United Kingdom/Way of Life - شهية الطبخ المغربي

United Kingdom/Way of Life

United Kingdom/Way of Life
City life. A number of the United Kingdom's important cities grew rapidly
in the 1700's and early 1800's, during the Industrial Revolution. But
today, many of those cities-including London, Birmingham, Liverpool,
Manchester, and Leeds-are in decline. They are faced with such problems
as falling employment, rising crime, and poor housing. They are losing
population as people move from the inner cities into the suburbs and
beyond. Greater London's population, for example, peaked in 1939 and
has been falling ever since.
The industries that supported the growth of the large cities have declined
or disappeared. New industries, such as electronics, have developed
outside the cities, many near motorways (expressways) or near research
establishments and universities.
The British government in 1988 launched an urban renewal program
called Action for Cities. The purpose of the program is to revive the inner
cities by means of new housing and new development. The government
also established areas called enterprise zones to attract new businesses to
inner cities. Businesses within enterprise zones receive tax cuts and other
advantages. However, people continue to move away from the inner cities
to find jobs, and these areas do not attract enough private investment.
The cost of such basic services as street lighting and road repair is
increasingly falling upon fewer people. And many of these people are the
members of society who can least afford such costs-the elderly, singleparent
families, the poorly paid, and the unemployed.
Rural life. At one time, the rural areas of the United Kingdom were
devoted mainly to farming. But the availability of convenient
transportation enables people to work in a city and live in the countryside.
In many rural communities, full-time farmers are outnumbered by retired
people, commuters, and workers who serve the needs of tourists.
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The attractiveness and variety of the rural United Kingdom is one of the
tourist industry's prime assets. These qualities also attract many retired
people. In some rural areas, more than a fifth of the population is over
retirement age. These areas include the counties of Cornwall, Devon,
Dorset, East and West Sussex, and the Isle of Wight; the Scottish
Borders; and parts of rural Wales.
Food and drink. Most British cooking is simple. A typical meal includes
roast beef, mutton, or pork with potatoes and one or more other
vegetables. Since the 1960's, the British have increased their consumption
of poultry, fresh fruit, and frozen vegetables. Consumption of lamb, beef,
veal, bread, potatoes, eggs, butter, and sugar has fallen.
Pizza houses, Chinese restaurants, and hamburger places that offer
takeaway and fast food have grown in popularity. They rival the shops
offering fish and chips, a popular meal of fried fish and French fried
potatoes. The traditional Sunday midday meal of roast beef and Yorkshire
pudding, a battercake baked in meat fat, is still a family favorite,
however.
The British diet tends to be high in fat, salt, and sugar and low in fiber.
These eating habits can contribute to a variety of health problems,
including heart disease. The country has a high level of heart disease,
especially in the northern United Kingdom. There is evidence, however,
that health considerations have begun to influence food consumption.
People are drinking more low-fat milk instead of whole milk and eating
more whole grain bread, which has more fiber than white bread.
Tea with milk and sugar is the most popular hot beverage. A high
proportion of alcohol drinking takes place in pubs (public houses), which
provide a focus of social life for many people.
Recreation. The British love the outdoors. They flock to Blackpool,
Brighton and Hove, and other seaside resorts on vacation. Several million
vacationers visit Spain, France, and other countries. Other vacationers
prefer mountain climbing or walking in Wales or in the beautiful Lake
District of northwestern England. Still others enjoy automobile or bicycle
trips through the country.
The British also spend much time in their gardens. About half of the
families in the United Kingdom have a garden.
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The British are enthusiastic sports fans. The most popular spectator sport
by far is soccer, which the British also call football. During the football
season, thousands of fans jam the stadiums every Saturday. Cricket has
been popular in England for hundreds of years. It is played with bats and
a ball and two 11-player teams. Schools, universities, and almost all
towns and villages have cricket teams. Other popular sports include
archery, bowls (a sport similar to bowling), golf, hockey, horseback riding,
horse racing, rugby football, sailing, and tennis.
Religion. The United Kingdom has two established (national) churches.
They are the Church of England, which is Episcopal, and the Church of
Scotland, which is Presbyterian. The monarch must belong to the Church
of England and is its worldly head. The spiritual head of the English
Church is the archbishop of Canterbury.
The Church of England has about 27 million members, but most of them
do not attend services. The Church of Scotland has about 2 million
members. The other Protestant churches have a total of about 8 million
members. Of these churches, the largest are the Baptist, Methodist, and
