Interesting facts about Britain
Britain is a standard of style and European standard of living, and one of the most expensive countries in the world. However, the flow of inbound tourism from the Foggy Albion remains very high year after year.
So what is it that attracts visitors to Britain, besides its signature humor, refined manners and the world’s best music?
Portal Vipgeo collected the most interesting facts about Britain, which is not always known to the average tourist.
Features of the population and mentality
Few people in Britain consider themselves British – depending on the province its population is called English, Scots or Irish. To mix it up can be very offensive to a person.
Paradoxically, the native Britons make temporary emigration to another country one of their main goals in life. There are many jokes on this subject, that all great Britons only realize their love for their homeland when they are in a foreign land.
More often than not, residents of major cities, especially London, go to America. According to them, in the New World it is much easier to show their ambitions in business or creativity.
Britain’s ongoing migration process over the past half century has significantly changed the national and racial composition of major cities. There are now many people from Islamic countries and black Britons. At the same time, the English tolerance does not allow to infringe anyone’s rights.
Many Britons try to get an education in their homeland, despite a number of difficulties. For example, to enter Oxford, it is highly desirable to have recommendations from several preparatory schools, where they take only relatives of those who have already graduated from this prestigious university.
In general, dynasties are one of the foundations of the British social mentality. Opinions about this or that family clan are formed for generations, and reputation for most Englishmen is much more important than momentary benefit.
It is considered bad form to visit a British person without an invitation. If the owner of the house does not make an appointment, he can easily slam the door in the face of the uninvited guest.
Private time and space are sacred to the British. It is customary to make all appointments, including dates, at least two weeks in advance, at most a week in advance. If the invitee or the invitee is more than ten minutes late, the British are likely to leave without waiting, regardless of the reasons.
A certain stinginess of the British causes considerable annoyance to many European neighbors. For example, it is not customary here to order a lot of food in a restaurant – dinner must be modest, but nourishing.
The tradition of paying the bill in half also comes from Britain. You can treat a friend or a girl on a date, but only with his consent, otherwise it may offend a true Anglo-Saxon, who is used to earn his own living.
The average Briton rarely thinks about a family before the age of 25. It is considered, that the future spouses before the wedding must have a successful career and have enough money to buy their own house or apartment.
There are many accents of English in Britain, sometimes the language differs even in different parts of the city.
The English are highly cold-resistant, here until November children are dressed in skirts with sleeves and short shorts.
If you don’t speak English well, they will compliment you on the fact that you speak quite well. If you object, you will be told that their Russian is definitely worse.
The English are almost not interested in politics, they are very surprised by Russian jokes on the subject.
But English humor is quite specific and very difficult to understand for a person of another nationality.
The English are very polite, they constantly apologize for the smallest mistakes. And during the purchase the seller can thank you up to 7 times.
Added to this politeness is a very strong resentment – if you do not apologize for the occasional bump in transport, you can be told that you are very badly mannered.
The trademark British sociability is not a myth. The same sales clerk will ask you about your mood, discuss the weather and boast about your child’s progress at school before giving you a cheque.
The British started drinking tea at 5 p.m. sharp only from the 18th century, almost a century and a half after the first tea was imported from India. To this day this tradition is still intact, although it has been transformed by the realities of offices and the modern pace of life.
Funny Laws in Britain
Any image of Queen Elizabeth II should be honored. Even a stamp stuck upside down on a postal envelope can be considered an insult to the crown, and the police can be called.
Any British citizen who lives to the age of 65 is entitled to a free roof replacement for their home, regardless of square footage, and regardless of whether or not they own their own home.
There is a tax on television sets in Great Britain. Before you buy a “box” from an electronics store, you have to take care of buying a license to own one. The money received from the sale of licenses goes to the national television support fund.
A person with the plague is not allowed to ride in a London cab.
In the city of Oxford, women are not allowed to pose nude for artists or photographers. The exception is if the photographer or artist is a woman.
And in Liverpool, a woman who appears in a public place with naked breasts can be jailed for several days.
British feminists have pushed for a law that would make mentioning the word “sex” in front of a woman by a strange man a mild form of harassment.
Before Christmas, meat pates and sweet pies disappear from the shelves of British stores – the last day of Lent should be observed particularly strictly.
“The name “Foggy Albion” is not because of the fog, but because of the snow-white chalk cliffs and the cliff of Dover, which is located on the southern coast of the island.
The motto of the French monarchy, “Dieu et mon Droit” (“God and my Right”), is written in French in all official documents. The reason for this tradition is the status of the language as a second state language, which existed until the 18th century.
Great Britain still does not have a published text of the Constitution. Throughout the existence of the state the constitution has remained tacit.
All public schools in Britain have a strict navy blue uniform.
The higher the status of the school in Britain, the more expensive it costs to attend, the stricter the rules of conduct there. Many private business schools are essentially boarding schools.
The caning of students in Britain was abolished only in 1987, and that only after numerous lawsuits and international scandals. Private schools were not banned until 1999 by English human rights activists.
Swear words are not officially terrible or illegal in Britain. Even on TV debates they are not always “silenced. And the print media sometimes quotes famous people with all the strong words, while maintaining a refined journalistic style.
Separate taps for cold and hot water are still quite common in England.
Admission to most of the country’s museums is free. It is believed that the visitor himself will donate to the museum as much as he can.
In the UK there are no homeless animals on the streets – special shelters are created for them.
On the territory of the country there are no grocery stores around the clock – they all close after 10 pm.
The eternal rains in London are a common myth. The average annual rainfall here is 584 millimeters, far less than in Sydney or Rome, for example. It rains, of course, and sometimes quite suddenly, but it doesn’t last long.
In front of the subway you can always find a dispenser of free newspapers. It is customary to leave these newspapers on the seats for the next passenger to read.
Important: In the London Underground there is still poor cell phone reception. Before you go down to the underpass, you need to finish an important conversation “on the ground”.
Contrary to popular misconception, Big Ben is not the name of the famous tower. Only the bell is so called, and the tower itself is named after St. Stephen.
In 1790, shoelaces for boots were invented in England.
Great Britain is famous for the world’s longest city names. Ali is the only short name in the whole country, all others are longer than 5 letters.
The most popular city name in the UK is Newtown. This is the name of a hundred and fifty cities.
It was in England that the world’s first public zoo was opened. He appeared in 1829 in London.
Great Britain is the only country in the world which has the right not to write its name on the postage stamp. This privilege is assigned to it as the country that first started using stamps.
The Irish and English Parliaments still print the acts they pass on calfskin paper.
In the English table of Pythagoras, the numbers are arranged not to 10, but to 12.
In Scotland, on the Isle of Skye, lives the most tattooed man in the world. He is covered with a leopard pattern all over his body except for the inside of his ears and the spaces between his toes.
If the U.S. is the home of rock and roll, the U.K. is the home of punk and heavy metal.