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Brazil Culture

The Brazilian culture is one of the worlds most varied and diverse. This is due to its
being a melting pot of nationalities, as a result of centuries of European domination
as well as slavery, which brought hordes of African migrants across Brazils borders
to live in and influence the local cultures with their ancient customs and ideas. The
European settlers also brought ideas, innovations and belief systems with them,
shaping the local societies significantly. All of these different influences have meant
that the modern-day Brazilian culture is unique and very complex.
At present, Brazil has a population of about 190 million people. Of these, more than
half are white (which includes Portuguese, Italian, and Polish etc... individuals), just
fewer than 40% are mixed black and white and less than 10% are black.
Approximately 80% of the population ascribes to the Roman Catholic faith. This is
due to the intense Portuguese occupation of centuries ago. These European settlers
taught the indigenous tribes Catholicism, built churches and established traditions
and customs that originated in this church.
Also due to the mass Portuguese settlements during the 16th, 17th and 18th
centuries, this language is the official language of Brazil. There are small numbers
of indigenous people and immigrants who still speak their own tongues, but these
are certainly among the vast minority.
Brazilians, as a nation, focus much importance on the family structure and the
values that are entrenched within that institution. Families are usually large, and
even extended family members are close with one another, providing much-needed
help and support to each other whenever and however necessary.
Class distinctions are generally made based on the amount of money one has and
the colour of ones skin. Darker ethnicities tend to be disadvantaged. The huge
differences in wage brackets is responsible for many of the disagreements and
conditions of the Brazilian locals, with the upper classes seldom interacting with

those at the lower end of the economic or class scale. Women are usually employed
in the lower-paid positions, such as teaching and nursing.
Brazilians are usually rather affectionate, tactile people. Men shake hands with one
another, while women will kiss each others cheeks in greeting. They will start with
the left cheek and then kiss the right. In business relationships, Brazilian
businessmen will usually get to know one another before committing to long-term
business dealings, as they want to know those with whom they deal.
Other interesting etiquettes and expectations in the Brazilian culture include:

When invited to dinner or an event, do not under-dress. It is considered

more appropriate to over-dress than to appear too casual in
Always bring the hostess a small gift of gratitude (such as a glass of
wine or some fresh flowers).
Avoid giving anyone a gift that is black or purple, as these are
perceived as mourning colors.
Always arrive early for events and dinners.
In business, Brazilians tend to deal with individuals, not companies.
Therefore, you will need to establish a trusting relationship with them if
you wish to gain their business. It is important that you do not try to
rush them into making decisions or forming relationships.
Manicures for women and formal dress for both sexes are expected
within corporate situations.

Caribbean Culture

Knowing the history of the Caribbean region goes a long way toward understanding
its people. Each island has a unique cultural identity shaped by the European
colonialists, the African heritage of slaves, and the enduring legacies of the native
Indian tribes. This rich history and its lasting influence is set against a backdrop of
crystal clear waters and perpetual sunshine.
Although not largely written about, Caribbean culture has arguably been preserved
more by the authentic voices of "intuitive scholars": artists, farmers, merchants, and
traders--educationally deprived, perhaps, but quite learned in the cultural heritage
of the island nations. They are the region's best oral historians and cultural
...cultures of the Caribbean countries are a blend...
The Caribbean lifestyle is undoubtedly a product of its tropical setting. The music,
architecture, attitudes and customs have all, in some way, been shaped by the
physical landscape and climate. The cultures of the Caribbean countries are a blend
of colonial mainstays and pervasive influences by major ethnic groups of the region
such as East Indians and Africans.
Barbados, a former British colony, retains enough British traditions to be called
"Little England." Antigua, while offering a more laid-back attitude, still observes old
British customs.
On the other hand, Jamaica retains few of the colonial customs, relies heavily on
pre-colonial heritage and is passionately self-sufficient. Jamaica also boasts a
successful democracy and maintains a peaceful existence in the Caribbean. Its
residents run the gamut from staid English aristocrats to vibrant Rastafarians.
Aruba, once a Dutch possession, only retains slight Dutch influence today. The U.S.
Virgin Islands, purchased from the Dutch in 1917, mainly have an American feel
with a few lingering elements of Dutch culture.

The Dominican Republic is largely underdeveloped except in the capital of Santo

Domingo, a city teeming with two million people. It is a sparsely populated,
mountainous country whose past is riddled with political turmoil.
In contrast, nearby Puerto Rico is the most modern island in the Caribbean. Spanish
and American influences are apparent throughout this island abounding with highrises and traffic. Guadeloupe remains a French possession. There are some African
influences here, but French customs, culture, and language prevail.
Creole languages are nearly two hundred years old. They came about during the
first slavery era in the Caribbean. Creole is a "patois" language that is a varied
combination of African syntax and European lexicon, or words. It evolved out of
necessity, as slaves had to communicate with the European plantation owners.
Derivations include French Creole, with regional dialects in Haiti, Martinique,
Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Dominica and French Guyana; Papiamento, a Dutch,
Portuguese, English and African blend; and Patois in Jamaica.
Because the Creole language was associated with the poor labor class, parents
would often forbid their children to speak it. In recent times, however, more people
are appreciating and recognizing the historical importance of the language, its
linguistic appeal, and its significant place in local culture.
African Heritage
Old African culture and customs influence much of the religious worship, artistic
expression, rhythmic dancing, singing and even ways of thinking in the Caribbean.
Spiritual practices such as Obeah in the Bahamas and various parts of the West
Indies, Santeria in Cuba, Voodun in Haiti, and Rastafari in Jamaica are all Africaninfluenced spiritual movements that have Caribbean origin but a worldwide
following. Reggae music and jerk cooking are also Africa-inspired gifts to the world
from the Caribbean. In the Eastern Caribbean Soca Tradition, for example, the limbo
dance ritual has its roots on the slave ships that came to the colonies on the horrific
"Middle Passage."
Music and Dance
Music has been central to Caribbean culture since the days of slavery, when it was a
mode of mental survival and a form of recreation. Today there is a ubiquitous
Caribbean soundtrack; it plays on city streets, in natives' homes and at special
festivals - at Carnival people tirelessly dance for days. It is characterized by a
natural, easy rhythm and multiple ethnic influences, particularly the African drum
Dancing everywhere in the Caribbean is an energetic melding of lower-carriage
movement, shuffle-stepping, and swaying hips. In Santo Domingo, shoeshine boys
may drum their boxes, while working musicians hone new beats all the time. There
is a complex cultural blend to be heard in nearly every musical style found in the
Caribbean. In Trinidad, Indian sounds round out the melodies of Calypso, while in
Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Latin beat feeds the salsa rhythm. The vocal styles of
modern rap can be heard throughout Jamaican dance halls.

