Home and Foreign Holidays and Traditions 

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Home and Foreign Holidays and Traditions

Every country has its own traditions and superstitions. In Britain traditions play more important part in the life of people than in some other countries. English are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. There is a big difference between American and British people. They say an Englishman in America is respected: Americans like his accent and his country. An American in England is thought to be a little strange because of his behaviour and his language. To the English their private lives are important, their holidays are important, their gardens and animals are important. For American the work is the most important thing in life. And in England you can hear the most extraordinary excuse not to go to work, for example "My dog's got a cold". The English are a nation of stay-at-homes. There is no place like home. The Englishman is never tired to say ‘My house is my castle.’ The Americans are different. They are more open, they speak their minds. If they don't like something, they actually tell it directly. Not like the British, who might think one thing and say another. Americans start conversations with people in the street, in the subway; they are more enthusiastic. American customs underline independence and freedom of the nation. Every country is also known for its food. England is noted for its pudding, bacon, marmalade, porridge and five-o'clock-tea. America is the country of Coca-Cola, hamburgers and chewing gum.

There are international holidays which are celebrated in all countries world-wide. They are: Christmas, New Year, Easter and St. Valentine's Day. There are also some special holidays which are usually celebrated in a particular country when people all over the country do not work and have special celebrations. It is very important to follow special traditions, because they untie people. Public holidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed. The most popular holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It's a big Christmas tree and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Central streets are beautifully decorated. The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at the end of their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets.

New Year's Day is less popular in Britain than Christmas, yet it has a joyful celebration in Ukraine. People stay awake until after midnight on December, 31 to watch the Old Year out and the New Year in. Many parties are given on this night. Theatres, night clubs and streets are crowded. In every home there is a New Year tree glittering with colored lights and decorations. Children always wait for Father Frost to come and give them a present.

In the different countries according to their traditions and history, there is a set of various national holidays. But there is one thing, which unites all of them: a holiday is always fun and pleasure.


Ukraine is a rich farming, industrial and mining region in south-eastern Europe. The Ukrainian Parliament passed a declaration of sovereignty in July, 1990, and in August, 1991, declared Ukraine an independent state. Its population is about 48 mln people. The capital of Ukraine is Kyiv. Ukraine has its own armed forces, and maintains its own diplomatic relations with foreign countries. Ukraine covers about 603.700 sq. km being larger than any country in Western Europe. From east to west Ukraine stretches for more than 1300 km and from north to south for almost 900 km. It borders with Belarus and Russia on the north and on the east. In the south it is bounded by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In the west Ukraine is bounded by Moldova, Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

Administratively, Ukraine is divided into 24 oblasts, two municipalities with oblast status (Kyiv and Sevastopol ), and one autonomous republic (Crimea). Ukrainians make up slightly less than three fourths of the population; Russians constitute around 22%, Jews around 1%, and there are Polish, Belarusian, Moldovan, and Hungarian minorities. More than half the population is urban. The majority of those practicing a religious faith belong to a branch of Orthodox Christianity.

Ukraine is in ideal geographical position for the development of its resources, lying between 440 and 520 latitude north, on the same latitude as the USA, Britain. The climate is mild and warm, with a hot summer and a cold winter. Together with its fertile black soil, this makes it ideal for the development of intensive agriculture. Ukraine's steppe is one of the chief wheat-producing regions of Europe, and the area was long known as the "breadbasket of the Soviet Union." Other major crops include corn, rye, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, sunflowers, and flax.

The main part of Ukraine is located in the watershed of the Dnieper-River, which divides Ukraine into two parts: Right-Bank and Left-Bank Ukraine. Ukraine's proximity to the Black Sea and the presence of large navigable rivers running through its territory has promoted the development of trade and culture. The Black Sea is not only a means of communication with Transcaucasia and Turkey but also with the rest of the world through the Mediterranean Sea. Ukraine also lies on the Danube, and this gives it access to European countries. Through the Siversky Donets it has access to the Don. The territory of Ukraine is criss-crossed by railroads and highways, oil and gas pipelines and high-voltage transmission lines - all of which ensure close economic ties with Eastern and Western Europe. Ukraine is a highly industrialised country, whose economic potential is great.

Kyiv is the capital of our country. It is the largest city in the Ukraine. More than three million people live there. Kyiv was founded more than 1500 years ago. It is the political, economic, industrial and cultural centre of our country. In Kiev there are many museums, monuments, theatres, cinemas, libraries and palaces. Thousands of students study in this city. The Kyiv-Mohila Academy, the Kiev Polytechnic University, many other institutions of higher education are at their disposal.

Kyiv is situated on the banks of the river Dnieper. The city is very green. It is one of the most beautiful cities of Ukraine. Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, the President and the Government are located in Kyiv. Ambassadors of many countries live in the capital of Ukraine too. We are proud that our capital is one of the best and oldest cities in the world.

Khreschatyk is the main street of Kyiv. It is not very long, but it is wide and straight. A lot of people go to Khreschatyk every day, but especially crowded the street is on weekends. Some of people go shopping because there are many good shops there. Others go to the cinema, watch the fountains or sit on the benches. In the evening many people walk along Khreschatyk. There you can see many bright lights. People like the main street of Kyiv because it is nice, green and full of attractions.