United Reformed. The country has about 51/2 million Roman Catholics. It
also has about 330,000 Jews, one of the largest groups of Jews in Europe.
Education. Each division of the United Kingdom has its own system of
public education. Each system is run by its own department of education,
which works closely with local elected education authorities. The four
systems differ in many ways, including the way schools are organized.
Traditionally, teachers throughout the United Kingdom have had much
freedom in selecting the courses they teach and in developing their own
teaching methods. However, teachers are being increasingly guided by a
national curriculum.
Most British children are required by law to begin school at the age of 5
and continue until they are 16. Children in Northern Ireland must begin
school at the age of 4. Generally, students attend elementary school until
they are 11 years old, and then they go on to high school. There are
several types of high schools. Some students attend grammar schools,
which provide a college preparatory education. Some attend schools that
stress a more general, technical, or vocational education. However, most
students attend comprehensive schools, which provide all types of high
school education.
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Most schools in the state system are free. About 95 percent of all
schoolchildren attend elementary schools and high schools supported by
public funds. The rest go to independent schools.
The independent schools are private schools supported by fees paid by
parents and by private gifts of money. There are several types of
independent schools. The best known are the English public schools, which
provide a high school education. Although they are private schools, they
are called public because the earliest of these schools were established for
the children of the middle classes. Traditionally, these schools have
emphasized discipline, the building of character, and scholarship. The
reputation of some of these schools, such as Eton, Harrow, and
Winchester, is extremely high. The leading public schools stress
preparation for Oxford or Cambridge, which are the United Kingdom's
oldest and most honored universities.
Oxford University was founded in the 1100's, and Cambridge University
was established in the 1200's. They have a greater reputation than other
universities because of their age, traditions, and high standards of
scholarship. The United Kingdom has about 75 other universities. The
University of London is the United Kingdom's largest traditional university.
England's Open University has more students, but it has no regular
classrooms. Instruction is carried out through radio, television,
correspondence, audiotapes, and videocassettes.
Museums and libraries. The United Kingdom has about 2,500 museums
and art galleries. The largest collections are owned by about 20 national
museums and art galleries, most of which are in London. The worldfamous
British Museum, in London, is noted for its outstanding collections
in archaeology and many other fields. The National Gallery and the Tate
Britain gallery, also in London, have some of the world's greatest
paintings.
The United Kingdom's public library system serves people throughout the
country. The nation's largest library, the British Library, has about 18
million volumes. The national libraries of Scotland and Wales have about 5
million volumes each. Other important libraries include Oxford's Bodleian
Library and the Cambridge University Library.
The arts. The government encourages and supports the arts in the United
Kingdom chiefly through agencies called arts councils. There is an arts
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council for England, Scotland, and Wales and another one for Northern
Ireland. Each council receives a government grant and, in turn, makes
grants to help pay for musical, theatrical, and other artistic activities.
Many local areas have their own arts councils to coordinate and finance
local artistic activities.
The United Kingdom is one of the world's major centers for theater.
Visitors come from all parts of the world to see British theater
productions. About 50 theaters operate in the central London district
known as the West End. The Royal National Theatre performs at its three
stages on London's South Bank. The Royal Shakespeare Company is
based at Stratford-upon-Avon and also performs at the Barbican Centre in
London. The English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre in London
performs the works of talented new playwrights. Notable regional theaters
include the Bristol Old Vic, the Festival Theatre in Chichester, the Lyric
Theatre in Belfast, and the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh.
The United Kingdom has 11 principal professional symphony orchestras
and several smaller orchestras. Five of the principal orchestras have their
headquarters in London. The best-known orchestras outside London
include the Halle Orchestra of Manchester and the City of Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra.
The most famous British arts festival is the Edinburgh International
Festival, which was founded in 1947. It is held every August. Its program
includes operas, concerts, ballets, and plays. The Cheltenham Festival,
held in July, specializes in music by contemporary British composers. A
summer drama festival takes place in Chichester. Glyndebourne, near
Brighton and Hove, has an annual summer opera festival of international
fame.

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