Native Culture
Most of what we know about the earliest inhabitants of the islands comes via wordof-mouth. Relatively little of their culture was recorded during the settlement period.
What we do know from these Spanish records is that the Tanos were perceived to
be extremely kind and generous.
Although the Tanos were quickly taken as slaves, they left a number of lingering
traits that they transferred to their Spanish oppressors. Tano heritage can be found
in island foods and language, as well as in the smoking of tobacco and even the
popularity of the hammock.
Tano Life
Spanish recordings tell us that the Tano were short people with dark skin and black
hair. The Tano would flatten their children's' heads while they were infants by tying
boards to them, and this caused their faces to be wide, but it also toughened their
bones. Tano skulls are even reported to have blunted and broken Spanish
swords.These precautions and defenses against weapons did not make the Tano
any less friendly to Columbus and his explorers. He even noted the fairness of their
trades with the islanders they met on Hispaniola. However, the Tano attitude
toward theft promoted fair trade - thievery was the most heinous of crimes. Thieves
were slowly pierced with a pole or pointed stick until they died. While on some
islands the Tano were decorated with gold, Columbus presumed there was far more
gold than there was. In fact, much gold was imported from South and Central
America as trade items. However, because the native people saw no special
importance for the gold, they traded it for beads and other trinkets from the
Spanish. Religious prophecies among the Tanos told of a day when strangers would
arrive wearing clothing and carrying thunder and lightning, and so they believed
that the Spanish were these gods. They themselves did not wear much clothing,
and unmarried girls were most often nude. Typical clothing was made from palm
leaves, flowers, and short cotton skirts.
Living Spaces
Tano huts were designed with a tall pole in the center and smaller poles around it,
and walls were made of wild cane that was tied together, while the roof was a grass
and palm leaf thatch. Although these huts may seem frail, they could hold up to
hurricane-strength winds, meaning islanders wouldn't have to replace their homes
after a bad storm.Inside these huts, hammocks (called hamacas by the Tano)
served as the main piece of furniture, and wooden stools were another mainstay.
Cotton production was just beginning, and Cuba and Hispaniola traded with Jamaica
for cotton, sometimes in bright colors, for their hammocks. The Tano leaders were
called "caciques" and they would live in the largest of these huts. Most often a
cacique's hut would be rectangular instead of circular, differentiating this leader's
home from the others.
Tano Edibles
The Tano were known to eat lightly, and some wrote that the food the Spanish ate
in a day could have sustained the Tano for a week. However, their foods influenced
the meals of the Spanish settlers as well. Seafood - particularly shellfish and fish cassava, maize, and fruits made up a majority of their diet. Birds, iguanas, and
manatees would also have served as meals for the islanders, with salt and pepper

as the most important seasonings. Cassava and maize were distilled into potent
drinks. The Tano had specific methods for growing their crops, and each gender and
age had his or her own role to play in the growth of these important plants. Children
were mainly in charge of keeping birds from taking the crop. Hunting was also
important, and the islanders had a number of ways to hunt birds. Waterfowl were
entrapped in the most complicated method - hunters would float downstream,
hidden, and drown birds in a special sack designed for the purpose. Meanwhile,
fishing was often carried out by the help of remora, sucker fish, in a method so
effective they could land manatees and sea turtles.
Leisure and Entertainment
A passion for song and dance is just one part of Tano culture, while sports and even
smoking were popular pastimes as well. Interestingly, sports were so popular that
we know much of how it was played, and smoking tobacco was, of course,
something the Tano passed down to the Spanish. Tano gave their song and dance
the name areito, though some were done by only women or men, while others were
performed with both genders dancing together. Special occasions, such as the
marriage of a cacique, were appropriate times for these dances. The game batos
was popular among the Tano and was played, much like soccer, in two teams. The
teams would hit the ball with many parts of their body but could not use their
hands. Scoring was based on when the ball hit the ground. From time to time,
different villages even played against one another in this game. The Tanos also
gave us their words "tabaco" and "cohiba," though the tabaco was the pipe from
which they smoked the cohiba (tobacco). The Spanish had never seen tobacco, and
at first thought that the Tanos were walking around with small firebrands in their
mouths, though it was simply a tightly rolled bunch of tobacco leaves.
The Tano believed that the Spanish were gods, but the Spanish were not aware of
the Tano religion until much later. Only Hispaniola's practices were documented,
though they seem to have been typical of all of the Caribbean's Tanos. They did
have a creation myth, and a supreme god and goddess, but their primary
interaction with the spirit world seems to have been through zemis. The word zemi,
however, could refer both to spirits or their carved images - and even certain items
believed to have magical powers. However, since they were wood carvings, few
zemis still exist. The priests often encouraged the people to believe that some of
these zemis could speak, and the zemis were celebrated in festivals. While priests
were healers, zemis were often considered to be the cause of many illnesses. In the
afterlife, the Tanos believed in a place known as coyaba, where they could live
without droughts, hurricanes, or sicknesses and the people spent their time feasting
and dancing. It's easy to see the many ways in which the Tano influenced the early
Spanish settlers, and therefore life in the Caribbean. Their food and words are the
most important and lingering influences on Caribbean culture.
The culture of the Caribbean has grown and taken shape because of the people
whose voices have been heard throughout generations.

Culture of Iceland
The culture of Iceland is rich and varied as well as being known for its literary heritage
which began in the 12th century. Other Icelandic traditional arts include
weaving, silversmithing, and wood carving. The Reykjavk area has several professional
theatres, a symphony orchestra, an opera, and a large number of art galleries,
bookstores, cinemas, and museums. There are also four active folk dance ensembles in
Iceland. Iceland's literacy rate is among the highest in the world, and a love
of literature, art, chess, and other intellectual pursuits is widespread.

The people of Iceland
the sagas and eddas.




their prose and poetry,



Icelandic architecture draws from Scandinavia, and traditionally, was influenced by the
lack of native trees on the island. As a result, grass and turf-covered houses were
developed. The original grasshouses constructed by the original settlers of Iceland were
based on Viking longhouses.

