The British character

Saturday 1 January 2011 - Posted by MB at 09:35
The British are often viewed as the most boring people in the world. They wear unimaginatively formal clothes, eat tasteless food, practise slow sports and have a specific sense of humour which is usually'not understood by foreigners. They are also said to be conservative, reserved and cool. Indeed, the British are not very open or spontaneous. They do not kiss or embrace by way of greeting so as not to allow familiarity. They always keep a certain distance and are not willing to manifest their feelings and emotions. They are even accused of being hypocritical because they might think one thing and say another. It is not easy to make friends with them but once you have made a friend, it is a friend for life.

The English are said to be the masters of trivial conversation. Their "small talk" usually deals with the weather or some general questions as it is not accepted to interfere in someone's private life.

The British are very polite. They always queue when they are waiting for a bus and hold the door open for the person behind them. Also, the British bobbies have a reputation of being the most friendly and helpful policemen in the world. On the other hand, the English football fans are regarded as hooligans and vandals able to tear the stadiums into pieces. Generally speaking, however, the British are well-mannered.

"There is no place like home" — say the British. This adage best expresses an Englishman's traditional love of his home. About 70 per cent of British people have their own houses. Most homes have a garden in which the British spend a lot of time growing flowers and looking after the lawn — a national pride. Many houses, especially the older ones, are surrounded by hedges, which symbolizes the desire of the British to protect their privacy. "My house is my castle" — this well-known proverb reminds a visitor that unless he is invited, he may expect to be treated as an intruder.

The English not only love their homes but also their pets. Many people keep cats, dogs and other animals at home. They are completely crazy about pets. There are more animal rights groups in Britain than anywhere else in the world. Paradoxically, the English still love the hunting of wild animals, such as foxes or hares, with the aim of killing them.

It is not easy to decide on the typically British characteristics. Not all English people are cold, uncommunicative or boring, not all of them are crazy about lawns or animals. Still, there is one thing that is typically British: a strong attachment to tradition and a desire to keep their country's uniqueness. Some people say that the British live in the past, but they are simply proud of their originality.