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Конспект 34. Customs and traditions
British traditional life
Many young people in Britain today accept most of the beliefs, customs and behavior of their parents most of the time. But they have become much more independent since the Pop Revolution in the 1960s. At that time they developed their own separate culture: they listened to different music, wore different clothes, had different ideas about life, used different words and behaved differently.
Today unemployment continues to have a strong influence on young people in Britain so most of them are not interested in being rebels any more. Hippies, teddy-boys and punks have been replaced by ‘yuppies’ (young urban professionals) whose main ambition is to earn a lot of money and spend it on expensive possessions and activities.
Most young people eventually get married, buy or rent a house or a flat of their own and start a family. In general, people get married later than they used to: women in late 20s, men in late 30s. Elderly people tent to live alone; it’s unusual now to find three generations living in one house as they used to do in the past. So the family ties have become much looser.
It’s impossible not to mention pubs when speaking about the British way of life. Pubs are the most popular places of meeting people in an informal atmosphere. They are like local clubs where people from the neighbourhood come in the evening to have a beer and a chat. There are all kind of pubs: city pubs for rich businessmen where the seats are soft and there are bowls of flowers on the tables; simple ‘out of the way’ pubs where young people and artists like to go; old country pubs with open wood fire.
American way of life
Nowadays young Americans tend not to live with their families but in apartments in the cities, shared rental houses in residential areas where everyone is more or less of the same age. Young people often move away from home when they leave school into shared apartments. Older people often do not live with their grown-up children. Many live in old people’s homes. Some live in special retirement communities, built for old citizens, where there are no young children and the atmosphere is quiet. Americans are frequently on the move, and some families change their homes every few years.
Hobbies are a great English and American tradition. Many people have pets as their hobbies. Gardening is also among the most popular hobbies for all ages in America. Others are mad about their cars, pick up trucks or their motorcycles. They spent their weekends washing them, painting them, or buying new equipment to make them go even faster or make them more impressive.
Children and teenagers are great collectors. They collect stamps or postcards, or pictures of favourite baseball, football or pop stars. And, of course, CDs are very popular item to collect.
Many people, especially retired who have much spare time, attend evening classes to learn cooking, languages and literature, ballet or body building. They may also organize themselves into special interest groups of those, for instance, who love travelling or path-walking.
Most Americans love to spend time outdoors, and many go for holidays or long weekends into the 35 fabulous national parks. These magnificent areas of countryside include tropical forests, high montains, dry deserts and prairies full of wild animals. There are camping places in many of these parks as well as museums.
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