Iceland has produced many great authors including Halldr Laxness, Gumundur
Kamban, Tmas
Gumundsson, Dav
Stefnsson, Jn
Thoroddsen, Steinn
Steinarr, Gumundur G. Hagaln, rbergur rarson, and Jhannes r Ktlum.
Iceland's best-known classical works of literature are the Icelanders' sagas, prose epics
set in Iceland is age of settlement. The most famous of these include Njls saga, about
an epic blood feud, and Grnlendinga saga and Eirks saga, describing the discovery
and settlement of Greenland and Vinland (now the Canadian province of Newfoundland
and Labrador). Egils saga, Laxdla saga, Grettis saga, Gsla saga, and Gunnlaugs saga
ormstungu are also notable and popular.
W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice wrote Letters From Iceland (1937) to describe their
travels through that country.

Painting and sculpture

The first professional secular painters appeared in Iceland in the 19th century. This
group of artists included Jhannes Sveinsson Kjarval, who was famous for his paintings
portraying village life in Iceland. smundur Sveinsson, a 20th-century sculptor, was also
from Iceland. Silver working and its old traditions have been preserved. Einar
Hkonarson is an expressionistic and figurative painter who brought the figure back into
Icelandic painting in 1968. He is a pioneer in the Icelandic art scene and art education.
He has been called "The crusader of the painting", due to his involvement in those
conflicts many Icelandic painters had with the public fine art centers. He was a driving
force in founding The Icelandic Printmaking Association and its first president.

Attitudes and customs

Icelanders generally have a traditional liberal Nordic outlook, similar to other Nordic
countries such as Norway and Sweden. Yet, an important key to understanding
Icelanders and their culture (which differentiates them from the majority of their

contemporary Nordic peoples) is the high importance they place on the traits of
independence and self-sufficiency.
Eurobarometer public opinion analysis, over 85% of Icelanders found independence to
be "very important" contrasted with the EU25 average of 53%, 47% for the Norwegians,
and 49% for the Danish.[3]
Icelanders are proud of their Viking heritage and Icelandic language and take great care
to preserve their traditions. Modern Icelandic remains close to the Old Norse spoken in
the Viking Age. For example, the word for computer (an introduced object)
is tlva which combines the ancient terms for number and seer. Until theChristianisation
of Iceland, many traditional Viking beliefs were strongly held, remnants of which remain
today. According to a 2005 New York Times article, the majority of Icelanders either
believe in elves or are unwilling to rule out their existence. [4] There are a number of
accounts of roads that have been re-routed and building plans redesigned or abandoned
to avoid disturbing rocks where elves are said to live.[5]
Icelandic society and culture has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in
leadership positions in government and business. Iceland also has a highly
progressive gay rights legislation, with couples having been able to register civil
unions since 1996, adopt since 2006, and marry since 2010. Women retain their names
after marriage, since Icelanders generally do not use surnames but patronyms or (in
certain cases) matronyms. (See Icelandic name.) Iceland also has the most extensive
and progressive child protection law. The new Children's Act, passed in March 2003, and
effective as of November 2003, not only places Iceland on the list of 25 nations that
have outlawed spanking, but also outlaws verbal and emotional abuse and makes child
protection a priority. Physical or mental violence is punishable by imprisonment and/or
fine, and there is no legal defense.
In 2006, Iceland was ranked as the fourth happiest nation in the world by an
independent scientific study.[6] Local and national festivals include the annual National
Day, celebrating the country's independence in 1944, Sumardagurinn fyrsti which
celebrates the first day of summer, and Sjmannadagurinn which is held every June to
pay tribute to the country's seafaring past.


Iceland offers wide varieties of traditional cuisine. orramatur (food of the orri) is the
Icelandic national
food. Nowadaysorramatur is mostly eaten during the
ancient Nordic month of orri, in January and February, as a tribute to old
culture.orramatur consists of many different types of food. These are
mostly offal dishes like pickled ram's testicles, putrefied shark, singed sheep heads,
singed sheep head jam, black pudding, liver sausage (similar to Scottish haggis) and
dried fish (often cod or haddock) with or without butter.

Much of the cuisine centres on Iceland's fishing industry. Traditional dishes

include Hkarl (putrefied shark), gravlax (salmonmarinated
in salt and dill), hangikjt (smoked lamb), hrtspungar (pickled ram's
and sltur (sausages made fromsheep entrails). A popular food is skyr made of
cultured skim milk, in the summer time it may be served with bilberries as a
dessert. Brennivin is an Icelandic liquor made from potatoes and caraway.
Coffee is favored as a beverage and may be served at afternoon break called kaf in

The system of education in Iceland is loosely based upon the Danish system, and there
are four levels: pre-school, compulsory, upper secondary and higher. Education is
mandatory for children aged six to sixteen. Most institutions are funded by the state,
there are very few private schools in the country. The Ministry of Education, Science and
Culture has the jurisdiction of educational responsibility. Over the years, the educational
been decentralised and
for primary and lower
secondary schools lies with the local authorities. The state runs upper secondary
schools and higher education institutions. Students can quit at age 16 or can continue
until age 20.

Iceland is home to Nick Jr's LazyTown (Latibr), created by Magns Scheving. It has
become a huge phenomenon with children and adults and is shown in over 98 countries,
including the United States, Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
The LazyTown Studios are located in Garabr. Iceland is also the home of the
successful 1980s and 1990s band The Sugarcubes from which the very successful
singer Bjrk hailed. Another popular musical group from Iceland is Sigur Rs.

Iceland is technologically advanced and digitally-connected country. In 2006 it had the
highest number of broadband Internet connections per capita among OECD countries.[8]

Icelandic people

Famous early Icelanders were Erik the Red (Eirkur raui orvaldsson), who discovered
and colonized Greenland in 982, and his son Leif Eriksson (Leifur Eirksson), who
introduced Christianity to Greenland and discovered the North American continent

(c. 1000). Two famous patriots and statesmen were Bishop Jn Arason, who led the fight
for liberty against the power of the Danish king, and Jn Sigursson, Iceland's national
hero, champion of the fight for independence. Vigds Finnbogadttir served four
consecutive terms as president from 1980 to 1996, becoming the first female elected to
the presidency of any republic.
Prominent writers were Ari orgilsson, father of Icelandic historical writing; Snorri
Sturluson, author of the famous Prose Edda, a collection of Norse myths; and Hallgrmur
Ptursson, author of Iceland's beloved Passion Hymns. Leading poets include Bjarni
Thorarensen and Jnas Hallgrmsson, pioneers of the Romantic movement in
Iceland; Matthas Jochumsson, author of Iceland's national anthem; orsteinn Erlingsson,
lyricist; Einar Hjrleifsson Kvaran, a pioneer of realism in Icelandic literature and an
outstanding short-story writer; Einar Benediktsson, ranked as one of the greatest
modern Icelandic poets; Jhann Sigurjnsson, who lived much of his life in Denmark and
wrote many plays based on Icelandic history and legend, as well as poetry; and the
novelist Halldr Laxness, who received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955.
Stefn Stefnsson was the pioneer Icelandic botanist. Helgi Pjeturss, geologist and
philosopher, was an authority on the Ice Age and the geology of Iceland. Einar Jnsson,
Iceland's greatest sculptor, is represented in European and American museums.
Singer, songwriter, and composer Bjrk, formerly the lead singer of the Icelandic
band The Sugarcubes, works in a variety of musical genres. The former world chess
champion Bobby Fischer became an Icelandic citizen in 2005. Russian pianist and
composer Vladimir Ashkenazy has been a citizen since 1972.

