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Ecology of man

It may sound funny to you, but man needs protection and care as much as animals do. People’s habitats - their homes, towns, and cities – must be kept ecologically clean. In the places where people drink dirty water, eat bad food and breathe polluted air they suffer from serious diseases and die early; their children are born weak. No medicines prescribed by the doctors can save them. This problem becomes more and more serious with every passing day.

The modern way of life when people do little physical activity, use cars instead of walking, watch television for many hours and work on computers is turning them into legless creatures.

British festivals

Traditional games on Halloween Night are usually difficult, such as trying to get an apple from a bucket of water without using hands or trying to find a coin in a bowl full of flour.

On New Year’s Eve, people traditionally take a soaking in the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

The Christmas tree which is put in Trafalgar Square for Christmas is always a present from Norway.

On Christmas day the Queen gives her traditional Christmas speech to the UK and the Commonwealth on television and radio.

At Easter time, the British often give each other chocolate Easter eggs, which are opened and eaten on Easter Sunday.

William Shakespeare

On April 23, 1564 a son, William, was born to John and Mary Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon. His mother was the daughter of a farmer. His father was a glove-maker. William went to a grammar school in Stratford and had quite a good education. There he learnt to love reading.

While still a teenager, William married Anne Hathaway, a farmer’s daughter some years older than himself. We don’t know how he earned his living during these early years, perhaps he helped his father in the family business. During these years his three children were born: Susannah, the eldest, than twins – a son, Hamnet and another girl, Judith.

In 1587 Shakespeare went to work in London, leaving Anne and the children at home. We don’t know exactly why he did it. Some people say that the reason was his love of poetry and the theatre. But there is another story which says that he had to run away from law because he killed some deer belonging to a rich man.

In London Shakespeare began to act and to write plays and soon became an important member of a well-known acting company. Most of his plays were performed in the new Globe Theatre built on the bank of the river Thames. In 1613 he stopped writing and went to live in Stratford where he died in 1616.

Four hundred years later his plays are still acted – not only in England but in the whole world.

Greeting cards

To know a country we should know its traditions. Sending greeting cards is one of them. Greeting cards are very popular in Britain. The most common kinds of greeting cards are birthday cards, congratulation cards, sympathy cards, get-well cards, and cards for special days.

Birthday cards. There are special family birthday cards for mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. There are cards which are special for friends, teachers,, and other people.

Congratulations cards. These greeting cards are used for such things as birth of a baby, a wedding or an anniversary. You can even buy a congratulations card for a person who gets a new house or a new job!

Sympathy cards are sent when someone dies. You should a card to the person you know best in the family. The sympathy card means ‘I am sorry’.

Get-well cards. If a friend is sick, at home or in hospital, you can send a get-well card. A get-well card means ‘I hope you will feel better soon’.

Special occasion cards are sent to family or friends on some of the special days during the year; for example, on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Halloween. It is the custom for young children to give valentines to each other in their classes in school. Teenagers and grown-ups usually send valentines to their girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives.

American food and drink

What is ‘American food?’ The answer is that it is part Italian, part British, part German, part Mexican, part Chinese…..When people from other countries came to live in the US, they brought different cooking traditions. Some of them opened restaurants. Today Americans enjoy food from all over the world. Over the years foreign dishes changed a little. Doughnuts were originally from Holland. In 1847 a young American boy told his mother that her doughnuts were never cooked in the middle. He cut out the centres and his mother cooked them – and they were very tasty.

Maybe the US is famous for ‘fast foods’. The first fast food restaurants served hamburgers, but now they serve other kinds of food too. Inside there is often ‘a salad bar’, where you can help yourself to as much salad as you want.

Americans eat a lot, and when they go to a restaurant, they don’t expect to be hungry afterwards. Most restaurants put a lot of food on your plate – sometimes it can be too much. But if you can’t finish it all, don’t worry: they will give you a ‘doggy bag’ and you can take it home.

Most Americans now have a light breakfast instead of the traditional eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice and coffee. But on weekends there is more time, and a large late breakfast or early lunch (‘brunch’) is often eaten with family or friends.

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