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Culture of the United Kingdom

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**Cultural Diversity and Influences:**
– Culture of Great Britain consists of separate native traditions of England, Scotland, and Wales.
– Influenced by French, Scandinavian, Italian cultures before British Empire expansion.
– Celtic and Germanic tribes influenced early development.
– British Empire brought diverse cultural influences through immigration.
– Today, UK has a diverse cultural landscape with a sizable immigrant population.
– English is the de facto official language spoken by 95% of the British population.
– Seven other languages recognized by the British Government.
– Dialects and accents vary among the four countries and within them.

**Literature and Arts:**
– UK inherited literary traditions of England, Scotland, and Wales.
– Notable figures in novels, plays, and poetry include Arthurian literature, William Shakespeare, and Robert Burns.
– Contributions to music, cinema, art, architecture, and television.
– British Museum is one of the most visited museums globally.
– Theatre history influenced by William Shakespeare and other prominent figures.
– British Baroque music influenced by George Frideric Handel.
– Notable authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Rudyard Kipling.

**Media and Entertainment Industry:**
– Significant British film industry for over a century.
– Interaction and competition with American and European cinema.
– Notable directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Powell/Pressburger.
– UK broadcasting led by the BBC, with key players including ITV, Channel 4, and others.
– Iconic British comedy figures and satire on television.
– Major UK soap operas and espionage shows.
– Wallace and Gromit, Thomas & Friends, The Snowman, and other acclaimed animations.
– British TV milestones, exports, and memorable moments.

**Music Industry:**
– Evolution of popular music in Britain from broadside ballads to rock and roll.
– The Beatles as the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band.
– Development of sub-genres like heavy metal, punk, Britpop, and British soul.
– Distinct folk music traditions in each UK nation.
– Major UK orchestras and classical music institutions.
– Nationalistic trend in classical music and modern forms.

**Literary Industry and Awards:**
– More than 75% of the British public reads at least one book annually.
– UK among the largest publishers globally.
– Notable British publishers and contributions to the global literary landscape.
– Awards and festivals like the Booker Prize and Welsh Hay Festival.
– Children’s literature prominence and significant events like the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.
– Impact of publishing industry on British literature and cultural heritage.

The culture of the United Kingdom is influenced by its combined nations' history; its historically Christian religious life, its interaction with the cultures of Europe, the individual cultures of England, Wales and Scotland and the impact of the British Empire. The culture of the United Kingdom may also colloquially be referred to as British culture; Northern Ireland, though not geographically part of Great Britain, may still be considered as having a place within British culture. Although British culture is a distinct entity, the individual cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are diverse. There have been varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness between these four cultures.

The British Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world.

British literature is particularly esteemed. The modern novel was developed in Britain, and playwrights, poets, and authors are among its most prominent cultural figures. Britain has also made notable contributions to music, cinema, art, architecture and television. The UK is also the home of the Church of England, the state church and mother church of the Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian denomination. Britain contains some of the world's oldest universities, has made many contributions to philosophy, science, technology and medicine, and is the birthplace of many prominent scientists and inventions. The Industrial Revolution began in the UK and had a profound effect on socio-economic and cultural conditions around the world.

British culture has been influenced by historical and modern migration, the historical invasions of Great Britain, and the British Empire. As a result of the British Empire, significant British influence can be observed in the language, law, culture and institutions of its former colonies, most of which are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. A subset of these states form the Anglosphere, and are among Britain's closest allies. British colonies and dominions influenced British culture in turn, particularly British cuisine.

Sport is an important part of British culture, and numerous sports originated in the country including cricket, football, tennis and rugby. The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the UK ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany and Canada) in 2013 and 2014.

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