Great Britain is an island nation in Western Europe. This great country, which plays an important role in the political life of the planet. It was here that modern parliamentary democracy was born. Once it was a great British Empire, which had colonies all over the world.
Now it is a modern state, albeit with a formal monarch at the head. The words Britain, London, Queen have long been known as names and known throughout the world. Nevertheless, there are several popular myths about Britain itself.
The United Kingdom is a state.
This is a very slippery statement. The fact is that Britain or Great Britain is called by several places on the globe. Britain itself means England, Scotland and Wales. There are also the British Isles with Northern Ireland and the sovereign Republic of Ireland. England is most often called the entire group of sub-states without Ireland. But the British themselves add to this concept the term “British”, which developed into “British England”. Northern Ireland is part of an education called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since 1972, Ireland has divided into 2 parts, it is ruled by England, and the second – leads an independent life. In general, we can say that the political nuances of statehood here are rather confusing. Calling an Englishman a Briton is like calling a Canadian a North American. From a technical point of view, it is true, but rather blurry.
The British love to drink warm beer.
This myth is often heard about the inhabitants of the British Isles. But is it? In any English pub, you will be surprised when you ask for a warm beer. Here, as in most similar institutions, popular beers are served chilled. A camp generally cool down as much as possible. At room temperature nobody drinks beer here. Maybe the myth was born thanks to the Americans? After all, they drink beer very much chilled, after that just cold British beer can seem warm.
The British have bad teeth.
This myth is constantly cultivated by comedians and comedic shows. There, the British are exposed to prim bores, who also have crooked teeth. In fact, people in the UK have dental diseases the same as in any other country. The problem exists except that in this country, rather high standards of the oral cavity and services of the dentist. That’s not everyone can afford a dentist or pick up a specialist appropriate standard of living.
The national anthem of the country is “God Save the Queen.”
The song “God Save The Queen” (GSTD) is the anthem of Britain, not England, as such. There is its own national anthem from Wales, this music is present in Northern Ireland and Scotland. But England does not have a hymn at all. What then plays before football matches with the participation of the national team of this country? There are several options for replacing the anthem of England. It can be “Land Of Hope And Glory”, “I Vow To Thee My Country” or “Jerusalem”. But they are not official hymns, like GSTD. The latter in general became already a kind of symbol, and the words in the song changed according to the gender of the monarch (king or queen). Even the British colonies have their own hymns. For example, in New Zealand, two songs were immediately awarded this status – the same GSTD and “God Defend New Zealand”.
Great Britain is ruled by the queen.
The form of government in the state is such that neither the queen governs the country. It is not engaged in publishing by law and does not control their implementation. This situation has developed for a long time. In fact, every substratum in the UK has its own parliament with its own prime minister. The monarchy in the country is purely technical, the powers of the queen and her family are purely ceremonial. The Queen influences the life of her country in the same way as the neighboring states. And let the official wording says that all the states controlled by the British Crown are governed by the monarch.This in practice occurs in the form of ceremonies and attracts tourists.
The British have a special English dialect.
This manner of speaking is also called aristocratic English. In fact, there is no need to go into details to understand – in Britain there are many accents and dialects that refer to different localities. Most of them are quite different from the traditional British pronunciation that is practiced in courses or in news releases. This English language is also called BBC English. To better understand adverbs, it’s enough to watch a few movies with the original audio track. Thus, “On the needle” will give an idea of the Scottish accent, “28 days later” – about the modern Manchester and London dialect, “Sweeney Todd” will show the old capital accent. Do not imitate an aristocratic accent, turning on the street to a Londoner. On the language taught to us at school, they will look with surprise. Just imagine that a tourist will come to us on the street with the dictation of the announcer Levitan.
In Britain, there is universal and free health care.
The health system in the country is called NHS, or National Health Service. It is difficult to call it free or universal. The program is financed by taxpayers, and it can be cured only from a narrow range of diseases. But urgent medical care, an analogue of our first aid, is really free. Only there they can anoint the knee with an iodine or make an injection from high blood pressure. And other methods of treatment have many limitations. The NHS has a fairly small list of medications allowed for use. If the disease requires other medicines, then NHS can not get help even for money. In this case there are paid medical institutions. And the NHS system is only available for Britons in the event that an incident (for emergency medicine) occurred on the territory of Britain. So capitalism does not allow the sprouts of socialism to break out and make everyone happy with free quality medicine.
