In the Royal Coats of Arms three lionssymbolize England, a lion rampant -Scotland, and a harp - Ireland. The wholeis encircled and is supported by a lionand a unicorn. The lion has been used asa symbol of national strength and of theBritish monarchy for many centuries. Theunicorn, a mythical animal that looks likea horse with a long straight horn, hasappeared on the Scottish and Britishroyal coats of arms for many centuries,and is a symbol of purity.
6. British Way of Life An Englishman`s house is his castle an English proverb Almost everybody in the UK dreams of living in a detached house, that is a house which is a separate building. The saying, “An Englishman`s house is his castle” illustrates the desire for privacy and the importance attached to ownership which seem to be at the heart of the British attitude to housing. A large, detached house not only ensures privacy. It is also a status symbol. This house is over 600 years old. Many people try to avoid living in blocks of flats. The people who live inthem are those who cannot afford to live anywhere else.
7. National Dress in Britain Scottish National DressToday traditional dress for men in Scotland is a kilt with shirt, waistcoat and tweed jacket, stockings with garter flashes, brogue shoes and a sporran. Ladies dont wear kilts, they do however wear dresses or pleated skirts in a tartan material. More often they wear a light plaid or shawl of tartan material.
8. Welsh and Irish DressWelsh National dress is relatively young The traditional Irish costume is and not as famous as Scottish associated with the bright National dress. Tartan trousers or flamboyant costumes worn by kilts are often worn. For the ladies traditional Irish dancers. the typical Welsh costume consists of a hat, made of black felt, with a high crown and wide brim, which is worn over a lace cap.
9. The English language is the official language of all the UK. However,Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each have their own languagesalso. About 20% of the Welsh population speak Welsh (shown in green on the map). The Welsh language is protected by law, and is now commonly taught in schools in Wales. Scottish Gaelic (sometimes referred to as Scottish, blue on the map) is a Celtic language with approximately 60,000 speakers. In Northern Ireland, Irish is recognised as a minority language, and the dialect spoken is called Ulster Irish (shown in yellow on the map). About 10% of the population speak some Irish.
10. In Search of Good English Food “On the continent people have good food; and in England people have good table manners.” George Mikes, writer and humorist What is English food like? Let us see.English cuisine, native to England, is shaped by the temperate climate, geography and history of the country. Apart from the traditional foodthat is made with local ingredients, English cuisine consists of ingredients imported from other countries as well, like North America, China and India.
11. The traditional Fish and Chips recipe of England has gained internationalpopularity.Traditional Scottish food include haggis, kippers,oatmeal and salmon. Haggis is a famous nationaldish made from the heart, liver, lungs of a sheep.
12. The traditional food of Wales is made from the local ingredients available inthe country. Bara Brith, Roast Lamb, Cawl (a stew made of lamb and leeks)are popular Welsh dishes.Meat is often used in Welsh cuisine, because the country is well known for itssupply of sheep. Pork is another important ingredient used to preparetraditional Welsh food. Welsh cuisine
13. Traditional Irish daily eating habits, influenced by a farming ethos.Roasts and stews of lamb, beef, chicken, ham, pork and turkey are thecenterpieces of traditional meals. Fish, especially salmon, and seafood,especially prawns, are also popular meals.Irish stew warms up St. Patrick`s Day
14. The British Education System I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught. W.ChurchillI have found out that there are two systems of educations in the United Kingdom: one covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland and one covering Scotland. The two education systems have different emphases. Traditionally the English, Welsh and Northern Irish system has emphasized depth of education over a smaller range of subjects at secondary school level whereas the Scottish system has emphasized breadth across a range of subjects.
15. By law, all children in England and Wales between ages 5 and 16 mustreceive a full-time education, while in Northern Ireland, children mustbegin at age 4.More than 90% of students in the UK attend publicly-funded state schools.Approximately 8.5 million children attend one of the 30,000 schools in Englandand Wales; in Scotland, 830,000 children attend about 5,000 schools, includingpre-schools and other special education schools; and Northern Ireland sends350,000 children to 1,300 state schools. Primary schools usually include bothgirls and boys as pupils.