is Icelandic,
highly inflected North
Germanic language. Danish and English are also taught in schools. Linguistic purism is
strongly supported in Iceland in an attempt to prevent loanwords from entering the
language. Instead, neologisms are coined from Icelandic roots, creating acompound
word to describe new concepts. It is often the case that old words which are no longer
used are recycled with a new meaning. It should be noted, however, that some
loanwords persist in Icelandic, and many more, the majority anglicisms, are used in
everyday speech.


Though changing in the past years, Icelanders remain a very healthy nation. Children
and teenagers participate in various types of leisure activities. Popular sports today are
mainly soccer, athletics, handball and basketball.
as golf, tennis,swimming, chess and horseback riding on an Icelandic horse are also


Chess is a popular type of recreation favored by the Icelanders Viking ancestors. The
country's chess clubs have created many chess grandmasters including Fririk
lafsson, Jhann Hjartarson, Margeir Ptursson, and Jn Loftur rnason. Glma is a form
of wrestling that is still played in Iceland, thought to have originated with the
Vikings. Swimming and horseback riding are popular as well as leisure activities without
competition. Golf is especially common; around 1 in 8 Icelanders play the sport.
Handball is often referred to as a national sport, Iceland's team is one of the top
ranked teams in the world, and Icelandic women are surprisingly good
at soccer compared to the size of the country, the national team ranked the 18th best
by FIFA.
Ice climbing and rock climbing are favorites among many Icelanders, for example to
climb the top of the 4,167-foot (1,270 metre) umall peak in Skaftafell is a challenge for
many adventurous climbers, but mountain climbing is considered to be more suitable
for the general public and is a very common type of leisure activity. Hvt, among many
other of the Icelandic glacial rivers, attracts kayakers and river rafterers worldwide.

to Nordic
music forms,
vibrant folk and pop traditions, including medieval music group Voces Thules. The only
folk band whose recordings are available abroad is Islandica.
The national anthem of Iceland is "Lofsngur", written by Matthas Jochumsson, with
music by Sveinbjrn Sveinbjrnsson.[10] The song was written in 1874, when Iceland
celebrated the one thousandth anniversary of settlement on the island. It was in the
form of a hymn, first published under the title A Hymn in Commemoration of Iceland's
Thousand Years.

Norse Paganism was the primary religion among the Norsemen who settled Iceland in
the 9th century AD. Christianity later came to Iceland around 1000 AD. In the middle of
the 16th century, the Danish crown formally declared Lutheranism the state religion
under the Icelandic Reformation. [11] This increasing Christianization culminated in
the Pietism period when non-Christian entertainments were discouraged. At present the
population is overwhelmingly, if nominally, Lutheran. Other denominations
of Christianity are also practiced such as Catholicism and Mormonism. Other major
religions that are practiced include Islam, Judism, and various and folk religions such
as satrarflagi. There are also folk beliefs concerning elves that do not rise to the
level of religion, but have gained some note.



Portuguese culture has been greatly influenced by the dominance of the Catholic
Church and the traditional Christian values. This influence is still reflected in modern
Portuguese society. The Portuguese people are traditional and conservative. They
don't easily accept innovation and radical changes both in the community and the
family. Life in Portugal revolves around the family and even in the 21st century,
some traditions and ways of life remain unchanged, especially in rural areas.
Family in Portugal
In Portugal, the family is the foundation of the social structure. Individuals derive a
social network and assistance from the family. For the Portuguese, family loyalty
comes before other social relationships, even business.
Portuguese greetings
It is appropriate to shake hands with everyone present in formal situations, which
generally means that you haven't met the person before; this applies to men,
women and older children. The handshake, whether at a social or business meeting,
is accompanied by direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting. One is supposed
to shake hands again upon leaving. When greeting acquaintances and friends, men
embrace and pat one another on the back, and women kiss both cheeks, starting
with the right. , between women you only shake hands in very formal occasions, and
if you don't know the person at all.
Body language
The Portuguese do not use a lot of gestures. Being overly demonstrative with hand
gestures or body language gives a bad impression. As in a lot of cultures, pointing
with your finger is considered offensive.
Communication style
The Portuguese tend to be direct in their communication style. Usually they will tell
you the truth but in a polite manner. As one would expect, communication tends to
be more on the formal side when in public and much less so in private. The

Portuguese tend to speak quite fast and somewhat loudly. This show of emotion is
quite common and part of the Portuguese character; rarely does it signify anger or
Portuguese dress code
The Portuguese dress conservatively. Women usually wear dresses, and men's
clothing is based primarily around a jacket and tie. Business etiquette dictates suits
and ties or sports jackets and ties for men. Women wear dresses, skirts and jackets
or trouser suits. As out-dated as it seems, people are fashion conscious and believe
that clothes indicate social standing and success. For this very reason, they take
great pride in wearing quality fabrics and clothes and will invest their money in
buying the best they can afford.
Personal space in Portugal
An arm's length is usually the appropriate amount of personal space to hold during
conversations. The Portuguese tend to touch a bit when conversing with good
friends and family, but such displays are quite inappropriate in business or formal
situations. It is common to see people hugging in public; and couples kissing and
women interlock arms with men while walking in the street. Public displays of
affection are considered normal within certain limits.
Gift giving etiquette
When invited to a Portuguese home for dinner, bring flowers, good quality
chocolates or candy for the hostess. Do not bring wine unless you know which wines
your hosts prefer. Also, count the number of flowers you bring--13 is considered
unlucky. Do not give red flowers to your host. Reserve blooms of this colour for your
lover or partner advises one Expatica reader based in Portugal. A return invitation to
the hostess is appreciated. When you receive a gift, keep in mind that the
Portuguese consider it polite to open the gift when received. Gifts are normally not
exchanged at business meetings, but small gifts may be appropriate at the
successful conclusion of negotiations.
Dining etiquette
If you are invited to a dinner, try to arrive no more than 15 minutes after the
stipulated time. Being late between half an hour and an hour is accepted when you
go to a party or larger social gathering. It is inappropriate to discuss business in
social situations. Also, remain standing until invited to sit down; you may be shown
to a particular seat. Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand
and the knife in the right while eating. Do not begin eating until the hostess says
"bom apetite".
Expat women in Portugal
Foreign business women are treated with respect. Keep in mind that going to a bar
alone is frowned upon. It may attract unwelcome attention. It is advisable for a

foreign woman to invite a Portuguese man to a business lunch rather than dinner. If
you invite a man to dinner, it is better to ask if he would like to bring his wife. The
innate chivalry of Portuguese men means they will not allow a female companion to
pay for a lunch or dinner. However, it is acceptable to try.
The Portuguese are friendly people and will always welcome you and try to make
you feel at home. Should you be unsure about certain customs and behaviours, your
Portuguese acquaintances, friends and even business partners will gladly introduce
you to their culture.


