There are many customs and traditions in England. And I would like to tell you some of them. First tradition is called "Wrong side of the bed" When people are bad tempered we say that they must have got out of bed on the wrong side. Originally, it was meant quiet literally. People believe that the way they rose in the morning affected their behavior throughout the day. The wrong side of the bed was the left side. The left always having been linked with evil. Second custom is called "Blowing out the candles" The custom of having candles on birthday cakes goes back to the ancient Greeks. Worshippers of Artemis, goddess of the moon and hunting, used to place honey cakes on the altars of her temples on her birthday. The cakes were round like the full moon and lit with tapers. This custom was next recorded in the middle ages when German peasants lit tapers on birthday cakes, the number lit indicating the person's age, plus an extra one to represent the light of life. From earliest days burning tapers had been endowed with mystical significance and it was believed that when blown out they had the power to grant a secret wish and ensure a happy year ahead. And the last tradition I would like to tell you is called "The 5th of November" On the 5th of November in almost every town and village in England you will see fire burning, fireworks, cracking and lighting up the sky. You will see too small groups of children pulling round in a home made cart, a figure that looks something like a man but consists of an old suit of clothes, stuffed with straw. The children will sing:" Remember, remember the 5th of November; Gun powder, treason and plot". And they will ask passers-by for "a penny for the Guy" But the children with "the Guy" are not likely to know who or what day they are celebrating. They have done this more or less every 5th of November since 1605. At that time James the First was on the throne. He was hated with many people especially the Roman Catholics against whom many sever laws had been passed. A number of Catholics chief of whom was Robert Catesby determined to kill the King and his ministers by blowing up the house of Parliament with gunpowder. To help them in this they got Guy Fawker, a soldier of fortune, who would do the actual work. The day fixed for attempt was the 5th of November, the day on which the Parliament was to open. But one of the conspirators had several friends in the parliament and he didn't want them to die. So he wrote a letter to Lord Monteagle begging him to make some excuse to be absent from parliament if he valued his life. Lord Monteagle took the letter hurrily to the King. Guards were sent at once to examine the cellars of the house of Parliament. And there they found Guy Fawker about to fire a trail of gunpowder. He was tortured and hanged, Catesby was killed, resisting arrest in his own house. In memory of that day bonfires are still lighted, fireworks shoot across the November sky and figures of Guy Fawker are burnt in the streets.
Thomas Jefferson one of the American President of the past was born in Virginia in 1743. When he was 14 years old, his father died and the young boy was left to choose for himself what to do. Jefferson studied literature and languages. He also studied to be a lawyer, and later he wrote many of the Virginia laws. One of the laws for which he worked very much was a law to allow many child to go to school free. Schools in America were only for the children whose parents were rich. When Jefferson was still a young man he was one of those who wanted freedom from England. His most outstanding achievement was as chief author of the Declaration of Independence, a statement of human rights and liberties. It was read to the happy people on the 4th of July, 1776. Jefferson also drew up the constitution for his state, Virginia, and served as its governor. He was sent to France as the foreign minister of the United States of America and afterwards was President's Washington secretary of state. A few years later he became the country's third president, serving in this position for 2 terms. The author of the Declaration of Independence did another important thing for the American people. He worked out a plan for a university where the students and teachers could live and work together in a village build for them. It was one of the first schools to teach science. Today, it is the university of Virginia. This well known man was also a self-taught architect. He introduced the simple classical design to America when he designed the Virginia State Capital Building. He also designed his own home, he remained the most influential architect of his time. Thomas Jefferson did many useful things during his life time and he always thought of how to help ordinary people. He was a practical and theoretical scientist too. Jefferson's best traditions have been kept up by American progressive people in their struggle for peace and democracy.
