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UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL MAYOR DE SAN MARCOS

Universidad del Per, DECANA DE AMRICA

Cultura y Civilizacin
de los Pases de Habla Inglesa

Celia Vsquez del Valle


Erik Lu Benavides

FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
Programa de Licenciatura para Profesores sin
Ttulo Pedaggico en Lengua Extranjera

FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
DECANO
Dr. Elas Jess Meja Meja
DIRECTORA ACADMICA
Dra. Elsa Julia Barrientos Jimnez
DIRECTOR ADMINISTRATIVO
Mag. Edgar Froiln Damin Nez
PROGRAMA DE LICENCIATURA PARA PROFESORES SIN
TTULO PEDAGGICO EN LENGUA EXTRANJERA
DIRECTORA
Mg. Mara Emperatriz Escalante Lpez
COMIT DIRECTIVO
Dra. Edith Reyes de Rojas
Lic. Walter Gutirrez Gutirrez

Cultura y Civilizacin de los Pases de Habla Inglesa


Celia Vsquez del Valle
Erik Lu Benavides
Serie: Textos para el Programa de Licenciatura para Profesores sin Ttulo Pedaggico en Lengua Extranjera
Segunda edicin
Lima, octubre de 2012
Programa de Licenciatura para Profesores sin Ttulo Pedaggico en Lengua Extranjera Facultad de
Educacin, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Av. Germn Amzaga s/n. Lima 1, Ciudad Universitaria UNMSM - Pabelln Administrativo de la Facultad
de Educacin. 2. piso, oficina 203, telfono: 619-7000 anexos 3021, 3022 / E-mail: prog_idiomas_edu@
unmsm.edu.pe / Pgina web: www.unmsm.edu.pe/educacion/licenciatura/index.htm

Diseo: Celia Vsquez del Valle / Erik Lu Benavides


Diagramacin e impresin: Centro de Produccin Editorial e Imprenta de la UNMSM.

Jr. Paruro 119, Lima 1
Este libro es propiedad del Programa de Licenciatura para Profesores sin ttulo Pedaggico en Lengua Extranjera
de la Facultad de Educacin de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Ninguna parte de este libro puede
ser reproducida o utilizada por cualquier medio, sea este electrnico, mecnico o cualquier otro medio inventado, sin
permiso por escrito del Programa.

Contenido
Preface 7

1 The United Kingdom


1.1 Historical Framework
17
1.1.1 Geography
18

1.1.2 History
18
1.2 Social Structure
19
1.2.1 Ethnicity
20
1.2.2 Religion
23

1.2.3 Main social issues
24
1.3 Political Structure
26
1.3.1 Government
27
1.3.2 Economy
35

1.3.3 Education System
37

1.3.4 Health System
42
1.4 Cultural Aspect
49
1.4.1 Media
49

1.4.2 Sports and Leisure
50

1.4.3 Dominant Beliefs, Values and Traditions
51
Activities 53

2. The United States of America


2.1


2.2

Historical Framework
61
2.1.1 Geography
61
2.1.2 History
63
Social Structure 72

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2.2.1 Ethnicity
72
2.2.2 Religion
74

2.2.3 Main social issues
75
2.3 Political Structure
77
2.3.1 Government
77
2.3.2 Economy
84

2.3.3 Education System
87

2.3.4 Health System
90
2.4 Cultural Aspect
92
2.4.1 Media
92
2.4.2 Arts
93

2.4.3 Sports and Leisure
95

2.4.4 Dominant Beliefs, Values and Traditions
97
Activities 103

3 Canada
3.1 Historical Framework
111
3.1.1 Geography
111
3.1.2 History
112
3.2 Social Structure
115
3.2.1 Ethnicity
115
3.2.2 Religion
118

3.2.3 Main social issues
119
3.3 Political Structure
120
3.3.1 Government
120
3.3.2 Economy
123

3.3.3 Education System
127

3.3.4 Health System
128
3.4 Cultural Aspect
130
3.4.1 Media
130
3.4.2 Arts
133

3.4.3 Sports and Leisure
134

3.4.4 Dominant Beliefs, Values and Traditions
135
Activities 139

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4 Australia
4.1 Historical Framework
145
4.1.1 Geography
145
4.1.2 History
146
4.2 Social Structure
149
4.2.1 Ethnicity
149
4.2.2 Religion
149

4.2.3 Main social issues
150
4.3 Political Structure
151
4.3.1 Government
151
4.3.2 Economy
158

4.3.3 Education System
159

4.3.4 Health System
163
4.4 Cultural Aspect
166
4.4.1 Media
166
4.4.2 Arts
170

4.4.3 Sports and Leisure
171

4.4.4 Dominant Beliefs, Values and Traditions
171
Activities 172

5 India
5.1 Historical Framework
5.1.1 History
5.2 Social Structure
5.2.1 Ethnicity
5.2.2 Religion

5.2.3 Main social issues
5.3 Political Structure
5.3.1 Government
5.3.2 Economy

5.3.3 Education System

5.3.4 Health System
5.4 Cultural Aspect
5.4.1 Media

180
180
185
189
191
192
196
196
197
198
200
202
203

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5.4.2 Dominant Beliefs, Values and Traditions
208
Activities 212

6 New Zealand
6.1 Historical Framework
218
6.1.1 Geography
218
6.1.2 History
219
6.2 Social Structure
219
6.2.1 Ethnicity
219
6.2.2 Religion
223

6.2.3 Main social issues
224
6.3 Political Structure
224
6.3.1 Government
224

6.3.2 Education System
226

6.3.3 Health System
231
6.4 Cultural Aspect
232
6.4.1 Media
232
6.4.2 Arts
236
Activities 239
Bibliography 241

preface

his text book provides a brief look at structural features of English speaking
countries culture and society such as history, politics and government, the law, the
economy, social services, the media, education, religion and main values and traditions.
The selection of countries included has been made taking into consideration
the following: The United Kingdom because is the nation where the language was
originated and whose cultural expansion contributed to the formation of the other
English speaking countries of the world; the United States for its own development and
global impact in the world; and Canada, India, Australia and New Zealand considering
the size of their territory and economy and density of population. Each of the six
chapters corresponds to one of these countries.
Each chapter aims to establish the basis for the study of these nations and their
culture, promoting principles for a better understanding, respect, appreciation and
successful interaction between us and them.
A descriptive and analytical methodology is applied. Activities at the end of each
chapter are given to promote autonomous learning and research. Further information
may be found in relevant web sites.
The material contained is indebted for many of its ideas, facts and statistics to a
range of reference sources to which general acknowledgement is made. Special thanks
to the embassies of United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India for
the thorough information about their countries.
Particular thanks are due to the Department of State of the United States of America
for enabling us to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program in 2010
and the American Culture and Society course given in the University of New York in
2011 that foster a mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations like ours.
These courses reflect a clear interest in and support to international mindedness as well
as a better understanding of the American culture from a multicultural point of view.
Celia Vsquez del Valle
Erik Lu Benavides

INTRODUCTION

hat is Culture? A broad term, summarized in the following lines:

Culture is an inherited wealth of memories


Culture as shared art - The cultural products most regarded as forming part
of high culture are most likely to have been produced during periods of High
civilization . Besides literature includes music, visual arts (especially painting),
and traditional forms of the performing arts (including some cinema). ( Jeremy
Harmer )
Culture as customs and practices characteristic of the people in a specific group.
See chart below.
What is Civilization? Another broad term that could be briefly expressed as:

The outcome of a complex society, not just the society itself. Civilizations tend
to develop intricate cultures, including literature, professional art, architecture,
organized religion, and complex customs associated with the elite. Also it is said
that Civilization is the result of culture.

General Objective
The course provides a global vision of English Speaking Countries,
dealing with Historical, social, political, economical and geographical
aspects so that the English language may be understood in its context,
students may be able to interact with these cultures efficiently and
motivate an attitude of respect and appreciation to diverse cultures.

Specific Objectives
A. Students will develop the capacity for understanding and respecting
the differences between Cultures
B. Students will understand the main characteristics of the culture of
English speaking countries.
C. Students will analyze dynamics that worked in post-colonial English
speaking countries
D. Students will be able to evaluate positive or negative attitudes
towards diversity
E. Students will present a research project expanding a topic of interest
related to the course.

The United Kingdom of Great


Britain and Northern Ireland

Fast Facts
Population

: 60,068,000

Capital

London; 7,615,000

Area

242,910 square kilometers (93,788 square miles)

Language

English, Welsh, Scottish form of Gaelic

Religion

Anglican, Roman Catholic, other Protestant, Muslim

Currency

British pound

Life Expectancy

78

GDP per Capita

U.S. $25,500

Literacy Percent

99

Map of United Kingdom and North Irland

UK Religion Poll, 2011

Brithish Education System


28
27
26
25
24
23
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3

DOCTORATE
(3-5 years)
MASTER (1-2 years)
BACHELOR
(3-4 years)
A- LEVEL gnvo ADVANCED,
or FOUNDATION PROG.

FURTHER EDUCATION
(Aged 16+)

Ages

SECONDARY SCHOOL
(GCSE or GNVQ Intermediate)
2 years

PRIMARY SCHOOL

PRE-SCHOOL

Adrian's wall
Source: http://www.
hadrians-wall.org/

View of the Parlament and River


Thames from London eye

Night Sceneng: Double


decker bus decker

Ppulation of UK
Source: BBC in our time
multiculturalism

Popular programmes on TV

2012 The Olympics

Multiethnic options for


restaurants

The BBC building

The most popular drink in UK

The longest Soap Opera on British TV

THE UK

o understand this country well and the character of its people, we need to mention
some history. We are all influenced more than we imagine by the images of the
past, history and legends. Any account of British history is, however, whether long or
short, an interpretation. No person would agree with another what to put in, what
to leave out, and how to say it. What follows tries to be a coherent in brief of how
the different nations came together. We also mention some events and persons, which,
while not always important parts of this text of the making of the British state, yet are
always mentioned in books, newspapers, broadcasts and sometimes in conversation.
Separate national football teams, and these are recognized in international
competitions! Nothing is simple, however: for rugby union the three nations also
compere separately but the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland combine in
one team. In international cricket, England stands or falls alone, though its team may
include players from Wales.
2.1 Historical framework
You can read on British passports The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland. This refers to the union of what were once four separate countries: England,
Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (though most of Ireland is now independent). Most people
however say Britain or Great Britain. Usually Britain refers to the mainland and
Great Britain includes Northern Ireland, and also the Channel Islands and the Isle
of Man who have different institutions of government. But even the British can get
confused with these different names and usages.
Scots and Welsh if asked, what is your citizenship? will correctly say British,
and if asked, What is your nationality? they will almost reply Scottish or Welsh.
But the native-born English will often give the same answer to both questions, as if his
or her nationality as well as citizenship was British. So in the United Kingdom (UK)

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national identity and a strong and proud sense of citizenship are not always the same
thing.
British conveys those institutions, values, and beliefs that the four nations have
in common. These are the laws and customs of the constitution, the crown as a symbol
of unity and, for over three centuries, parliamentary and representative government.
Originally relatively few people had the vote but nowadays we are democracy in which
almost everyone over the age of eighteen has the right to vote.
However, there are real and valued differences in the broader cultures and ways of
life of the four nations. For instance we name poetry, novels and folk song English, Irish,
Scottish, or Welsh, rarely of ever British, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have
recently gained subsidiary parliaments or assemblies with important though limited
powers. A common democratic and, with few exceptions, a mutually tolerant politics
binds is all together. But apart from politics, the different senses of national identity
have created four.
1.1.1 Geography
The UK is a medium-sized country. The longest distance on the mainland, from John
OGroats on the north coast of Scotland to Lands End in the south-west corner of
England, is about 870 miles (approximately 1,400 kilometres). Most of the population
live in towns and cities.
There are many variations in culture and language in the different parts of the
United Kingdom. This is seen in differences in architecture, in some local customs, in
types of food, and especially in language. The English language has many accents and
dialects. These are a clear indication of regional differences in the UK. Well-known
dialects in England are Geordie (Tyneside), Scouse (Liverpool) and Cockney (London).
Many other languages in addition to English are spoken in the UK, especially in
multicultural cities.
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, people speak different varieties and
dialects of English. In Wales, too, an increasing number of people speak Welsh, which
is taught in schools and universities. In Scotland Gaelic is spoken in some parts of the
Highlands and Islands and in Northern Ireland a few people speak Irish Gaelic. Some
of the dialects of English spoken in Scotland show the influence of the old Scottish
language, Scots. One of the dialects spoken in Northern Ireland is called Ulster Scots.
1.1.2 History
Early Britain came with Unity from conquest. In the beginning of history there were
no nations in these Islands. Only local tribes. Their great monument was Stonehenge,
still standing in what is now Wiltshire. Later came the Celtic tribes, who developed a
sophisticated culture and economy.

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The Romans, who had conquered and given law and order to the whole
Mediterranean world, began to expand into Britain some decades after Julius Caesar
had made an exploratory foray into Britain in 55 BC. Not until the following century
did they return to conquer and establish control of the entire island except Wales and
the north. There was strong opposition from the native inhabitants; one great revolt
is still remembered in the name of Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni tribe in eastern
England. To keep out the warlike Celts to the north, the Emperor Hadrian had a wall
built across the narrow neck of land between the North Sea and the Irish Channel.
Large parts of Hadrians Wall can still be seen. This division eventually created a
kingdom of Scotland.
The fertile lands of Britain led the Romans to call it the granary of the north. The
civilization they brought with them had a lasting effect. By the time their armies left
around 410 AD to defend Tome against invasions of migrating peoples, they established
medical practice, a language of administration and law and had created great buildings
and roads. The routes taken by the main Roman roads are still followed today. Many
English words are derived from the Latin Language of the Romans. The Romans had
no concept of race and little ethnic prejudice. Anyone who obeyed Roman laws and
acted like Roman could become a Roman citizen. Before the time of the Emperors
Rome had been a republic with a large class of free citizens. The memory of this was
never forgotten in the whole of Europe. In Britain a literate administrative and trading
class of Romanized Celts emerged, although few among the common people, the
peasants, labourers and farmers, could speak Latin.
Even before the Romans withdrew, Jutes, Angles and Saxons From Denmark and
north Germany had begun to raid across the North Sea and then to invade as settlers
seeking better land. The Celts were pushed to the western fringes of Britain, despite
resistance perhaps led, at one time, by a Romano- Celtic warlord, who became the
mythical King Arthur. Invaders took over eastern Britain, largely ignoring the already
decaying Roman culture. The Saxons soon dominated and rival kingdoms were
established. But during this time missionaries from Rome spread Christianity across
southern Britain, while in the north monks from Ireland converted the land.
In the eighth and ninth centuries, Vikings warriors from Denmark and Norway
first plundered the coastal lands
1.2 Social structure
If we go back far enough in time, almost everyone living in Britain today may be seen
to have their origins elsewhere.
Many people living in Britain today have their origins in other countries. They
can trace their roots to regions throughout the world such as Europe, the Middle East,
Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In the distant past, invaders came to Britain, seized land
and stayed. More recently, people came to Britain to find safety, jobs and a better life.

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Britain is proud of its tradition of offering safety to people who are escaping
persecution and hardship. For example, in the 16th and 18th centuries, Huguenots
(French Protestants) came to Britain to escape religious persecution in France. In the
mid-1840s there was a terrible famine in Ireland and many Irish people migrated to
Britain. Many Irish men became labourers and helped to build canals and railways
across Britain.
From 1880 to 1910, a large number of Jewish people came to Britain to escape racist
attacks (called pogroms) in what was then called the Russian Empire and from the
countries now called Poland, Ukraine and Belarus.
Migration since 1945
After the Second World War (1939-45), there was a huge task of rebuilding Britain.
There were not enough people to do the work, so the British government encouraged
workers from Ireland and other parts of Europe to come to the UK to help with the
reconstruction. In 1948, people from the West Indies were also invited to come and
work.
During the 1950s, there was still a shortage of labour in the UK. The UK encouraged
immigration in the 1950s for economic reasons and many industries advertised for
workers from overseas. For examples, centres were set up in the West Indies to recruit
people to drive buses. Textile and engineering firms from the north of England and the
Midlands sent agents to India and Pakistan to find workers. For about 25 years, people
from the West Indies, India, Pakistan, and later Bangladesh, travelled to work and
settle in Britain.
The number of people migrating from these areas fell in the late 1960s because the
government passed new laws to restrict immigration to Britain, although immigrants
from old Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada did
not have to face such strict controls. During this time, however, Britain did admit 28,000
people of Indian origin who had been forced to leave Uganda and 22,000 refugees from
South East Asia.
In the 1980s the largest immigrant groups came from the United States, Australia,
South Africa, and New Zealand. In the early 1990, groups of people from the former
Soviet Union came to Britain looking for a new and safer way of life. Since 1994 there
has been a global rise in mass migration for both political and economical reasons.
1.2.1 Ethnicity
The UK population is ethnically diverse and is changing rapidly, especially in large cities
such as London, so it is not always easy to get an exact picture of the ethnic origin of all

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the population from census statistics. Each of the four countries of the UK (England,
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) has different customs, attitudes and histories.
People of Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Black Caribbean, Black African, Bangladeshi
and mixed ethnic descent make up 8.3% of the UK population. Today about half of the
members of these communities were born in the United Kingdom.
There are also considerable numbers of people resident in the UK who are of Irish,
Italian, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, Polish, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and
American descent. Large numbers have also arrived since 2004 from the new East
European members states of the European Union. These groups are not identified
separately in the census statistics in the following table.
UK Population 2001
Million

UK Population %

54.2

92

0.7

1.2

Indian

1.1

1.8

Pakistani

0.7

1.3

Bangladeshi

0.3

0.5

Other Asian

0.2

0.4

Black Caribbean

0.6

1.0

Black African

0.5

0.8

Black other

0.1

0.2

Chinese

0.2

0.4

Other

0.2

0.4

White (including people of European,


Australian, American descent)
Mixed
Asian or Asian British

Black or Black British

Where do the largest ethnic minority groups live?


The figures from the 2001 census show that most members of the large ethnic minority
groups in the UK live in England, where they make up 9% of the total population.
45% of all ethnic minority people live in the London area, where they form nearly
one-third of the population (29%). Other areas of England with large ethnic minority
populations are the West Midlands, the South East, the North West, and Yorkshire and
Humberside.

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Proportion of ethnic minority groups in the countries of the UK


England

9%

Wales

2%

Scotland

2%

N. Ireland

Less than 1%

In 2005 the population of the United Kingdom was under under 60 million people.
UK Population 2005
England

84% of the population

50.1 million

Scotland

8% of the population

5.1 million

Wales

5% of the population

2.9 million

Northern Ireland

3% of the population

1.7 million

Total UK

59.8 million

The population has grown by 7.7% since 1971, and growth has been faster in more
recent years. Although the general population in the UK has increased in the last 20
years, in some areas such as the North-East and North-West of England there has been
a decline.
Both the birth rate and the death rate are falling and as a result the UK now has an
ageing population. For instance, there are more people over 60 than children under 16.
There is also a record number of people aged 85 and over.
The census
A census is a count of the whole population. It also collects statistics on topics such as
age, place of birth, occupation, ethnicity, housing, health, and marital status.
A census has been taken every ten years since 1801, except during the second World
War. The next census will take place in 2011.
During a census, a form is delivered to every household in the country. This
form asks for detailed information about each member of the household and must be
completed by law. The information remains confidential and anonymous; it can only
be released to the public after 100 years, when many people researching their family
history find it very useful. General census information is used to identify population
trends and to help planning.

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1.2.2 Religion
Although the UK historically is a Christian society, everyone has the legal right to
practise the religion of their choice. In the 2001 census, just over 75% said they had a
religion: 7 of of 10 of these were Christians. There were also a considerable number of
people who followed other religions. Although many people in the UK said they held
religious beliefs, currently only around 10% of the population attend religious services.
More people attend services in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in England and
Wales. In London the number of people who attend religious services in increasing.
Religions in the UK
Christian (10% of whom are
Roman Catholic)
Muslim
Hindu
Sikh
Jewish
Buddhist
Other
Total all
No religion
Not stated

%
71.6
2.7
1.0
0.6
0.5
0.3
0.3
77
15.5
7.3

The Christian Churches


In England there is a constitutional link between church and state. The official church
of the state is the Church of England. The Church of England is called Anglican
Church in other countries and the Episcopal Church in Scotland and in the USA. The
Church of England is a Protestant church and has existed since the Reformation in the
1530s. The King or Queen (the Monarch) is the head, or Supreme Governor, of the
Church of England. The monarch is not allowed to marry anyone who is not Protestant.
The spiritual leader of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury. The
monarch has the right to select the Archbishop and other senior church officials, but
usually the choice is made by the Prime Minister and a committee appointed by the
Church. Several Church of England bishops sit in the House of Lords. In Scotland, the
established church is the Presbyterian Church; its head is the Chief Moderator. There is
no established church in Wales or in Northern Ireland .
Other Protestant Christian groups in the UK are Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists
and Quakers. 10% of Christians are Roman Catholic (40% in Northern Ireland).

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Patron saints
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have a national saint called a
patron saint. Each saint has a feast day. In the past these were celebrated as holy days
when many people had a day off work. Today these are not public holidays except for
17 March in Northern Ireland.
Patron Saints days
St. Davids Day, Wales
St. Patricks Day, N. Ireland
St. Georges Day, England
St. Andrews Day, Scotland

1 March
17 March
23 April
30 November

There are also four public holidays a year called Bank Holidays. These are of nor
religious or national significance.