English-speaking countries

Learning a foreign language isn't an easy thing. It's a long and difficult process that takes a lot of time and efforts. Nowadays it's especially important to know foreign languages, namely English. Over 300 million people speak it as a mother tongue. The native speakers of English live in Great Britain, the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand. English is now the dominant or official language in over 60 countries, and is represented in every continent and in the three major oceans - Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.

This spread of its representation makes the application of the term "world language" a reality. The present-day world status of English is the result of two factors: the expansion of British colonial power, which peaked towards the end of the 19th century, and the emergence of the United States as the leading economic power of the 20th century.

English language is a wonderful language. It's the language of the great literature. It's the language of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and others. The great German poet Göette once said, "He, who knows no foreign language, doesn't know his own one". That's why in order to understand oneself and environment one has to learn foreign languages.

There are many different reasons why people study foreign languages, English in particular. Here are some of them: to travel abroad; to get good job to have something to do in your spare time; to be better educated; to be familiar with social and cultural life in other countries; to be able to participate in conversations with foreigners. Half of the world's scientific literature is in English. It has replaced French in the world of diplomacy and German in the field of science. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations Organization and other political organizations.

It's the language of computers technology, international air traffic control, maritime, policing, and emergency services. English is the chief language of international business and academic conferences, and the leading language of international tourism. It is the main language of popular music, advertising, satellite broadcasting, and video games. The language is not just a subject learnt in the classrooms. It's something which is used in real life situations.

Learning foreign languages opens up opportunities and careers that didn't even exits some years ago. Knowing English can help us to find a job in such fields as science and technology, foreign trade and banking, international transportation communication, teaching, librarian science and others. A more general aim is to develop our intellectual and cultural horizons.


Money, Currency, Finance

Money is defined as commodity accepted as a medium of economic exchange. It is the medium in which prices and values are expressed; it circulates from person to person and from country to country, thus facilitating trade. Throughout history various commodities have been used as money, including seashells, beads, and cattle. Aztecs used cacao beans. Norwegians once used butter. The early US colonists used tobacco leaves and animal hides (settlers traded deer hides – the origin of our modern word for money: "bucks"). The people of Paraguay used snails. Roman soldiers were paid with salt. Human slaves have also been used as currency around the world. In the 16th century, the average exchange value of a slave was 8000 pounds of sugar.

The modern monetary system has its roots in the gold of medieval Europe. In the Middle Ages, gold and gold coins were the common currency. However, the wealthy found that carrying large quantities of gold around was difficult and made them the target of thieves. To avoid carrying gold coins, people began depositing them for safekeeping with goldsmiths, who often had heavily guarded vaults in which to store their valuable inventories of gold. The goldsmiths charged a fee for their services and issued receipts, or gold notes, in the amount of the deposits. Exchanging these receipts was much simpler and safer than carrying around gold coins. In addition, the depositors could retrieve their gold on demand.

Goldsmiths during this time became aware that few people actually wanted their gold coins back when the gold notes were so easy to use for exchange. They therefore began lending some of the gold on deposit to borrowers who paid a fee, called interest. These goldsmiths were the precursors to our modern fractional reserve banking system.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, banks began to issue notes redeemable in gold or silver, which became the principal money of industrial economies. Temporarily during World War I and permanently from the 1930s, most nations abandoned the gold standard. To most individuals today, money consists of coins, notes, and bank deposits.

Regardless of what asset is recognized by an economic community as money, in general it serves three functions:

  • Money is a medium of exchange (for payments between consumers, businesses, and government);
  • Money is a measure of value (or purchasing power, the prices paid for goods and services);
  • Money is a store of value (for measuring the economic worth of current income deferred for spending in future years).

In recent years a new type of money appeared – electronic money. Electronic payment systems, already in place for use by credit-card processors, were adapted in the 1990s for use in electronic commerce (e-commerce) on the Internet. Such "digital cash" payments allow customers to pay for on-line orders using secure accounts established with specialized financial institutions; related technology is used for on-line payment of bills.

Job Hunting

Getting a job is a very hard period in the life of most people. Companies choose an employee from hundreds of candidates according to special rules, that’s why there are special ‘typical’ factors, influencing on employer's choice. Among such factors are: age, sex, experience, family background and marital status, personality and references.

If you’re to go to an interview tomorrow, sleep well before it and don't forget your CV at home – is the basic rule. Moreover, there’re some recommendations, which can help you, for example, to read annual report, or company newspaper of the company to show your understanding of the corporate strategy on the interview. What's more, you should choose corresponding dress code for the interview.

Some companies don't want to hire a man, who follows every advice. To illustrate this, we can quote Artemiy Lebedev, the most famous Russian web-designer: ‘If you enclose a standard stupid resume, written by the rules of American bureaucracy, we would delete it immediately after receiving. If your CV is composed according to all rules, we wouldn't choose you, as we might think, that your profession is to acquire a job.’

After getting a job, you may have some unexpected troubles with boss, too: e.g. if you dye your hair or wear something not appropriate. The best solution of such situation is to ask a trade union for advice, which can always help you in your fight with an employer. Of course, if you affect company discipline not coming in time or working badly, your dismissal wouldn't be unfair.

To conclude: it is sometimes hard not only to get a job, but also to work in the staff, and if you don’t want to be laid off, you should follow company rules, it is a must.



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