Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France
Climate: temperate ; moderated by predominating southwest air currents over the North Atlantic Current ; more than one-half of the yearss are cloud-covered
Population: 60,776,238 ( July 2007 est. )
Cultural Makeup: white ( of which English 83.6 % , Scots 8.6 % , Welsh 4.9 % , Northern Irish 2.9 % ) 92.1 % , black 2 % , Indian 1.8 % , Pakistani 1.3 % , assorted 1.2 % , other 1.6 % ( 2001 nose count )
Religions: Christian ( Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist ) 71.6 % , Muslim 2.7 % , Hindu 1 % , other 1.6 % , unspecified or none 23.1 % ( 2001 nose count )
Government: constitutional monarchy
Language in the UK
The United Kingdom does non hold a constitutionally defined official linguistic communication. English is the chief linguistic communication ( being spoken monolingually by more than 70 % of the UK population ) and is therefore the de facto official linguistic communication.
Other native linguistic communications to the Isles include Welsh, Irish, Ulster Scots, Cornish, Gaelic and British Sign Language.
Immigrants have of course brought many foreign linguistic communications from across the Earth.
British Society, People and Culture
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is comprised of four states: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is of import non merely to be cognizant of these geographical differentiations, but besides the strong sense of individuality and patriotism felt by the populations of these four states.
The footings ‘English ‘ and ‘British ‘ do non intend the same thing. ‘British ‘ denotes person who is from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. ‘English ‘ refers to people from England. Peoples from Scotland are ‘Scots ‘ , from Wales ‘Welsh ‘ and from Northern Ireland ‘Irish ‘ . Be certain non to name person Welsh, Scots, or Northern Irish ‘English ‘ .
The Class System
Although in the past few decennaries, people from varied backgrounds have had greater entree to higher instruction, wealth distribution is altering and more upward/downward mobility is happening, the British category system is still really much integral although in a more subconscious manner. The playing field is levelling but the British still seem to pigeon-hole people harmonizing to category.
Class is no longer merely about wealth or where one lives ; the British are able to suss out person ‘s category through a figure of complex variables including demeanor, speech pattern, manners and bearing.
A Multicultural Society
Once a really homogeneous society, since World War II, Britain has become progressively diverse as it has accommodated big immigrant populations, peculiarly from its former settlements such as India, Pakistan and the West Indies. The mixture of cultural groups and civilizations make it hard to specify “ Britishness ” presents and a argument furies within the state as to what now truly constitutes being a Briton.
The Stiff Upper Lip
The British have been historically known for their stiff upper lip and “ blitz spirit ” as demonstrated during the German bombardments of World War II. This ‘grin and bear ‘ attitude in the face of hardship or embarrassment lives on today.
As a state, the Brits tend non to utilize superlatives and may non look awfully animated when they speak. This does non intend that they do non hold strong emotions ; simply that they do non take to set them on public show. They are by and large non really openly demonstrative, and, unless you know person good, may non appreciate it if you put your arm around their shoulder. Kissing is most frequently reserved for household members in the privateness of place, instead than in public. You ‘ll see that the British prefer to keep a few pess of distance between themselves and the individual to whom they are talking. If you have insulted person, their facial look may non alter.
The British are really reserved and private people. Privacy is highly of import. The British will non needfully give you a circuit of their place and, in fact, may maintain most doors closed. They expect others to esteem their privateness. This extends to non inquiring personal inquiries. The inquiry, “ Where are you from? ” may be viewed as an effort to “ topographic point ” the individual on the societal or category graduated table. Even close friends do non inquire pointedly personal inquiries, peculiarly refering to one ‘s fiscal state of affairs or relationships.
There is a proper manner to move in most state of affairss and the British are sticklers for attachment to protocol. The British are a bit more contained in their organic structure linguistic communication and manus gestures while talking. They are by and large more distant and reserved than North and South Americans and Southern Europeans, and may non ab initio look to be as unfastened or friendly. Friendships take longer to construct ; nevertheless, one time established they tend to be deep and may last over clip and distance.
British Etiquette and Customs
Meeting and Greeting
The handshaking is the common signifier of salutation.
The British might look a small stiff and formal at first.
Avoid prolonged oculus contact as it makes people experience uncomfortable.
There is still some protocol to follow when presenting people in a concern or more formal societal state of affairs. This is frequently a category differentiation, with the ‘upper category ‘ keeping on to the long-standing traditions:
Introduce a younger individual to an older individual.
Introduce a individual of lower position to a individual of higher position.