1.2.3 Main Social issues


The changing role of women
In 19th-century Britain, families were usually large and in many poorer homes men,
women and children all contributed towards the family income. Although they made
an important economic contribution, women in Britain had fewer rights than men.
Until 1857, a married woman had no right to divorce her husband. Until 1882, when a
woman got married, her earnings, property and money automatically belonged to her
husband.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an increasing number of women campaigned
and demonstrated for greater rights and, in particular, the right to vote. They became
known as Suffragettes. These protests decreased during the First World War because
women joined in the war effort and therefore did a much greater variety of work than
they had before. When the First World War ended in 1918, women over the age of 30
were finally given the right to vote and to stand for election to Parliament. In was not
until 1928 that women won the right to vote at 21, at the same age as men.
Despite these improvements, women still faced discrimination in the workplace.
For example, it was quite common for employers to ask women to leave their jobs when
they got married. Many jobs were closed to women and it was difficult for women
to enter universities. During the 1960s and 1970s there was increasing pressure from
women for equal rights. Parliament passed new laws giving women the right to equal
pay and prohibiting employers fro discriminating against women because of their sex.

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Women in Britain today


Women in Britain today make up 51% of the population and 45% of the workforce.
These days girls leave school, on average, with better qualifications than boys and there
are now more women than men at university.
Employment opportunities for women are now much greater than they were in
the past. Although women continue to be employed in traditional female areas such as
healthcare, teaching, secretarial and retail work, there is strong evidence that attitudes
are changing, and women are now active in a much wider range of work than before.
Research shows that very few people today believe that women in Britain should stay at
home and not go out to work. Today, almost three-quarters of women with school-age
children are in paid work.
In most households, women continue to have the main responsibility for childcare
and housework. There is evidence that there is now greater equality in homes and that
more men are taking some responsibility for raising the family and doing housework.
Despite this progress, many people believe that more needs to be done to achieve
greater equality for women. There are still examples of discrimination against women,
particularly in the workplace, despite the laws that exist to prevent it. Women still do
not always have the same access to promotion and better-paid jobs. The average hourly
pay rate for women is 20% less that for men, and after leaving university most women
still earn less than men.
Children, family, and young people
In the UK, there are almost 15 million children and young people up to the age of 19.
This is almost one-quarter of the UK population.
Over the last 20 years, family patterns in Britain have been transformed because
of changing attitudes towards divorce and separation. Today, 65% of children live
with both parents, almost 25% live in the lone-parent families, and 10% live with a
stepfamily. Most children in Britain receive weekly pocket money from their parents
and many get extra money for doing jobs around the house.
Children in the UK do not play outside the home as much as they did in the past.
Part of the reason for this is increased home entertainment such as television, videos
and computers. There is also increased concern for childrens safety and there are many
stories in newspapers about child molestation by strangers, but there is no evidence that
this kind of danger is increasing.
Young people have different identities, interests and fashions to older people. Many
young people move away from their family home when they become adults but this
varies from one community to another.

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Young peoples political and social attitudes


Young people in Britain can vote in elections from the age of 18. In the 2001 general
election, however, only 1 in 5 first-time voters used their vote. There has been a great
debate over the reasons for this. Some researchers think that one reason is that young
people are not interested in the political process.
Although most young people show little interest in party politics, there is strong
evidence that many are interested in specific political issues such as the environment
and cruelty to animals.
In 2003 a survey of young people in England and Wales showed that they believe
the five most important issues in Britain were crime, drugs, war/terrorism, racism
and health. The same survey asked young people about their participation in political
and community events. They found that 86% of young people had taken part in some
form of community event over the past year, and 50% had taken part in fund-raising or
collecting money for charity. Similar results have been found in surveys in Scotland and
Northern Ireland. Many children first get involved in these activities while at school
where they study Citizenship as part of the National Curriculum.

1.3 Political Structure


As a constitutional democracy, the United Kingdom is governed by a wide range
of institutions, many of which provide checks on each others powers. Most of these
institutions are of long standing: they include the monarchy, Parliament, (consisting
of the House of Commons and the House of Lords), the office of the Prime Minister,
the Cabinet, the judiciary, the police, the civil service, and the institutions of local
government. More recently, devolved administrations have been set up for Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland. Together, these formal institutions, laws and conventions
form the British Constitution. Some people would argue that the roles of other less
formal institutions, such as the media and pressure groups, should also be seen as part
of the Constitution.
The British Constitution is not written down in any single document, as are the
constitutions of many other countries. This is mainly because the United Kingdom
has never had a lasting revolution, like America or France, so our most important
institutions have been in existence for hundreds of years. Some people believe that
there should be a single document, but others believe that an unwritten constitution
allows more scope for institutions to adapt to meet changing circumstances and public
expectations.
The monarchy
Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of the United Kingdom. She is also the monarch
or Head of State for many countries in the Commonwealth. The UK, like Denmark,

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the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden, has a constitutional monarchy. That
means that the King or Queen does not rule the country, but appoints the government
which the people have chosen in democratic elections. Although the queen or king can
advise, warn and encourage the Prime Minister, the decisions on government policies
are made by the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Queen has reigned since her fathers death in 1952. Prince Charles, the Prince
of Wales, her oldest son, is the heir to the throne.
The Queen has important ceremonial roles such as the opening of the new
parliamentary session each year. On this occasion the Queen makes a speech that
summarises the governments policies for the year ahead.
1.3.1 Government
The system of government in the United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy. The
UK is divided into 646 parliamentary constituencies and at least every five years voters
in each constituency elect their Member of Parliament (MP) in a general election. All of
the elected MPs form the House of Commons. Most MPs belong to a political party and
the party with the largest number of MPs forms the government.
The law that requires new elections to Parliament to be held at least every five years
is so fundamental that no government has sought to change it. A Bill to change it is the
only one to which the House of Lords must give its consent.
Some people argue that the power of Parliament is lessened because of the obligation
of the United Kingdom to accept the rules of the European Union and the judgments of
the European Court, but it was Parliament itself that created these obligations.
The House of Commons
The House of Commons is the more important of the two chambers in Parliament, and
its members are democratically elected. Nowadays the Prime Minister and almost all
the members of the Cabinet are members of the House of Commons. The members of
the House of Commons are called Members of Parliament, or MP s for short. Each
MP represents a parliamentary constituency, or area of the country: there are 646 of
these. MPs have a number of different responsibilities. They represent everyone in their
constituency, they help to create new laws, and they scrutinize and comment on what
government is doing, and they debate important national issues.
Elections
There must be a general election to elect MPs at least every 5 years, though they may
be held sooner if the Prime Minister so decides. If an MP dies or resigns, there will

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be another election, called a by-election, in his or her constituency. MPs are elected
through a system called first past the post. In each constituency, the candidate who
gets the most votes is elected. The government is then formed by the party which wins
the majority of constituencies.
The Whips
The Whips are a small group of MPs appointed by their party leaders. They are
responsible for discipline in their party and making sure MPs attend the House of
Commons to vote. The Chief Whip often attends Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet meetings
and arranges the schedule of proceedings in the House of Commons with the Speaker.
European parliamentary elections
Elections for the European Parliament are also held every 5 years. There are 78 seats
for representatives from the UK in the European Parliament and elected members
are called Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Elections to the European
Parliament use a system of proportional representation, whereby seats are allocated to
each party in proportion to the total votes it won.
The House of Lords
Members of the House of Lords, knows as peers, are not elected and do not represent a
constituency. The role and membership of the House of Lords have recently undergone
big changes. Until 1958 all peers were either hereditary, meaning that their titles were
inherited, senior judges, or bishops of the Church of England. Since 1958 the Prime
Minister has had the power to appoint peers just for their own lifetime. These peers,
known as Life Peers, have usually had a distinguished career in politics, business, law
or some other profession. This means that debates in the House of Lords often draw on
more specialist knowledge that is available to the House of Commons. Life Peers are
appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, but they include people
nominated by the leaders of the other main parties and by an independent Appointments
Commission for non-party peers.
In the last few years the hereditary peers have lost the automatic right to attend the
House of Lords, although the are allowed to elect a few of their number to represent
them.
While the House of Lords is usually the less important of the two chambers of
Parliament, it is more independent of the government. It can suggest amendments or
propose new laws, which are then discussed by the House of Commons. The House of
Lords can become very important if the majority of its members will not agree to pass a
law for which the House of Commons has voted. The House of Commons has powers to
overrule the House of Lords, but these are very rarely used.

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The Prime Minister


The Prime Minister (PM) is the leader of the political party in power. He or she appoints
the members of the Cabinet and has control over many important public appointments.
The official home of the Prime Minister is 10 Downing Street, in central London, near
the Houses of Parliament; he or she also has a country house not far from London called
Chequers. The Prime Minister can be changed if the MPs in the governing party decide
to do so, or if he or she wishes to resign. More usually, the Prime Minister resigns when
his or her party is defeated in a general election.
The Cabinet
The Prime Minister appoints about 20 senior MPs to become ministers in charge
of departments. These include the Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for the
economy, the Home Secretary, responsible for law, order and immigration, the Foreign
Secretary, and ministers (called Secretaries of State) for education, health and defence.
The Lord Chancellor, who is the minister responsible for legal affairs, is also a member
of the Cabinet but sat in the House of Lords rather than the House of Commons.
Following legislation passed in 2005, it is now possible for the Lord Chancellor to sit
in the Commons. These ministers form the Cabinet, a small committee which usually
meets weekly and makes important decisions about government policy which often
then have to be debated or approved by Parliament.
The Opposition
The second largest party in the House of Commons is called the Opposition. The Leader
of the Opposition is the person who hopes to become Prime Minister if his or her party
wins the next general election. The Leader of the Opposition leads his or her party in
pointing out the governments failures and weaknesses; one important opportunity to
do this is at Prime Ministers Questions which takes place every week while Parliament
is sitting. The Leader of the Opposition also appoints senior Opposition MPs to lead the
criticism of government ministers, and together they form the Shadow Cabinet.
The Speaker
Debates in the House of Commons are chaired by the Speaker, the chief officer of the
House of Commons. The Speaker is politically neutral. He or she is an MP, elected
by fellow MPs to keep order during political debates and to make sure the rules are
followed. This includes making sure the Opposition has a guaranteed amount of
time to debate issues it chooses. The Speaker also represents Parliament at ceremonial
occasions.

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The Party system


Under the British system of parliamentary democracy, anyone can stand for election
as an MP but they are unlikely to win an election unless they have been nominated to
represent one of the major political parties. These are the Labour Party, the Conservative
Party, the Liberal Democrats, or one of the parties representing Scottish, Welsh, or
Northern Irish interests. There are just a few MPs who do not represent any of the
main political parties and are called independents. The main political parties actively
seek members among ordinary voters to join their debates, contribute to their costs, and
help at elections for Parliament or for local government; they have branches in most
constituencies and they hold policy making conferences every year.
Pressure and lobby groups
Pressure and lobby groups are organisations that try to influence government policy.
They play a very important role in politics. There are many pressure groups in the UK.
They may represent economic interests (such as the Confederation of British Industry,
the Consumers Association, or the trade unions) or views on particular subjects (e.g.
Greenpeace or Liberty). The general public is more likely to support pressure groups
than join a political party.
The civil service
Civil servants are managers and administrators who carry out government policy. They
have to be politically neutral and professional, regardless of which political party is in
power. Although civil servants have to follow the policies of the elected government,
they can warn ministers if they think a policy is impractical or not in the public interest.
Before a general election takes place, top civil servants study the Opposition partys
policies closely in case they need to be ready to serve a new government with different
aims and policies.
Devolved administration
In order to give people in Wales and Scotland more control of matters that directly
affect them, in 1997 the government began a programme of devolving power from
central government. Since 1999 there has been a Welsh Assembly, a Scottish Parliament,
and, periodically, a Northern Ireland Assembly. Although policy and laws governing
defence, foreign affairs, taxation and social security all remain under central UK
government control, many other public services now come under the control of the
devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland.
Both the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly have been set up using forms
of proportional representation which ensures that each party gets a number of seats in
proportion to the number of votes they receive. Similarly, proportional representation

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is used in Northern Ireland in order to ensure power sharing between the Unionist
majority (mainly Protestant) and the substantial (mainly Catholic) minority aligned
to Irish nationalist parties. A different form of proportional representation is used for
elections to the European Parliament.
The Welsh Assembly Government
The National Assembly for Wales, or Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), is situated
in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. It has 60 Assembly Members (AMs) and elections
are held every four years. Members can speak in either Welsh or English and all its
publications are in both languages. The Assembly has the power to make decisions on
important matters such as education policy, the environment, health services, transport
and local government, and to pass laws for Wales on these matters within a statutory
framework set out by the UK Parliament at Westminster.
The Parliament of Scotland
A long campaign in Scotland for more independence and democratic control led to the
formation in 1999 of the Parliament of Scotland, which sits in Edinburgh, the capital
city of Scotland.
There are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), elected by a form of
proportional representation. This has led to the sharing of power in Scotland between
the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. The Scottish Parliament can pass legislation
for Scotland on all matters that are not specifically reserved to the UK Parliament. The
matters on which the Scottish Parliament can legislate include civil and criminal law,
health, education, planning and the raising of additional taxes.
The Northern Ireland Assembly
A Northern Ireland Parliament was established in 1922 when Ireland was divided, but
it was abolished in 1972 shortly after the Troubles broke out in 1969.
Soon after the end of the Troubles, the Northern Ireland Assembly was established
with a power-sharing agreement which distributes ministerial offices among the main
parties. The Assembly has 108 elected members known as MLAs (Members of the
Legislative Assembly). Decision-making powers devolved to Northern Ireland include
education, agriculture, the environment, health and social services in Northern Ireland.
The UK government kept the power to suspend the Northern Ireland Assembly
if the political leaders no longer agreed to work together or if the Assembly was not
working in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland. This had happened several
times and the Assembly is currently suspended (2006). This means that the elected
assembly members do not have power to pass bills or make decisions.

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Local government
Towns, cities and rural areas in the UK are governed by democratically elected councils,
often called local authorities. Some areas have both district and county councils which
have different functions, although most larger towns and cities will have a single
local authority. Many councils representing towns and cities appoint a mayor who is
the ceremonial leader of the council but in some towns a mayor is appointed to be the
effective leader of administration. London has 33 local authorities, with the Greater
London Authority and the Mayor of London co-ordinating policies across the capital.
Local authorities are required to provide mandatory services in their area. These
services include education, housing, social services, passenger transport, the fire service,
rubbish collection, planning, environmental health and libraries.
Most of the money for the local authority services comes from the government
through taxes. Only about 20% is funded locally through council tax - a local tax set
by councils to help pay for local services. It applies to all domestic properties, including
houses, bungalows, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes or houseboats, whether owned or
rented.
Local elections for councillors are held in May every year. Many candidates stand
for council election as members of a political party.
The judiciary
In the UK the laws made by Parliament are the highest authority. But often important
questions arise about how the laws are to be interpreted in particular cases. It is the
task of the judges (who are together called the judiciary) to interpret the law, and the
government may not interfere with their role. Often the actions of the government are
claimed to be illegal, and, if the judges agree, then the government must either change
its policies or ask Parliament to change the law. This has become all the more important
in recent years, as the judges now have the task of applying the Human Rights Act. If
they find that a public body is not respecting a persons human rights, they may order
that body to change its practices and to pay a compensation, if appropriate. If the judges
believe that an Act of Parliament is incompatible with the Human Rights Act, they
cannot change it themselves but they can ask Parliament to consider doing so.
Judges cannot, however, decide whether people are guilty or innocent of serious
crimes. When someone is accused of a serious crime, a jury will decide whether he or
she is innocent or guilty and, if guilty, the judge will decide on the penalty. For less
important crimes, a magistrate will decide on guilt and on any penalty.

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The police
The police service is organised locally, with one police service for each county of group
of counties. The largest force is the Metropolitan Police, which serves London and
is based at New Scotland Yard. Northern Ireland as a whole is served by the Police
Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI). The police have operational independence,
which means that the government cannot instruct them on what to do in any particular
case. But the powers of the police are limited by law and their finances are controlled
by the government and by police authorities made up of councillors and magistrates.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission, (or, in Northern Ireland, the Police
Ombudsman) investigates serious complaints against the police.
Non-departmental public bodies (quangos)
Non-departmental public bodies, also known as quangos, are independent organisations
that carry out functions on behalf of the public which it would be inappropriate to
place under a political control of a Cabinet minister. There are many hundreds of these
bodies, carrying out a wide variety of public duties. Appointments to these bodies are
usually made by ministers, but they must do so in an open and fair way.
The UK in Europe and the World
The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth is an association of countries, most of which were once part of the
British Empire, though a few countries that were not in the Empire have also joined it.
The Queen is the head of the Commonwealth, which currently has 53 member
states. Membership is voluntary and the Commonwealth has no power over its members
although it can suspend membership. The Commonwealth aims to promote democracy,
good government and to eradicate poverty.
The European Union (EU)
The European Union (EU), originally called the European Economic Community
(EEC), was set up by six Western European countries who signed the Treaty of Rome on
25 March 1957. One of the main reasons for doing this was the belief that co-operation
between states would reduce the likelihood of another war in Europe. Originally the
UK decided not to join this group and only became part of the European Union in 1973.
In 2004 ten new members joined the EU, with a further two in 2006 making a total of
27 members countries.

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One of the main aims of the EU today is for member states to function as a single
market. Most of the countries of the EU have a single currency, the euro, but the UK has
decided to retain its own currency unless the British people choose to accept the euro in a
referendum. Citizens of an EU member state have the right to travel and to work in any
EU country if they have a valid passport or identity card. This right can be restricted on
the grounds of public health, public order and public security. The right to work is also
sometimes restricted for citizens of countries that have joined the EU recently.
The Council of the European Union (usually called the Council of Ministers) is
effectively the governing body of the EU. It is made up of government ministers from
each country in the EU and, together with the European parliament, is the legislative
body of the EU. The Council of Ministers passes the EU law on the recommendations of
the European Commission and the European Parliament and takes the most important
decisions about how the EU is run. The European Commission is based in Brussels, the
capital city of Belgium. It is the civil service of the EU and drafts proposals for new EU
policies and laws and administers its funding programmes.
The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg, in north-eastern France, and in
Brussels. Each country elects members, called Members of the European Parliament
(MEPs), every five years. The European Parliament examines decisions made by the
European Council and the European Commission, and it has the power to refuse
agreement to European laws proposed by the Commission and to check on the spending
of EU funds.
European Union law is legally binding in the UK and all other member states.
European laws, called directives, regulations or framework decisions, have made a lot
of difference to peoples rights in the UK, particularly at work. For example, there are
EU directives about the procedures for making workers redundant, and regulations
that limit the number of hours people can be made to work.
The Council of Europe
The Council of Europe was created in 1949 and the UK was one of the founder members.
Most of the countries of Europe are members. It has no power to make laws but draws
up conventions and charters which focus on human rights, democracy, education,
the environment, health and culture. The most important of these is the European
Convention on Human Rights; all member states are bound by this Convention and a
member state which persistently refuses to obey the Convention may be expelled from
the Council of Europe.
The United Nations (UN)
The UK is a member of the United Nations (UN), an international organisation to
which over 190 countries now belong. The UN was set up after the Second World

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War and aims to prevent war and promote international peace and security. There are
15 members on the UN Security Council, which recommends action by the UN when
the are international crises and threats to peace. The UK is one of the five permanent
members.
Three very important agreements produced by the UN are the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although none
of these has the force of law, they are widely used in political debate and legal cases to
reinforce the law and to assess the behaviour of countries.

1.3.2 Economy
Bank notes in the UK come in denominations (values) of 5, 10, 20 and 50. Northern
Ireland and Scotland have their own bank notes which are valid everywhere in the UK,
though sometimes people may not realise this and may not wish to accept them.
The euro
In January 2002 twelve European Union states adopted the euro as their common
currency. The UK government decided not to adopt the euro at that time, and has said
it will only do so if the British people vote for the euro in a referendum. The euro does
circulate to some extent in Northern Ireland, particularly in the towns near the border
with Ireland.
Foreign currency
You can get or change foreign currency at banks, building societies, large post offices
and exchange shops or bureaux de change. You might have to order some currencies in
advance. The exchange rates vary and you should check for the best deal.
Banks and Building Societies
Most adults in the UK have a bank or building society account. Many large national
banks or building societies have branches in towns and cities throughout the UK. Is
it worth checking the different types of account each one offers. Many employers pay
salaries directly into a bank or building society account. There are many banks or
building societies to choose from. To open an account, you need to show documents
to prove your identity, such as passport, immigration document or driving license.
You also need to show something with your address on it like a tenancy agreement or
household bill. It is also possible to open bank accounts in some supermarkets or on the
Internet.

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Cash and debit cards


Cash cards allow you to use cash machines to withdraw money from your account. For
this you need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which you must keep secret.
A debit card allows you to pay for things without using cash. You must have enough
money in your account to cover what you buy. If you lose your cash card or debit card
you must inform the bank immediately.
Credit and store cards
Credit cards can be used to buy things in shops, on the telephone and over the Internet.
A store card is like a credit card but used only in a specific shop. Credit and store cards
do not draw money from your bank account, but you will be sent a bill every month. If
you do not pay the total amount on the bill, you are charged interest. Although credit
and store cards are useful, the interest is usually very high and many people fall into
debt this way. If you lose your credit card or store cards you must inform the company
immediately.
Credit and loans
People in the UK often borrow money from banks and other organisations to pay for
things like household goods, cars and holidays. This is more common in the UK than
in many other countries. You must be very sure of the terms and conditions when you
decide to take out a loan. You can get advice on loans from the Citizens Advice Bureau
if you are uncertain.
Being refused credit
Banks and other organisations use different information about you to make a decision
about a loan, such as your occupation, address, salary and previous credit record. If you
apply for a loan you might be refused. If this happens, you have the right to ask the
reason why.
Credit unions
Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. The
members pool their savings and then make loans from this pool. Interest rates in credit
unions are usually lower than banks and building societies. There are credit unions
in many cities and towns. To find the nearest credit union contact the Association of
British Credit Unions.

