British Culture (a brief Glimpse)

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British Culture (A Brief Glimpse)

Questions for Thought

  • Can you think of any examples of how we are influenced by the British Culture?
  • What do you know about the British Culture?
  • As we discuss different aspects of British culture, can you see any similarities or differences with our own Taiwanese culture?

National Identity

  • English (specifically England) =/= British (generally Great Britain)
  • United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales
  • National Flag = England (St. George) + Scotland (St. Andrew) + Ireland (St. Patrick)
  • = + +


  • Land:
    • South: mostly low-lying land with hills
    • and agricultural land
    • North: mostly covered in moorland and
    • mountains.
  • Capital: London (also of the U.K.)
    • History: nearly 2,000 years beginning
    • with the arrival of the Romans soon after their invasion of Britain in AD43.


  • Queen’s birthday
  • The British Royal Family’s Surname: Windsor
    • Changed from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor in 1917
    • Reason: In 1917, King George V renounced all the German
    • titles belonging to him and his family and adopted the name of his castle, Windsor, because of WWI and anti-German sentiment
  • Duties: Head of State (representative), Head of the Armed Forces (declare war), Head of the Church of England (appoints bishops and archbishops), Government Duties (signature needed), Represents the Nation (at times of sorrow), Royal Garden Parties, Visits (various places)
  • The Queen's sons and daughter
  • Charles Prince of Wales
  • Anne Princess Royal
  • Andrew Duke of York
  • The Queen's Grandchildren
  • Prince William of Wales (1982)
  • Peter Phillips
  • (1977)
  • Princess Beatrice of York (1988)
  • Lady Louise Windsor
  • (2003)
  • Zara Phillips
  • (1981)
  • Princess Eugenie of York
  • (1990)


  • May Day Celebrations: Maypole Dancing
    • Origin: the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers
    • Celebrate the coming of summer after a long winter
    • A time for love and romance

Etiquette in England

  • Do:
  • Don’ts:
    • Greet people with a kiss unless it’s family or close friends
    • Talk loudly in public
    • Stare at others
    • Ask personal and intimate questions

Tea Customs

  • Afternoon Tea:
    • Served at 4 in the afternoon
    • Tea, coffee, freshly baked scones, tea sandwiches, and assorted pastries
    • This became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago when rich ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea
  • High Tea:
    • Served at 6 in the evening
    • Scones, cakes, buns or tea breads, cheese on toast, toasted crumpets, cold meats and pickles or poached eggs on toast
    • British working population did not have afternoon tea, only a midday meal and a meal after work
    • a.k.a dinner or supper
  • (Source)


  • Traditional English Breakfast (Full English)
    • eggs, bacon, sausages, fried bread, baked beans and mushrooms
  • Traditional English Dinner
    • meat and 2 vegetables with hot brown gravy
  • Sunday Roast Dinner
  • Lunch – dinner (the main meal)
  • Dinner – tea, supper


  • England’s national sport: cricket
    • Most popular sport: soccer (football)
  • Rugby: this sport used to be played by the rich upper class only
  • Tennis: Wimbledon
    • Traditionally, visitors eat strawberries and cream while watching the game
  • Polo: brought to Britain from India in the 19th Century by army officers
  • Boxing Day Hunts: Traditionally it is a day for fox hunting
    • Boxing Day is the following day after Christmas Day
    • 18 February 2005: hunting with dogs became a criminal offence


  • Good Luck:
    • Lucky to meet a black cat
    • Lucky to touch wood
    • Lucky to find a clover plant with four leaves.
    • A right way up horseshoe over the door brings good luck (like a “U”)
    • Catch falling leaves in Autumn and you're have good luck.
  • Bad Luck:
    • Unlucky to walk underneath a ladder
    • Seven years bad luck to break a mirror
    • Unlucky to see one magpie, lucky to see two, etc.
    • Unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must throw it over your shoulder to counteract the bad luck
    • Unlucky to open an umbrella in doors.
    • The number thirteen is unlucky
      • Friday the thirteenth is a double unlucky day because Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
    • Unlucky to put new shoes on the table
    • Unlucky to pass someone on the stairs


  • Agricultural 農業的
  • Moorland 荒野;高沼地
  • Invasion 入侵,侵略
  • Surname 姓
  • Renounced 聲明放棄;拋棄
  • Titles 頭銜;稱號
  • Adopted 被採用的
  • Sentiment 感情,心情;情操
  • Duties職責;職務
  • Pastries 酥皮點心
  • Cricket 板球
  • Polo 馬球
  • Criminal 犯罪的,犯法的
  • Offense 過;犯法(行為);過錯


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