The culture of England is sometimes difficult to separate clearly from the
culture of theUnited Kingdom, so influential has English culture been on the
cultures of the British Isles and, on the other hand, given the extent to which
other cultures have influenced life in England.
From the relatively tiny island in the North Atlantic, England has influenced
virtually every other nation in the world. The country has played a central
and significant role in history as one of the world's most influential centers of
cultural development. It is known throughout the world for its distinctive
culture, habits, values, and traditions, and for its rich and colorful history.
Places, people, buildings, monuments, myths, and legends hold intrigue for
Many of the most important figures in the history of modern western
scientific and philosophical thought were either born in, or at one time or
other resided in, England. Major English thinkers of international significance
include scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Charles
Darwin and New Zealand-born Ernest Rutherford, philosophers such as John
Locke, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell, and Thomas Hobbes, and
economists such as David Ricardo, and John Maynard Keynes.


The earliest remnants of architecture in the United Kingdom are

mainly Neolithic monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and Roman
ruins such as the spa in Bath. Many castles remain from the medieval period
and in most towns and villages the parish church is an indication of the age


of the settlement, built as they were from stone rather than the traditional
wattle and daub.
Over the two centuries following the Norman conquest of 1066, and the
building of the Tower of London, many great castles such as Caernarfon
Castle in Wales and Carrickfergus Castle in Ireland were built to suppress the
natives. Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the
oldest in continuous occupation. Large houses continued to be fortified until
the Tudor period, when the first of the large gracious unfortified mansions
such as the Elizabethan Montacute House and Hatfield House were built.
The English Civil War (1642-1649) proved to be the last time in British history
that houses had to survive a siege. Corfe Castle was destroyed following an
attack by Oliver Cromwell's army, but Compton Wynyates survived a similar
ordeal. Inigo Jones, from just before the Civil War, and who is regarded as the
first significant British architect, was responsible for importing Palladian
architecture to Britain from Italy. The Queen's House at Greenwich is perhaps
his best surviving work.
Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, one of the best-known British
architects, Sir Christopher Wren, was employed to design and rebuild many
of the ruined ancient churches of London, although his master plan for
rebuilding London as a whole was rejected. It was in this period that he
designed the building that he is perhaps best known for, St Paul's Cathedral.
In the early eighteenth century baroque architecturepopular in Europe
was introduced, and Blenheim Palace was built. However, baroque was
quickly replaced by a return of the Palladian form. The Georgian architecture
of the eighteenth century was an evolved form of Palladianism. Many
existing buildings such as Woburn Abbey and Kedleston Hall are in this style.
Among the many architects of this form of architecture and its successors,
neoclassicism and Romanticism, were Robert Adam, Sir William Chambers,
and James Wyatt.
In the early nineteenth century the romantic medieval gothic style appeared
as a backlash to the symmetry of Palladianism, and such buildings as Fonthill
Abbey were built. By the middle of the nineteenth century, as a result of new

technology, construction incorporated steel. One of the greatest exponents

of this was Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal Palace. Paxton also
continued to build such houses as Mentmore Towers, in the still popular
retrospective English Renaissance styles. In this era of prosperity and
development British architecture embraced many new methods of
construction, but ironically in style, such architects as August Pugin ensured
it remained firmly in the past.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a new form of designarts and
craftsbecame popular. The architectural form of this style, which had
evolved from the nineteenth century designs of such architects as George
Devey, was championed by Edwin Lutyens. Arts and crafts in architecture is
symbolized by an informal, non-symmetrical form, often with mullioned or
lattice windows, multiple gables and tall chimneys. This style continued to
evolve until World War II.
Following the Second World War reconstruction went through a variety of
phases, but was heavily influenced by Modernism, especially from the late
1950s to the early 1970s. Many bleak town center redevelopments
criticized for featuring hostile, concrete-lined "windswept plazas"were the
fruit of this interest, as were many equally bleak public buildings, such as the
Hayward Gallery. Many Modernist-inspired town centers are today in the
process of being redeveloped.
In the immediate post-war years, perhaps hundreds of thousands of council
houses in vernacular style were built, giving working class people their first
experience of private gardens and indoor sanitation.
Modernism remains a significant force in English architecture, although its
influence is felt predominantly in commercial buildings. The two most
prominent proponents are Lord Rogers of Riverside, who created Rogers' the
iconic London Lloyd's Building and the Millennium Dome, and Lord Foster of
Thames Bank, who created the Swiss Re Buildings (also known as "The
Gherkin") and the City Hall (London).
Since England has one of the highest population densities in Europe, housing
tends to be smaller and more closely packed, particularly compared to North

America. The British have a particular affinity with the terraced house, dating
back to the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. The majority of surviving
housing built before 1914 is of this type, and consequently it dominates inner
residential areas. In the twentieth century the process of suburbanization led
to a spread of semi-detached and detached housing. In the aftermath of
the Second World War, public housing was dramatically expanded to create a
large number of council estates, although most units in these have since
been bought by their tenants.

The oldest art in the United Kingdom can be dated to the Neolithic period,
and is found in a funerary context. But it is in the Bronze age that the first
innovative artworks are found. The Beaker people, who arrived in Britain
around 2500


were skilled in metal refining, working at first in copper,

but laterbronze and gold. The Wessex culture excelled in making gold
ornaments. Works of art placed in graves or sacrificial pits have survived.
In the Iron Age, the Celts made gold ornaments, but stone and most likely
wood was also used. This style continued into the Roman period, and would
find a renaissance in theMedieval period. It also survived in the Celtic areas
not occupied by the Romans, largely corresponding to the present-day Wales
and Scotland.
The Romans brought with them the classical style, glasswork and mosaics.
Christian art from the fourth century, has been preserved in mosaics with
Christian symbols and pictures. Celtic and Scandinavian art have in common
the use of intricate, intertwined patterns of decoration.
Anglo-Saxon sculpting was outstanding for its time in the eleventh century,
as proved by pre-Norman ivory carvings. Celtic high crosses show the use of
Celtic patterns in Christian art. Scenes from the Bible were depicted, framed
with the ancient patterns. Some ancient symbols were redefined. Murals
were painted on the white-chalked walls of stone churches, and stained glass
was used in church and other windows.


