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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

United Kingdom Life




People

After many invasions in their ancient history, the people of Great Britain can claim a diverse lineage of European peoples, including Celts, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, French, and Danes. Considerable intermarriage over the centuries has meant that most of these differences have been lost.
According to census estimates from 1994, about 82 percent of the country's population are English, 10 percent Scottish, 2 percent Welsh, and 4 percent Irish; 2 percent are people of other races, primarily West Indian, Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, and other European.
England is the largest country of the union, with 130,362 square kilometers and a population of 46,170,000 people in 1991.


Language
English is the official language of the United Kingdom and is the first language of the vast majority of its citizens. The use of language is extremely important to Britain's class structure. Some educated English people, regardless of their class origin, strive to free themselves of regional or local accents in order to sound like educated English-speaking people.
Some people in England regard regional accents and slang as substandard. On the other hand, many local people, such as Cockneys in East London and people in northern England, enjoy their particular way of speaking, regarding it as warmer and friendlier than standard English.
Scottish people appreciate the Scottish accent so much they insist the BBC carry programs with Scottish-accented speakers. The Celtic language, an ancient tongue, continues to be spoken in Scotland by some people, usually those in the more remote fringes of the country, especially in the Hebrides Islands.
Approximately 80,000 Scots speak Scottish Gaelic, a type of Celtic language. English is the predominant language in Northern Ireland, although at least some of the Roman Catholic minority speak Irish, another Gaelic dialect, as a second language.


Religion
The United Kingdom guarantees its citizens religious freedom without interference from the state or the community, and most of the world's religions have followers in Britain. As in many European countries today, the majority of the population in Britain does not regularly attend religious services, yet nearly all faiths have devoted congregations of active members.
An increasing percentage of the population professes no religious faith and some organizations represent secular outlooks. Estimating membership is difficult because congregations count their members differently, and government figures rely upon the numbers provided by the different groups.
In the past religion was often deeply entwined with politics. The only place this is still true in the United Kingdom is in Northern Ireland, where two communities use religious designations to express different, and hostile, political agendas.
Protestants, largely are descendants of Scottish and English settlers, interested in maintaining their union with Britain, while Roman Catholics, a minority of around 40 percent, campaign strongly for union with the Republic of Ireland.


 

Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM








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