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HOW THE BRITISH RELAX




Text 2

LONDON

Text 1

London is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world. It’s got everything a visitor could possibly want: rich history, beautiful architecture, charming parks, incredible museums and amazing restaurants. Although there are other great cities that can boast similar attractions, London is truly unique in its multiculturalism. The main reason why London has become a 'melting pot' of nations is the long history of immigration to Britain. More recently, the British Empire and the Second World War have had a serious impact on the number of immi­grants in Britain. About 8,000 Caribbeans (e.g. Jamaicans) served as soldiers in Britain during the Second World War. After the war, many decided to stay. As they were citizens of the British Empire, they had the right to work and live in Britain. In the 1950s and 1960s, when Britain had finally recovered from the hardships of war and needed more workers, many Indians and Pakistanis came to live and work in Britain. A few years later, the first Indian restaurants were opened. Forty years on, it's hard to imag­ine British cuisine without Chicken Tikka Masala, the most famous Indian curry specially designed for British taste.

There are lots of other reasons why people come to live in Britain, such as seeking protec­tion from war, poverty or political persecution back home. So many people have chosen London to be their 'home from home' that today, an incredi­ble 300 languages can be heard in its streets.

There are areas in London that are mainly populated by people of a particular ethnic origin. For example, Brixton in South London is famous for its well-established West-Indian community, whereas Wood Green in North London is a large Turkish settlement. But almost every part of London is populated with a wide mixture of people from lots of different countries and cultures. And, of course there are also large numbers of Irish, Scottish and Welsh people liv­ing in London. However, unlike New York, where each community is tightly knit and doesn't mix with other communities, London is truly multicultur­al. Here's one example. If you're a Turk, you can wander round the Greek areas and markets without any worries. If you're an Anglo-Saxon (the original peoples of England) you can drop into a Jamaican bar without offending anyone. British people can be rightly proud of their multicultural achievements. In addition, coming to live in London from other countries doesn't mean that newcomers have to forget their own culture (as they are encouraged to do in the USA and France). Everywhere you go, you'll see how other cul­tures have been embraced by mighty London. Ethnic festivals, markets, centres and events are as much part of London as Big Ben and the Tower of London.



Of course, there are some problems. For example, although there are laws against racial discrimination, people from ethnic minorities are more likely to do unskilled jobs or be unem­ployed than the majority of the population. However, there are also many examples of peo­ple from ethnic minorities occupying the best and most prestigious jobs. Lots of Asians are doctors and lawyers. The Chinese communities are economically very active.

 

Answer the questions:

1. What features distinguish London from other cities?

2. How many languages are spoken by Londoners?

 

Choose the right answer to the question:

Why did London become a cosmopolitan city?

a) the long history of immigration to Britain; b) the life in London is better

c) the friendly way of life


MADAME TUSSAUD’S

Madame Tussaud's is the most popular and talked about wax museum in the world. There are wax models of the famous and infamous, both living and dead, from every walk of life. David Beckham, Madonna, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, Jack the Ripper... There is no other place where you can see all the celebrities at once, even if they are only wax figures. The wax figures are standing and sitting, and sometimes even moving and talking. Computer-controlled figures (they are called audio-animatronics) are especially popular with the visitors. There are several halls at Madame Tussauds. Highlights include the Grand Hall, the Chamber of Horrors and 'The Spirit of London' exhibition.

In the Grand Hall you will find all kinds of celebrities, from presidents to pop stars. The politicians stand in solemn silence watch­ing each other. A very strange company indeed: Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin...The earliest figure from history here is William the Con­queror. There is a special place for the Royal Family here too. New models are being produced all the time while the old ones are quietly removed from display. Over the years hundreds of celebrities have made their way to Madame Tussaud's studio. Most people agree to be portrayed, but some refuse. Mother Teresa was one of the few who refused, saying her work was important, not her person.

