England in Terms of Culture, Soccer and Tourism
Culture is defined as the sum total of a place’s people, their beliefs, food, language, way of dressing, art, architectural designs, and shared values among others (Christopher 24).
England is one of the several countries that make up the United Kingdom (UK). Although Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are also part of the UK, they have some differences in culture. They differ in terms of language, regional accents, literature, theatre performances, music, and cinema among others (Podolak 51). England’s has, however, been perceived as dominant over the culture of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Architecture and gardens form part of English culture. The English have been credited with the Gothic style of architecture, Coptic, cathedrals, parish churches and country homes. Brick and stone are the main materials used for construction. Landscaping and gardening are two trends that the rest of the world has borrowed from the English. The lush gardens and manicured laws have long been regarded as quintessentially English. If you are ever in doubt, you would only need to know some of the works of the English landscaper Capability Brown.
The seaside piers are a popular feature of the English coastal landscape, with the first one having been constructed in 1814. Fashionable seaside resorts have been the preserve of English culture since the Victoria era, and a day trip to the seaside remains a favourite pastime of the English.
In terms of culture, the British gave us the pictorial satirist William Hogarth, political cartoonists and notable painters in the Renaissance. Clothing is an important indicator of culture, which defines the people of England. The choice of clothing is principally defined by the season and the weather. England experiences summer, winter, autumn and spring. Rain and snow are some of the reasons why you will see lots of boots, jackets, and scarves among other warm clothing. The English are known to have a taste for expensive garments, and many world-renowned fashion designers are based in England, selling their clothes in exclusive boutiques and high-class department stores.
British cuisine is well known worldwide, including dishes such as shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole and beef wellington. A traditional English breakfast comprises fried bread, bacon, mushrooms, sausages, eggs and tea. How could we possibly forget that tea is one of the most iconic drinks of the English? The modern English breakfast is a slight break away from the traditional one, which mainly comprised fried foods, and includes more continental influences and healthier options such as fruit, yoghurt and croissants.
English folklore is notable for elves, dwarves, fairies and goblins, with many stories and legends surrounding them. The language across the UK is English, with modern English having originated from Middle English, itself derived from Old English. The love of pets the Britons is legendary. Cats, dogs and birds are the commonest pets, which can be found in many households. England has been at the forefront in terms of science for centuries, with many major discoveries and inventions being made during the scientific revolution. Isaac Newton, William Harvey and Charles Darwin among others made important contributions to the revolution. Closely related to it was industrial revolution.
Christianity is the most important and popular religion in England; the official state religion is the Church of England headed by the Queen, however there are large Roman Catholic communities as well. There are also significant numbers of other religions throughout England.
The Big Ben
One of the landmark buildings in England is the Great Bell, which is also known as the Big Ben, and formerly, Elizabeth Tower and St. Stephen .It is situated on the north end of the Westminster (“Great Bell – Big Ben”). The Great Bell is an inference to both clock tower and tower. The cultural significance held by this iconic building for the people of England is that it is a fantastic location for filming.
The bell has been in operation for more than 145 years (initiated in 1859). It is a cultural pride and a tourist attraction as well. The clock has been chiming with amazing accuracy. Its weight is unfathomable with over 13 tones. The longer arm of the click is 14 feet while the shorter one is 9 feet. The tower itself is 320 feet high (“Great Bell – Big Ben”).
Big Ben has a rich history starting with the failed castings of the bell and the fact that save for some few interruptions; it has been chiming and broadcast since 1924. It touches on the monarchy (60 years golden Jubilee) and the House of Parliament as well (“Great Bell – Big Ben”).
Primary and secondary education is legal and starts at the age of 5, running all the way to the age of 16 years. There is an Act of o parliament of 1880 which made it mandatory for children to attend school till the age of ten. (and now 16).There are generally 4 main stages of education; stage 1 is for 5-7 years old; stage 2 for 7-11 year olds ; stage 3 for 11-14 years while the last one is for 14-16 year olds. One interesting thing is that one does not have to formally attend school; rather, schooling can be done at home. The British system of education has had a global influence with many international students studying online or enrolling in centuries old institutions like Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburg.
The measurements used in the United States today are borrowed from the British imperial systems of measure. Feet, inches, stone and pounds, yards and miles are all borrowed from the British; although today the British use a mixture of the old imperial measurements and the modern European metric system. Many countries’ tradition of driving on the left also originated in England, while zebra crossings and roundabouts are also creations of the British.
One of the most defining things about English culture is sports, and particularly soccer – or football, as the English would call it. The English gave the world a number of sports of which soccer is the main one. In dissecting soccer, we see the origin of the beautiful game, the rules and much more (Fürtjes 588). Soccer remains hugely popular, with various football clubs heightening their rivalries. In fact, no sporting event is greater than soccer with stadia across England filling to capacity to watch their favourite teams. Some of the top names of these clubs include Manchester United, Arsenal, and Leicester City among others. Bookmakers make a large profit from bets on the outcomes of sports. The stadia are filled with chants and songs such as ‘we can sing you sneaking out’ in an apparent taunt at the opponents who go silent when they start losing.
England has many points of interest, including the Tower of London, Stonehenge, the British Museum and Big Ben. There are various reasons why England has remained a top tourist attraction. Apart from the fact that it has the aforementioned landmarks, it is the birthplace of notable figures such as the Beatles and Shakespeare, and locations associated with these figures attract visitors. The age-old universities such as Cambridge and Oxford are also key tourist attractions.
As the world’s 8th largest tourist destination, England is no push-over with slightly over 36 million people visiting the country in 2015. London and the Tower of London are the most visited sites. Domestic tourism is the single-most important component of spending for the average tourist. The summer months are the ideal times to visit. August is the favourite month for holidays. The coastal areas such as Lancashire, Wales and Swansea form the best camping sites.
England is a country that is rich in terms of culture, soccer and tourism. With a history dating several centuries back, England is a force to be reckoned with. The culture is diverse encompassing more than just the three aspects discussed. There is so much to learn about the country together with the other countries making up the United King
” Fürtjes, Oliver. “Football and its continuity as a classless mass phenomenon in Germany and England: rethinking the bourgeoisification of football crowds.” Soccer & Society 17.4 (2016): 588-609.
“The Great Bell – Big Ben.” UK Parliament, www.parliament.uk/about/livingheritage/building/palace/big-ben/building-clock-tower/great-bell/.
Orwell, George. England Your England. Penguin UK, 2017.
Perera, Natalie, et al. “Education in England: annual report 2016.” (2016).
Podolak, Kristen, et al. “Designing with Nature? The persistence of Capability Brown’s 18th century water features.” Landscape Journal 32.1 (2013): 51-64.