Society and Culture

British culture encompasses the traditions of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, European cultures and the impact of the British Empire. Although British Culture is a distinct entity, the individual cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are diverse and are full of distinctiveness.

Among all other aspects, British literature stands out and is the backbone of British culture. Britain gave birth to Novel. Playwrights, Poets and Authors are considered the most prominent cultural figures that helped shape the British society and its culture. Music, cinema, art, architecture and television are the other aspects to which Britain has notably contributed. Britain is a home of many prominent scientists and inventors. Britain’s contribution to philosophy, science and technology is widely known across the globe. Some of the world’s oldest universities are in Britain. 

The socio-economic and cultural conditions of the UK have been immensely affected by the Industrial Revolution that began in the UK. Due to this, language, law, culture and institutions of its former colonies saw significant influence.

The UK is known as a “cultural superpower”, and London as a world cultural capital. British traditions are famous worldwide. When one thinks of Britain, you imagine people drinking tea, wearing bowler hats and gorging on fish and chips. Sports, food and music, are tightly knit traditions in Britain.

The five core British Values are:

Democracy

The Rule of Law

Individual Liberty

Mutual Respect

Faiths and Beliefs.

Consider these points when you are in the UK:

The British are punctual. Being late is odd and, in some cases, considered to be rude. If you’re going to be late to something, contact those involved as soon as you know you will be late. Also, it is less rude to be late to a dinner party at someone’s home than it is to be late to a public meeting (such as dinner at a restaurant).

Never jump lines, known as “queues” in the UK. In some countries jumping the queue may be acceptable, but in the UK, people may not be very happy with you and will definitely let you know how unhappy they are about the situation. Standing patiently in the queue is a normal part of British culture.

In the UK, it’s acceptable to keep one arm’s length between yourself and those you are speaking with. Don’t get too close to people. Maintain some space.

Please, thank you, and sorry are normal parts of everyday conversations and interactions.

When greeting a good friend or family member in the UK, you do not simply shake their hand. Many times, especially if one of the people that are greeting or being greeted is female, you will frequently give and/or receive a small kiss on the cheek. 

The British have a high amount of respect for older adults and the disabled.

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