The culture of the United Kingdom is the pattern of human activity and symbolism associated with the United Kingdom and its people. It is influenced by the UK's history as a developed island country, a liberal democracy and a major power, its predominantly Christian religious life, and its composition of four countriesEngland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Waleseach of which has distinct customs, cultures and symbolism. A wide culture of Europe has also influenced on British culture, and Humanism, Protestantism and representative democracy developed from Western culture.
British literature, music, cinema, art, theatre, philosophy and architecture are influential and respected across the world. The United Kingdom is also prominent in science and technology. Sport is an important part of British culture; numerous sports were originated in the country, including football. The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital.
National features of Englishmen
English character is, on the one hand, nearly the most inconsistent and paradoxical among the European people, almost all its features have also opposite properties, and with another very integral and certain, traced throughout many centuries. Its feature are explained most often with island position of the country, even the term such appeared "island psychology".
One of key features of English character is commitment to traditions many call this line conservatism. Really, the aspiration to keep in original state of feature of life and behavior, the rituals and habits sometimes finished to the point of absurdity from the modern and non English point of view distinguishes British from most of other people, is exposed these, others, to sharp criticism, but also at the same time does them tourist attractive to the whole world. Along with it there is no more informal society than English, in those cases when it is allowed by tradition. You can put on the most inconceivable dress, make an unimaginable hairdress, behave very oddly and be sure that none of British won't pay attention to you. Firstly, because it is the country of odd fellows and clowns, secondly, because here everyone is free to do what they want, and at last because restraint, self-checking and reticence are considered as one of the basic vital rules.
Modern British consider self-control as the main advantage of human character. The better the person is able to be self-controlled, the more worthy he is. Including open, relaxed manifestation of feelings is a bad manners sign, British sometimes wrongly judge behavior of foreigners, in the same way as well as foreigners quite often wrongly judge British, taking a coolness mask for the person or without understanding, why it is necessary to hide an original state of mind under such mask. Restraint, the control over the feelings which is often taken for simple coldness are that the vital principles of these small, but very proud people. When the representative of sentimental Latin race or Slavic sobs tears of admiration or affection, the Englishman will tell "lovely" ("lovely"), and it will be equivalent on power of the shown feelings.
British are well-known for their English humour. Anybody can't understand it, especially in its brightest manifestation love to physiological jokes. England, perhaps, the only country which doesn't want to be "Europe". But at all the deep and sincere conviction in own superiority British are deprived of any frank expression of own patriotism.
Quite often we hear that British are extremely hospitable and benevolent and this is true. Ask in the street of any city, even such indifferent and cosmopolitan as London how to get to the right place, and everybody will tell you, and on farewell, according to language tradition of the address, will tenderly call you dear or love (that, of course, won't mean suddenly flashed passion). However similar politeness doesn't reduce neither their feeling of national superiority, nor feeling of prejudice before all foreign at all. Englishman is very vain. He is sure that in its fatherland everything goes better, than at others. Therefore he looks at the foreigner haughtily, with regret and quite often with full contempt. The etiquette, pride, misunderstanding and contempt for foreign customs doesn't allow to approach in the foreign land with foreigners to them.