As a reaction to abstract expressionism, pop art emerged originally in

England at the end of the 1950s.
Significant figures in English art include William Blake, William
Hogarth, J.M.W. Turner, and John Constable in the eighteenth and early
nineteenth centuries. Twentieth century artists included Francis Bacon, David
Hockney, Bridget Riley, and the pop artists Richard Hamilton, and Peter
Blake. New York-born Sir Jacob Epstein was a pioneer of modern sculpture.
More recently, the so-called Young British Artists have gained some notoriety,
particularly Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. Notable illustrators include
Aubrey Beardsley, Roger Hargreaves, and Beatrix Potter.
England is home to the National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St.
Ives, and the Tate Modern.

England has been influential in the technological, commercial, and artistic
development of cinema and probably second only to theUnited States in
producing the greatest quantity of world-wide film stars. Despite a history of
successful productions, the industry is characterized by an ongoing debate
about its identity (including economic and cultural issues) and the influences
of American and European cinema, although it is fair to say a brief "golden
age" was enjoyed in the 1940s from the studios of J. Arthur Rank and Korda.
Modern cinema is generally regarded as descending from the work of
the French Lumire brothers in 1892, and their show first came to London in
1896. However, the first moving pictures developed on celluloid film were
made in Hyde Park, London in 1889 by William Friese Greene, a British
inventor, who patented the process in 1890. The film is the first known
instance of a projected moving image. The first people to build and run a
working 35 mm camera in Britain were Robert W. Paul and Birt Acres. They
made the first British filmIncident at Clovelly Cottage in February 1895,
shortly before falling out over the camera's patent.


There is no specifically British national costume. In England, certain military

uniforms such as the Beefeater or the Queen's Guard are considered to be
symbolic of Englishness, though they are not official national costumes.
Morris dancers or the costumes for the traditional English May dance are
cited by some as examples of traditional English costume.
This is in large part due to the critical role that British sensibilities have
played in world clothing since the eighteenth century. Particularly during
the Victorian era, British fashions defined acceptable dress for men of
business. Key figures such as Beau Brummell, the future Edward VII and
Edward VIII created the modern suit and cemented its dominance. As such, it
could be argued that the national costume of the British male is a threepiece suit, necktie and bowler hatan image regularly used by cartoonists as
a caricature of Britishness.


Although highly-regarded in the Middle Ages, English cuisine later became a

source of fun among Britain's French and European neighbors, being viewed
until the late twentieth century as crude and unsophisticated by comparison
with continental tastes. However, with the influx of non-European immigrants
(particularly those of south and east Asian origins) from the 1950s onwards,
the English diet was transformed. Indian and Chinese cuisine in particular
were absorbed into English culinary life. Restaurants and takeaways
appeared in almost every town in England, and "going for an Indian" became
a regular part of English social life. A distinct hybrid food style composed of
dishes of Asian origin, but adapted to British tastes, emerged and was
subsequently exported to other parts of the world. Many of the well-known
Indian dishes, such as Tikka Masala and Balti, are in fact Anglo-Indian dishes
of this sort. Chicken Tikka Masala is often jokingly referred to as England's


national dish, in a reference both to its English origins and to its enormous
Dishes forming part of the old tradition of English food include: Apple pie,
bangers and mash, bubble and squeak, cornish pasty, cottage pie, egg salad,
fish and chips, full English breakfast, gravy, jellied eels, Lancashire hotpot,
Lincolnshire sausage, mince pies, pie and mash, pork pie, shepherd's pie,
spotted Dick, steak and kidney pie, Sunday roast, toad in the hole, and
Yorkshire pudding.


Engineering and innovation

As birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England was home to many

significant inventors during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for
the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships,
and numerous importantbridges.
Other notable English figures in the fields of engineering and innovation
include: Richard Arkwright, industrial spinning machine inventor; Charles
Babbage, computer inventor (nineteenth century); Tim Berners-Lee, inventor
of the World Wide Web, http, html, and many of the other technologies on
which the Web is based; James Blundell, a physician who performed the first
blood transfusion; Hubert Cecil Booth, vacuum cleaner inventor; Edwin Beard
Budding, lawnmower inventor; George Cayley, seat belt inventor;
Christopher Cockerell, hovercraft inventor; John Dalton, pioneer of atomic
theory; James Dyson, dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner inventor; Thomas
Fowler, thermosiphon inventor; Robert Hooke, who proposed Hooke's law of
elasticity; E. Purnell Hooley, Tarmacadam inventor; Isaac Newton, who
defined universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, infinitesimal calculus;
Stephen Perry, rubber band inventor; Percy Shaw, "cat's eye" road safety
device inventor; George and Robert Stephenson, (father and son) railway
pioneers; Joseph Swanlight bulb developer; Richard Trevithick, builder of the
earliest steam locomotive; Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers, inventors of the
modern computer and its associated concepts and technologies; Frank


Whittle jet engine inventor; and Joseph Whitworth, inventor of numerous

modern techniques and technologies of precision engineering.


Many of the England's oldest legends share themes and sources with
the Celtic folklore of Wales, Scotland andIreland, a typical example being the
legend of Herne the Hunter, which shares many similarities with the
traditional Welsh legend of Gwyn ap Nudd. Successive waves of pre-Norman
invaders and settlers, from the Romans onwards, via Saxons, Jutes, Angles,
Norse, to the Norman Conquest, have all influenced the myths and legends
of England. Some tales, such as that of The Lambton Wyrm show a distinct
Norse influence, while others, particularly some of the events and characters
associated with the Arthurian legends show a distinct Romano-gaulic slant.
The most famous body of English folk-tales concerns the legends of King
Arthur, although it would be wrong to regard these stories as purely English
in origin as they also concern Wales and, to a lesser extent, Ireland,
andScotland. They should therefore be considered as part of the folklore of
the British Isles as a whole. Post-Norman stories include the tales of Robin
Hood, which exist in many forms, and stories of other folk heroes such as
Hereward The Wake, and Dunn of Cumbria who, although being based on
historical characters, have grown to become legends in their own right.
There are historical figures (such as Sir Francis Drake and "Drake's Drum")
who have legends associated with them.