Everywhere on the territory of Britain you can pay off with Scottish money.
If you want to pay off the Scottish pounds in Wales, England or Northern Ireland, you can face problems. Many institutions simply will not accept them. After all, officially this money is not allowed in Britain, and stores may well refuse to accept them. With banks, the situation is a little easier, these pounds can and accept, if it will be the will of a particular manager. And the difference between Scottish and English pounds is their different appearance. Do not take the same currency for a completely commonplace reason – many Britons do not know well how Scotland’s money units look and are afraid of deception. To avoid forgery, it was decided that these bills in England would not be accepted – this is how people feel more at ease.
It always rains in Britain.
This is the most common myth, even found reflection in the Ukrainian cartoon about the Cossack football players. Most people who do not live on the British Isles will safely say that there is usually rainy weather with fogs. The English climate is vile, damp and gloomy. In fact, such an ingrained belief is a myth. Compared with other parts of the world in Britain, pretty comfortable and affable weather. The average temperature in the winter on the islands is 0-6 degrees, and in the summer 15-23 degrees. As you can see, very comfortable. And by the amount of precipitation, Britain is on the 46th place in the world, conceding New Zealand (26th place) and even the USA (25th place). Only now no one undertakes to call America a rainy country with a damp climate. The reason for the appearance of such a myth lies in the fact that the winter period here is increased in comparison with the summer one. This creates a feeling of bad weather. Although compared to the 30-degree Russian frost, it is not in any comparison.
The British drink a lot of tea.
Another popular myth about this country.The English in our fantasies certainly appear with a cup of tea. Meanwhile, according to statistics, Britain in terms of the amount of tea consumed per capita is only in third place, losing to India and Turkey. But even from this place the English will soon press China. It turns out that the British drink on average the same number of tea and coffee. A misconception was born because of linguistic errors. After all, in Britain, food is not called dinner or supper, as we know from the dictionary, but tea, which literally translates as tea. Therefore, inviting someone to “tea” the English means not necessarily drinking a hot drink, but lunch or another meal. It is not necessary that the tea itself will be served there. In Britain there is even a phrase “come to tea”, which in fact means “come for the main evening meal” (come to the evening meal). It must also be said that according to polls, most English people do not tolerate the taste of tea at all.
The British are prim and conservative.
It seems to us that people with dry and strict faces live on the islands. In fact, the faces of the British are mostly simple. A stone face is usually a gentleman who plays bridge and who simply can not give out their emotions. Players are even taught this. And the stiffness of the English do not. They are simple and pleasant people who know how to drink well and have fun. And how could the stiff football fans be able to put the whole of football Europe to their ears with their adventures? But in matters of personal life, the English are really restrained and cautious. Unlike it, they will not tell us about their problems to everyone. Conservatism is the commitment to tradition. The English are not afraid of the new, they are simply trying to preserve the unique spirit of their country. That’s where the centuries-old laws, customs and competitions come from.
Russians often buy real estate in Britain.
It turns out that the most desired house abroad for a Russian is not at all in England. British real estate did not hit even the top ten of the countries most in demand among our customers. The leaders of demand were Bulgaria, which collected about 15% of all requests. It is followed by Finland and Germany. Despite the fact that England is considered one of the most stable countries, many simply can not afford to buy real estate there.
In England, everyone drinks tea with milk.
Poor tourists are afraid that they will not be able to see ordinary black tea, tea with milk will be served immediately. As it turned out, milk is served in England separately. And everyone decides whether to add it or not. And in some hotels generally do without milk, so that its fans have to go wild.
In England, there are separate cranes everywhere.
And this myth frightens off the tourist. But today practicalism has defeated tradition. Separate cranes can be found only in some houses, and in pubs, where they want to emphasize fidelity to traditions. And in public toilets and hotels are the usual mixers.
In Britain, all pubs are smoke-free.
In Europe, there is a fight against smoking. In public places, this can not be done, we must look for specially designated areas on the street, or light a cigarette at home until nobody sees it. You can not smoke at stadiums, pubs, restaurants or cafes. Fines are three-digit amounts.