When two people are of similar age and rank, present the one you know better to the other individual.
Gift Giving Etiquette
The British exchange gifts between household members and close friends for birthdays and Christmas.
The gift need non be expensive, but it should normally show an effort to happen something that related to the receiver ‘s involvements.
If invited to person ‘s place, it is normal to take along a box of good cocoas, a good bottle of vino or flowers.
Gifts are opened when received.
Unlike many European civilizations, the British enjoy entertaining in people their places.
Although the British value promptness, you may get 10-15 proceedingss later than invited to dinner. However, if traveling to a eating house be on clip.
Table manners are Continental, i.e. the fork is held in the left manus and the knife in the right while eating.
The fork is held tines down so nutrient is scooped on to the dorsum of the fork. This is a accomplishment that takes clip to maestro.
Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a peculiar place.
Do non rest your cubituss on the tabular array.
If you have non finished feeding, traverse your knife and fork on your home base with the fork over the knife.
Indicate you have finished feeding by puting your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your home base.
Toasts are given at formal repasts.
When in a saloon, it is common pattern to pay for a unit of ammunition of drinks for everyone in your group.
If invited to a repast at a eating house, the individual widening the invitation normally pays. Make non reason about the cheque ; merely reciprocate at a ulterior clip.
Business Etiquette and Protocol
A steadfast handshaking is the norm ; there are no issues over gender in the UK.
Peoples shake upon meeting and departure.
Maintain oculus contact during the salutation but avoid anything drawn-out.
Most people use the courtesy rubrics or Mr, Mrs or Miss and their family name.
Wait until invited before traveling to a first-name footing. Peoples under the age of 35 may do this move more quickly than older British.
Business cards are exchanged at the initial debut without formal rite.
The concern card may be put away with merely a casual glimpse so do n’t be offended if non much attending is paid to it.
The British Communication Style
The British have an interesting mix of communicating manners embracing both understatement and direct communicating. Many older business people or those from the ‘upper category ‘ rely to a great extent upon formal usage of established protocol. Most British are Masterss of understatement and do non utilize burbling linguistic communication. If anything, they have a pronounced inclination to utilize ‘qualifiers ‘ such as ‘perhaps ‘ , ‘possibly ‘ or ‘it could be ‘ .
When pass oning with people they see as equal to themselves in rank or category, the British are direct, but modest. If pass oning with person they know good, their manner may be more informal, although they will still be reserved.
Written communicating follows rigorous regulations of protocol. How a missive is closed varies depending upon how good the author knows the receiver. Written communicating is ever addressed utilizing the individual ‘s rubric and their family name. First names are non by and large used in written communicating, unless you know the individual good.
E-mail is now much more widespread, nevertheless the communicating manner remains more formal, at least ab initio, than in many other states. Most British will non utilize slang or abbreviations and will believe negatively if your communicating appears excessively familiar.
The British can be rather formal and sometimes prefer to work with people and companies they know or who are known to their associates. The younger coevals nevertheless is really different ; they do non necessitate long-standing personal relationships before they do concern with people and do non necessitate an intermediary to do concern debuts. However, networking and relationship edifice are frequently cardinal to long-run concern success.
Most British expression for long-run relationships with people they do concern with and will be cautious if you appear to be traveling after a speedy trade.
If you plan to utilize an docket, be certain to send on it to your British co-workers in sufficient clip for them to reexamine it and urge any alterations.
Punctuality is of import in concern state of affairss. In most instances, the people you are run intoing will be on clip. Scottishs are highly punctual. Name if you will be even 5 proceedingss subsequently than agreed. Having said that, promptness is frequently a affair of personal manner and exigencies do arise. If you are kept waiting a few proceedingss, do non do an issue of it. Likewise, if you know that you will be late it is a good thought to telephone and offer your apologies.
How meetings are conducted is frequently determined by the composing of people go toing:
If everyone is at the same degree, there is by and large a free flow of thoughts and sentiments.
If there is a senior ranking individual in the room, that individual will make most of the speech production.
In general, meetings will be instead formal:
Meetings ever have a clearly defined intent, which may include an docket.
There will be a brief sum of little talk before acquiring down to the concern at manus.
If you make a presentation, avoid doing overdone claims.
Make certain your presentation and any stuffs provided appear professional and good thought out.
Be prepared to endorse up your claims with facts and figures. The British rely on facts, instead than emotions, to do determinations.
Maintain oculus contact and a few pess of personal infinite.
After a meeting, direct a missive sum uping what was decided and the following stairss to be taken.