According to the picture shown, Europe is in green and dark grey. The European Union is in green colour and location of the United Kingdom is in dark green colour. The four countries of the United Kingdom are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
United Kingdom’s Flag
United Kingdom is a member of the European Union(EU). United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign country in western Europe. The United Kingdom is commonly known as United Kingdom or UK. The term UK is normally confused with “Britain” or “Great Britain” which refers to England, Scotland and Wales without Northern Ireland. More over the citizens of the UK are called British which adds to the confusion. The unofficial capital and largest city of UK is London. London is one of the most influential centres in world politics, finance and culture in terms of population. According to the 2011 UK census, there are over 63 million people living in the UK.
The two official languages in UK is English and Welsh. However, more than 90% of the population speak English and for the most part Welsh is only spoken in Wales. Gaelic is one of the other language and regional dialects. Although this language is not an official language, this language is spoken in some parts of Scotland.
UK can be classified as a multi-faith society, although there are a majority of 59% classed themselves as Christian according to the 2011 census. Muslim is the second most prevalent religion which is practised by 5% of the population.
The United Kingdom is in the Western European Time Zone and observes Greenwich Mean Time(GMT) (CET-1) during the winter months and British Summer Time(BST) From March to October, to accommodate Daylight Saving Time(DST).
UK experiences all four seasons but the climate and temperature varies according to region. In Scotland, the winters are normally damp and cold, there are lots of snow particularly in the mountainous areas of the North too. Summers in UK are moderately warm and wet. Rain is a persistent feature for the majority of the country since UK is an island. The wettest rain is at the North West while the driest rain is located at the South East.
They usually arrive on time for meetings but it is okay if it is five minutes late. A person should call to say he or she will be late when it is ten minutes over the meeting time. The meeting will be rescheduled if the person is 15 minutes late.
People in UK do not like to embarrassed people and they simply fear they may say something that the other party finds offensive or which results in misunderstanding. Therefore, they found a way to avoid this uncertainty is not to start a conversation at all. Foreigners can find conversations in UK tends to be shorter. People in UK usually starts with a general topic such as the weather, which is always popular and used as an “icebreaker”. The UK people values their privacy highly although they may seem to be very open in public. “Please do not interfere with my personal space” is the implicit message permeating the culture. This high value put on personal space is visible in everyday life. For example, people avoid sitting next to someone else on a bus or will apologise if they touch someone by accident. A foreigner needs to be patient and realise that creating some valuable connections may take longer than anticipated if he or she really wants to adapt to British culture.
Foreign business partners may find out that their UK counterparts may seem to be too polite as British do not usually criticise or complain openly in public. Therefore it is essential to read between the lines and seek out their honest opinions of relevant parties. Foreign business partners need to ensure that they are sending a clear message so that there is no room for assumptions and no hidden meanings that could be misinterpret. The British values politeness and courtesy, will express a significant amount of respect when interacting in a business situation, either out of sincerity or simply because they are adhering to the cultural norms. Normally during a short business trip, it is impossible to develop a thorough understanding of British culture. A foreign should take a long-term approach, respect British’s values of privacy and politeness and look for shared interests in order to develop a valuable business relationship with UK counterparts.
Taboos Although the United Kingdom has a generally open culture, there are still some behaviours and topics that should be avoided, particularly at the beginning of a relationship. One should be aware that many of these questions are regulated in the business environment under various employment and equality laws that are designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Behaviours to avoid:
- Greeting strangers with a kiss
- Gestures such as backslapping and hugging strangers
- Spiting in public
- Asking personal or intimate questions (such as “How much money do you earn?” or “Why did you divorce?”)
Discussion topics to avoid:
- The historical conflict in Northern Ireland
- Religion (especially in Northern Ireland, Glasgow or Liverpool)
- The monarchy and the Royal Family
- Partisan politics
- The European Union, ‘Brussels’ and the Euro
- The Middle East
- Personal questions about a person’s background, religion, occupation
- Class and the class system
- Race and immigration
- Appearance or weight
- Money (“How much do you earn?”)
- Criticism or complaints in general