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Greetings and gestures
Many English people simply say "hello", but a handshake is the formal way of greeting and parting. On first meeting , "how do you do?" or less formal phrase is used. Among friends , women are often kissed (by men and women) lightly on one cheek.
Handshakes are firm. The use of first names is widespread. Titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs" are being used less frequently ,even when children address adults.
The English are in general a reserved people who do not approve of loud or highly demonstrative behaviour (except in very informal gatherings). Personal space is respected, and people feel uncomfortable when others stand too close to them during conversation. Touching is generally avoided.
English families are small (one or two children are the norm). Fewer people are getting married and those who do are marrying later. Women are having fewer children and are waiting longer to have them.
The standard of living is lover than in USA and many of the European Union (EU) countries, though the UK ranks in the top 20 countries in the world is respected. Since the early 1980s, the division between rich and poor has grown, but the middle class remains the largest section of society. Home ownership is high: about two-thirds of people own their own houses or flats.
Diet and eating
The traditional English breakfast consist of any or all of the following: bacon, sausages, grilled or fried tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, fried bread, black pudding (blood sausage), and kippers (smoked herring). However, fewer people now eat a cooked breakfast on a regular basis, preferring various combinations or cereal, toast, juice or fruit, and tea or coffee. Since the 1960s, the British have become more adventurous in their diet and now eat a wide variety of food from around the world
The English generally eat three meals a day. The midday meal is usually referred to as lunch and the evening meal as dinner or, when it is less formal, as supper. The tradition of afternoon tea, that is taking tea, biscuits, and cakes at about 4 PM, is declining.
It is customary to telephone before visiting; the English guard their privacy and in general do not like to be taken by surprise. When invited to a meal by friends, guests often bring a bottle of wine, chocolates, or flowers. If invited by strangers, it is usual to take a bottle of wine or nothing at all.
The pub remains a popular place to socialise with friends. Relaxing in the home, however, is still more popular. The British watch more TV than the people of any other nation with the exception of the US. Videos are also popular, but many people equally enjoy seeing films at the cinema.
Office and shop hours are generally from 9 AM or 10 AM to 5:30 PM. An increasing number of shops are lengthening business hours and staying open at both Saturday and Sunday, following the liberalisation