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Insurance
As well as insuring their property and possessions, many people insure their credit cards
and mobile phones. They also buy insurance when they travel abroad in case they lose
their luggage or need medical treatment. Insurance is compulsory if you have a car or
motorcycle. You can usually arrange insurance directly wit an insurance company, or
you can use a broker who will help you get the best deal.
Social security
The UK has a system of social security which pays welfare benefits to people who
do not have enough money to live on. Benefits are usually available for the sick and
disabled, older people, the unemployed and those on low incomes. People who do not
have legal rights of residence (or settlement) in the UK cannot usually receive benefits.
Arrangements for paying and receiving benefits are complex because they have to cover
people in many different situations. Guides to benefits are available from Jobcentre Plus
offices, local libraries, post offices and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

1.3.3 Education System


The law states that children between the ages of 5 and 16 must attend school. The tests
that pupils take are very important, and in England and Scotland children take national
tests in English, mathematics and science when they 7, 11 and 14 years old. (In Wales,
teachers assess childrens progress when they are 7 and 11 and they take a national test
at the age of 14). The tests give important information about childrens progress and
achievement, the subjects they are doing well in and the areas where they need extra help.
Most young people take the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE),
or, in Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Standard Grade examinations
when they are 16. At 17 and 18, many take vocational qualifications, General Certificates
of Education at an Advanced Level (AGCEs), AS level units or Higher / Advanced
Higher Grades in Scotland. Schools and colleges will expect good GCSE or SQA
Standard Grade results before allowing a student to enrol on an AGCE or Scottish
Higher / Advanced Higher course.
AS levels are Advanced Subsidiary qualifications gained by completing three AS
units. Three AS units are considered as one-half of an AGCE. In the second part of the
course, three more AS units can be studied to complete the AGCE qualification.
Many people refer to AGCEs by the old name of A Levels. AGCEs are the traditional
route for entry to higher education courses, but many higher education students enter
with different kinds of qualifications.

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One of the tree young people now go on to higher education at college or university.
Some young people defer their university entrance for a year and take a gap year.
This year out of education often includes voluntary work and travel overseas. Some
young people work to earn and save money to pay for their university fees and living
expenses.
People over 16 years of age may also choose to study at Colleges of Further Education
or Adult Education Centres. There is a wide range of academic and vocational courses
available as well as courses which develop leisure interests and skills.
Education in the UK is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 5
to 16 (4 to 16 in Northern Ireland). The education system varies in England, Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland.
The childs parent or guardian is responsible for making sure their child goes to
school, arrives on time and attends for the whole school year. If they do not do this, the
parent or guardian may be prosecuted.
Some areas of the country offer free nursery education for children over the age
of 3. In most parts of the UK, compulsory education is divided in two stages, primary
and secondary. In some places there is a middle-school system. In England and Wales
the primary stage lasts from 5 to 11, in Scotland from 5 to 12 and in Northern Ireland
from 4 to 11. The secondary stage lasts until the age of 16. At that age young people can
choose to leave school or to continue with their education until they are 17 or 18.
Details of local schools are available from your local education authority office or
website. The addresses and phone numbers of local education authorities are in the
phone book.
Primary schools
These are usually schools where both boys and girls learn together and are usually close
to a childs home. Children tend to be with the same group and teacher all day. Schools
encourage parents to help their children with learning, particularly with reading and
writing.
Secondary schools
At age 11 (12 in Scotland) children go to secondary school. This might normally be the
school nearest their home, but parents in England and Wales are allowed to express
a preference for a different school. In some areas, getting a secondary school place in
a preferred school can be difficult, and parents often apply to several schools in order
to make sure their child gets offered a place. In Northern Ireland many schools select
children through a test taken at the age of 11.

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If the preferred school has enough places, the child will be offered a place. If there
are not enough places, children will be offered places according to the schools admission
arrangements. Admission arrangement vary from area to area.
Secondary schools are larger than primary schools. Most are mixed sex, although
there are single sex schools in some areas. Your local education authority will give you
information on schools in your area. It will also tell you which schools have spaces and
give you information about why some children will be given places when only a few
are available and why other children will not. It will also tell you how to apply for a
secondary school place.
Costs
Education at state schools in the UK is free, but parents have to pay for school uniforms
and sports wear. There are sometimes extra charges for music lessons and for school
outings. Parents on low income can get help with costs, and with the cost of school
meals. You can get advice on this from the local authority or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Church and other faith schools
Some primary and secondary schools in the UK are linked to the Church of England or
the Roman Catholic Church. These are called faith schools. In some areas there are
Muslim, Jewish and Sikh schools. In Northern Ireland, some schools are called Integrated
Schools. These schools aim to bring children of different religions together. Information
on faith schools is available from your local education authority.
Independent Schools
Independent schools are private schools. They are not run or paid for by the state.
Independent secondary schools are also sometimes called public schools. There are
about 2,500 independent schools in the UK. About 8% of children go to these schools.
At independent schools parents must pay the full cost of their childs education. Some
independent schools offer scholarships which pay some or all of the costs of the childs
education.
The school curriculum
All state, primary and secondary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland follow
the National Curriculum. This covers English, maths, science, design and technology,
information and communication technology (ICT), history, geography, modern foreign
languages, art and design, music, physical education (PE) and citizenship. In Wales,
children learn Welsh.

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In some primary schools in Wales, all the lessons are taught in Welsh. In Scotland,
pupils follow a broad curriculum informed by national guidance. Schools must, by law,
provide religious education (RE) to all pupils. Parents are allowed to withdraw their
children from these lessons. RE lessons have a Christian basis but children also learn
about the other major religions.
Assessment
In England, the curriculum is divided into 4 stages, called Key Stages. After each stage
children are tested. They take Key Stage tests (also called SATs) at ages 7, 11 and 14. At
16 they usually take the General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in several
subjects, although some schools also offer other qualifications. At 18, young people who
have stayed at school do AGCEs (Advanced GCE levels) often just called A levels.
In Wales, schools follow the Welsh National Curriculum but have abolished
national tests for children at age of 7 and 11. There are also plans in Wales to stop testing
children at 14, Teachers in Wales still have to assess and report on their pupils progress
and achievements at 7 and 11.
In Scotland, the curriculum is divided into 2 phases. The first phase is from 5 to
14. There are six levels in that phase, levels A to F. There are no tests for whole groups
during this time. Teachers test individual children when they are ready. From 14 to 16,
young people do Standard Grade. After 16 they can study at Intermediate, Higher or
Advanced level. In Scotland there will soon be a single curriculum for all pupils from
age 3 to 18. This is called A Curriculum for Excellence.
Help with English
If your childs main language is not English, the school may arrange for extra language
support from an EAL (English Additional Language) specialist teacher.
Careers education
All children get careers advice from the age of 14. Advice is also available from
Connexions, a national service for young people. In Wales, Careers Wales offers advice
to children from the age of 11. In Scotland, Careers Scotland provides information,
services and support to all ages and stages.
Parents and schools
Many parents are involved with their childs school. A number of places on a schools
governing body are reserved for parents. The governing body decides how the school is

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run and administered and produces reports on the progress of the school from year to
year. In Scotland, parents can be members of school boards or parent councils.
Schools must be open 190 days a year. Terms dates are decided by the governing
body or by the local education authority. Children must attend the whole school year.
Schools expect parents and guardians to inform them if their child is going to be absent
from school. All schools ask parents to sign a home-school agreement. This is a list of
things that both the school and the parent or guardian agree to do to ensure a good
education for the child. All parents receive a report every year on their childs progress.
They also have a chance to go to the school to talk to their childs teachers.
Further education and adult education
At 16, young people can leave school or stay on to do A Levels (Higher grades in
Scotland) in preparation for university. Some young people go to their local further
education (FE) college to improve their exam grades or to get new qualifications for
a career. Most courses are free to up to the age of 19. Young people from families on
low incomes can get financial help with their studies when they leave school at 16.
This is called the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Information about this is
available at your local college.
Further education colleges also offer courses to adults over the age of 18. These
include courses for people wishing to improve their skills in English. These courses are
called ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). There are also courses for
English speakers who need to improve their literacy and numeracy and for people who
need to learn new skills for employment. ESOL courses are also available in community
centres and training centres. There is sometimes a waiting list for ESOL courses because
demand is high. In England and Wales, ESOL, literacy and numeracy courses are also
called Skills for Life courses. You can get information at your local college or local
library or from learndirect.
Many people join other adult education classes to learn a new skill or hobby and to
meet new people. Classes are very varied and range from sports to learning a musical
instrument or a new language. Details are usually available from your local library,
college or adult education centre.
University
More young people go to university now than in the past. Many go after A levels (or
Higher grades in Scotland) at age of 18 but it is also possible to go to university later
in life. At present, most students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to pay
towards the cost of their tuition fees and to pay for their living expenses. In Scotland
there are no tuition fees but after students finish university they pay back some of the

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cost of their education in a payment called an endowment. At present, universities can


charge up to GBP 3,000 per year for their tuition fees, but students do not have to pay
anything towards their fees before or during their studies. The government pays their
tuition fees and then charges for them when a student starts working after university.
Some families on low incomes receive help with their childrens tuition fees. This is
called a grant. The universities also give help, in the form of bursaries. Most students
get a low-interest student loan from a bank. This pays for their living costs while they
are at university. When a student finishes university and starts working, he or she must
pay back the loan.

1.3.4 Health System


Healthcare in the UK is organised under the National health Service (NHS). The NHS
began in 1948, and is one of the largest organisations in Europe. It provides all residents
with free healthcare and treatment.
Family doctors are called General Practitioners (GPs) and they work in surgeries.
GPs often work together in a group place. This is sometimes called a Primary Health
Care Centre.
Your GP is responsible for organising the health treatment you receive. Treatment
can be for physical and mental illness. If you need to see a specialist, you must go to your
GP first. Your GP will then refer you to a specialist in a hospital. Your GP can also refer
you for specialist treatment if you have special needs.
You can get a list of local GPs from libraries, post offices, the tourist information
office, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the local health authority and on the Internet.
You can attend a hospital without a GPs letter only in the case of an emergency.
If you have an emergency you should go to the Accident and Emergency (A&E)
department of the nearest hospital.
Registering with a GP
You should look for a GP as soon as you move to a new area. You should not wait until
you are ill. The health centre, or surgery, will tell you what you need to do to register.
Usually you must have a medical card. If you do not have one, the GPs receptionist
should give you a form to send to the local health authority. They will then send you a
medical card.
Before you register you should check the surgery can offer what you need. For
example, you might need a woman GP, or maternity services. Sometimes GPs have
many patients and are unable to accept new ones. If you cannot find a GP, you can ask
your local authority to help you find one.

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Using your doctor


All patients registering with a GP are entitled to a free health check. Appointments
to see the GP can be made by phone or in person. Sometimes you might have to wait
several days before you can see a doctor. If you need immediate medical attention ask
for an urgent appointment. You should go to the GPs surgery a few minutes before
the appointment. If you cannot attend or do not need the appointment any more, you
must let the surgery know. The GP needs patients to answer all questions as fully as
possible in order to find out what is wrong. Everything you tell the GP is completely
confidential and cannot be passed on to anyone else without your permission. If you do
not understand something, ask for clarification. If you have difficulties with English,
bring someone who can help you, or ask the receptionist for an interpreter. This must
be done when you make the appointment. If you have asked for an interpreter, it is
important that you keep your appointment because this service is expensive.
In exceptional circumstances, GPs can visit patients at home but they always give
priority to people who are unable to travel. If you call the GP outside normal working
hours, you will have to answer several questions about your situation. This is to assess
how serious your case is. You will then be told if a doctor can come to your home. You
might be advised to go to the nearest A&E department.
Charges
Treatment from the GP is free but you have to pay a charge for your medicines and
for certain services, such as vaccinations for travel abroad. If the GP decides you need
to take medicine you will be given a prescription. You must take this to a pharmacy
(chemist).
Prescriptions
Prescriptions are free for anyone who is
Under 16 years of age (25 in Wales)
Under 19 and in full-time education
Aged 60 or over
Pregnant or with baby under 12 months old
Suffering from a specified medical condition
Receiving Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Working Families or Disabilities
Tax Credit
Feeling unwell
If you or your child feels unwell you have the following options:
For information or advice

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Ask your local pharmacist (chemist). The pharmacy can give advice on medicines
and some illnesses and conditions that are not serious.
Speak to a nurse by phoning NHS Direct.
Use the NHS Direct website.
To see a doctor or nurse
Make an appointment to see your GP or a nurse working in the surgery
Visit an NHS walk-in centre
For urgent medical treatment
Contact your GP
Go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency department
Call 999 for an ambulance. Calls are free. Only use this service for a real emergency.
NHS walk-in centres provide treatment for minor injuries and illnesses seven days
a week. You do not need an appointment. For details of your nearest centre call NHS
Direct or visit the NHS website.
Going into hospital
If you need minor tests at a hospital, you will probably attend the Outpatients
department. If your treatment takes several hours, you will go into hospital as a day
patient. If you need to stay overnight, you will go into hospital as an in-patient.
You should take personal belongings with you, such as a towel, night clothes, things
for washing, and a dressing gown. You will receive all your meals while you are an
in-patient. If you need advice about going into hospital, contact Customer Services or
the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at the hospital where you will receive
treatment.
Dentists
You can get the name of a dentist by asking at the local library, at the Citizens
Advice Bureau and through NHS Direct. Most people have to pay for dental treatment.
Some dentists work for the NHS and some are private. NHS dentists charge less than
private dentists, but some dentists have two sets of charges, both NHS and private. A
dentist should explain your treatment and the charges before the treatment begins.
Free dental treatment is available to:
People under 18 (in Wales people under 25 and over 60)
Pregnant women and women with babies under 12 months old
People on income support, Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit Guarantee

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Opticians
Most people have to pay for sight tests and glasses, except children, people over 60,
people with certain eye conditions and people receiving certain benefits. In Scotland,
eye tests are free.
Pregnancy and care of young children
If you are pregnant you will receive regular ante-natal care. This is available from your
local hospital, local health centre or from special antenatal clinics. You will receive
support from a GP and from a midwife. Midwives work in hospitals or health centres.
Some GPs do not provide maternity services so you may wish to look for another
GP during your pregnancy. In the UK women usually have their babies in hospital,
especially if it is their first baby. It is common for the father to attend the birth, but only
if the mother wants him to be there.
A short time after you have your child, you will begin regular contact with a health
visitor. She or he is a qualified nurse and can advise you about caring for your baby.
The first visits will be in your home, but after that you might meet the health visitor at
a clinic. You can ask advice from your health visitor until your child is five years old.
In most towns and cities there are mother and toddler groups or playgroups for small
children. These often take place at local churches and community centres. You might
be able to send your child to a nursery school.
Information on pregnancy
You can get information on maternity and ante-natal services in your area from your
local health authority, a health visitor or your GP. The number of your health authority
will be in the phone book.
The Family Planning Association (FPA) gives advice on contraception and sexual
health.
The National Childbirth Trust gives information and support in pregnancy,
childbirth and early parenthood.
Registering a birth
You must register your baby with the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths
(Register Office) within 6 weeks of birth. The address of your local Register office is
in the phone book. If the parents are married, either the mother or father can register
the birth. If they are not married, only the mother can register the birth. If the parents
are not married but want both names on the childs birth certificate, both mother and
father must be present when they register their baby.

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Health hazards
Many parents worry that their children may misuse drugs and addictive substances.
Smoking:
Although cigarette smoking has fallen in the adult population, more young people are
smoking, and more girls smoke than boys. By law, it is illegal to sell tobacco products
to anyone under 16 years old. In some areas, smoking in public buildings and work
environments is not allowed.
Alcohol:
Young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy alcohol in Britain, but there
is concern about the age some young people start drinking alcohol and the amount of
alcohol they drink at one time, known as binge drinking. It is illegal to be drunk in
public and there are now more penalties to help control this problem, including on-thespot fines.
Illegal drugs
As in most countries, it is illegal to possess drugs such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy,
amphetamines and cannabis. Current statistics show that half of all young adults, and
about a third of the population as a whole, have used illegal drugs at one time or another.
There is strong link between the use of hard drugs (e.g. crack cocaine and heroin)
and crime, and also hard drugs and mental illness. The misuse of drugs has a huge
social and financial cost for the country. This is a serious issue and British society needs
to find an effective way of dealing with the problem.
Travel and transport
Transporting in UK is very easy. Take a map or a timetable in advance and watch the
NEWS then you could make the most of it. You can rely on this system as there are lots
of way to get in, around and out of the islands with no problem.
Trains, buses and coaches
For information about trains telephone the National Rail Enquiry Service. For trains
in Northern Ireland, phone Translink. For information on coaches, phone National
Express. For coaches in Scotland, phone Scottish Citylink.
Usually, tickets for trains and underground systems such as the London
Underground must be bought before you get on the train. The fare varies according
to the day and time you wish to travel. Travelling in the rush hour is always more
expensive. Discount tickets are available for families, people aged 60 and over, disabled

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people, students and people under 26. Ask at your local train station for details. Failure
to buy a ticket may result in a penalty.
Taxis
To operate legally, all taxis and minicabs must be licensed and display a licence plate.
Taxis and cabs with no licence are not insured for fare-paying passengers and are not
always safe. Women should not use unlicensed minicabs.
Driving
You must be at least 17 to drive a car or motorcycle, 18 to drive a medium-sized lorry,
and 21 to drive a large lorry or bus. To drive a lorry, minibus or bus with more than
eight passenger seats, you must have a special licence.
The driving licence
You must have a driving licence to drive on public roads. To get a driving licence you
must pass a test. There are many driving schools where you can learn with the help of
a qualified instructor.
Getting a full driving licence is very easy. You can do it in three stages:
1. Apply for a provisional licence. You need this licence while you are learning to
drive. With this you are allowed to drive a motorcycle up to 125cc or a car. You
must put L plates on the vehicle, or D plates in Wales. Learner drivers cannot drive
on a motorway. If you drive a car, you must be with someone who is over 21 and
who has had a full licence for over three years. You can get an application form for
a provisional licence from a post office.
2. Pass a written theory test.
3. Pass a practical driving test.
Drivers may use their licence until they are 70. After that the licence is valid three
years at a time.
In Northern Ireland, a newly-qualified driver must display an R-plate (for registered
driver) for one year after passing the test.
Overseas licences
If your driving licence is from a country in the European Union (EU), Iceland,
Liechtenstein or Norway, you can drive in the UK for as long as your licence is valid.

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If you have a licence from a country outside the EU, you may use it in the UK for
up to 12 months. During this time you must get a UK provisional driving licence and
pass both the UK theory and practical driving tests, or you will not be able to drive after
12 months.
Insurance
It is a criminal offence to have a car without proper motor insurance. Drivers without
insurance can receive very high fines. It is also illegal to allow someone to use your car
if they are not insured to drive it.
Road tax and MOT
You must also pay a tax to drive your car on the roads. This is called road tax. Your
vehicle must have a road tax disc which shows you have paid. You can buy this at the
post office. If you do not pay the road tax, your vehicle may be clamped or towed away.
If your vehicle is over three years old, you must take it every year for a Ministry of
Transport (MOT) test. You can do this at an approved garage. The garage will give you
an MOT certificate when your car passes the test. It is an offence not to have a MOT
certificate. If you do not have an MOT certificate, your insurance will not be valid.
Safety
Everyone in a vehicle should wear a seat belt. Children under 12 years of age may need
a special booster seat. Motorcycles and their passengers must wear a crash helmet (this
law does not apply to Sikh men if they are wearing a turban). It is illegal to drive while
holding a mobile phone.
Accidents
If you are involved in a road accident:
Dont drive away without stopping: this is a criminal offence
Call the police and ambulance on 999 or 112 if someone is injured
Get the names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers and insurance details of the
other drivers
Give your details to the other drivers or passengers and to the police
Make a note of everything that happened and contact your insurance company as soon
as possible

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1.4. Cultural Aspect


Information about theatre, cinema, music and exhibitions is found in local newspapers,
local libraries and tourist information centres. Many museums and art galleries are free.
1.4.1 Media
Film, video and DVD
This is one of best experiences if you really enjoy the latest films on the big screen. You
can get from gummy bears to the classical pop corn. Checking the shows well in advance
is strongly recommendable. However, getting your tickets with special concessions if
your are a student will help you save some pounds. And definitely after the show you
can pop into a pub near by and have a friendly chat with a person who enjoys the same
taste.
Films in the UK have a system to show if they are suitable for children. This is
called the classification system. If a child is below the age of the classification, they
should not watch the film at a cinema or on DVD. All films receive a classification, as
follows:
U (Universal) : suitable for anyone aged 4 years and over
PG (parental guidance): suitable for everyone but some parts of the film might be
unsuitable for children. Their parents should decide.
12 or 12A: children under 12 are not allowed to see or rent the film unless they are with
an adult.
15: children under 15 are not allowed to see or rent the film.
18: no one under 18 is allowed to see or rent the film.
R18: no one under 18 is allowed to see the film, which is only available in specially
licensed cinemas.
Television and radio
British Television broadcast programmes for every taste. Soap operas like Eastenders
which started in 1985 years on BBC2 and is still on. And show like Britains got talent
which actually we can see the remake on most Tv. Stations around the globe even here
in Per.
Anyone in the UK with a television (TV), DVD or video recorder, computer or
any device which is used for watching or recording TV programmes must be covered
by a valid television licence. One license covers all of the equipment at one address, but
people who rent different rooms in a shared house must each buy a separate licence.

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A colour TV licence currently costs GBP 131.50 (2006) and lasts for 12 months.
People aged 75, or over, can apply for a free TV licence. There are many ways to buy a
TV licence including from local PayPoint outlets or on-line. It is also possible to pay for
the licence in installments.