The Chamber of Horrors is probably the eeriest place in the whole museum. No wonder visitors are quieter there than in other places. Count Dracula greets you at the entrance to the dark cellar full of villains and their victims, as well as the instruments of torture. An eerie reconstruction of one of the streets of London stalked by Jack the Ripper forms the cen­trepiece of the exhibition. One of his six victims — Catherine Eddowes — lies in a pool of blood. Here you can also see Madame Tussaud's origi­nal exhibition of relics from the French Revolution — the death masks of French nobility and the guil­lotine blade that was used to behead Marie Antoinette...

'The Spirit of London' exhibition covers a peri­od of more than 400 years and spans London's his­tory from Elizabethan times to the present day. Sights, sounds and even smells combine to tell you the colourful story of Britain's capital city. Visitors climb into a 'Time Taxi' and begin their historical journey...First you visit an Elizabethan theatre, then an old tavern where the great Shakespeare is working at Hamlet...You'll go through the Plague and the Great Fire, you'll see St Paul's Cathedral being built...

There are more than 70 figures in 'The Spirit of London' exhibition. Many of them are animated: they 'breathe', talk and move.

 

 

Answer the questions:

1. What wax model was created first among the historical figures?

2. Why did Mother Teresa refuse to pose for the museum?

 

Choose the right answer to the question:

What was the first original exhibition in Madame Tussaud’s?

a) The Chamber of Horrors

b) the Grand Hall

c) 'The Spirit of London' exhibition
Text 3

As British people say, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Like everybody else, British people like doing things outside work. Gardening is a well-known favourite. As the weather in Britain is relatively mild, British people manage to do gardening almost all the year round. Sometimes this can be just doing a bit of weeding and sometimes, serious vegetable and fruit growing. In fact, regardless of the size of the garden, the British can always find plenty to do in it. Mowing grass is also very important. Every Sunday morning (except for winter) they come out to mow their lawns. To outsiders, it almost seems like an obsession but to a British person it is an important social duty. The British see an unmown lawn, not only as a sign of laziness, but also as disrespect to others (and you can get fined for it as well).

Walking is also very popular. Ask any British person if they have a pair of walking boots and the answer will probably be yes. Except for dry summer days, the beautiful British countryside is pretty muddy, so you need a good pair of walking boots or 'wellies' to enjoy your walk. Walking as a leisure activity has a long tradition in England. You can buy a variety of maps and guides to walking routes. Organised walking is also popular and is a good way to discover local sights of interest with a group of like-minded people and a good guide.

Cycling is another popular activity. Unfortunately, many British roads are very busy and don't have cycling paths, so cycling can be a bit dangerous in Britain, many people find quiet country roads and spend their whole holidays exploring their homeland on their bikes. More extreme sports like rock climbing also attract people. And, of course, the famous British eccentricity is the cause of unusual sports like extreme ironing. Extreme ironing is a serious sport where teams of people compete at who can do their ironing in more extreme conditions. Extreme ironing is now an international sport with serious competitions and organised events.

Of course, not all British people keep fit by engaging in extreme sports. Many go to the gym, swimming pool or fitness classes. However, it has to be said that the British are not the most sporting nation in the world. You see, watching TV often gets in the way. Increasingly, British people spend their free time watching TV. The only comforting thing is that they are not on their own - most of the world seems to be doing the same!

As far as actually going away on holiday, many British people choose to spend their holidays abroad, preferably somewhere warm and dry. Spain, France and Greece are regular destinations, due to convenient location and kind climate, but by far the greatest numbers use the USA, especially Florida and California for their holidays. City breaks are also a good idea for changing the scenery and enjoying new places without too much trouble.

 

Answer the questions:

1. Can British people be fined for an unmown lawn?

2. What are the most popular recreational activities?

 

Choose the right answer to the question:

Why can cycling be dangerous in the UK?

a) the cyclists often break traffic rules

b) there are no cycling paths

c) traffic is very heavy in most places and there few cycling paths.





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