Mr. Hesam Maleki, Chemical Engineering Ph.D. candidate at University of Liverpool who has left Tehran for the British city about one year ago, called British people “polite and calm” underlining that the society still lacks coherence in communicating with immigrants.
During a well-organized presentation through Skype, Mr. Maleki made a general outlook on United Kingdom in terms of geography, history, language, religion and politics.
“The era of King Henry VIII is a significant one as the ship-building industry flourished making the ships capable of carrying heavy warships which resulted in expansionism and colonization,” he said.
On language, he noted that although the official language is English, you can find so many dialects; “Welsh people also have their own language, which is completely different from English.”
“More than seventy percent of the British people are Christian, 15 percent have no religion, two to three percent Muslim and the rest belongs to other religions,” Mr. Maleki noted.
Turning to politics, he underlined that United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with prime minister as head of the government; “the king or queen is just a ceremonial position and the parliament have the governing power.”
“Good level of welfare and low inflation are economic characteristics of UK, which help place it among top ten countries in the world; this is a main factor for making the country an ideal destination for migrants,” Mr. Maleki said adding, “democracy and lack of racism are also significant factors attracting immigrants.”
When asked on culture and habits, he emphasized that British people highly regard their history and culture; “for instance, they usually keep the ancient and classic outlook of buildings while the interior design is entirely modern; streets, districts and residences are named after royal and classic figures; museums are free to visit and almost all cities have their own museums.”
“One interesting point is the division they make between their friends and their colleagues; they do not spend time with colleagues after work hour or at the weekends; it is very rare that a colleague be your friend as well,” Mr. Maleki said.
“Tasteless!” was the word he used to describe the British cuisine; “the most popular food is Fish and chips; however they are known for tasteless food and they prefer to eat at restaurants of foreign nations like Arabic, Chinese and Iranian.”
“They are familiar with Persian Empire and the famous Iranian cuisine and carpet; but sometimes they confuse Iran with Iraq and some people do not know that the language of Iran and Iraq is different,” he noted.
“The focus of British NGOs is more on issues like welfare of elderly and disable people, rights of animals and vegetarianism,” Mr.Maleki said on social dimensions of British society, and continued “the percentage of female and male employment is equal; yet regarding enrollment in universities, participation is proportional. For example women’ are more than men in humanities while the presence of men in engineering and technical fields is more than women.”