The English people like animals very much. Pet: dogs, cats, horses, ducks, canaries, chickens and other friends of men have a much better life in Britain, than anywhere else. In Britain they have special dog shops, selling food, clothes and other things for dogs. There are dog hair-dressing saloons and dog cemeteries. The English arrange dogs' shows and organize dogs' supper parties for winners of dogs' competitions. They do all they can to make animals feel well in their home and outside their homes too. There were photographs in English newspapers of a mother duck and her young family, crossing slowly the road from Hyde Park to Kensington Garden. All traffic around was stopped to let Mamma Duck and her little ones walked quietly from one park to another. In recent years the English began to show love for more exotic animals such as crocodiles, elephants, tigers, cobras, camels. You won't be surprised, we think, when we tell you that London Airport has a special "animal hotel". Every year thousands of animals arrive at London Airport, some stay the night there; others stay several weeks. In one month, for example, "the hotel" looked after 47000 creatures: birds, insects, fish, elephants, monkey and other animals. There are about 4000000 dogs, 6000000 cats, 8000000 caged birds and lots of other animals in Britain.
The English people believe that they are the only nation on the Earth that is really kind to its animals.
At the present time the Earth accommodates more then 5 billion people. Half of which are undernourished. A total of 4 million deaths occur each year because of starvation. Mankind has finally realized the threat of an increasing population and has faced the fact that something must be done. The food-supply increase lags considerably behind the immense growth of population. Besides conditions for life grow steadily worse due to numerous facets of environmental pollution. And worst of all, today's man constantly contributes to his own deadly crisis. We have got too many cars, too many factories, too much sewage and carbon dioxide, too little water and food deficiency - all that can be easily faced to too many people. That is why many western scientists say that our world is going through an ecological crisis which will mean the gradual destruction of the human race. Our scientists are not that pessimistic, although they do think that man's increased tampering with the world around him is posing a growing threat to the biosphere. It is not too late to forestall what could be drastic and irreversible changes in the environment and ensure that the world will be a healthy place for the present and future generations to live in.
Choosing a career is like any other activity; it is best to work to a plan. Too many people start looking for a specific job before thinking out their occupational aims. It is a good idea to begin by attempting to define in clear terms what your requirements are from a career. This involves taking a realistic view of your strengths and weaknesses. You may think for example, that you would like a job which involves organizing people, but liking such a job is not a sufficient justification if experience you already may have suggests that this is not your strong point. On the other hand, you should remember that training will equip you to do new things. A further point to consider is how far you will be willing to do for a time things which you do not like knowing that they are necessary to achieve your longer term objectives. Having thought carefully about the sort of person you are, try to work out a realistic set of occupational requirements. In particular, you can answer to important questions. First: what sort of life do you want to lead? For example, do you want to live in the country or in the town? Is leisure time of great importance to you? Is the size of your salary important? Do you want to put down roots or travel widely? Second: what sort of work do you want to do? For example, do you like working alone or with others? Does teaching people appeal to you? Do you want to be an organizer of other people's activities? Do you want to develop new ideas and initiate changes.
As for me, I have made up my mind to be an engineer. As my parents are an engineers they have made a great influence on my choice and I can say that this profession runs the family. My choice of this occupation didn't come as a sudden flash. I think that nowadays this profession is of great need and importance to our country. It is my aim to be a qualified specialist and to serve the interests of my country. To be a well prepared engineer I should have some important qualities: great capability persistence, knowledge of science and, of course, knowledge of foreign languages. In spite of these arguments we mustn▓t forget about everybody's vacation. I think that my facilities combined with the knowledge would be quiet enough to succeed in my work.
For most people there is no problem in deciding how they are going to spend the money they earn - it all goes on housing, food, clothes, transport and, if they are lucky, leisure and some holidays. Many of us have spent our lives without doing anything out of the ordinary and now I have got a marvelous opportunity of doing something exciting and I will. If I win the prize of 20,000 dollars, I will spend it in the world round trip.
To travel round the world has long been my dream and with this sum of money behind me this dream is likely to be realized. I am going to take a trip round the world. I am going to do a lot of sight seeing. I am going to put up at expensive hotels and spend much money on entertainments and other exciting things.