In recent years, Stonehenge has become a focus for modern summer solstice celebrations

Stonehenge is believed by many English people and foreigners alike to hold

an iconic place in the culture of England. Other built structures such as
cathedrals and parish churches are associated with a sense of traditional
Englishness, as is often the palatial 'stately home'; a notion established in
part by English author Jane Austen's work Pride and Prejudice. The English
country house and the rural lifestyle forms an interest among many people
as typified by visits to properties managed by English Heritage or the
National Trust.
Landscape gardening as developed by Capability Brown set an international
trend for the English garden. Gardening, and visiting gardens, are regarded
as typically English pursuits, fueled somewhat by the perception of England
as a nation of eccentric amateurs and autodidacts. In many, usually rural
places, people gather for May Day festivals on the first of May to celebrate
"the awakening of the flowers"the beginning of summer. This traditionally
involves the local schoolchildren skipping around a maypolea large pole
erected on the village green (historically a tree would have been specially
cut down) - each carrying a colored ribbon, resulting in a multi-colored
plaited pattern. The festival traditionally features Morris dancing and various
festivities, culminating in the crowning of a 'May Queen'a pupil from the
local school. Many regional variations of the festivals exist, including the
Rochester Sweeps' Festival and the "'Obby 'Oss" festival of Padstow, which is


the oldest May Day festival still practiced today, dating back to the
fourteenth century.

English people traditionally speak the English language, a member of the
West Germanic language family. The modern English language evolved from
Old English, with lexical influence from Norman-French, Latin, and Old Norse.
Cornish, a Celtic language originating in Cornwall, is currently spoken by
about 3,500 people. Historically, another Brythonic Celtic language, Cumbric,
was spoken in Cumbria in North West England, but it died out in the eleventh
century although traces of it can still be found in the Cumbrian dialect.
Because of the nineteenth-century geopolitical dominance of theBritish
Empire and the post-World War II hegemony of the United States, English has
become the international language of business, science, communications,
aviation, and diplomacy. English is the native language of roughly 350 million
people worldwide, with another 1.5 billion people who speak it as a second

Chaucer: Illustration from Cassell's History of England, circa 1902.

England has produced a wealth of significant literary figures. Early English

writers include Thomas Maloryand Geoffrey of Monmouth. These romantic
writers were followed by a wave of more realistic writers, including Daniel
Defoe, Henry Fielding, William Makepeace Thackeray, Jane Austen (often
credited with inventing the modern novel), Charles Dickens, the Bront
sisters, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary
Shelly, George Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster, and H. G. Wells. In the
twentieth century, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, J. R. R. Tolkien, George
Orwell, Graham Greene, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, and Ian McEwan all
excelled. Tolkien became one of the most popular writers of the modern
world, returning to a Romantic view of fiction. Children's author J. K. Rowling
has had huge success.


Important poets include Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip

Sydney, Thomas Kyd, John Donne,Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Alexander
Pope, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, John Keats, William Blake,Alfred Lord
Tennyson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T.S. Eliot (an English Citizen from 1927),
[Wilfred Owen]], John Betjeman, Philip Larkin, W. H. Auden, and Ted Hughes.


England has an unrivaled number of media outlets, and the prominence of

the English language gives it a widespread international dimension.
The BBC is England's publicly-funded radio and televisionbroadcasting
corporation, and is the oldest broadcaster in the world. Funded by a
compulsory television license, the BBC operates several television networks
and BBC Radio stations both in England and abroad. The BBC's international
television news service, BBC World, is broadcast throughout the world and
the BBC World Service radio network is broadcast in 33 languages globally.
Most digital cable television services are provided by NTL:Telewest, and freeto-air digital terrestrial television by Freeview.
British newspapers are either quality, serious-minded newspaper (usually
referred to as "broadsheets" due to their large size) and the more populist,
tabloid varieties. For convenience of reading, many traditional broadsheets
have switched to a more compact format, traditionally used by tabloids. The
Sun has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the UK, with
approximately a quarter of the market; its sister paper, The News of The
World similarly leads the Sunday newspaper market, and traditionally
focuses on celebrity-led stories. The Daily Telegraph, a right-of-center
broadsheet paper, has overtaken The Times (tabloid size format) as the

highest-selling of the "quality" newspapers. The Guardian is a more liberal

(left-wing) "quality" broadsheet. TheFinancial Times is the main business
paper, printed on distinctive salmon-pink broadsheet paper. A number of
British magazines and journals have achieved world-wide circulation
including The Economist and Nature.


The composer Sir Edward Elgar is primarily remembered for his orchestral music, some of which
develops patriotic themes.

Composers from England have not achieved recognition as broad as that

earned by their literary counterparts, and particularly during the nineteenth
century, were overshadowed in international reputation by other European
composers; however, many works of earlier composers such as Thomas
Tallis, William Byrd, and Henry Purcell are still frequently performed
throughout the world today. A revival of England's musical status began
during the twentieth century with the prominence of composers such
as Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, William Walton, Eric Coates, Ralph Vaughan
Williams, Frederick Delius, and Benjamin Britten.
In popular music, however, English bands and solo artists have been cited as
the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The
Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Smiths,

Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Black Sabbath, The Cure, Iron Maiden, David Bowie,
Queen, Spice Girls, Oasis, The Police, Robbie Williams, Sir Elton John, and
Radiohead are among the biggest selling in the world. England is also
credited with being the birthplace of many pop-culture movements such
as hard rock, British invasion, heavy metal, britpop, glam rock, drum and
bass, grindcore, progressive rock, indie, punk, goth, shoegazing, acid house,
and UK garage.

Ever since the break with the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth
century, the English have predominantly been members of the Church of
England, a branch of the Anglican Communion, a form of Christianity with
elements of Protestantism and Catholicism. The Book of Common Prayer is
the foundational prayer book of the Church of England and replaced the
various Latin rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
Today, most English people practicing organized religion are affiliated to the
Church of England or other Christian denominations such as Roman
Catholicism and Methodism (itself originally a movement within the Anglican
Church). In the 2001 Census, a little over 37 million people in England and
Wales professed themselves to be Christian. Jewish immigration since the
seventeenth century means that there is an integrated Jewish English
population, mainly in urban areas. 252,000 Jews were recorded in England &
Wales in the 2001 Census; however this represents a decline of about 50
percent over the previous 50 years, caused by emigration and intermarriage.
Immigration to Britain from India and Pakistan since the 1950s has resulted
in a large number of England's populations
practices Islam(818,000), Hinduism (467,000), or Sikhism (301,000). The
2001 census also revealed that about seven million people, or 15 percent of
English people, claim no religion. The Church of England functions as
the established church in England. Both the Church of England and the
Catholic Church in England and Wales trace their formal history from the 597

Augustinian mission to the English. Other churches which had their start in
England include the Methodist church, the Quakers and the Salvation Army.