1.4.2 Sports and Leisure


The last splendor was 2012 Olympic games in London city which demonstrated such
great organization to hold such great mega event. People in Britain can practice any
sport. If you want to do some exercise after work you can go to the local gym and
register for some sessions. Most schools which have gyms offer the service too.
You can find information about local clubs and societies can usually be found at
local libraries or through your local authority. For information about sports you should
ask in the local leisure centre. Libraries and leisure centres often organise activities for
children during the school holidays.
If you enjoy reading there are public libraries all around. They offer services from
book borrowing to Dvds and Internet services. Before taking any of the services you
may register and obtain a library card. And read the rules and regulations to avoid
penalties.
Places of interest
The UK has a large network of public footpaths in the countryside. Many parts of the
countryside and places of interest are kept open by the National Trust. This is a charity
that works to preserve important buildings and countryside in the UK.
Pubs and night clubs
Public houses, or pubs, are an important part of social life in the UK. To drink alcohol
in a pub you must be 18 or over. People under 18 are not allowed to buy alcohol in a
supermarket or in an off-licence either. The landlord of the pub may allow people of 14
to come into the pub but they are not allowed to drink. At 16, people can drink wine or
beer with a meal in a hotel or restaurant.
Pubs are usually open during the day and until 11 PM. If a pub wants to stay open
later, it must apply for a special licence. Night clubs open and close later than pubs.
One of the reason why pubs close early is that train services and public transportation
closes at midnight. However, walking at midnight in London is an experience you may
consider. It is just great! Guiness is one of the best beers you can drink. You can get it
here in Lima too.

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Betting and gambling


People under 18 are not allowed into betting shops or gambling clubs. There is a
National Lottery for which draws, with large prizes, are made every week. You can
enter by buying a ticket or a scratch card. People under 16 are not allowed to buy a
lottery ticket or scratch card.

1.4.3 Dominat Beliefs, Values and Traditions


Festivals
Throughout the year there are festivals of art, music and culture, such as the Notting
Hill Carnival in west London and the Edinburgh Festival. Customs and traditions
from various religions, such as Eid ul-Fitr (Muslim), Diwali (Hindu) and Hanukkah
(Jewish) are widely recognised in the UK. Children learn about these at school. The
main Christian festivals are Christmas and Easter. There are also celebrations of nonreligious traditions such as New Year.
The main Christian festivals
In Uk there are lots of big festivals and there are others which are celebrated in the
small towns or regions. This country has developed particular ways to celebrate them
which make every one of these very special.
Christmas Day
25 December, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a public holiday. Many Christians
go to church on Christmas Eve (24 December) or on Christmas Day itself. Christmas is
also usually celebrated by people who are not Christian. People usually spend the day
at home and eat a special meal, which often includes turkey. They give each other gifts,
send each other cards and decorate their houses. Many people decorate a tree. Christmas
is a special time for children. Very young children believe that an old man, Father
Christmas (or Santa Claus), brings them presents during the night. He is always shown
in pictures with a long white beard, dressed in red. Boxing Day, 26 December, is the day
after Christmas. It is a public holiday.
New Year
1st January, is a public holiday. People usually celebrate on the night of 31 December. In
Scotland, 31 December is called Hogmanay and 2 January is also a public holiday. In
Scotland Hogmanay is a bigger holiday for some people than Christmas.

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Valentines Day
14 February, is when lovers exchange cards and gifts. Sometimes people send anonymous
cards to someone they secretly admire.
April Fools Day
1 April, is a day when people play jokes on each other until midday. Often TV and
newspapers carry stories intended to deceive credulous viewers and readers.
Mothers Day
The Sunday three weeks before Easter is a day when children send cards or buy gifts for
their mothers. Easter is also an important Christian festival.
Halloween
31 October, is a very ancient festival. Young people will often dress up in frightening
costumes to play trick or treat. Giving them sweets or chocolates might stop them to
playing a trick on you. Sometimes people carry lanterns made out of pumpkins with a
candle inside.
Guy Fawkes Night
5 November, is an occasion when people in Great Britain set off fireworks at home or
in special displays. The origin of this celebration was an event in 1605, when a group of
Catholics led by Guy Fawkes failed in their plan to kill the Protestant king with a bomb
in the House of Parliament.
Remembrance Day
11 November, commemorated those who died fighting in World War I, World War II
and other wars. Many people wear poppies, a red flower, in memory of those who died.
At 11 AM there is a two-minute silence.
Sport
Sport of all kinds plays an important part in many peoples lives. Football, tennis, rugby
and cricket are very popular sports in the UK. There are no United Kingdom teams
for football or rugby. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own
teams. Important sporting events include, the Grand National horse race, the Football
Association (FA) cup final (and equivalents in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales),
the Open golf championship and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
Pets
Many people in the UK have pets such as cats and dogs. It is against the law to treat
a pet cruelly or to neglect it. All dogs in public places must wear a collar showing the

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name and address of the owner .The owner is responsible for keeping the dog under
control and for cleaning up after the animal in a public place. Vaccinations and medical
treatment for animals are available from veterinary surgeons (vets). If you cannot afford
to pay a vet, you can go to a charity called the PDSA (Peoples Dispensary for Sick
Animals).
ACTIVITIES
1. Explain the difference between Great Britain and UK.
You can use this video to clarify some concepts
http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/how/how-understand-differencebetween-uk-and-great-britain
2. Describe the Educational system and How students could have access to University
courses.
Here you have a link where you could have a better idea:
http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/britain-great-episodes/knowledge-great
3. Mention the oldest building from UK considered one of the world wonders.
Here you have a link which could help you discover this:
http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/britain-great/heritage-great-part-2

55

The United States of America

Fast Facts
Capital

Washington DC

Population

295,734,134 (July 2005 est.)

Languages
:

English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other IndoEuropean 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%,
other 0.7% (2000 Census)

Religions
:

Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%,
none 10% (2002 est.)

Total area

9,631,418 sq km

Border countries and oceans : Canada,


Mexico,
country

Canada)
India)

Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of


Pacific Ocean Worlds third-largest
by
Size
(after
Russia
and
and by population (After China and

Map of the United States of America and its 50 states

Different regions of the USA

The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco

Map Of Native American Groups

Map of the 13 colonies

Immigrant population origins

Pie of Religion in USA

Ballet

Academy Oscar Awards

Georgia O'Keeffe

Andy Warhol. CAmpbell's tomato juice box 1964

Religion and economic status


Percentage of College Graduates
Percentage of Households With an Annual Income Above 75 K

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
National Average

40%
30%
20%

Data come from a Pew Forum on


Religion and Public Life survey
conducted in 2007. Pew conducted
similar, though less comprehensive,
surveys in 2010 ns this year and found
comparable results.

10%
Jehovah's
Witnesses
Pentecostals

Baptists

Muslims
Catholics
Unallocated
Mormons
religious

Presbitarians
Methodists
Secular
Lutherans
Orthodox
Christians

Reform lewis
Conservativo lewis
Anglicans/Episcopalians
Unitarians
Buddhists

American ethnicity chart

Hindus

100%

he culture of the United States is a Western culture with its own particular
development. It started its formation over 10,000 years ago with the migration of
Paleo-Indians from Asia into the region that is today the continental United States. It
has its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social
habits, cuisine, and folklore. Today, the United States of America is an ethnically and
racially diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration from many different
countries throughout its history
2.1 Geography

States

Federal District

Alabama Alaska - Arizona - Arkansas - California - Colorado Connecticut - Delaware - Florida - Georgia - Hawai - Idaho-Illinois Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Kentucky - Loisiana - Maine - Maryland Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana
- Nebraska - Nevada - New Hampshire - New Jersey - New Mexico
- New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma Oregon - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - South Dakota
- Tennessee - Texas - Utah - Vermont - Virginia - West Virginia Wisconsin - Wyoming
Washington, D. C. (District of Columbia)

2.1 Historical framework

2.1.1 Geography
The United States shares land borders with Canada (to the north) and Mexico (to the
south), and a territorial water border with Russia in the northwest, and two territorial
water borders in the southeast between Florida and Cuba, and Florida and the Bahamas.

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The contiguous forty-eight states are otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the
west, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast. Alaska
borders the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Bering Strait to the west, and the Arctic
Ocean to the north, while Hawaii lies far to the southwest of the mainland in the Pacific
Ocean.
Forty-eight of the states are in the single region between Canada and Mexico;
this group is referred to, with varying precision and formality, as the continental or
contiguous United States, and as the Lower 48. Alaska, which is not included in the
term contiguous United States, is at the northwestern end of North America, separated
from the Lower 48 by Canada. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific
Ocean. The capital city, Washington, District of Columbia, is a federal district located
on land donated by the state of Maryland. (Virginia had also donated land, but it was
returned in 1847.) The United States also has overseas territories with varying levels of
independence and organization.
The continental United States contains two harbor indented coasts of several
thousand miles from which well watered coastal plains rise to two mountain ranges
between which is an arable plain overlaid by thousands of miles of interconnected and
navigable rivers.
The Texas continental crossroads, the southerly deserts, and the basin and range
country of Utah and Nevada complete the picture. The combination of rivers navigable
thousands of miles inland, running throughout virtually all of the largest contiguous
area of farm land in the world, has helped to make the United States the worlds
breadbasket and wealthiest nation by far.
Considering both the natural features and the political unity of the states of the
region of the Great Plains, contrasted with the river systems and political disunity of
Europe as an example, nothing quite like it exists anywhere else in the world. New
Orleans--purchased along with the French territory of Louisiana in 1803--is the key to
the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Red river system of North
America. In turn, Texas, with its own, unnavigable rivers, but productive land, acts as
a buffer to protect New Orleans from the south and west.
The geography of the United States varies across their immense area. Within the
continental U.S., eight distinct physiographic divisions exist, though each is composed
of several smaller physiographic subdivisions. These major divisions are:
Laurentian Upland - part of the Canadian Shield that extends into the northern
United States Great Lakes area.
Atlantic Plain - the coastal regions of the eastern and southern parts includes
the continental shelf, the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast.

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Appalachian Highlands - lying on the eastern side of the United States, it includes
the Appalachian Mountains, the Watchung Mountains, the Adirondacks and
New England province originally containing the Great Eastern Forest.
Interior Plains - part of the interior contentintal United States, it includes much
of what is called the Great Plains.
Interior Highlands - also part of the interior contentintal United States, this
division includes the Ozark Plateau.
Rocky Mountain System - one branch of the Cordilleran system lying far inland
in the western states.
Intermontane Plateaus - also divided into the Columbia Plateau, the Colorado
Plateau and the Basin and Range Province, it is a system of plateaus, basins,
ranges and gorges between the Rocky and Pacific Mountain Systems. It is the
setting for the Grand Canyon, the Great Basin and Death Valley.
Pacific Mountain System - the coastal mountain ranges and features in the west
coast of the United States.

2.1.2 History
Many books have been written about the history of The United States of America,
we are offering this brief summary with the attempt to maintain the most substantial
events, expecting our readers will deepen into this subject as a personal research.
Early America
According to current data, man arrived in the land of North America 45 000 years
ago. Travelers from Asia crossed the Behring strait and first established in Alaska,
then went southwards to what is now America. These first settlers lived in villages,
cultivated crops, their view of the world was based on myths and oral traditions and
used a type of picture writing or hieroglyphics; they related very closely to nature which
was attributed spiritual value and were independent, with random contact among other
groups. There were 2 million natives when Europeans arrived in the land.
The first Europeans were a few explorers from Scandinavian islands, but the
imminent invasion of Europeans started in 1500. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French
and British came looking for riches, freedom, taking the opportunity for a new start on
the recently discovered land.
In 1522 Spain conquered Mexico and in 1540 Coronado explored the northern lands
reaching the Grand Canyon. The First European settlement in what is now America
was Spanish; a city in Florida named Augustine. Not only explorers but settlers arrived
in the land and established 13 British colonies to North East.

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Colonial period
In 1690, 250, 000 Europeans lived in the new world. In 1790 they had reached the 2, 5
million. These groups of immigrants had come from England first and soon from the
Northern part of Europe. They established in the North East coast beside the Atlantic.
They had different reasons to come to the New World, escaping from war or for
political or religious freedom, in some cases, there were entire families. The first British
settlements were Jamestown in the Commonwealth of Virginia, founded in 1607 by a
group led by Captain John Smith and Plymouth which at present is in Massachusetts.
Plymouth was founded in 1620 by a group of families escaping religious persecution
that came in the ship called Mayflower and who became the so called Pilgrims. Both
became transcendental colonies of New England.
Eventually Thirteen colonies were formed, submitted to the crown of England
and British language and culture prevailed although people from all over the world
kept coming. Their economy was based on timber, agriculture, shipbuilding, fishing
and trade. Southern colonies had a fertile soil; they had farms and plantations where
African slaves were brought.
In some cases, some groups of Europeans and natives had friendly encounters but
from the beginnings they were mostly violent.
Colonies developed local governments based on the British tradition of citizen
participation. Colonial American assemblies claimed to act as local parliaments and
wanted to increase their authority over royal authorities as they realized that their
interests were often different from Englands.
Ideas of Independence
The 13 colonies population grew and their economy increased during 1700s. After 1750
the British crown demanded more taxes and applied policies that restricted colonists'
way of life until then, they could not settle into new lands nor print money and they
were forced to provide for royal soldiers expenses.
An organized resistance appeared. In Oct 1775, 27 delegates of 9 colonies met in
New York and passed resolutions. They thought colonies had the right to administrate
their own taxes as it was the basic theme of their meeting but radicals wanted total
independence from England. Samuel Adams from Massachusetts organized a
revolutionary movement.
In December 1773, in the port of Boston, a group of men sneaked 3 ships and threw
the cargo of tea overboard, this is known as The Boston Tea Party. The British reaction
was closing the port of Boston and restricted the local authorities of the colonies which
people called intolerable acts.

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In September 1774 all colonies except Georgia sent delegates to Philadelphia to the
first continental congress. Some loyalist people wanted to stay subjects to the crown
but improving their conditions, revolutionaries wanted complete independence from
England.
Revolution
On April 19, 1775 a group of colonists were armed and ready to fight, they were called
Minute Men. They went on a silent protest to meet British soldiers in Lexington. They
had agreed not to start a fire unless the soldiers would shoot first and so it happened.
That day 93 revolutionaries and 250 British soldiers died.
The colonies representatives hurried a second continental congress in Philadelphia
and named George Washington as the commander of an army. Nevertheless they
sent King James a peace resolution to avoid the war but it was rejected. Thomas
Jefferson was in charge to write a declaration of independence for the new nation.
The declaration stated that freedom and political rights were human rights. The 2nd
continental Congress accepted this declaration on the 04 July 1776 and declared war to
England. At first, the colonists army was defeated; Washington had problems getting
men and materials. In 1778 France recognized United States as independent and signed
a treaty of alliance. There were battles from Montreal to Georgia. Finally the British
army surrendered in 1781.In 1783 a peace treaty was signed by Britain and other nations
recognized The United States as an independent nation and in this treaty the 13 colonies
became states
Forming a national government
In 1783 the United States of America consisted of 13 colonies. Their authorities developed
a plan to work together as a confederation but there was not a strong connection. It was
actually as thirteen different countries; each state had their own taxes, money, army,
navy and traded with other countries. Furthermore each state believed its way was the
right way.
In May 1787 fifty five delegates of the states gathered in Philadelphia. The delegates
were men who knew about laws, history, theory of politics and they concluded that
the articles of confederation did not work well so they proposed a constitution to
constitute a new nation based on Legislative, executive, and judicial authorities which
was eventually accepted by every one.
They debated four months and agreed on a Constitution which provided the
framework for the new government which could create money, impose taxes,
administrate a Postal system, keep an army , deal with other countries, wage war. The
Constitution divided the power in three equal and independent parts: Legislature,
which implies the Congress, the executive which is the President and his cabinet, the

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judicial system implying the Supreme Court.They did not agree on issues as the balance
of power of central government; if everybody would have the right to vote; equal
representation in the Congress and slavery.
On Sept 17, 1787 after a year, most of delegates signed the new Constitution as the
law of The United States. Nine states ratified. There were 2 groups with very definite
and opposite thinking, Federalists who wanted a strong government and anti federalists
who did not want a strong central government but more power given to each state.In
the 1st Congress in September 1789 in New York 10 amendments were added to the
Constitution, these amendments are also called The Bill of Rights. It includes the right
of freedom, liberty of speech, of press, religion, to protest and meet peacefully among
others. Since the Bill of rights only 17 amendments have been added in more than 200
yrs
Early years, westward expansion, regional differences
George Washington became the 1st president of The United States of America on April
30, 1789
His job was to create a working government along with the Congress, the cabinet,
and the Supreme Court. Western territories became new states under new policies.
According to the Constitution presidents term lasts four years which can be
extended only one more term. The following presidents were John Adams and Thomas
Jefferson, one after the other, had different ideas so this led to the creation of parties. As
John Adams who along with Alexander Hamilton started the federalists, who believed
in strong central government with the support of Northern states, people in trade and
manufacturing. On the other hand, Jefferson led the republicans with south support,
they believed in more power in the states and local governments. Most of them had
farms and plantations.
In 1812 there was another war with Britain, one part of British army reached
Washington DC. Eventually England signed a treaty of peace with US in 1815.
The country had peace, prosperity and social progress, other states were created but
differences between states were obvious. The cities were civilized but frontiers were
lawless, there was freedom and also slavery. These differences created major problems.
Conflict inside the nation
While some Northerners thought slavery was wrong, others saw it as a threat to free
workers and white southerners saw it as part of life. Thousands of slaves escaped to the
north using the Underground railway a legendary route where getaway slaves would
find people to help them.

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In 1860 a third of the total population of slave states was not free and northerners did
not care while it did not happen in their region. Southerners believed that slavery was
an issue the had the right to decide. A young politician from Illinois Abraham Lincoln
believed it was a national issue. The south threatened to leave the union if Lincoln
became president. Lincoln was elected president and southern states manifested their
decision to separate from the Union.
Civil War started in April 1861 and lasted 4 years. The south claimed the right to
leave the Union and start their own confederacy. The North fought to keep the union
together and end slavery. Lincoln led northern states and decided to stop the rebellion
and keep the country together by force. Tens of Thousands of soldiers fought on land
and sea. The 17 September 1862 was the bloodiest day of the war. Later in 1862 Lincoln
issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation that freed all slaves in the confederate
states and allowed them to enroll in the army.
North began to win important battles. In 1865 Southern armys general Lee
surrendered and the war was over. Less than a week later a confederate sympathizer
killed President Lincoln.
Vice president Andrew Johnson took the charge. Most former confederate states
cancelled the acts of succession but did not abolish slavery. All confederate states except
Tennessee refused to give full citizenship to African American men. Late in the 1870s
whites in southern states deprived the blacks rights in the territory by local laws.
Segregation was introduced and the use of separate facilities was established, schools,
transportation, drinking fountains, etc were separated for different races. For 100 years
more whites and blacks remained separated.
Growth and transformation
United States changed after the civil war, the frontier turned less wild and cities grew
in size and number. There were more factories railroads, and immigrants arrived .It
was an age of inventions, the telephone, the electric bulb, the moving picture. Industries
created the so called Trusts for Steel, oil and communication industries. Buyers had
fewer choices and companies had more power, the government wanted to stop these
monopolies, they passed antitrust laws.
Farming was still Americas main occupation, grains, cotton, was produced and
exported. There was also mining and cattle. West became more and more populated
by white settlers who pushed natives away and the government promised new lands to
them but promises were broken again and again. Late in 1800 Siux and apaches fought
back but were defeated. Many tribes were given federal lands in administration. Today
there are more than 300 reservations.
Internationally, America intervened in other countries as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam,
Philippines. Americans sought new markets for their goods. These Imperialistic ideas

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and behavior was criticized by American idealists. By the end of 19 century America
was beginning to emerge as a world power.
Progressivism Reforms
By 1900 the United States had seen civil war economic prosperity and economic
hard times. Americans still believed in religious freedom, free public education was
accessible and free press. Sadly political power belonged to a few corrupt officials and
their friends, there was monopoly and corruption.
The idea of Progressivism was came up, they wanted an honest government.
Writers as Upton Sinclair and Dreiser would describe unfair and unhealthy situations
with the hope their books would force the government to make changes fairer and
safer for citizens. Theodore Roosevelt (1901 1909) believed in progressivism, his
administration protected natural resources and Congress aimed to reduce the political
power of business. Changes continued with next president Woodrow Wilson (1913
-1921) in whose government dealt with unfair business practices, passed laws to benefit
farmers, workers, sailors. During progressivism administration many immigrants
arrived in America looking for their dreamland. In the period of 1890 -1921, 19 million
immigrants came from Europe, Asia and neighbors Canada and Mexico.
Prosperity and great depression
In 1914 a war started in Europe. It was WW1.The United States wanted to stay away
from it but they got involved by an attack to civilians travelling in a ship in 1915, almost
130 American people died. President Woodrow Wilson demanded Germany to stop the
attacks which in 1917 started again. Around two million soldiers participated.
The War 1 ended on Nov 11 1918 by the signing of a truce in Versailles. After the
war, there were problems inside the nation, racial tension, struggling farmers, labor
unrest. American feared communism, it was called the Red Scare. Though in a sector of
society and for a short time some families enjoyed prosperity, in October 1929 the stock
market collapsed, the great depression started. Banks collapsed; in November 1922 the
20% of the population had no jobs.
The New Deal and Second War
Franklin Delano Roosevelt learnt that democracy failed in other countries because it
could not fight unemployment and insecurity. In early 1930s a new deal to end depression
was established: there were several programs, bank accounts were ensured, new rules
for stock market, and union of workers, farmers received financial aid for crops. People
hired by the government planted trees and cleaned public places; skilled workers built
dams and the social system helped the poor and disabled. The government was big.
The Second World War started in Europe. The United Sates wanted to remain
neutral. Congress voted to draft soldiers and strengthen military. Japan conquered

