Culture Café: The United Kingdom

How do you do? Greeting you in true English way because we learned how to do that thanks to our wonderful British students who transported us to their homeland for a couple of hours. We, of course, talking about our second Culture Café of the semester which was dedicated to the United Kingdom. Let’s dive into what we learned.

Not only have we learned about the rich history of the UK, but also about some cities other than London. Manchester (voted as the best city for students to live in!), Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Exeter and more were covered in the presentation. It was great to hear of the hometowns of our students, see the beautiful countryside and impressive architecture. 

No presentation of the UK can be held without talking about British culture. Millions of children across the globe, including Russia, are opening the magical world of Harry Potter every day, reading about the adventures of the Boy Who Lived written by J.K. Rowling. Also, you cannot not mention Charles Dickens’ work and his influence on the modern literature.  United Kingdom is a home for so many inspiring and famous creative people, that you can easily make another Culture Café dedicated just to that. Daniel Day-Lewis, Alfred Hitchcock, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Beatles, the list can go on and be filled to the brim with people whose work you all know and love.

What about British television? Most of you probably can't wait for the new season of Sherlock (let’s hope it’ll happen and not after another three years of waiting). Maybe you were dreaming of going on an adventure across all time and space in a blue police box with the Doctor (Doctor Who has been around for more than 50 years and is the big part of British popular culture). And you almost certainly enjoy good English humor every now and then. 

If you are into sports UK won’t leave you disappointed. Most notable is tennis with Wimbledon Championships and, of course, football. Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and many more famous football clubs with which even people who are very far from sport are probably familiar with. 

nd obviously, no Culture Café is ever happening without the talk of traditional food. English tea is a thing that’s pretty much universally known, but have you ever tried the classical British breakfast or fish and chips? If you a vegan, though, you might be a little disappointed, because British cuisine is heavily focused around meat dishes. 

 All in all, it was an amazing evening of broadening the horizons, filled with lovely conversations, meeting old friends and making new ones.

Now, unlike our presenter, we won’t quiz you on your knowledge about the Great Britain, but we want to recommend you something. Grab a cup of good English tea, curl up on a couch with an intriguing British detective (Agatha Christie, perhaps?), treat yourself with a biscuit (and remember to never again call it cookie) enjoy the last month of fall (and if it’s raining, you can pretend to be in London). We guarantee that it’s the perfect way to spend your time while you are waiting for a new Culture Café, which is just around the corner. 

Prepared by Evgenia Senkina, HSE student