Essay on the Culture of the United Kingdom
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 countries-England,Northern Ireland,Scotland and Wales-each of which has distinct customs,cultures and symbolism.The wider culture of Europe has also influenced British culture, and Humanism,Protestantism and representative democracy developed from broader Western culture.
British literature,music,cinema,art,theater,comedy,media,television,philosophy,architecture and education are influential and respected across the world.The United Kingdom is also prominent is science and technology,producing world-leading scientists and invention.Sport is an important part of British culture; numerous sports 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.
First spoken in early medieval England, the English language is the de facto official language of the UK and is spoken monolingually by an estimated 95% of the British population.
However, individual countries within the UK have frameworks for the promotion of their indigenous languages.In Wales,all pupils at state schools must either be taught through the medium of Welsh or study it as an additional language until age 16, and the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages should be treated equally in the public sector, so far as is reasonable and practicable.Irish and Ulster Scots enjoy limited use alongside English in Northern Ireland,mainly in publicly commissioned translations.
The United Kingdom inherited the literacy traditions of England,Scotland and Wales, including the earliest existing native literature written in the Celtic languages,Old English literature and more recent English literature including the works of Geoffrey Chaucer,William Shakespeare and John Milton.
The United Kingdom has had a vibrant tradition of theater,much of it inherited from England and Scotland.The West End is the main theater district in the UK.The West Ends's Theater Royal in Covent Garden in the City of Westminster dates back to the mid 17th century, making it the oldest London theater.
While the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" and other patriotic songs such as "Rule,Britannia" represent the United Kingdom, each of the four individual countries of the UK also has its own patriotic hymns.Edward Elgar's" Land of Hope and Glory", and William Blakes's poem And did those feet in ancient time set to Hubert Parry's Jersalem", are among England's most patriotic hymns.
The UK has had a large impact on modern cinema, producing some of the greatest actors,directors and motion pictures of all times, including Sir Alfred Hitchcock,Charlie Chaplin,David Lean.Two of the biggest actors in the silent era were Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel.
The UK has been at the forefront of developments in film,radio and television.Broadcasting in the UK has historically been dominated by the taxpayer-funded but independently rum British Broadcasting Corporation, although other independent radio and television and satellite broadcasters have become more important in recent years,BBC television, and the other three main television channels are public service broadcasters who, as part of their license allowing them to operate, broadcast a variety of minority interest programming.The BBC and Channel 4 are state-owned, through they operate independently.
Popular British daily national newspapers include: The Times,The Guardian,Daily Mail,The Daily Telegraph,Daily Mirror,Daily Express.The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name,lending it to numerous other papers around the world, and is the originator of the widely used Times Roman typeface,originally created by Victor Lardent and commissioned by Stanley Morison in 1931.
The United Kingdom was created as an Anglican Christian country and Alglican churches remain the largest faith group in each country of the UK except Scotland where Anglicanism is a tiny minority.Today British Jews number around 300,000 with the UK having the fifth largest Jewish community worldwide.
London as one of the world's fourth fashion capitals, is host to the London Fashion Week- one of the 'Big Four' fashion weeks.Organised by the British Fashion Council, the event takes place twice each year, in February and September.The current venue for most of the "on-schedule" events is Somerset House in central London, where a large marquee in the central courtyard hosts a series of catwalk shows by top designers and fashion houses.