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territories in Asia, the United States demanded Japan to withdraw from its conquered
territories or they would not provide them with oil. Japan refused to do it.
On Dec 7 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, America declared the war to Japan
, their allies became Americas enemies too. Then Germany invaded Russia and soon
after it surrendered in 1945.
In Asia Japan continued to fight, Japan refused to surrender. The United States sent
an atomic bomb which was used in 2 cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The American President was Harry S. Truman. The war was finally over in August
1945
The Cold war, Korean conflict , Vietnam
After the war America and Great Britain had long term disagreements with Soviet
Union. Each believed its system could best ensure security and its ideas produced liberty
equality prosperity, this disagreement is called cold war.
Economic depression would increase the popularity of communism to spread and
United States offered European nations and even Russia to repair the loss from war.
Soviet nations refused to accept it. In 1952 Americas plan to help Europe was to give
them money to rebuild.
US wanted to limit soviet expansion. America supported Iran and Turkey and
Greece against communist revolts
In 1949 Mao Tse tung forces invaded and took control of china. Communist North
Korea invaded South Korea in 1950 and U.S. got support from the United Nations
for military intervention until 1953, armistice was signed but US troops remain in
South Korea to this day. In 1960 U.S.helped South Vietnam from communists of North
Vietnam. In 1975 North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam.
Great Days In 1950 -1960
Families grew and an economical boost flourished. People went to live in the suburbs.
African Americans started a movement to gain fair treatment. In 1954 Separate
schools for blacks finished. Lyndon Johnson supported reverend Martin Luther King.
Other leader, Malcolm X did not want a peaceful solution. New laws ended segregation
and guaranteed right to vote to African Americans. Racial prejudice was not gone but
African Americans had more possibilities to live freely and well. In 1960s women were
angry for not having equal conditions so a social movement was born, they claimed for
an amendment for equal rights for women in business and education.
Native Americans fought for the government to keep their promises of assistance,
housing and education. Hispanic Americans were political active too, fought against

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discrimination. Students protested the war in Vietnam, a counter culture appeared


with visible symbols: hair dos, Illegal drugs, music .Although American society was
changing, US was embracing its cultural diversity.
End of 20th Century
The United States has always been a country where different ideas and views were
possible to live together. Liberal activism of 1960s -1970s was followed by conservative
ways in 1980s .Conservatives wanted a weak government but a strong national defense,
in 1981 during the administration of president Regan , the Soviet Union collapsed and
the cold war ended.
Then Bill Clinton a liberal was elected president. After him in 2000 ballots in Florida
gave the office to G. Bush against Al Gore. But on September 11, 2001 everything
changed. President Bush established an anti terrorism policy in the nation. He was
reelected for a second period.
In 2008 Obama, the 1st African American president faces serious economic
difficulties, the worst since the depression of the 30s. But we all believe that America
will remain a land of freedom and opportunity. ( freely adapted by author US History
Learner English, April 2010, U.S. Department of State)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness from Declaration of Independence of the United
States of America (August 2,1776)

George Washington

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Pilgrim girl

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Below: The 13 colonies can be divided into three regions: New England, Middle,
and Southern colonies. The chart below provides additional information include: years
of settlement and founders.

COLONY
NAME

YEAR
FOUNDED

FOUNDED BY

Virginia

1607

London Company

BECAME
ROYAL
COLONY
1624

Massachusetts

1620

Puritans

1691

New Hampshire

1623

John Wheelwright

1679

Maryland

1634

Lord Baltimore

N/A

Connecticut

c. 1635

Thomas Hooker

N/A

Rhode Island

1636

Roger Williams

N/A

Delaware

1638

Peter Minuit and New Sweden


Company

N/A

North Carolina

1653

Virginians

1729

South Carolina

1663

Eight Nobles with a Royal Charter


from Charles II

1729

New Jersey

1664

Lord Berkeley and Sir George


Carteret

1702

New York

1664

Duke of York

1685

Pennsylvania

1682

William Penn

N/A

Georgia

1732

James Edward Oglethorpe

1752

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2.2 SOCIAL STRUCTURE


2.2.1 Ethnicity
The United States of America is attractive for immigrants now and has been the land of
their dreams since long ago. Over a century after Christopher Columbus discovered the
new continent a new nation was founded in the Northern part of America by groups
of immigrants coming from Europe who decided to make the land theirs and establish
a new nation according to their ideals and beliefs. However, the land had already been
populated by other immigrants who had come thousands of years before. For them,
European colonization was a difficult and painful process.
The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. These
peoples living in the territory had conformed family clans who had a language each
of them and though they had similar habits and religious practices, had contact and
exchanged among one another; they maintained each their autonomy. Women played
central roles not only in the creation of identity but also in the establishment of kinship
ties across tribal cultures. (Reclaiming Din History, The legacies of Navajo Chief
Manuelito and Juanita, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, p.145)
The European invasion, coming from the East which massively invaded the land
and eventually possessed it, reduced the native peoples to live in specifically assigned
places known as reservations.Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today
constitutes the U.S. vary significantly, ranging from 1 million to 18 million.
Immigrants arrived in America looking for job and the hope of a better life for
them and their families. Historians estimate that fewer than one million immigrants
perhaps as few as 400,000crossed the Atlantic during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The 1790 Act limited naturalization to free white persons; it was expanded to include
blacks in the 1860s and Asians in the 1950s. In the early years of the United States,
immigration was fewer than 8,000 people a year, including French
refugees from the slave revolt in Haiti. After 1820, immigration gradually increased.
From 1836 to 1914, over 30 million Europeans migrated to the United States. The death
rate on these transatlantic voyages was high, during which one in seven travelers died.
In 1875, the nation passed its first immigration law, the Page Act of 1875. In Ellis Island
migrations officials would apply a strict policy of selection, not anyone would enter in
the US but the ones who had passed all the tests of these officials which were applied
with the purpose of screening people with bad mental or physical health conditions. If
someone would not pass the test, they were sent back to the country of origin.
The peak year of European immigration was in 1907, when 1,285,349 persons
entered the country. By 1910, 13.5 million immigrants were living in the United States.
The United States accepted more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other
countries in the world combined. After ethnic quotas on immigration were removed

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in 1965 the number of actual (first-generation) immigrants living in the United States
eventually quadrupled, from 9.6 million in 1970 to about 38 million in 2007.Over
one million persons were naturalized as U.S. citizens in 2008. The leading countries
of origin of immigrants to the United States were Mexico, India, the Philippines, and
China. Nearly 14 million immigrants entered the United States from 2000 to 2010.
Nowadays the panorama of the US is now a multiethnic and multicultural nation.
There are descendants of people who came from all over the world, these implies
different customs and creeds. United States is similar to a Kaleidoscope rather than to
a melting pot, because each group stays different and separated from the other while
all is sheltered by the umbrella of the laws, democracy and language. Nevertheless
the immigrants speak their own languages when they arrive, speaking English is
compulsory to obtain a job and prosper. Due to the extended population of Hispanics,
Spanish is the second language most spoken in the USA.

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No metaphor can capture completely the complexity of ethnic dynamics in the U.S.
Melting Pot ignores the persistence and reconfiguration of ethnicity over generations
The most accurately descriptive metaphor, the one that best explains the dynamics of
ethnicity, is kaleidoscope, complex and varied, changing form, pattern, color, continually
shifting from one set of relations to another (The American kaleidoscope, Lawrence
H. Fuchs, p. 176)
What has been the reaction at the incoming masses from different origins? This has
always been seen disturbing or as a threat. Migratory policies have become more and
more drastic and sometimes too harsh.
The charts below show the ethnical composition of the United States (up to 2010)

2.2.2 Religion
At the beginning only Christian Protestants conformed the population of settlers in the
United States; after the years, immigrants have also changed the religious panorama.
Especially US religions underwent significant changes after the post-war revival. The
influence and membership of mainstream Protestant and traditional denominations
declined in the liberal social climate of the 1960s and 1970s.Increasing pluralism led to
new religious groups such as fundamentalist and evangelical churches (which attract
large number of members), various sects, cults and eastern religions, such as Islam,
Hinduism and Buddhism.
Despite these changes, the large majority of religious Americans today are still
within the Judeo-Christian tradition. US religion consequently consists of three main
faiths in terms of their history, numbers and influence: Protestantism, Catholicism
and Judaism. (American Civilization, An introduction, David Mauk and John
Oakland,Routledge,2010).
As an example of religious diversity, we can name the Amish.
Amish
The Amish are a group of highly religious
Christians originally from Germany,
Switzerland and the Alsace region of France.
They immigrated to the US in the 18th
century. The Amish originally settled in
Pennsylvania. Over time they migrated to
many other states in the US and to parts of
Canada.
The Amish believe in being separate
from the society around them. They dont

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use electricity, automobiles or other modern conveniences. They have religious services
every other Sunday. The alternate Sunday is for spending time with the community.
The Amish way of life largely revolves around working and socializing together as
a family and community. The Amish still speak the German dialect that many of
their ancestors from Europe spoke. Its alternatively called Pennsylvania German,
Pennsylvania Dutch or Deitsch. They also speak English. They live in 24 of the 50 states
of USA and in Ontario, Canada.
Donald B. Kraybill. estimates there were about 180,000 Amish people living in
North America as of 2001. (website Mama Lisas world .)
Just as the quilt maker creates a pattern with many different quilt pieces, enduring
Old Order beliefs and values stitch together an Amish patchwork from various
histories, habits, customs and cultures, producing a pattern precisely because the pieces
are different. ( An Amish Patchwork, Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt, Indiana
University Press,2005)

2.2.3 Main Social Issues


Americanness and national identity is a global concept of US society. The ethnic,
religious, political-legal and economic cultures influence other specific parts of American
life, such as Education, social services, the Media, and the Arts, sports and leisure. They
also condition questions of what it means to be American and what constitutes national
identity.
A dilemma for the USA has been how to balance a need for civic unity against the
reality of ethnic diversity and thus, to avoid the dangers of fragmentation. (American
Civilization, An introduction, David Mauk and John Oakland,Routledge,2010).
Being the United States such a large and diverse nation, the social problems that
affect society would vary according to the region or if it is an urban or rural environment.
Furthermore, it may vary according to different points of view, for example, no guns
control represents a problem for some part of American society and the people who
say that having a gun is the right of any citizen will state that it is not the problem.
Abortion is another topic that has opposite sides, as Gay and lesbian marriage, racism
against Muslims, the modifications in Health system, etc. Interestingly all these issues
are addressed by candidates on campaign and dealing with them once in administration
seems to be almost impossible because they are so controversial and divide the population
in two.
Just to mention some problems in general:
Inequality of opportunities is rising; rich people are becoming richer and poor
becoming poorer.

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Poverty, around 13-17% American population lives below the federal poverty
line.
Crime rate is also increasing the United States. Prison population in America is
growing every day. Most of the prisoners are drug offenders who use or sell recreational
drugs.
The cost of living in the United States is also increasing significantly. But the
minimum wage is not increasing accordingly, many people find it difficult to fulfill
their daily basic requirements. The working population makes more money and again
spends more on living which hardly leaves anything behind for savings. America has
the lowest saving rate compared to any other developed nation.
Migration is a classic concern in US. The economic, social, and political aspects of
immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, and jobs
for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and
voting behavior.
The chart shows results of a poll recently applied in US. We can appreciate
the peoples opinion about the most important problems. Recently the economical
depression and unemployment have passed to be the greatest concern in Americas
population, followed by reduction of social services and the other classical issues.
CBS News Poll. Aug. 22-26, 2012. N=1,218 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.
What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?
Open-ended
%
Economy/Jobs

50

Budget deficit/National debt

Health care

Immigration

Education

War/Peace

Politicians/Government

Partisan politics

Misc. social issues

Other

21

Unsure

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2.3 POLITICAL STRUCTURE


Introduction
Being the United States (still) the most powerful nation on earth, politically, economically
and militarily, nevertheless its political system is in many important respects unlike any
other in the world, and might appear to be a bit complicated to understand. So we hope
that this explanation helps.
2.3.1.GOVERNMENT
The Constitution
Unlike Britain but like most nation states, the American political system is clearly defined
by basic documents. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the Constitution of
1789 form the foundations of the United States federal government. The Declaration
of Independence establishes the United States as an independent political entity, while
the Constitution creates the basic structure of the federal government. Both documents
are on display in the National Archives and Records Administration Building in
Washington, D.C.
The US Constitution has proved to be a remarkably stable document. If one accepts
that the first 10 amendments were in effect part of the original constitutional settlement,
there have only been 17 amendments in over 200 years. One of the major reasons for this
is that - quite deliberately on the part of its drafters - the Constitution is a very difficult
instrument to change.
At the heart of the US Constitution is the principle known as separation of powers,
a term coined by the French political, enlightenment thinker Montesquieu. This means
that power is spread between three institutions of the state - the executive, the legislature
and the judiciary - and no one institution has too much power and no individual can be
a member of more than one institution.
This principle is also known as checks and balances, since each of the three
branches of the state has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the
other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other
branches.
The great benefit of this system is that power is spread and counter-balanced and
the founding fathers - the 55 delegates who drafted the Constitution - clearly wished
to create a political system which was in sharp contrast to, and much more democratic
than, the monarchical system of absolute power then in force in Britain. The great
weakness of the system is that it makes government slow, complicated and legalistic
which is a particular disadvantage in a world - unlike that of 1776 - in which political

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and economic developments are fast-moving and the USA is a - indeed the - super
power.
Since the Constitution is so old and so difficult to change, for it to be meaningful
to contemporary society it requires interpretation by the courts and ultimately it is
the Supreme Court which determines what the Constitution means. There are very
different approaches to the interpretation of the Constitution with the two main strands
of thought being known as originalism and the Living Constitution.
Originalism is a principle of interpretation that tries to discover the original
meaning or intent of the constitution. It is based on the principle that the judiciary is not
supposed to create, amend or repeal laws (which is the realm of the legislative branch)
but only to uphold them. This approach tends to be supported by conservatives.
Living Constitution is a concept which claims that the Constitution has a dynamic
meaning and that contemporary society should be taken into account when interpreting
key constitutional phrases. Instead of seeking to divine the views of the drafters of the
document, it claims that they deliberately wrote the Constitution in broad terms so that
it would remain flexible. This approach tends to be supported by liberals.
The Presidency
Although the founding fathers wanted to avoid a political system that in any way
reflected the monarchical system then prevalent in Britain and for a long time the
Presidency was relatively weak, the vast expansion of the federal bureaucracy and the
military in the 20th century has in current practice given a greater role and more power
to the President than is the case for any single individual in most political systems.
The President is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as the
military commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. He presides over the executive branch
of the federal government, a vast organization numbering about 4 million people,
including 1 million active-duty military personnel. Within the executive branch, the
President has broad constitutional powers to manage national affairs and the workings
of the federal government and he may issue executive orders to affect internal policies.
The President has the power to make treaties (with the advice and consent of the
Senate) and the power to nominate and receive ambassadors. The President may not
dissolve Congress or call special elections, but does have the power to pardon criminals
convicted of offences against the federal government, enact executive orders, and (with
the consent of the Senate) appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
The President is elected for a fixed term of four years and may serve a maximum
of two terms.
Elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
to coincide with Congressional elections. The President is not elected directly by the

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voters but by an Electoral College representing each state on the basis of a combination
of the number of members in the Senate (two for each state regardless of size) and
the number of members in the House of Representatives (roughly proportional to
population). The states with the largest number of votes are California (55), Texas (34)
and New York (31). The states with the smallest number of votes - there are six of them
- have only three votes. The District of Columbia, which has no voting representation
in Congress, has three electoral votes. In effect, therefore, the Presidential election is not
one election but 51.
The total Electoral College vote is 538. This means that, to become President, a
candidate has to win at least 270 electoral votes. The voting system awards the Electoral
College votes from each state to delegates committed to vote for a certain candidate in
a winner take all system, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska (which award
their Electoral College votes according to Congressional Districts rather than for the
state as a whole).
This system of election means that in theory a candidate can win the largest number
of votes nationwide but fail to win the largest number of votes in the Electoral College
and therefore fail to become President. Indeed, in practice, this has happened three times
in US history, most recently in 2000. If this seems strange (at least to non-Americans),
the explanation is that the founding fathers who drafted the American Constitution
did not wish to give too much power to the people and so devised a system that gives
the ultimate power of electing the President to members of the Electoral College. The
same Constitution, however, enables each state to determine how its members in the
Electoral College are chosen and since the 1820s states have chosen their electors by a
direct vote of the people. The United States is the only current example of an indirectly
elected executive president.
The President may be impeached by a majority in the House and removed from
office by a two-thirds majority in the Senate for treason, bribery, or other high crimes
and misdemeanors.
Since 1939, there has been an Executive Office of the President (EOP) which has
consistently and considerably expanded in size and power. Today it consists of some
1,600 staff and costs some $300M a year.
The position of Vice-President is elected on the same ticket as that of the President
and has the same four-year term of office. The Vice-President is often described as a
heart beat away from the Presidency since, in the event of the death or incapacity of
the President, the Vice-President assumes the office. Although the President heads the
executive branch of government, the day-to-day enforcement and administration of
federal laws is in the hands of the various federal executive departments, created by
Congress to deal with specific areas of national and international affairs. The heads of
the 15 departments, chosen by the President and approved with the advice and consent

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of the Senate, form a council of advisors generally known as the Presidents Cabinet.
This is not a cabinet in the British political sense: it does not meet so often and does not
act so collectively.
The first United States President was George Washington, who served from 17891797, so that the current President Barack Obama is the 44th to hold the office. Four
sitting Presidents have been assassinated: Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield
in 1881, William McKinley in 1901 and John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is the lower chamber in the bicameral legislature known
collectively as Congress. The founders of the United States intended the House to be
the politically dominant entity in the federal system and, in the late 18th and early
19th centuries, the House served as the primary forum for political debate. However,
subsequently the Senate has been the dominant body.
The House consists of 435 members, each of whom represents a congressional
district and serves for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by
population according to each decennial census. Typically a House constituency would
represent around 500,000 people.
Members of the House are elected by first-past-the-post voting in every state except
Louisiana and Washington, which have run-offs. Elections are always held on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even numbered years. Voting in
congressional elections - especially to the House - is generally much lower than levels
in other liberal democracies. In a year when there is a Presidential election, turnout is
typically around 50%; in years when there is no Presidential election (known as midterms), it usually falls to around one third of the electorate. In the event that a member
of the House of Representatives dies or resigns before the end of the two-year term, a
special election is held to fill the vacancy.
The House has four non-voting delegates from American Samoa (1981), the
District of Columbia (1971), Guam (1972) and the Virgin Islands (1976) and one resident
commissioner for Puerto Rico (1976), bringing the total formal membership to 440.
Much of the work of the House is done through 20 standing committees and
around 100 sub-committees which perform both legislative and investigatory functions.
Each chamber of Congress has particular exclusive powers. The House must introduce
any bills for the purpose of raising revenue. However, the consent of both chambers is
required to make any law. Activity in the House of Representatives tends to be more
partisan than in the Senate.The House and Senate are often referred to by the media as
Capitol Hill or simply the Hill.

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The Senate
The Senate is the upper chamber in the bicameral legislature known collectively as
Congress. The original intention of the authors of the US Constitution was that the
Senate should be a regulatory group, less politically dominant than the House. However,
since the mid 19th century, the Senate has been the dominant chamber and indeed
today it is perhaps the most powerful upper house of any legislative body in the world.
The Senate consists of 100 members, each of which represents a state and serves for
a six-year term (one third of the Senate stands for election every two years).
Each state has two Senators, regardless of population, and, since there are 50 states,
then there are 100 senators. This equality of Senate seats between states has the effect of
producing huge variations in constituency population (the two senators from Wyoming
represent less than half a million electors, while the two senators from California
represent 34M people) with gross over-representation of the smaller states and serious
under-representation of racial and ethnic minorities. Members of the Senate are elected
by first-past-the-post voting in every state except Louisiana and Washington, which
have run-offs. Elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in
November in even numbered years.
The Senate and House are often referred to by the media as Capitol Hill or simply
the Hill.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court consists of nine Justices: the Chief Justice of the United States and
eight Associate Justices. They have equal weight when voting on a case and the Chief
Justice has no casting vote or power to instruct colleagues.
The Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed with the advice and
consent of the Senate. As federal judges, the Justices serve during good behavior,
meaning essentially that they serve for life and can be removed only by resignation or
by impeachment and subsequent conviction.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. The court deals with
matters pertaining to the federal government, disputes between states, and interpretation
of the Constitution. It can declare legislation or executive action made at any level of the
government as unconstitutional, nullifying the law and creating precedent for future
law and decisions.
The Supreme Court in practice has a much more political role than the highest
courts of European democracies. Since the Supreme Court makes so many political
decisions and its members are appointed so rarely and then for life, the appointment of
Justices by the President is often a very charged and controversial matter.