Science and philosophy

Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics
include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, J. J. Thomson, Charles
Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing,
Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Tim Berners-Lee, Andrew Wiles, and Richard
Dawkins. England played an important role in the development of Western
philosophy, particularly during theEnlightenment. Jeremy Bentham, leader of
the Philosophical Radicals, and his school are recognized as the men who
unknowingly laid down the doctrines for Socialism. Bentham's impact on
English law is also considerable. Aside from Bentham, major English
philosophers include Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Thomas
Paine, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Bertrand Russell, and A.J. Ayer.


William Shakespeare, chief figure of the English Renaissance, is here seen in the Chandos

Theatre was introduced to England from Europe by the Romans who built
auditoriums across the country. By the medieval period theatre had
developed with the mummers' plays, a form of early street theatre

associated with the Morris dance, concentrating on themes such as Saint

George and theDragon, and Robin Hood. These were folk tales re-telling old
stories, and the actors traveled from town to town performing for their
audiences in return for money and hospitality. The medieval mystery plays
and morality plays, which dealt with Christian themes, were performed at
religious festivals.
The reign of Elizabeth I in the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth
century saw a flowering of drama. Perhaps the most famous playwright in
the world, William Shakespeare, wrote around 40 plays that are still
performed in theaters across the world to this day. They include tragedies,
such as Hamlet(1603), Othello (1604), and King Lear (1605); comedies, such
as A Midsummer Night's Dream (15941596) and Twelfth Night (1602); and
history plays, such as Henry IV, part 12. The Elizabethan age is sometimes
nicknamed "the age of Shakespeare" for the amount of influence he held
over the era. Other important Elizabethan and seventeenth-century
playwrights include Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and John Webster.

During the Interregnum (16421660), English theaters were kept closed by

the Puritans for religious and ideological reasons. When the London theaters
opened again with the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, they flourished
under the personal interest and support of Charles II. Wide and socially
mixed audiences were attracted by topical writing and by the introduction of
the first professional actresses (in Shakespeare's time, all female roles had

been played by boys). New genres of the Restoration were heroic drama,
pathetic drama, and Restoration comedy. The Restoration plays that have
best retained the interest of producers and audiences today are the
comedies, such as William Wycherley's The Country Wife(1676), The
Rover (1677) by the first professional woman playwright, Aphra Behn, John
Vanbrugh's The Relapse (1696), and William Congreve's The Way of the
World (1700). Restoration comedy is famous or notorious for its sexual
explicitness, a quality encouraged by Charles II (16601685) personally and
by the rakish aristocratic ethos of his court.
In the eighteenth century, the highbrow and provocative Restoration comedy
lost favor, to be replaced by sentimental comedy, domestic tragedy such as
George Lillo's ''The London Merchant'' (1731), and by an overwhelming
interest in Italian opera. Popular entertainment became more important in
this period than ever before, with fair-booth burlesque and mixed forms that
are the ancestors of the English music hall. These forms flourished at the
expense of legitimate English drama, which went into a long period of
decline. By the early nineteenth century it was no longer represented by
stage plays at all, but by the closet drama, plays written to be privately read
in a "closet" (a small domestic room).
A change came in the late nineteenth century with the plays on the London
stage by the Irishmen George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde and the
Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, all of whom influenced domestic English drama and
revitalized it.
The West End of London has a large number of theaters, particularly
centered around Shaftesbury Avenue. A prolific composer of the twentieth
century, Andrew Lloyd Webber, has dominated the West End for a number of
years and his musicals have travelled to Broadway in New York and around
the world, as well as being turned into films.



A number of modern sports were codified in England during the nineteenth

century, among them cricket, rugby union and rugby league, football, tennis,
and badminton. Of these, association football, rugby and cricket remain the
country's most popular spectator sports. England contains more UEFA fivestar and four-star rated stadia than any other country, and is home to some
of the sport's top football clubs. The England national football team are
considered one of the game's superpowers, having won the World Cup in
1966 when it was hosted in England. Since then, however, they have failed
to reach a final of a major international tournament, though they reached the
semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990 and the quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006
and Euro 2004.
The England national rugby union team and England cricket team are often
among the best performing in the world, with the rugby union team winning
the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and the cricket team winning The Ashes in 2005,
and being ranked the second best Test Cricket nation in the world. Rugby
union clubs such as Leicester Tigers, London Wasps and the Northampton
Saints have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup. At rugby league,
the England national rugby league team competed more regularly after
2006, when England became a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain
national rugby league team, when that team retired.
Thoroughbred racing originated under Charles II of England as the "Sport of
Kings" and is a royal pastime to this day. World-famous horse races include
the Grand National and the Epsom Derby.
Many teams and drivers in Formula One and the World Rally Championship
are based in the England. The country also hosts legs of the Formula One

and World Rallying Championship calendars and has its own Touring Car
Racing championship, the BTCC. British Formula One world champions
include Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill (twice), Jim Clark (twice), John Surtees
(who was also successful onmotorcycles), Jackie Stewart (three times), James
Hunt, Nigel Mansell, and Graham Hill's son, Damon Hill. British drivers have
not been as successful in the World Rally championship, with only Colin
McRae and the late Richard Burns winning the title.
Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and
providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. The 2012
Summer Olympics are to be hosted by London, England. London will become
the first city to have hosted the modern Olympic Games three times, having
previously done so in 1908 and 1948.


The English flag is a red cross on a white background, commonly called the
Cross of Saint George. It was adopted after the Crusades. Saint George, later
famed as a dragon-slayer, is also the patron saint of England. The three
golden lions on a red background was the banner of the kings of England
derived from their status as Duke of Normandy and is now used to represent
the English national football team and the English national cricket team,
though in blue rather than gold. The English oak and the Tudor rose are also
English symbols, the latter of which is (although more modernized) used by
the England national rugby union team.
England has no official anthem; however, the United Kingdom's "God Save
the Queen" is currently used. Other songs are sometimes used, including
"Land of Hope and Glory" (used as England's anthem in the Commonwealth
Games), "Jerusalem," "Rule Britannia," and "I Vow to Thee, My Country."

Moves by certain groups are encouraging adoption of an official English

anthem following similar occurrences in Scotland and Wales.