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Native Americans came from Asia. Over 20 000 years ago they traveled across the land between Siberia and Alaska. When English colonists came to the New World on board the "Mayflower" the native Americans met them and were very friendly and helped them a lot.
In those days people lived in small earth houses and grew their own food. Some Indians ate only grass, nuts, and what fruit they could find. Other people were fishermen and lived in wooden houses. Most native Americans were very peaceful. They wanted to live happily with nature and each other. They believed in many gods and thought that the gods live in trees, stones, water and fire. They believed their gods could bring success in hunting, farming and fishing. They often had special ceremonies with dances and music before they went hunting or fishing or when they began farming.
Native Americans songs and poems are a very important part of their traditions as they help them to keep their history and culture alive. Another famous tradition was smoking of a peace pipe. When they smoked this pipe together with people they did not know it meant friendship and peace. Many years ago Native American tribes lived in all parts of the USA, and hunted and fished wherever they choose. Now most of them live in poor lands to the west of Mississippi River. Many live in "reservations".
Pets in Great Britain
Lots of families in Great Britain have got one or more pets. Dogs are the favourite pets and there are about 6 million of them in Great Britain. The second favourite are cats (about 5 millions) and the third favourite is a bird - budgie*. Some families do not keep cats or dogs. They keep other animals as pets in their homes. There are more than 12 million pets in Britain. The English take good care of their pets. They give them nice names: Rover, Rax, Cindy, Misty (for dogs); Albert, Snowy, Fluffy, Tom (for cats); Polly, Chatterbox (for parrots); Guy, Scamper, Shipley, Shirley (for monkeys). When they speak of their pets, they say, "he" or "she", not "it". The English give their pets nice food to eat. They buy food for their pets in pet shops. The English are pet lovers.
Schools in England
English educational system is quite different from what we have in Russia. It is class-divided. There some state schools and some private ones. State schools are infant, junior or secondary. British boys and girls begin to go to school at the age of 5. They draw pictures, sing songs, listen to the stories and tales. British children begin to read and write when they enter the infant schools.
Young children are divided into two groups, according to their mental abilities. Children leave infant schools when they are 7. Then they go to study at junior schools where they learn to write, read and do mathematics. Their school subjects are History, English, Geography, Arithmetics, Arts, Music, Swimming and some others. When the pupils enter the junior schools they pass abilities test. According to the results of the test and thus their intellectual potential they are divided into three groups. Boys and girls spend four years studying at junior schools. Then they pass examinations again and enter the secondary schools. There different types of secondary schools in Britain. They are: grammar schools, modern schools and comprehensive schools. English boys and girls attend secondary schools from 11 till 16. They don't go to schools on Saturdays and Sundays. In the modern schools pupils do not learn foreign languages. In grammar schools pupils receive better theoretical education. And the other school type is comprehensive schools. Almot all secondary pupils ( around 90 per cent ) go there.
There are also private schools in England. Boys and girls do not study together there. It is common that aristocracy sons go to these schools and parents pay a lot of money for their education. These schools are called public.
Independent and preparatory schools are private ones too. They prepare children for public schools and take money for the training. The teachers of the private schools can pay more attention to each of the pupils personally. It is possible to enter the best English universities after leaving public schools. After finishing grammar schools pupils have good knowledge and may continue studying in colleges and universities. English pupils wear school uniform. It is one of the oldest country's traditions. A boy's uniform includes a school cap, a tie and a blazer. A girl's uniform consists of a hat, a coat, a skirt and a blouse. The uniforms vary from school to school. Usually, they are dark.
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