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Below the Supreme Court, there is a system of Courts of Appeal, and, below these
courts, there are District Courts. Together, these three levels of courts represent the
federal judicial system.
A special feature of the American political system in respect of the judiciary is that,
although federal judges are appointed, nationwide 87% of all state court judges are
elected and 39 states elect at least some of their judges. Outside of the United States,
there are only two nations that have judicial elections and then only in limited fashion.
Smaller Swiss cantons elect judges and appointed justices on the Japanese Supreme
Court must sometimes face retention elections (although those elections are a formality).
Political Parties & Elections
To an extent quite extraordinary in democratic countries, the American political system
is dominated by two political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party
(often known as the Grand Old Party or GOP). These are very old and very stable
parties - the Democrats go back to 1824 and the Republicans were founded in 1854.
In illustrations and promotional material, the Democratic Party is often represented
as a donkey, while the Republican Party is featured as an elephant. The origin of these
symbols is the political cartoonist Thomas Nast who came up with them in 1870 and
1874 respectively.
The main reason for the dominance of these two parties is that - like most other
Anglo-Saxon countries (notably Britain) - the electoral system is first past the post or
simple majority which, combined with the large voter size of the constituencies in the
House and (even more) the Senate, ensures that effectively only two parties can play.
The other key factor is the huge influence of money in the American electoral system.
Since effectively a candidate can spend any amount he can raise (not allowed in many
other countries) and since one can buy broadcasting time (again not allowed in many
countries), the US can only afford two parties or, to put it another way, candidates of
any other party face a formidable financial barrier to entry.
The Federal System
Understanding the federal nature of the United States is critical to appreciating the
complexities of the American political system.
Most political systems are created top-down. A national system of government is
constructed and a certain amount of power is released to lower levels of government.
The unique history of the United States means that, in this case, the political system was
created bottom-up.
First, some two centuries or so ago, there were 13 autonomous states who, following
the War of Independence against the British, created a system of government in which
the various states somewhat reluctantly ceded power to the federal government. Around

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a century later, the respective authority of the federal government and the individual
states was an issue at the heart of the Civil War when there was a bloody conflict over
who had the right to determine whether slavery was or was not permissible. With the
exception of Switzerland, no other Western democracy diffuses power to the same
degree as America.
So today the powers of the federal government remain strictly limited by the
Constitution - the critical Tenth Amendment of 1791 - which leaves a great deal of
authority to the individual states.
Each state has an executive, a legislature and a judiciary. The head of the executive is
the Governor who is directly elected. The legislature consists of a Senate and a House of
Representatives (the exception is the state of Nebraska which has a unicameral system).
The judiciary consists of a state system of courts.
The 50 states are divided into counties (parishes in Louisiana and boroughs in
Alaska). Each county has its court.
American Exceptionalism
Reading this short explanation, it will be evident to many (especially non-American)
readers that the United States is different from other democracies. This observation has
given rise to the notion of American exceptionalism. This is an ill-defined term which
has been used differently at different times.
One important version of American exceptionalism revolves around the lack of
a clear ideological or class-based division between the two major political parties. The
USA has never had a credible socialist or anti-capitalist party; both the main parties are
pro-capital and pro-business and speak to the middle class.
Other versions of the concept revolve around the alleged superiority of the United
States because of its history, size, wealth and global dominance plus the sophistication
of its constitution and power of its values such as individualism, innovation and
entrepreneurship.
The concept has a religious dimension with the belief that God has especially chosen
or blessed the country,as declared by Romney, candidate for presidential elections
in November 2012, We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of
Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed
by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of
these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of
a great champion of human dignity and human freedom. In short, the United States is
good, great and under God.

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Comparison of US and UK
United States

United Kingdom

Written Constitution

Unwritten Constitutionalism

Federal System

Unitary System

Republic

Monarchy

Presidential System

Parliamentary System

Two Party System

Two Party System

Democracy

Democracy

2.3.2 ECONOMY
We have divided this topic in two main parts: 1. Principles of the US Economic System
and 2. Economy overview.
Principles of the US Economic System
The economic system of the United States is known as capitalism. In this system,the
means of production are privately owned, and the fundamental questions of WHAT,
HOW, and WHO are answered by the market rather than by tradition or an economic
plan.
Capitalism is founded on certain principles, the most important being free
enterprise, private property, the profit motive, consumer sovereignty and competition.
Freedom of Enterprise
The free enterprise system takes its name from the freedom people in the system enjoy to
enter any legal business and conduct it as they see fit. Those who venture into the business
world hope that they might be quite successful at it. They know, however, that they
also risk the possibility of loss. Freedom of enterprise has its limitations. Because public
utilities (industries that serve the public interest, such as gas and electric companies) are
often the only source of a certain product in a community, government often regulates
what they provide and how much they can charge. To protect consumers, government
requires certain professions to be licensed. Most other businesses are subject to various
other types of government supervision and regulation. Despite all these limitations,
individuals have considerable freedom to organize and operate their businesses as they
choose.

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Private Property
Having the right to private property means allowing individuals to own property and
use it in any lawful manner they choose. The right of individuals to own the means
of production (such as factories, farms, and stores) is one of the basic principles of
capitalism. (In some command economies, by contrast, the means of production are
owned by the government.) Like most other rights,property rights in the United States
are subject to limitations. Government may,for example, tax those who own or inherit
property. Similarly, the principal of eminent domain gives government the power to seize
property it intends to use for some public purpose (such as to make room for building
a road or school).Eminent domain requires, however, that government pay a fair price
for the property it seizes.
Profit Motive
The principal reason why entrepreneurs go into business is to earn profits. Profits are
what remain after the expense of doing business is subtracted from a firms income.
Unlike wages and salaries, which are more or less fixed, profits are uncertain. If
business is poor, the firm might not earn any profits. If the business is successful, there
is no telling how much it might earn. To improve profits, firms try to keep costs down
while, at the same time, increasing income. Thus, profits provide entrepreneurs with
an impartial measure of their firms success and failure. When profits are increasing,
entrepreneurs know that they must be doing something right; when profits fall, they
know that something is wrong. Either way, entrepreneurs rely on the signals
profits provide to keep their operation on track. Economists describe the willingness of
entrepreneurs to risk financial loss by organizing and launching a business enterprise
as the profit motive.
Consumer Sovereignty
Just as people in business can produce and sell their goods and services as they wish,
consumers are free to choose which goods and services they will buy (and which they
will reject). However, even though sellers they can produce whatever they want,
they know that unless they please their customers (consumers), their business will
fail. Consequently, if consumers are unwilling to purchase purple ballpoint pens,
manufacturers will stop producing them. On the other hand, if consumers want yellow
ballpoints, manufacturers will do what they can to produce them. Economists describe
the need to give consumers what they want as consumer sovereignty.
Consumers likes and dislikes are expressed in a kind of marketplace election.
Consumers vote for a product by buying it and vote against it by choosing not to
buy it. The most successful businesses are those that either can anticipate the market
by correctly predicting what consumers will want or can successfully create a demand
for their products through advertising.

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Consumer sovereignty can be limited by government policy. If government requires


much titanium for making aircraft, then less of this scarce metal will be available for
consumer products, such as paint. Consumer sovereignty is also limited when there are
but two or three producers of a product. Most light bulbs, for example, are manufactured
by three producers. These manufacturers can pretty much determine the size, shape,
wattage, and price of their products.
Competition
The rivalry among sellers in the same field for consumer dollars is called competition.
As we just learned, the profit motive is the driving force that pushes business firms to
produce particular products or services. We also learned that consumers are free to
choose what goods and services they want and from whom they wish to purchase those
goods and services. For a while, Apple Computer and IBM pretty much dominated the
personal computer market. Then as others saw how profitable this market was, more
companies entered it. To win a share of the personal computer business, these other
firms had to offer products or services that were either better or at lower prices than
those of either Apple or IBM. Competition pressures business firms to constantly try
to provide the best services and to create the best products at the lowest possible prices.
This is the way that companies appeal to consumer sovereignty and, thus, earn greater
profits.
In the following chart we can appreciate some economy statistics.
ECONOMY STATISTICS UPDATE
Mar
2012

Apr
2012

May
2012

June
2012

July
2012

Aug
2012

Unemployment Rate (1)

8.2

8.1

8.2

8.2

8.3

8.1

Change in Payroll Employment (2)

143

68

87

45

141

96

23.37

23.40

23.43

23.50

23.53

23.52

Consumer Price Index (4)

0.3

0.0

-0.3

0.0

0.0

0.6

Producer Price Index (5)

-0.2

-0.3

-0.9

0.1

0.3

1.7

U.S. Import Price Index (6)

1.4

-0.1

-1.5

-2.3

-0.7

0.7

Data Series

Average Hourly Earnings (3)

Data extracted on: September 21, 2012 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Economy Overview
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from
civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the US budget deficit
and public debt - through 2011, the direct costs of the wars totaled nearly $900 billion,

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according to US government figures. In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into


law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform bill that
will extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through
private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished.
Total spending on health care - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980
to 17.9% in 2010. In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a bill designed to promote financial stability by
protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms,
dealing with troubled banks that are too big to fail, and improving accountability
and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial
derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and
oversight. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating
infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable
current account and budget deficits - including significant budget shortages for state
governments - energy shortages, and stagnation of wages for lower-income families.

2.3.3. Education SYSTEM


United States of America has one of the most effective educational systems in the world
because it ensures quality to the children of the country. The system is highly sophisticated
and constructed with special care given to the educational needs of the student community.
The Federal Government has enforced strict laws to make sure that each and every person
is benefited with basic knowledge regardless of their financial conditions. After completing
the post-secondary education, one can move on to pursue the graduate, doctorate and even
post-doctorate studies. The American educational system also nurtures extracurricular
activities of students, along with providing them a highly competitive curriculum. The
education system of USA functions under the U.S. Department of Education. Lets find
out more below:
Entry level
Children in the United States enter public education through pre-schools and
kindergarten at the age of 3, although it is not mandatory. The Head Start Pre-School
funded by the Federal Government caters to the requirements of kids belonging to low
income families.
School
The schooling years begin in August-September, just after the summer season. It is
divided into twelve grades which are distributed among three parts - primary school
(first five years), middle school (6th to 8th grade), junior high school (7th to 9th grade)
and high school (9th to 12th grade). All basic subjects are taught in elementary school.

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Except for special areas such as physical education, library, music and art, teaching takes
place in classrooms. The curriculum is determined by individual districts. According
to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Program, the committees of all schools should
meet the Adequate Yearly Process (AYP) to settle on common learning standards.
Mandatory subjects in school include:
Science (biology, chemistry and physics)
Mathematics (algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, statistics and calculus)
English (literature, humanities, composition, oral languages etc.)
Social sciences (history, government/economics)
Physical education (at least one year)
Electives subjects include:
Computers (word processing, programming, graphic design)
Athletics
Career and Technical Education (Agriculture/Agriscience, Business/Marketing,
Family and Consumer Science, Health occupations, and Technology Education)
Performing Arts/Visual Arts, (choir, band, orchestra, drama, art, ceramics,
photography, and dance)
Foreign languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, Latin, Greek, German, Italian,
Arabic and Japanese)
Junior Reserve officers Training Corps
Advanced Courses
Many high schools provide Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate
(IB) courses as well. These include a more challenging curriculum and are considered
equivalent to the first year of college. These courses can be taken in the 9th, 11th or
12th grades of high school. The AP or IB results are taken into consideration for postsecondary admissions. Home schooling is also common in the United States. People opt
for this concept owing to religious and moral reasons.
Grading Scale
Children are continuously assessed and the results are announced in the form
of grades. They are then entered into a report card, which is allotted to each
student for constant evaluation of performances.
Each grade represents a range of mark or percentage. Usually an A+ is given
for the best performance. Standardized tests such as the Regents Examinations

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(New York), the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), the


Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) etc., are taken by
the American states to ensure that children have achieved at least a minimum
level of education. This is taken up during the 11th grade. In case, the child
fails to make progress then according to the No Child Left Behind Act, that
individual must be given additional support through summer schools.
The US educational system gives importance to extra-curricular activities in
the form of organizing sports, drills and bands and different competitions.
The country has also considered the educational needs of children with
disabilities, by providing them with free and appropriate public education
under the Federal Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
University Education
After completing post-secondary education, students can further proceed to university
education. on completing the undergraduate study, they will be conferred with a
Bachelors Degree. Graduate students can then proceed for post graduate studies to
obtain a Masters degree. Doctorate and post-doctorate program follow, if they wish to
pursue an in-depth knowledge in their subject area.
Admission to university depends on various factors like high school course of
study, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), participation in extracurricular
activities, SAT or ACT exam scores, college admission essays and personal
interview (optional).
Students can enroll in professional degrees of law, medicine, pharmacy,
dentistry etc. either after their post-secondary education or after completing
their graduation (depending on the program). Enrollment into graduate
courses again depends upon standardized entrance tests such as Graduate
Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission test (MCAT), Law
School admission Test (LSAT) etc.
Cost and Funding
The fees vary according to nature of the course selected. The funding for the K-12
schools varies but in general, 8.5% of the Public School System Funds are catered by the
Federal Government while the rest is split between the State and Local Government.
48.7% of the remaining funds are supplied by the State Government and 42.8%
from local sources.
United States of America has one of the best and most effective educational systems
in the world. Hope this article has provided you with a detailed picture of the US
educational system.

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2.3.4 Health System


Health Care Reform
The nations health care system is once again in the spotlight as part of President Obamas
policy agenda; it was a priority issue during the 2008 campaign. Growing numbers of
Americans are uninsured; costs keep rising (annual growth rate, 6.7%); and the public is
increasingly worried about the issue. The U.S. spends more money on health care than
any other nation. By 2017, we will be spending about $13,000 per person, according to
the annual projection by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Less than 60%
of us are covered by an employers policy.
Who Has Health Insurance In The U.S.?
Only about 6-in-10 of us have employer-provided health care insurance, and almost
2-in-10 had no health insurance in 2006, according to the U.S. Census. Children in
poverty are more likely (19.3 percent in 2006) to be uninsured than all children (10.9
percent in 2005).
The percentage of people covered by government health programs decreased to
27.0 percent in 2006 from 27.3 percent in 2005. About half were covered by Medicaid.
One political question: how to provide affordable health care to Americans with no
insurance?
How Much Does Health Care In The U.S. Cost?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as a percentage of gross
domestic product, known as GDP, health care spending is projected to increase to 16.3
percent in 2007 from 16.0 percent in 2006.
Through 2017, growth in health spending is expected to outpace that of GDP by an
annual average of 1.9 percentage points. This projected differential in growth rates is
smaller than the 2.7 percentage-point average difference experienced over the past 30
years, but wider than the average differential (0.3 percentage point) observed for 2004
through 2006.
What Is U.S. Public Opinion On Health Care?
According to Kaiser, health care was the number two issue early in the 2008 presidential
campaign, behind Iraq. It was important to almost 4-in-10 Democrats and Independents
and 3-in-10 Republicans. Most people (83-93%) who are insured are satisfied with their
plan and coverage. Nevertheless, 41% are concerned about rising costs and 29% are
worried about losing their insurance. Public Agenda reports than in 2007, 50 percent
believed the health care system needed fundamental change; another 38 percent said
completely rebuild it. In January 2009, Pew reported that 59 percent of us believe
reducing health care costs should be a priority for President Obama and Congress.

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What Does Health Care Reform Mean?


The U.S. health care system is a complex mix of public and private programs. Most
Americans who have health care insurance have an employer-sponsored plan. But
the federal government insures the poor (Medicaid) and elderly (Medicare) as well as
veterans and federal employees and Congressmen. State-run programs insure other
public employees.
Reform plans usually take one of three approaches: control/reduce costs but dont
change the current structure; expand eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid; or scratch
the system and start over. The later is the most radical plan and is sometimes called
single pay or national health insurance although the terms do not reflect a consensus.
Why Is It So Hard To Reach Consensus on Health Care Reform?
In 2007, total U.S. spending was $2.4 trillion ($7900 per person); it represented 17
percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Spending for 2008 is expected to increase 6.9
percent, twice the rate of inflation. This continues a long-standing trend. Health care
is big business.
Politicians want to control costs but they cannot agree on how to stem the tide of
outlays or the increased cost of insurance. Some want prices controls; others think that
market competition will solve all problems.
The flip side of controlling cost is controlling demand. If Americans had more
healthy lifestyles (exercise, diet), then costs would decline as health care demand
declined. However, we dont yet legislate these types of behavior.
What Is The Obama Plan?
The proposed Obama health care plan strengthens employer coverage, makes
insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without
government interference.
Under the proposal, if you like your current health insurance, you can keep it and
your costs might go down by as much as $2,500 per year. But if you dont have health
insurance, you will have a choice of health insurance through a plan managed by a
National Health Insurance Exchange. The Exchange would provide a range of private
insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members
of Congress.
What is Medicare?
Congress established both Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 as part of President Lyndon
Johnsons social services programs. Medicare is a federal program specifically designed
for Americans over age 65 and for some people under 65 who have disabilities.

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Original Medicare has two parts: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (coverage
for doctor services, outpatient hospital care, and some medical services not covered
by Part A). Controversial and costly prescription drug coverage, HR 1, Medicare
Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, was added in 2003; it took
effect in 2006.
What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income
and needy people. It covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people
who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.
What Is Plan B?
Although most discussion of health care issues in the U.S. revolve around health
insurance and the cost of health care, those are not the only issues. Another high profile
issue is emergency contraception, also known as Plan B Contraception. In 2006,
women in Washington State filed a complaint because of the difficulty they had in
obtaining emergency contraception. Although the FDA approved Plan B emergency
contraception without a prescription for any woman who is at least 18 years of age, the
issue remains at the center battle over conscience rights of pharmacists.

2.4. CULTURAL ASPECT


2.4.1 MEDIA
Technology of information is with no doubts one of this nations strengths but Media of
the United States consist of several different types of communications: television, radio,
cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites.
The first Amendment to the Constitution states that Congress shall not make
any law that abridges freedom of speech or the press. This freedom from government
control and censorship has been vigorously defended over the years. It has also enabled
the Press to serve as a watchdog over official actions, executive abuses and violations of
individual rights.
From the very beginnings, magazines and newspapers were similar in form and
content and often embarked on crusading investigative journalism, which President
Theodore Roosevelt called Muck-racking (exposing scandal and corruption).
Investigative reporting had previously been largely political. But then included criticism
of the general social system and attempted to gain public support for specific campaigns.
The U.S. also has a strong music industry. Many of the media are controlled by
large for-profit corporations who reap revenue from advertising, subscriptions, and

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sale of copyrighted material. American media conglomerates tend to be leading global


players, generating large revenues as well as large opposition in many parts of the
world. Further deregulation and convergence are under way, leading to mega-mergers,
further concentration of media ownership, and the emergence of multinational
media conglomerates. Critics allege that localism, local news and other content at the
community level, media spending and coverage of news, and diversity of ownership
and views have suffered as a result of these processes of media concentration.
2.4.2 ARTS
The Development of lite and popular arts in the USA have often been influenced both
by European traditions (sometimes brought to America by European immigrants) and
by the emergence of distinctive domestic cultures.
Historically there has been a tension between the two traditions. European
sophistication was contrasted with American originality. Gradually, tension decreased
and the two coexist and intermix. However, the USA is still stereotypically perceived
as a society in which low-quality television, sports, film and other forms of popular or
mass entertainment take precedence over the more highbrow arts and high culture.
Nevertheless statistics suggest that more American of all ages and social groups
are now attending dance performances, classical or symphonic concerts, music recitals
and opera as well as visiting a varied range of quality museums and art galleries. These
activities indicate a wider and more acceptable cultural profile for the lite arts than
in the past. Artistic activity has developed from the 1960s and there has been increased
participation by amateur and professional individuals and groups in the arts across
a wide range of painting, music, modern dance, theater, ballet and film. The Media,
particularly television networks and the public broadcasting system (PBS), have helped
to establish an interest in and support for the arts through their promotion, sponsorship
and coverage of cultural events.
The film industry and Hollywood have been influential forces on American culture,
domestically and internationally. The film industry started on the east coast, but later
moved to Los Angeles, and Hollywood became the center of film-making.

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Most Popular American Artists:

Ansel Adams

Jackson Pollock

Richard Avedon

Robert Rauschenberg

Jean Michel Basquiat

Norman Rockwell

Winslow Homer

Susan Rothenberg

Jasper Johns

Mark Rothko

Roy Lichtenstein

Julian Schnabel

Robert Mapplethorpe

Cy Twombly

Barnett Newman

Andy Warhol

Georgia OKeeffe

Andrew Wyeth

POP ART
Pop Art actually began in the late 1950s, but Pop Art in America flourished in the
1960s. By this time, American advertising had adopted many elements and inflections
of modern art and functioned at a very sophisticated level. Consequently, American
artists had to search deeper for dramatic styles that would distance art from the welldesigned and clever commercial materials. American artists being bombarded daily
with the diversity of mass produced imagery, produced work that was generally more
bold and aggressive.
Two important painters in the establishment of Americas pop art vocabulary were
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The paintings of Lichtenstein, like those of Andy
Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and others, share a direct attachment to the commonplace
image of American popular culture, but also treat the subject in an impersonal manner
clearly illustrating the idealization of mass production. Andy Warhol is probably the
most famous figure in Pop Art. Warhol attempted to take Pop beyond an artistic style to
a life style, and his work often displays a lack of human affectation that dispenses with
the irony and parody of many of his peers.
MUSIC
The music of the United States reflects the countrys multi-ethnic population through a
diverse array of styles. Among the countrys most internationally-renowned genres are
hip hop, blues, country, rhythm and blues, jazz, barbershop, pop, techno, and rock and
roll. After Japan, the United States has the worlds second largest music market with
a total retail value of 3,635.2 million dollars in 2010 and its music is heard around the
world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music
have gained a near global audience.

