So many coutries, so many customs
The planet we live on is the Earth. The Earth is round. There are four oceans and six continents. The continents are: Europe and Asia, Africa, America, Australia, Antarctic. America consists of North America and South America. The continents are very large. Oceans and seas wash them and separate them from each other. There are usually many countries on the continents. For example, there are more than 40 countries in Africa, but there is only one country in Australia. It has got the same name as the continent. Australia is a very big country, but some countries are small. Iceland is a very small country. It is situated on the island in the north of Europe. Let's name some countries from each continent: Russia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy are in Europe. China, India, Vietnam are in Asia. Canada and the United States are in America. Egypt is an African country.
The largest country in the world is Russia. The smallest country is the Vatican. All the countries have interesting people, places, animals and plants.
People of different nationalities live in these countries. They speak different languages. Each country has its national flag, anthem and its own traditions and customs.
In Britain traditions play a more important role in the life of people than in other countries. They say British people are very conservative. The British are proud oftheir traditions and carefully keep them up. In the UK many things are the other way round than on the continent.
On the continent people seldom speak about weather. If they do, it usually means they have no other topics to discuss. In England, if you don't say “It's a nice day today, isn't it?”, people are surprised and think that you are very dull.
On the continent ^ appear on Monday; in England they appear on Sunday.
On the continent some people like cats, others don't, but in England cats are very special animals. Everyone loves them and takes care of them.
On the continent people are proud of their knoledge. They try to show off it and often quote Greek and Latin writers. In England only those who don't know them or who haven't read them do it.
You can offend people on the continent in many ways, for example, if you laugh at them or make jokes about their life and jobs. But the English take everything with a sense of humour. You can easily offend them only if you tell them they have no sense of humour.
People on the continent either tell you the truth or lie, in England they hardly ever lie, but they don't tell you the truth either.
On Sundays on the continent even the poorest person puts on his best suit and tries to look nice and respectable. In England even the richest man dresses in some old clothes and doesn't shave.
Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.
On the continent people have good food. In England people have good table manners.
Then, let me tell a few words about two the most intersting English traditions.
One of the old English legends says that London can be the capital of the country, rich and great until twelve black ravens live in the Tower of London. Each has got its name and the keepers carefully look after them. If one of the birds dies, another younger raven takes its place. Londoners believe this legend and always bring some food to give to the birds when they come to the Tower. The keepers cut the birds' wings a bit as they are afraid that they may fly away.
Another old English tradition is Guy Fawkes Day. Children go out into the streets on the 5th of November with figures like scarecrows. They stand in the streets and squares asking for the usual "Penny for the Guy". Then with the money they have collected they buy fireworks and burn the guy (that is the figure like a scarecrow) on their bonfire.
People watch fireworks and some people go to parties in evening.
People in Russia have their own special traditions.
One of them is Maslenitsa — the holiday, which lasts for a week, to say "goodbye" to winter. People celebrate it at the end of February or at the beginning of March. During this holiday they celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring. In old times people usually cooked pancakes, had fires, burnt straw' scarecrows of winter, they sang songs and danced.
Now during the "Maslenitsa week" people always cook pancakes. They invite their friends, their nearest and dearest to see each other and eat pancakes with sour cream, fish, caviar or buter, sugar, honey.
Thus, different countries have different traditions and holidays.