Everyday life in the UK: everything a little different
In Great Britain everything is a little different from ours. The cars drive on the left and the steering wheel in the cars is of course also on the other side. If you want to cross the street, you have to look to the right first. In London they help tourists, as you can see in the photo. According to Countryaah, United Kingdom is one of countries beginning with U.
Payment is made in British pounds – the euro was not introduced here. The symbol for it looks like this: £. On all banknotes, coins and even stamps you will find an image of the Queen, the British Queen. Ships and even prisons also have a royal in their name, which means “royal”.
Even the measurements are different: Instead of kilometers, distances are given in miles: one mile is 1.61 kilometers. How great you are, they say in “feet” (Feet). One foot is exactly 0.3048 m long. That is again a third of a yard that is three feet long. The next smaller unit of the foot, however, is the inch. 12 inches equals a foot. Pretty confusing for us! For example, someone who is 1.45 m tall would indicate their height in England as 4 feet and 9 inches. And the weight is also given differently, namely in stones (1 stone / stone = 6.35 kilograms) and pounds (1 pound / pound = 0.45 kilograms)! How tall are you and how much do you weight?
And even more
Windows are usually pushed up to open them. Sinks have two taps instead of usually one, as we do now, in which hot and cold water can be mixed.
The English are known for their politeness and their special sense of humor. A little crazy events such as pancake races, cheese rolls or curious Olympics with mustache rings and umbrella competitions are also popular.
The Scots keep their old traditions and they are pretty special too. The men here also wear skirts. They’re called kilts. A kilt always has a check pattern. It is usually not worn in everyday life, but for celebrations and parties. A typical Scottish instrument is the bagpipe, a typical meal of haggis, a sheep’s stomach filled with meat… In many places there are highland games, a sporting competition with tree trunk throwing, weight throwing and other disciplines.
Leisure and Family
How do British families live?
Most British people have their own house. In Germany it is only 44 percent, in Great Britain it is 70 percent. Most of the time the house is rather small. Row houses are typical, but there are also detached houses and especially semi-detached houses. Two halves of the house are connected to one another. The houses are built of stone. Most houses have a garden. The British love to work in it.
There are usually two children in British families. The average is 1.9 children, in Germany 1.4 by the way. And what are the children’s names? Names like Oliver, Jack, Charly, Harry, Oscar, Thomas and Jacob are very popular with boys. For girls, it’s Olivia, Emily, Sophia, Lily, Isabella or Isabelle, Amelia and Isla.
British boys love to play football. Popular sports are rugby and cricket. Girls like hockey, dancing, swimming and especially enjoy horse riding. The scouts are also popular. In England, too, children learn English rhymes and tongue twisters at an early age. You can find out which ones are here.
In some families, the television is already on in the morning or all day long. Many families have pets: a cat, dog, rabbit, or budgie. Many families enjoy going out on the weekends. There are many kid-friendly museums and zoos. In many museums you can touch something at certain tables, that is, hands on. There is, for example, the British Museum in London.
Of course, those who live near the sea also like to go to the beach. People also like to spend their holidays in their own seaside resorts. Those who go on vacation abroad prefer to travel to Spain or France. British children love to skate in winter. You also?
Rich country, poor country
Great Britain is one of the rich industrial countries in the world. It even ranks as the fifth richest country in the world. Nevertheless there is poverty here too. And the gap between poor and rich people is getting bigger and bigger. This means that there are few rich, but more and more poor. There are more homeless people in Great Britain than in Germany. Rents are expensive and there are too few apartments, especially cheap social housing. It is estimated that 22 percent of Britons suffer from poverty. In 2019, 14 million Britons were considered poor. 4 million of them are children.
Youth unemployment is very high. Total unemployment is 4.8 percent (as of 2020), but among young people between 18 and 25 years it is even 14.5 percent. Compared to the value of 2016 (11.7 percent) there is even an increase here. Crime among young people is increasing. The proportion of those who drink alcohol or take drugs is higher than in Germany.
The situation has worsened again due to the corona pandemic. Inflation and less government aid also play their part in increasing poverty in the country. It is not yet clear how Brexit will affect us. Many people go into debt in order to even be able to pay their rent and food. Many people are dependent on the food on the “food banks”, where they can get bread, vegetables and fruit for free. However, many are closed due to Corona.
The contrast between rich and poor is particularly noticeable in London. On the one hand there are the financial centers, the royal family and many super-rich with expensive mansions and expensive cars. On the other hand, in the East End, for example, poverty could hardly be more visible. Dirty streets and crumbling facades can be seen here, with people walking through who can hardly afford anything new to wear.