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The Beach Boys

Michael Jackson

Much of modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the late
19th century of African American blues and the growth of gospel music in the 1920s.
The African American basis for popular music used elements derived from European
and indigenous music. The United States has also seen documented folk music and
recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of the Ukrainian, Irish, Scottish,
Polish, Hispanic and Jewish communities, among others.
2..3.4 SPORTS AND LEISURE
American people are keen on sports. From big cities to small towns, there are swimming
pools, baseball fields, basketball courts and golf courses everywhere. All schools provide
a gym and open spaces to practice sports; every neighborhood has a sports center.
Practicing sports is part of the American way of life.
Three out of the four most popular sports in USA developed there. American
football, basketball and ice hockey. The four Major leagues in the United States are
the National Football League (NFL), the Major League Baseball (MLB), the National
Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) they all enjoy
massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their
respective sports in the world.
American sports divide into the professional and amateur ranks. The most popular
and favorite spectator-oriented are football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, horse-racing
and greyhound-racing. There are national competitions which attract huge audiences
and they may also participate in international contests. The top league, Major League
Soccer, continues to grow and is starting to approach the level of the NBA and the NHL
in terms of attendance, although it lags far behind in average salary and TV interest,
and many American soccer fans are still more likely to follow national competitions
and European Leagues.Sports are particularly associated with education in the United
States, with most high schools and universities having organized sports. College sports
competitions play an important role in the American sporting culture. In many cases

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college athletics are more popular than professional sports, with the major sanctioning
body being the NCAA.
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest annual sporting event held in the United States.
The Super Bowl itself is always among the highest-rated programs annually in the
Nielsen ratings . Notable American baseball players in history include Babe Ruth, Ty
Cobb, Cy Young.
When talking about other leisure time activities, apart from sports, American
society is not so traditional, there are changes as society evolves into more technological
or more interested in healthy habits.

2008 Participant
(millions)

Change from 2007

Walking

96.6

7.6%

Swimming

63.5

6.1%

Exercising with Equipment

63.0

9.2%

Bowling

49.5

5.1%

Camping

49.4

3.8%

Bicycle Riding

44.7

11.4%

Fishing

42.2

2.7%

Working out at Club/Gym

39.3

6.8%

Hiking

38.0

10.5

Weight Lifting

37.5

6.6%

Activity

Source: National Sporting Goods Association Participation Data

Top 10 Leisure Activities Based on Number of Participants in 2008


Americans favorite leisure activities are reading, TV-watching and spending time with
friends and family the same top three as in 2004, but with lower percentage of people
citing them, according to a Harris Poll.
Also according to the results of the survey:
Over one-third (35%) cited reading in 2004, but this year that is down to 29%.
TV watching has dropped from 21% to 18%.
Spending time with friends and family has dropped from 20% to 14%.

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Computer activities has risen from 7% to 9%.


Going to the movies has dropped from 10% to 7%.
Biggest Changes
The largest increases in popularity in the past 12 years since 1995, when this survey
was first conducted are the following:
Computer activities (not surprisingly) up seven points, from 2% to 9%.
Watching sporting events (up four points)
Exercise (up three points)
Crafts (up three points)
2.4.4 BELIEFS, VALUES AND TRADITIONS
The American Dream
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States; a set of ideals in which
freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social
mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by
James Truslow Adams in 1931, life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone,
with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class
or circumstances of birth.
The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of
Independence which proclaims that all men are created equal and that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights including Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.
Mobility is high in US. People change jobs and move several times in their lives.
The economic factor in this case drives individuals or families to do such changes.
This affects social relationships bringing an effect of isolation due to the fact of not
being able to stay enough time in a place to develop a friendship or identification with
a community.
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook
that stresses the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise
of ones goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing
external interference upon ones own interests by society or institutions such as the
government. It is a marked characteristic of American society. This affects all the
life of the individual and determines their life style and priorities. In the good sense,
individualism enhances personal initiative using their potential and bringing innovation.
An individualistic society opposes to a society minded culture.

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Fourth of July
Independence Day celebrates the declaration of Interdependence of the 13 colonies
from England in 1776. It is a very important day to celebrate in USA. Everywhere all
over the nation, this holiday in the middle of the summer brings family together to
spend the day out on a picnic, enjoying a sandwich for lunch at a park or enjoying the
nice weather to be out in the yard having a meal at a barbecue. Traditionally there are
fireworks and a festive spirit in the population.
Schools and other education centers are on summer vacation. In commerce there
are big sales on this day and the whole week.

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Traditionally, on that
day the first Thanksgiving festival is remembered when William Bradford, leading the
community of settlers who had arrived a year before from England, stated that day to
give thanks to God for having survived until then and that they were able to establish
their homes and farms in the new land, with the help of the natives. People gather
with their families travelling long distances by car or plane. They eat turkey and native
products as the pumpkin, corn, sweet potatoes. There are traditional sport games and
the big thanksgiving sale.
Christmas is especially celebrated in this country, being famous the lighting of the
Christmas tree at the Rockefeller center of New York. Though the big family gathering

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is on Thanksgiving it is a very important celebration for Christian faith. We are all


familiar with Christmas tree, pretty decoration, playing Secret Santa and the presents.
Just to remark that Americans Christmas dinner is early on 25th December as it is
winter time there.
Valentines day
Valentines Day cards are exchanged between friends and lovers. In school students
draw names to exchange gifts or just pass Valentines to classmates. Men usually present
gifts of candy and flowers to their Sweethearts. Many couples today make a treat of
Dark Chocolate and a fine Merlot Wine in the privacy of their Valentines Day evening!
Flowers
It has become customary to give the gift of fresh Flowers to the opposite sex on almost
any occasion. In times of illness and death, Flowers are given regardless of gender. The
gift of Flowers to couples is customary for such occasions as Weddings, Anniversaries
and Holidays. Many men buy Flowers for their favorite woman on a weekly basis to
show their love and affection.

Easter traditions
In the New Orleans, it is a trend of conducting an annual Easter carnival called
Mardi Gras, which features lot of fun activities like parade, jazz music bands
and a bumper party.
A must play Easter game for American kids is Easter egg roll.
A special dish for Easter springtime in USA is baked ham, potatoes and
vegetables. Another most demanding recipe is hot cross buns.

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It was in the early 1700s, when for the first time, eggs were dyed and the credit
for starting this practice in America can be attributed to Pennsylvania Dutch
(German) settlers.
As a part of Easter traditions in the US, sunrise services are held and the prime
motive is to include various Christian religious groups in this event.
Painting the Easter eggs and then conducting Easter egg hunt games for the
kids is what most American parents do on the Easter week.
Like in every other part of the globe, Easter symbols like bunnies, Easter tree,
Easter Eggs and Easter lamb make their presence felt in every corner of the
street, churches, shops and homes.
The popular Easter symbols like Easter bunny and egg tree were first brought
in by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country
during the 1700s. Eventually, American people accepted these crafts and made
these symbols a vital part of their Easter celebrations.
The book Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous was credited with popularizing the
custom of egg tree decoration in USA.
Like most other countries, pre-Lent carnivals also form an integral part of
Easter celebration in the USA.
Easter celebrations cannot be complete without extensive feasting. During
Easter time, people in US binge on Easter delights like baked ham, potatoes,
vegetables and other homemade delights.
Easter parties are also a common sight during this holiday time where people
come, feast and make merry.
Easter wedding is a popular trend in USA. People in USA usually like to their
tie nuptial knot on this propitious day.
What are Americans like?
Some tips to observe for a successful interaction with Americans.
Meeting and Greeting
American greetings are generally quite informal. This is not intended to show
lack of respect, but rather a manifestation of the American belief that everyone
is equal.
Although it is expected in business situations, some Americans do not shake
hands at social events. Instead, they may greet you with a casual Hello or

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How are you? or even just Hi. In larger groups, many may not greet you at
all. In social situations, Americans rarely shake hands upon leaving.
The only proper answers to the greetings How do you do? How are you?
or How are you doing? are Fine, Great, or Very well, thank you. This
is not a request for information about your well-being; it is simply a pleasantry.
See you later is just an expression. People say this even if they never plan to
see you again.
Eye contact is important when shaking someones hand.
Body Language
Keep your distance when conversing. If an American feels you are standing too
close, he or she may step back without even thinking about it.
People who like to touch really like touching, and people who do not like to
touch really dislike being touched. You will need to watch your colleagues for
clues on what they are comfortable with.
Americans are generally uncomfortable with same-sex touching, especially
between males.
Americans smile a great deal, even at strangers. They like to have their smiles
returned.
Business
Americans prefer directness in communication. When Americans say yes or
no, they mean precisely that. Maybe really does mean it might happen; it
does not mean no.
It is always proper to ask questions if you do not understand something.
Americans ask questions -- lots of them. They are not ashamed to admit what
they do know. Americans will assume you understand something if you do not
tell them otherwise.
Keep appointments once they are made. You may not get a second chance if
you do not.
When you are doing business in the United States, you must be on time.
Americans view someone being late as rude, showing a lack of respect and
having sloppy, undisciplined personal habits.
Dining and Entertainment
Americans conduct business over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some socializing
may start off the meal, but often the conversation will revolve around business.

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In a business setting the person extending the invitation to a meal pays for it.
Raise your hand or index finger and make eye contact to signal a server.
Dinner at an American home may be fairly informal.
Do not be late for a dinner party. Arrive within 5 to 15 minutes after the time on
the invitation. Never arrive before the time you were invited. If you are going to
be more than 15 minutes late, phone your hosts and apologize.
Helpful Hints
It is considered rude to stare, ask questions or otherwise bring attention to
someones disability.
Smoking is very unpopular in the United States. Restaurants have separate
smoking and non smoking sections. Public and private buildings may ban
smoking except in designated areas. Some people do not allow smoking in their
homes and will ask you to go outside if you want to have a cigarette. Never
smoke anywhere without asking permission from everyone present though it is
preferable not to smoke at all indoors. There are strict restrictions for smokers.
Say Pardon me or Excuse me if you touch someone or even get close to
someone. Americans also say this if they sneeze or cough or do not understand
something someone has said (*).

(*) Excerpted from the Put Your Best Foot Forward series by Mary Murray Bosrock. These publications
are available for the U.S., Asia, Mexico/Canada, Russia, Europe and South America

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ACTIVITIES
1. Draw a timeline with ne names of all presidents of the USA specifying dates and
periods of the American history.
2. Write a brief essay in which you state how The United States of America is viewed
from our nation. You may include topics such as immigration, racism, US foreign
affairs, etc.
3. Prepare a presentation comparing our culture to American Culture. Explain if
there are differences and or similarities.
4. Comment the political system of USA at a presentation in class. Support your
agreement or disagreement with facts and other authors statements. The debate
about the effectiveness of the US political system is a part of the wider debate about
whether or not the States is in relative decline on the world stage. In his book Time
To Start Thinking: America And The Specter Of Decline , Edward Luce writes:
Sometimes it seems Americans are engaged in some kind of collusion in which voters
pretend to elect their lawmakers and lawmakers pretend to govern. This, in some ways, is
Americas core problem: the more America postpones any coherent response to the onset of
relative decline, the more difficult the politics are likely to get.

105

CANADA

Fast Facts
Population

: 28 million people

Geographic size

: 3.9 million square miles

Capital

: Ottawa (in Ontario)

Currency

: The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents

Languages

: English and French

Major cities and population


: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton,
Winnipeg, Halifax
Canada is the second largest country in the world, smaller only to Russia

Religion in Canada

Catholic
Protestant
Christian Orthodox
Christian, n. i. e.
Muslim
Jewish
Budanist
Hindu
Sikh
Other Eastern
religions
Other religions

No religious
afiliation

Real gross domestic product in Canada and the United States

Education levels, Canada, various years


(Percentage of the population aged 15 yers and over)

Total Health Expenditure in Constant 1997 Dollars

Percentage of total Canadian health care expenditures by use of funds (1999)

Native canadians

Native music from Canada

Native canadian Totems

Chief Sitting Bull

Native art

Arts in Canada

Ryan Gosling

Michael Buble

Sarah McLachlan

anada has evolved from its humble beginnings of four provinces at Confederation
to a diverse, multicultural democracy of ten provinces and three territories that has
earned its place as a world leader in all fields, on earth and in space.
3.1 HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK
3.1.1 Geography

Canadas land mass is 9 970610 km2 (The worlds second largest country). Ottawa is the
Capital of Canada (located in Ontario)
Canada has a very large and diverse range of geographic features. Canada is divided
into 10 provinces and 2 territories. Canada stretches from the Pacific Ocean on the
west, to the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Northern Canada reaches into the Arctic Circle,
while southern Canada stretches below the northern points of the United States.
Canada has a very small population, 28 million people, for its geographic size. Much
of Canada is still wilderness, covered by forests. The Rocky Mountains cover a major
part of western Canada British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and the western part of
Alberta. West-central Canada is mostly prairie, consisting of large grain farms.
The east-central part of Canada is the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. These are
major population and industrial areas. The Maritime provinces on the east coast rely
very heavily on the Atlantic Ocean for their way of life.
The majority of Canada is still wilderness. This makes Canada a popular spot for
hunting and fishing. Niagara Falls is one of Canadas best known tourist attractions. It
is the largest falls in the world, measured in volume of water.
Most of Canadas northern islands are located inside the Arctic Circle.
There are more than 100 national parks and historic sites in Canada. Mountain
Ranges include: Torngats, Appalachians, Laurentians, Rocky, Costal, Mackenzie, Mt.

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St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains. At 6050 m above sea level, Mount Logan in the Yukon
is Canadas tallest peak. Great Bear lake is the largest lake in Canada with an area of 31
326 km2 The longest river is the Mackenzie River flowing 4241 km through the NWT.
Canada has six time zones. In NFLD the time zone is 3 hours and 30 minutes past
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) The other time zones are full hours behind GMT. The
farthest west is the Pacific at 8 hours behind GMT.
Canadas capital, Ottawa, has the coldest average temperature of any capital city in
the world.
3.1.2 Historical Framework
First People
Aboriginal peoples are thought to have arrived from Asia thousands of years ago by
way of a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. Some of them settled in Canada,
while others chose to continue to the south. When the European explorers arrived,
Canada was populated by a diverse range of Aboriginal peoples who, depending on the
environment, lived nomadic or settled lifestyles, were hunters, fishers or farmers.
First contacts between the Aboriginal peoples and Europeans probably occurred
about 1000 years ago when Icelandic Norsemen settled for a brief time on the island of
Newfoundland. But it would be another 600 years before European exploration began
in earnest.
First Colonial Outposts
Seeking a new route to the rich markets of the Orient, French and British explorers
plied the waters of North America. They constructed a number of posts - the French
mostly along the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River; the
British around Hudson Bay and along the Atlantic coast. Although explorers such as
Cabot, Cartier and Champlain never found a route to China and India, they found
something just as valuable - rich fishing grounds and teeming populations of beaver, fox
and bear, all of which were valued for their fur.
Permanent French and British settlement began in the early 1600s and increased
throughout the century. With settlement came economic activity, but the colonies of
New France and New England remained economically dependent on the fur trade and
politically and militarily dependent on their mother countries.
Inevitably, North America became the focal point for the bitter rivalry between
England and France. After the fall of Quebec City in 1759, the Treaty of Paris assigned
all French territory east of the Mississippi to Britain, except for the islands of St. Pierre
and Miquelon, off the island of Newfoundland.

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Under British rule, the 65 000 French-speaking inhabitants of Canada had a single
aim - to retain their traditions, language and culture. Britain passed the Quebec Act
(1774), which granted official recognition to French Civil Law and guaranteed religious
and linguistic freedoms.
Large numbers of English-speaking colonists, called Loyalists because they wished
to remain faithful to the British Empire, sought refuge in Canada after the United
States of America won its Independence in 1776. They settled mainly in the colonies of
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and along the Great Lakes.
The increase in population led to the creation in 1791 of Upper Canada (now
Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). Both were granted their own representative
governing institutions. Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837 and 1838
prompted the British to join the two colonies, forming the united Province of Canada.
In 1848 the joint colony was granted responsible government. Canada gained a further
measure of autonomy but remained part of the British Empire.
A Country Is Born
Britains North American colonies - Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince
Edward Island and Newfoundland - grew and prospered independently. But with
the emergence of a more powerful United States after the American Civil War, some
politicians felt a union of the British colonies was the only way to fend off eventual
annexation. On July 1, 1867, Canada East (Quebec),Canada West (Ontario), Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick joined together under the terms of the British North America Act
to become the Dominion of Canada.
The government of the new country was based on the British parliamentary system,
with a Governor General (the Crowns representative) and a Parliament consisting of
the House of Commons and the Senate. Parliament received the power to legislate over
matters of national interest (such as criminal law, trade and commerce, and national
defense), while the provinces were given legislative powers over matters of particular
interest (such as property and civil rights, hospitals and education).
Westward Expansion
Soon after Confederation, Canada expanded into the northwest. Ruperts Land - an
area extending south and west for thousands of kilometers from Hudson Bay - was
purchased by Canada from the Hudsons Bay Company, which had been granted the
vast territory by King Charles of England in 1670.
Westward expansion did not happen without stress. In 1869, Louis Riel led an
uprising in an attempt to defend their ancestral rights to the land. A compromise was
reached in 1870 and a new province, Manitoba, was carved from Ruperts Land.

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British Columbia, already a Crown colony since 1858, decided to join the Dominion
in 1871 on the promise of a rail link with the rest of the country; Prince Edward Island
followed suit in 1873. In 1898, the northern territory of Yukon was officially established
to ensure Canadian jurisdiction over that area during the Klondike gold rush. In 1905,
two new provinces were carved from Ruperts Land: Alberta and Saskatchewan; the
residual land became the Northwest Territories. Newfoundland preferred to remain a
British colony until 1949, when it became Canadas 10th province.
The creation of new provinces coincided with an increase of immigration to Canada,
particularly to the west. Immigration peaked in 1913 with 400 000 coming to Canada.
During the pre-war period, Canada profited from the prosperous world economy and
established itself as an industrial as well as an agricultural power.
A Nation Matures
Canadas substantial role in World War I won it representation distinct from Britain
in the League of Nations after the war. Its independent voice became more and more
pronounced, and in 1931 Canadas constitutional autonomy from Britain was confirmed
with the passing of the Statute of Westminster.
In Canada, as elsewhere, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought
hardship. As many as one of every four workers was without a job and the provinces
of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were laid waste by drought. Ironically, it was
the need to supply the Allied armies during World War II that boosted Canada out of
the Depression.
Since World War II, Canadas economy has continued to expand. This growth,
combined with government social programs such as family allowances, old-age security,
universal Medicare and unemployment insurance, has given Canadians a high standard
of living and desirable quality of life.
Noticeable changes have occurred in Canadas immigration trends. Before World
War II, most immigrants came from the British Isles or eastern Europe. Since 1945,
increasing numbers of southern Europeans, Asians, South Americans and people from
the Caribbean islands have enriched Canadas multicultural mosaic.
On the international scene, as the nation has developed and matured, so have
its reputation and influence. Canada has participated in the United Nations since its
inception and is the only nation to have taken part in almost all of the UNs major
peacekeeping operations. It is also a member of the Commonwealth, la Francophonie,
the Group of Seven industrialized nations, the OAS (Organization of American States)
and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) defense pact.

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A New Federation in the Making


The last quarter of a century has seen Canadians grapple once more with fundamental
questions of national identity. Discontent among many French-speaking Quebeckers
led to a referendum in that province in 1980 on whether Quebec should become more
politically autonomous from Canada, but a majority voted against that option.
In 1982, the process toward major constitutional reform culminated in the signing
of the Constitution Act. Under this Act, the British North America Act of 1867 and
its various amendments became the Constitution Act, 1867-1982. The Constitution,
its Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its general amending formula redefined the
powers of governments, entrenched the equality of women and men and protected the
rights of individuals and ethno cultural groups.
Two major efforts were made to reform the constitutional system: the 1987 Meech
Lake Accord - which was not implemented since it did not obtain the legislative consent
of all provinces - and the 1991 Charlottetown Accord. The Charlottetown Accord would
have reformed the Senate, entrenched the principle of Aboriginal self-government
and made other major changes in the Constitution. It was rejected by Canadians in a
national referendum held on October 26, 1992.
The Parliament of Canada has since passed a bill, on February 2, 1996, guaranteeing
Canadas 5 major regions that no constitutional change concerning them would be
made without their unanimous consent. As well, less than a month after the Quebec
sovereignty referendum of October 30, 1995, Parliament passed a resolution recognizing
Quebec as a distinct society within Canada.
3.2 SOCIAL STRUCTURE
3.2.1 ETHNICITY
Population (2012 est.)

