The traditional view of the English / Традиционные представления об англичанах
Almost every nation has some kind of a reputation. As for the English, foreigners often picture a typical Englishman wearing a bowler hat and clothes made of tweedor cheviot, smoking a pipe, drinking tea or stridinq across the open countryside with his dog. But this is a picture of aristocratic Englishman in the past and it is not so any longer.
English people like reading a lot, especially newspapers-talking about the weather, going to a pub, discussing news and drinking beer there. They also like to spend time in a club. The membership itself is attractive for them, because it provides the so-called sense of belonging.
English people are considered to be cold, reserved and rather haughty people. They rarely shake hands. They also seldom embrace one another.
Their reserved character is usually described by the idiom "to keep a stiff upper lip".
The expression "to keep a stiff upper lip" dates back to the 1800s and is apparently American in origin. The idea behind it is that when someone gets upset, his lips usually tremble. The men of those times had moustashes and an upper lip was more visible if it was quivering. So it was pretty hard to hide their emotions or "to keep an upper lip stiff". However, this is not so much true about English people of the 21st century.
The traditional love of the English for their homes is known all over the world. Old sayings like "Home is a castle" and "There is no place like a home" reflect the inner nature of a real Englishman who cannot imagine his life without a lawn in front of his house or a small garden behind it and a fireplace inside the house.
The English are a nation of stay-at-homes. If they have spare time, they prefer to spend it at home with their families. And it is true that Englishmen prefer to live in the house of their own. But nowadays more and more flats are built and fewer detached and semi-detached houses.
Sunday is a very quiet day. It has been the law for about three hundred years that all the theatres are closed on Sundays. Some shops are also closed. People prefer to get out of town on their week-ends.
The remarkable politeness is one of the most striking features of the English. They are never tired of saying "Thank you" and "Sorry".
The English take everything with exquisite sense of humor. They can be easily offended if you say they do not have it.
It is well known all over the world that the English do not like noisy behavior. Nobody rushes for seats in buses or trains.
Many of the world's famous sports began in England, including cricket, football, lawn tennis and rugby.
Cricket is England's national sport.
Football (or soccer) is really popular and some of the English teams are known all over the world — Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Rugby originated from Rugby school in Warwickshire. It is similar to football but is played with an oval ball and players can carry the ball and tackle each other.
Netball is the largest female team sport in England.
Table tennis (ping-pong) was invented in England in 1880.
Badminton takes its name from the Duke of Beaufort's country home, Badminton House, where the sport was first played in the 19th century.
Boat racing also originates here from the 19th century when the students of the UK's two oldest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, decided to hold a competition.
One more popular activity in England is hiking. They just go out and spend their time walking throughout the countryside.
► Читайте также другие темы раздела "England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland / Англия, Шотландия, Уэльс и Северная Ирландия":
- Some interesting facts about England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland / Некоторые интересные факты об Англии, Шотландии, Уэльсе и Северной Ирландии
- England / Англия
- The traditional view of the English / Традиционные представления об англичанах
- Scotland / Шотландия
- Wales / Уэльс
- Northern Ireland / Северная Ирландия
► Перейти к оглавлению книги Страноведческий справочник. Топики (темы) о Великобритании на английском языке