My travel experience would begin in New York, known as one of the world's most modern cities because of its high buildings and its dynamic spirit. From New York I would cross the Atlantic Ocean to England. In London I would explore the British Museum and visit the shops and pubs along King's Road in Chelsea. My next stop would be Amsterdam, an attractive city because of its steep narrow houses and canals lined with trees. Flying on to Copenhagen I would eat Danish open-faced sandwiches and be entertained at night clubs in Tivoli Gardens. Having seen enough cities by this time I would head South to the Italian Riviera. Portofino, a handsome fishing village resembling an opera setting, is one of the most charming vacations sports in Europe. Of course, a serious traveler could not leave Italy without visiting Florence, Venice, Naples and Rome, for all these cities are living museums. Continuing South, I would trace the beginning of Western civilization. I would make stops in Athens and Cario. Certainly a chance to see the pyramids should not be missed. Next, I would fly east to visit the shimmering island of Ceylon. Here, the traveler finds many precious gems for sale, but the brightest jewel of all is Ceylon itself. Leaving this island I would travel to Bangkok, an Oriental city of many charms. Then, like mane other travelers, I would be drawn to Hong Kong, the shopper's paradise.
Leaving Asia, I would load my over stuffed suitcase on a plane bound for Acapulco. In this Mexican resort, I would swim, sunbathes and eat spicy foods.
At this time it would be necessary to count my remaining travelers checks.
If a tour of Latin America were still possible, I would want to stop in Peru, Argentina, Brazil. But by that time my funds would probably have run low. So, where would my round the would trip end? For me there is only one answer: Moscow, the city I will never tire of calling home.
I would like to tell you about shopping in the United Kingdom. Marks & Spencer is Britain's favourite store. Tourists love it too. It attracts a great variety of customers from house wives to millionaires. Princess Diana, Dustin Hoffman and the British Prime-minister are just a few of its famous customers. Last year it made a profit of 529 million pounds. Which is more than 10 million a week.
It all started 105 years ago when a young Polish immigrant Michael Marks had a stall in Leeds market. He didn't have many things to sell: some cotton, a little wool, lots of buttons and a few shoelaces. Above his stall he put the now famous notice: "Don't ask how much - it's a penny." Ten years later he met Tom Spencer and together they started Penny stalls in many towns in the North of England. Today there are 564 branches of Marks & Spencer all over the world: in America, Canada, Spain, France, Belgium and Hungary.
The store bases its business on 3 principals: good value, good quality and good service. Also, it changes with the times; once it was all jumpers and knickers. Now it is food, furniture and flowers as well. Top fashion designers advice on styles of clothes. Perhaps, the most important key to its success is its happy well-trained staff. Conditions of work are excellent. There are company doctors, dentists, hairdressers, etc. And all the staff can have lunch for under 40 pence.
Surprisingly tastes in food and clothes are international. What sells well in Paris, sells just as well in Newcastle and Moscow. Their best selling clothes are: for women - jumpers and knickers (M & S is famous for its knickers); for men - shirts, socks, pyjamas, dressing gowns and suits; for children -underwear and socks. Best sellers in food include: fresh chickens, vegetables and sandwiches, "Chicken Kiev" is internationally the most popular convenience food. Shopping in Britain is also famous for its Freshfood. Freshfood is a chain of food stores and very successful supermarkets which has grown tremendously in the twenty years since it was founded, and now it has branches in the High Streets of all the towns of any size in Britain. In the beginning the stores sold only foodstuffs, but in recent years they have diversified enormously and now sell clothes, books, records, electrical and domestic equipment. The success of the chain has been due to an enterprising management and to attractive layout and display in the stores. It has been discovered that impulse buying accounts for almost 35 per cent of the total turn over of the stores. The stores are organized completely for self-service and customers are encouraged to wander around the spaciously laid out stands. Special free gifts and reduced prices are used to tempt customers into the stores and they can't stand the temptation.