Great Britain is an island state in Western Europe. Once upon a time it was the great British Empire, which had colonies all over the world.
Now it is a modern state, albeit with a formal monarch at its head. Nevertheless, there are several popular myths about Great Britain itself.
Great Britain is a state. This is a very slippery statement. The fact is that several places on the globe are called Britain or Great Britain. 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 just this whole 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 the entity called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since 1972, Ireland has been divided into 2 parts, it is ruled by England, and the second is leading an independent life. In general, we can say that the political nuances of statehood are quite confusing here. Calling an Englishman British is like calling a Canadian a North American. Technically correct, 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? Any English pub will be surprised when you ask for a warm beer. Here, as in most similar establishments, popular beers are served chilled. And the lager is generally cooled as much as possible. No one drinks beer here at room temperature. Maybe the myth was born thanks to the Americans? After all, they drink beer very strongly chilled, after that, just cold British beer may seem warm.
The British have bad teeth. This myth is constantly cultivated by comedians and comedy shows. There, the British are exposed as prim bored, who, moreover, have crooked teeth. In fact, residents of the UK have dental diseases the same as in any other country. The only problem is that this country has quite high standards of oral cavity and dental services. So not everyone can afford a dentist or find a specialist corresponding to their standard of living.
The country's national anthem is God Save the Queen. The song "God Save The Queen" (GSTD) is the anthem of Britain, not England as such. Wales has its own national anthem, the music is present in Northern Ireland and Scotland. But England has no anthem at all. What then plays before the football matches with the participation of the national team of this country? There are several alternatives to substitutes for the English anthem. It could be "Land Of Hope And Glory", "I Vow To Thee My Country" or "Jerusalem". But they are not official anthems, and neither are the GSTD. The latter generally became a kind of symbol, and the words in the song changed according to the sex of the monarch (king or queen). Even the British colonies have their own anthems. For example, New Zealand has two songs at once awarded this status - the same GSTD and "God Defend New Zealand".
Britain is ruled by a queen. The form of government in the state is such that no queen rules the country. It does not publish the law and does not control their implementation. This situation has developed for a long time. In fact, each sub-country in Britain 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 affects the life of her country in the same way as neighboring states. And let the official wording says that all states controlled by the British crown are ruled by the monarch. In practice, this occurs in the form of ceremonies and attracts tourists.
The British use a special English dialect. This manner of speaking is also called aristocratic English. You don't really need to go into details to understand - Britain has a variety of accents and dialects that relate to different localities. Most of them are quite different from the traditional British pronunciation that is practiced in courses or news broadcasts. This English is also called BBC English. To better understand the adverbs, it is enough to watch several films with the original audio track. Thus, Trainspotting will give an idea of the Scottish accent, 28 Days Later on the modern Manchester and London dialect, Sweeney Todd will show the old metropolitan accent. You should not imitate an aristocratic accent by addressing a Londoner on the street. They will look at the language we have learned in school with surprise. Just imagine that a tourist turns to us on the street with the diction of the announcer Levitan.
There is universal and free healthcare in Britain. The country's health care system is called the NHS, or National Health Service. It can hardly be called both free and universal. The program is financed by taxpayers, and it can only cure a narrow range of diseases. But urgent medical care, an analogue of our ambulance, is really free. Only there they can anoint a bruised knee with iodine or give an injection from high blood pressure. And other treatments have many limitations. The NHS has a fairly small list of approved medications. If the disease requires other drugs, then the NHS will not get help even for money. In this case, there are paid medical institutions. And the NHS system is available only to the British in the event that an accident (for emergency medicine) happened in Britain. So capitalism does not allow the germs of socialism to break through and make everyone happy with free high-quality medicine.
Everywhere in Britain you can pay with Scottish money. If you want to pay with Scottish pounds in Wales, England or Northern Ireland, you may run into problems. Many establishments simply won't accept them. After all, officially this money is not allowed in Britain, and stores may well refuse to accept it. With banks, the situation is a little simpler, these pounds can be accepted, if the will of a particular manager. And the difference between Scottish and British pounds lies in their different appearance. They do not accept the same currency for a completely banal reason - many Britons have a poor idea of what the monetary units of Scotland look like and are afraid of deception. To avoid counterfeiting, it was decided not to accept these bills in England - this way people are much safer.
It always rains in Britain. This is the most common myth, even reflected in the Ukrainian cartoon about Cossack football players. Most people who do not live in the British Isles will safely say that it is usually rainy and foggy there. The English climate is vile, damp and gloomy. In fact, such an ingrained belief is a myth. Compared to other parts of the world, the weather in Britain is quite comfortable and welcoming. The average temperature in winter on the islands is 0-6 degrees, and in summer 15-23 degrees. As you can see, it is very comfortable. And in terms of precipitation, Britain is 46th in the world, behind New Zealand (26th) and even the United States (25th). Only now no one dares to call America a rainy country with a damp climate. The reason for the appearance of such myths lies in the fact that the winter period here is increased compared to the summer. This creates the feeling of bad weather. Although compared to the 30-degree Russian frost, it is not comparable.
The British drink a lot of tea. Another popular myth about this country. The Englishmen in our fantasies undoubtedly appear with a cup of tea. Meanwhile, according to statistics, Britain is only in third place in terms of the amount of tea consumed per capita, behind India and Turkey. But even from this place the British will soon be squeezed out by China. It turns out that the British drink on average the same amount of both tea and coffee. And delusion was born from linguistic errors. Indeed, in Britain, food intake is not called dinner or supper, as we know from the dictionary, but tea, which literally translates as tea. Therefore, inviting someone "for tea" the British mean not necessarily drinking a hot drink, but lunch or other meal. It is not at all necessary that the tea itself will be served there. In Britain, there is even the phrase "come to tea", which actually means "come for the main evening meal" (come to the evening meal). It must also be said that according to polls, the majority of Englishmen generally cannot stand the taste of tea.
The British are prim and conservative. It seems to us that people with dry and stern faces live on the islands. In fact, the faces of the British are mostly simple. And the stone faces are usually among gentlemen who play bridge and who simply cannot give out their emotions. The players are even trained to do this. And the British have no stiffness. They are simple and pleasant people who know how to drink well and have fun. And how prim football fans could put the whole football Europe on their ears with their adventures? But in matters of their personal life, the British are really restrained and careful. Unlike us, they will not tell everyone about their problems. Conservatism is about adherence to tradition. The British are not afraid of the new, they are simply trying to preserve the unique spirit of their country. This is where the centuries-old laws, custom and competition come from.
Russians most often buy real estate in Britain. It turns out that the most desirable home abroad for a Russian is not at all in England. British real estate did not even make it into the top ten countries most demanded by our buyers. Bulgaria turned out to be the leader in demand, 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 cannot afford to buy real estate there.
In England, everyone drinks tea with milk. Poor tourists are afraid that they will never be able to see ordinary black tea, tea with milk will be served immediately. As it turned out, milk is served separately in England. And everyone decides for himself whether to add it or not. And some hotels do without milk at all, so milk lovers have to make a fuss.
In England, there are separate taps everywhere. And this myth scares off the tourist. But today, practicality has won out over tradition. Separate taps can be found only in some houses, and in pubs, where they want to emphasize loyalty to tradition. And in public toilets and hotels there are faucets familiar to us.
In Britain all pubs are smoky. In Europe, there is a fight against smoking. You cannot do this in public places, you have to look for either specially designated areas on the street, or light a cigarette at home while no one sees. You cannot smoke in stadiums, pubs, restaurants or cafes. Fines are in three figures.