Dos and Donts for British life
Like every other nation, England has its own set of cultural norms and traditions. The British get highly reserved in terms of etiquette, clothes, and conversation. They are known for their civility and self-discipline. In Britain, good manners are valued highly; please, thank you, and excuse me are often used. Before traveling to this diverse and cosmopolitan nation, it's essential to understand what we're in for - what to anticipate, accept, and avoid.
The following UK travel do's and don'ts detail appropriate social behaviors and what you should do or not do while visiting the United Kingdom. Prepare yourself for the quirks and peculiarities of British life.
1. Do Say Hello
In England, it's normal to greet someone with a simple 'Hello,' followed by a handshake if you're meeting someone for the first time. If the situation is formal, we may say, "How are you doing?" Don't be excessively loving, but be courteous. A single kiss on the cheek is more than enough!
2. Do Not Take Offence if you're called 'Duck' or 'Mate'
The English have a broad selection of friendly nicknames, so depending on your gender and locality, you may even get nicknamed "duck"! This is characteristic in the West Midlands area. However, there are some interesting variants in other locations, such as pal, dearie, chuck, son, miss, or treacle. It's best to deal with the punches and accept being called names on the street.
3. Do Reduce the Volume
When visiting England, remember that it is one of those nations where quiet get valued. If you must talk while dining at a restaurant, for example, do it discreetly so as not to bother other customers. The same may get said about public transit, such as subways or buses. If you speak loudly, you know that everyone will hear you and give you a thoughtful glance.
4. Do Not Drive on the Wrong Side
This isn't easy since the English are among the 30% of the global population that drive on the left-hand side. It's critical to keep focused and avoid fear while driving on English roads.
5. Do Form a Line
When boarding a bus, for example, wait patiently for your turn. It is customary to queue when necessary. It gets assumed that you would wait your time rather than push forward. Queue jumping is a bad idea.
6. Do Not Forget About Basic Grace and Courtesy
Picking your nose in public is not a good idea. Instead, use a handkerchief. Please do not spit. It gets considered impolite to spit on the street. Throw no trash or cigarette stubs on the ground, on the road, or elsewhere. Don't stare directly at people. In the United Kingdom, privacy gets highly valued. In public, it is unpleasant to gaze at someone. Kissing somebody is not a good way to start a conversation. Kissing gets usually reserved for close friends and family members.
7. Do Take Present with you when Invited to Someone's House
When being invited to someone's house, bring a present for the host and hostess. A bottle of wine, a bouquet, or a box of chocolates are all appropriate gifts. If you are a visitor, wait until your host begins to eat or suggests you should. Unless your host specifies otherwise, it is courteous to start eating before everyone else gets served.
8. Do Not Wear Strip Ties
Stripe ties of any type are not permitted in Scotland. This is the case because British "regimental" neckties come in various stripes designs, each symbolizing a particular institution, such as a public school or a military unit. Wearing a tie with a striped regimental design might be seen as a crass affectation. The Scots are proud of their particular background, so don't lump them in with the English.
9. Do Take Care of Table Manners
Use your left hand to eat with your fork and use your right hand for the knife. The British place a high value on excellent table manners. Even little toddlers are required to eat with a knife and fork respectably. Before eating additional food or a drink, chew and swallow everything in your mouth. Talking with food in your mouth is never a good idea.
When you get served anything, always say thank you. It expresses gratitude. When eating rolls, tear off a slice of bread before buttering it. With your bread knife, remove some butter from the butter dish and place it on your side plate, then butter sections of the roll with this butter. Keep your fork and knife together on your plate to let people know you've done eating.
10. Do Not Rely on the Tube to get Around
The United Kingdom has many Underground stations, many of which are close together, especially in the city's core neighborhoods. It's usually a good idea to examine an actual map before committing to the tube since walking is frequently faster, especially if a line change is required.
The Bottom Line
Are you planning to visit the United Kingdom soon? If you are, there are certain things you should be aware of, just as there are in any other part of the globe. Before visiting this varied and cosmopolitan country, it's essential to know what to expect, accept, and avoid.
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