34,300,083 (growth rate: 0.78%)

Birth rate

10.28/1000

Infant mortality rate

4.85/1000

Life expectancy

81.48; density per sq km: 3

Ethnicity/race
: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%,
other European 15%, indigenous Indian and
Inuit 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%,
mixed background 26%
The history of immigration to Canada extends back thousands of years.
Anthropologists continue to argue over various possible models of migration to

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modern-day Canada, as well as their pre-contact populations. The Inuit are believed
to have arrived entirely separately from other indigenous peoples around 1200 CE.
Indigenous peoples contributed significantly to the culture and economy of the early
European colonies and as such have played an important role in fostering a unique
Canadian cultural identity.
The term First Nations (most often used in the plural) has come into general use
for the indigenous peoples of the Americas located in what is now Canada, except for
the Arctic-situated Inuit, and peoples of mixed European-First Nations ancestry called
Mtis. The singular, commonly used on culturally politicized reserves, is the term First
Nations person (when gender-specific, First Nations man or First Nations woman). A
more recent trend is for members of various nations to refer to themselves by their tribal
or national identity only, e.g., Im Haida, or Were Kwantlens, in recognition of the
distinctiveness of First Nations ethnicities.
Statistics Canada has tabulated the effect of immigration on population growth in
Canada from 1851 to 2001.On average, censuses are taken every 10 years, which is how
Canadian censuses were first incremented between 1871 and 1901. Beginning in 1901,
the Dominion Government changed its policy so that census-taking occurred every
5 years subsequently. This was to document the effects of the advertising campaign
initiated by Clifford Sifton.
In 2006, Canada received 236,756 immigrants. The top ten sending countries, by
state of origin, were Peoples Republic of China (28,896); India (28,520); Philippines
(19,718); Pakistan (9,808); United States (8,750); United Kingdom (7,324); Iran (7,195);
South Korea (5,909); Colombia (5,382); and Sri Lanka (4,068).The top ten source
countries were followed closely by France (4,026), and Morocco (4,025), with Romania,
Russia, and Algeria each contributing over 3,500 immigrants.
Both English and French still play a significant role in Canada, with both being
official languages.
Most of Quebec and parts of eastern Canada are still heavily influenced by their
French origins. Much of the rest of Canada is English origin. Canada has also had
significant immigration from other European countries such as Germany, Italy and the
Ukraine. There are also many immigrants from Asia. The Canadian Government tries
very hard to maintain a multi-cultural environment, encouraging people to maintain
their heritage.
The population of Canada as of October 1996 was 30 000 000 (30 million)
The largest city in Canada is Toronto followed by Montreal, Vancouver, OttawaHull, and Edmonton

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76.6 per cent of Canadians live in cities and towns while 23.4 per cent live in rural
areas.
31 per cent of the population lives in the largest cities of Toronto, Montreal and
Vancouver
The life expectancy of a Canadian woman is 80 years and a Canadian man is 73
years
The size of the average family is 3.1 people (including 1.3 children)
Multiculturalism (as opposed to the melting pot ideology) was officially recognized
in 1988 with the Multiculturalism Act.
In 1991: 16.1 Canadians had a mother tongue of English, 6.5 million had a mother
tongue of French (many Canadians had another mother tongue but spoke one or both
official languages.
Most of Canadas population lives within 100 miles of the border with the United
States. About 75% of the population lives in major cities or towns.
Canadians were able to self-identify one or more ethnic origins in the 2006 census.
Percentages therefore add up to more than 100%. The most common response was
Canadian. As data is completely self-reported, and reporting individuals may have
varying definitions of Ethnic origin (or may not know their ethnic origin), these
figures should not be considered an exact record of the relative prevalence of different
ethno cultural ancestries.
Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, approximately 28% of the population will be
foreign-born. The number of people belonging to visible minority groups will double,
and make up the majority of the population in Toronto and Vancouver.
The official languages of Canada are English and French, which have equality of
status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament
and Government of Canada according to Canadas constitution. Official bilingualism
is the term used in Canada to collectively describe the policies, constitutional provisions,
and laws which ensure the legal equality of English and French in the Parliament
and courts of Canada, protect the linguistic rights of English and French-speaking
minorities in different provinces, and ensure a level of government services in both
languages across Canada .

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Visible minorities and Aboriginal population

1,262,865
1,216,565
783,795
410,695
304,245
265,550
239,935
156,700
141,890
81,300
71,420
133,120

% of Total
Population
4
3.9
2.5
1.3
1
0.9
0.8
0.5
0.5
0.3
0.2
0.4

Total visible minority population

5,068,095

16.2

First Nations
Mtis
Inuit
Total Aboriginal population
White
Total population

698,025
389,780
50,480
1,172,785
25,000,150
31,241,030

2.2
1.2
0.2
3.8
80
100

Canada 2006 Census

Visible minority
group Source:[16]

Aboriginal group
Source:[17]

South Asian
Chinese
Black
Filipino
Latin American
Arab
Southeast Asian
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Mixed visible minority

Population

3.2.2 RELIGION
Roman Catholic 43%, Protestant 23% (including United Church 10%, Anglican 7%,
Baptist 2%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4%, Muslim 2%, none 16% (2001)
Majority of Canadians are Christians 54.2 percent of Canadians are Roman Catholic,
other religions in Canada include: Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism
and Buddhism
Religion in Canada encompasses a wide range of groups. The preamble to the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms refers to God, and the monarch carries
the title of Defender of the Faith. However, Canada has no official religion, and
support for religious pluralism (Freedom of religion in Canada) is an important part of
Canadas political culture. The 2001 Canadian census reported that 77% of Canadians
claim adherence to Christianity, followed by no religion at 16%.

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Though the Canadian population is largely Christian, rates of religious adherence


have been steadily decreasing. French settlement beginning in the 17th century
established a Roman Catholic francophone population in Lower Canada, now Quebec,
followed by English settlement that brought Anglicans and other Protestants to Upper
Canada, now Ontario. The religious, cultural, and political antagonism between
Canadian Protestants and Catholics remains a central theme of Canadian history.
With Christianity having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and
daily life, it has been recently suggested that Canada has come to enter a post-Christian
or secular state, where practice of the religion has moved to the margins of public life,
and irreligion is on the rise.
3.2.3 MAIN SOCIAL ISSUES
Canada is usually considered to be a fairly liberal country in terms of the governments
permissiveness towards several controversial social issues.
Abortion, divorce, gambling, gay marriage, are all legal in Canada with few
restrictions.
Prostitution, marijuana and hard drugs are not legal, though attitudes may be
shifting in a more permissive direction
Being the majority of the population Catholic, abortion is a very controversial
topic in contemporary Canada, and tops the list of things to avoid discussing in polite
company. There are a number of passionate pro-life and pro-choiceactivist groups
all over the country. Politicians from all parties have pro-life members in their ranks,
but have so far been mostly unsuccessful at making the issue a mainstream topic of
discussion. Only the tiny province of Prince Edward Island has been successful in
imposing an all-out ban on the practice within its borders.
Health Care system is now causing great concern. There is a proposal on privatization
of hospitals and clinics (most of which are currently government-owned and operated)
and therefore a great offer in insurance to private health care where wealthy Canadians
can buy find better medical care than those using the public system. To the broader
public, however, the status quo is considered nearly sacred, and it can be difficult for
any politician to openly discuss altering the Canadian health care regime if he expects
to keep his job in the long term.
Canadas legal drinking age is set by the provinces. In Alberta, Manitoba and
Quebec the age is 18, everywhere else it is 19. Most provinces also have strict laws against
consuming alcohol in public places and low standards for what constitutes driving
while under the influence.

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Social control is affected by a system of courts of law, and by local, provincial, and
a national police force. The most common crimes are crimes against property, although
violent crimes are also common. In recent years, the incidence of violent crime has
declined somewhat, although at the same time the incidence of crime against certain
vulnerable sectors of the population, such as the elderly and women, has increased.
There is a strong class component to the prosecution of some crimes. Prosecution for
drug offenses, which in Canada are for the most part minor offenses related to possession
or small-scale trafficking of controlled substances, is most often focused on lower-class
individuals. While the prison population in Canada is relatively small compared to
many other industrialized nations, the percentage of the prison population who are of
First Nations descent remains very high, in spite of the small number of First Nations
people in the population as a whole. This suggests that other kinds of disparity are also
operating in the apprehension and prosecution of crime.
All accused persons are constitutionally guaranteed an open trial and rules of
evidence, fairness of prosecution, and judicial review, with several levels of appellate
courts in place to oversee this process. Judges are appointed for life, though they are
subject to removal by judicial review boards. Such action is rare. Police forces, which
are empowered by both federal and provincial statute, are relatively independent from
political interference or control, and in many instances are self-governing within the
limits of their statutory authority

3.3 political structure


3.3.1 GOVERNMENT
Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy, with a Sovereign as head of State and
an elected Prime Minister as head of Government.
Canada has a federal system of parliamentary government: Government
responsibilities and functions are shared between federal, provincial and territorial
governments.
Federal responsibilities are carried out by the Monarchy and the Executive,
Legislative and Judicial branches of Government.
Sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II: Monarch, Leader of Commonwealth, Canadas
formal Head of State, Head of both the Executive and Legislative branches.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on July 8, 2010 that Her Majesty
The Queen had graciously agreed to the appointment of David Johnston as the 28th
Governor General of Canada.

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On September 5, 2010 Governor General Designate David Johnston had his first
official audience with Her Majesty The Queen as her next representative in Canada. The
meeting took place at Balmoral Castle, Her Majestys summer residence in Scotland.
On this occasion, Mr. Johnston was invested as Commander of the Order of Military
Merit (C.M.M.) and Commander of the Order of Merit for Police Forces (C.O.M) by
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Sovereign of these Orders. Her Majesty also invested
his spouse, Mrs. Sharon Johnston, as Companion of the Order of Canada. Mr. Johnston
has been Companion of the Order of Canada since 1997 and holds the title of Chancellor
and Principal Companion of the Order since his installation on October 1, 2010.
The responsibilities of the governor general have evolved over time, along with
the evolution of Canada as a sovereign and independent nation. In 1947, letters patent
signed by King George VI redefine the powers of the governor general. These letters
patent authorize and empower Our Governor General, with the advice of Our Privy
Council for Canada or any members thereof or individually, as the case requires, to
exercise all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada.
Since then, the governor general has daily and fully exercised the duties of the Head
of State, not only in Canada, but also abroad. As per the letterspatent, the governor
general is also the commander-in-chief of Canada.
The governor general represents Canada during State visits abroad and receives
Royal visitors, heads of State and foreign ambassadors at Rideau Hall and at the
Citadelle of Qubec.
The governor general presents honors and awards to recognize excellence, valor,
bravery and exceptional achievements. The governor general is also the head of the
Canadian Heraldic Authority
EXECUTIVE POWER
The government is defined by the constitution as the Queen acting on the advice of her
privy council. However, the Privy Council consisting mostly of former members of
parliament, chief justices of the Supreme Court, and other elder statesmen rarely meets
in full; as the stipulations of responsible government require that those who directly
advise the monarch and governor general on how to exercise the Royal Prerogative be
accountable to the elected House of Commons, the day-to-day operation of government
is guided only by a sub-group of the Privy Council made up of individuals who hold
seats in parliament. This body of ministers of the Crown is the Cabinet.
One of the main duties of the Crown is to ensure that a democratically
elected government is always in place, which means appointing a prime minister
presently Stephen Harper to thereafter head the Cabinet. Per convention, the
governor general must appoint as prime minister the person who holds the confidence
of the House of Commons; in practice, this is typically the leader of the political party

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that holds more seats than any other party in that chamber, currently the Conservative
Party. Should no party hold a majority in the Commons, the leader of one party
either the one with the most seats or one supported by other parties will be called by
the governor general to form a minority government. Once sworn in by the viceroy, the
prime minister holds office until he or she resigns or is removed by the governor general,
after either a motion of non confidence or his partys defeat in a general election.
LEGISLATIVE POWER
The Parliament of Canada, the bicameral national legislature located on Parliament
Hill in the national capital of Ottawa, consists of the Queen (represented by the governor
general), the appointed Senate (upper house), and the elected House of Commons
(lower house).[40] The governor general summons and appoints each of the (currently)
105 members of senators on the advice of the prime minister,[41] while the (currently)
308 members of the House of Commons (Members of Parliament) are directly elected
by eligible voters in the Canadian populace, with each member representing a single
electoral district for a period mandated by law of not more than four years;[42] the
constitution mandates a maximum of five years. Per democratic tradition, the House of
Commons is the dominant branch of parliament, the Senate and Crown rarely opposing
its will. The Senate, thus, reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint, and the
Crown provides the necessary Royal Assent to make bills into law. The Crown, acting
on the advice of the prime minister, also summons, prorogues, and dissolves parliament
in order to call an election, as well as reads the Throne Speech.
The Constitution Act, 1867, outlines that the governor general is responsible for
summoning parliament in the Queens name. A parliamentary session lasts until a
prorogation, after which, without ceremony, both chambers of the legislature cease
all legislative business until the governor general issues another royal proclamation
calling for a new session to begin. After a number of such sessions, each parliament
comes to an end via dissolution. As a general election typically follows, the timing of a
dissolution is usually politically motivated, with the prime minister selecting a moment
most advantageous to his or her political party. The end of a parliament may also be
necessary, however, if the majority of Members of Parliament revoke their confidence
in the Prime Ministers ability to govern, or the legally mandated four year maximum is
reached; no parliament has been allowed to expire in such a fashion.
JUDICIAL POWER
The sovereign is responsible for rendering justice for all her subjects, and is thus
traditionally deemed the fount of justice. However, she does not personally rule in
judicial cases; instead the judicial functions of the Royal Prerogative are performed in
trust and in the Queens name by officers of Her Majestys courts.

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The Supreme Court of Canada the countrys court of last resort has nine
justices appointed by the governor general and led by the Chief Justice of Canada,
and hears appeals from decisions rendered by the various appellate courts from the
provinces and territories. Below this is the Federal Court, which hears cases arising
under certain areas of federal law. It works in conjunction with the Federal Court of
Appeal and Tax Court of Canada.
FEDERALISM
The powers of the parliaments in Canada are limited by the constitution, which divides
legislative abilities between the federal and provincial governments; in general, the
legislatures of the provinces may only pass laws relating to topics explicitly reserved for
them by the constitution, such as education, provincial officers, municipal government,
charitable institutions, and matters of a merely local or private nature, while any
matter not under the exclusive authority of the provincial legislatures is within the
scope of the federal parliaments power. Thus, the parliament at Ottawa alone can
pass laws relating to, amongst other things, the postal service, the census, the military,
criminal law, navigation and shipping, fishing, currency, banking, weights and
measures, bankruptcy, copyrights, patents, First Nations, and naturalization. In some
cases, however, the jurisdictions of the federal and provincial parliaments may be more
vague. For instance, the federal parliament regulates marriage and divorce in general,
but the solemnization of marriage is regulated only by the provincial legislatures. Other
examples include the powers of both the federal and provincial parliaments to impose
taxes, borrow money, punish crimes, and regulate agriculture.
3.3.2 ECONOMY
Canada has the tenth largest economy in the world, is one of the worlds wealthiest
nations, has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world and is a member
of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the
Group of Eight (G8). Find information on important aspects of Canadas economy and
economic, fiscal and monetary systems and institutions.
A historical view of Economy in Canada
Historians until the 1980s tended to focus on economic history, including labor history.
In part this is because Canada has had far fewer political or military conflicts than
other societies. This was especially true in the first half of the twentieth century when
economic history was overwhelmingly dominant. Many of the most prominent English
Canadian historians from this period were economic historians, such as Harold Innis,
Donald Creighton and Arthur R. M. Lower Scholars of Canadian history were heirs
to the traditions that developed in Europe and the United States, but frameworks that
worked well elsewhere often failed in Canada. The heavily Marxist influenced economic

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history that dominates Europe has little relevance to most of Canadian history. A focus
on class, urban areas, and industry fails to address Canadas rural and resource based
economy. Similarly, the monetarist school that is dominant in the United States also has
been difficult to transfer north of the border.
The study of economic history in Canada became highly focused on economic
geography, and for many years the dominant school of thought has been the staples
thesis. This school of thought bases the study of the Canadian economy on the study
of natural resources. This approach has since also become used outside of Canada in
Australia and in many developing nations.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the First Nations of what would become Canada
had a large and vibrant trade network. Furs, tools, decorative items, and other goods
were often transported thousands of kilometers, mostly by canoe throughout the many
rivers and lakes of the region.
The early European history of the Canadian economy is usually studied through the
staples thesis which argues the Canadian economy developed through the exploitation
of a series of staples that would be exported to Europe.
Canada has the seventh-largest economy in the world. Most of the businesses are
privately-owned, although the government does play a major role in the health-care
system and operates many services including transportation and utility companies. The
Canadian economy is diverse and highly developed. It is very similar to the American
economy, although smaller in size. In the aftermath of World War II, the nation was
transformed from a rural economy, based on agriculture, to one based on industry
and mining. The nations economy has been further transformed since the 1970s and
services now provide the main economic output.

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The foundation of the Canadian economy is foreign trade and the United States
is by far the nations largest trade partner. Foreign trade is responsible for about 45
percent of the nations gross domestic product (GDP). Free trade agreements between
the 2 nations have increased trade by eliminating tariffs . Each day approximately US$1
billion worth of goods crosses the U.S.-Canadian border. To understand the scale of
U.S.-Canadian trade, it is important to point out that the United States sends more
products to Canada than it does to all of Latin America.
Despite the small size of its population, the Canadian economy is one of the most
prosperous in the world. For instance, its GDP per capita was US$23,300 in 1999,
reflecting Canadian workers high wages compared to many other countries. Prospects
for continued positive economic performance are good. Canada has a highly skilled and
productive workforce. In 1999, there were 15.9 million people in Canadas workforce,
and the nation had an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, which was almost twice the
American rate.
Like Americans, Canadians tend to have high levels of disposable income . This
disposable income drives the Canadian economy as consumers spend their excess wages
on a variety of products and services. This creates demand for increased production and
the development of new products, which also means more and better-paying jobs. Also
like the United States, advertising has a major impact on Canadian consumer spending.
Television is the number-one form of advertising in Canada.
The nations infrastructure is excellent and most of its factories and manufacturing
plants are modern. In fact, Canadas transportation network is ranked as the best in the
world by the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness Report. Canada has a
variety of natural resources, including petroleum and natural gas, and a variety of metals
and minerals. Over the past decade, Canada has also emerged as one of the leading
nations in the high-tech and computer industry. Most of this growth has occurred
in central Canada, mainly Ontario and Quebec, and is responsible for the increased
migration of people to these areas. Much of the economic growth in Canada today is
fueled by small-to mediumsized companies. Because Canada has abundant energy
resources, the global oil crisis which began in 1999 has helped its energy companies
increase their outputs and profits. The nation has abundant natural resources that
include iron ore, nickel, copper, zinc, gold, lead, silver, timber, fish, coal, petroleum,
natural gas, and hydropower.
Regionally, the Canadian economy varies greatly. In the Eastern provinces, marine
industries including fishing, telecommunications, and energy production are
the main components of the economy. In the French-speaking region of Quebec, the
city of Montreal has become one of the nations centers for high-technology firms.
This includes a large number of computer software companies. There is also a large
industrial base which includes companies that produce pharmaceuticals, aerospace

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products, and telecommunications equipment. Ontario is the nations main industrial


center. About half of all Canadian manufactured goods are produced in Ontario.
The province is second only to Michigan as the largest producer of automobiles
and car parts in North America. Ottawa, the nations capital, is located in Ontario.
Other industries include chemicals, aerospace, steel, and food processing. The plains
(or prairie) provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are the home to fourfifths of Canadas agricultural lands. They are also the home to the majority of mining
and fuel production. Alberta itself provides 90 percent of the nations energy exports
and is the home of Canadas oil and natural gas industry. British Columbia is in the
Pacific Northwest. Forestry and tourism were traditionally the main elements of the
regions economy, but financial services, including banking and insurance, have grown
dramatically over the past decade. There is also a growing high-tech sector that is
bolstered by the provinces proximity to American firms such as Microsoft in the state
of Washington. The Northern territories of the nation comprise one-third of its total
size, but are home to only 100,000 people. These areas are home to Canadas Native
American population, many of whom continue to follow traditional lifestyles based
on hunting and fishing. Mining is the principal industry and there has been steady
growth in diamond mining and finishing. Tourism also provides a substantial part of
the regions economy.
Each of the nations main economic sectors is highly developed. Although the
agricultural sector is small, it takes advantage of the nations generous natural resources.
Increasingly, agriculture and fishing are concentrated in certain geographic regions of
the country, mainly the west and southeast. The United States is the main market for all
Canadian agricultural exports. In addition, the United States is the main destination for
most of Canadas timber exports. Canada is also a major supplier of energy resources,
including electricity and petroleum, to the United States. While industry has declined
since the 1970s, it remains an important component of the countrys economy. Automobile
products provide one of Canadas principal exports, but the nation also produces a
variety of consumer products and machinery. Nonetheless, large companies such as Ford
and General Motors provide a significant percentage of the nations industrial output.
Services have seen the most dramatic growth in the Canadian economy over the past 2
decades. In addition to consumer-based businesses such as retail and tourism, financial
services and telecommunications firms have grown dramatically. The government has
offered significant support to these new technologies. For instance, the government
has supported the development and installation of the only fiber-optic network in the
world which carries only Internet traffic. The system, CA*Net3, will have 16 times the
capacity of the largest U.S. system.
Budget surpluses over the past 3 years have allowed the government to begin paying
down Canadas national debt . The debt has been reduced by Can$19 billion, and in
2000 it stood at Can$565 billion. The surpluses have also allowed the government to

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spend more on federal programs and to reduce some taxes. The nation is a net donor of
foreign aid. In 1997, it provided US$2.1 billion in international aid.
There are several potential problems facing the Canadian economy. The most
significant is the continuing question over the status of Quebec. Should Quebec become
independent, it would significantly disrupt the Canadian economy, and the nation
would lose a sizable proportion of its GDP. The second most pressing problem for
Canada has been the migration of some of its best educated and trained workers to the
United States. This brain drain is the result of lower taxes and higher wages in the
United States.
Finally, Canadas dependence on trade makes it vulnerable to slow downs in the
economies of its major trade partners. This is especially true of the United States. In the
20th century, when the United States experienced economic recessions or depressions,
Canada soon after suffered similar economic problems.
3.3.3 EDUCATION SYSTEM
Education in Canada is for the most part provided
publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial,
and local governments. Education is within provincial
jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the
province. Education in Canada is generally divided into
primary education, followed by secondary education
and post-secondary. Within the provinces under the
ministry of education, there are district school boards administering the educational
programs Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada,
except for Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, where the compulsory age is 18,
or as soon as a high school diploma has been achieved. In some provinces early leaving
exemptions can be granted under certain circumstances at 14. Canada generally has 190
(180 in Quebec) school days in the year, officially starting from September (after Labor
Day) to the end of June (usually the last Friday of the month, except in Quebec when it
is just before June 24 the provincial holiday).
Primary and secondary education combined are sometimes referred to as K-12
(Kindergarten through Grade 12). It should be noted that this structure can vary
from school to school, and from province to province.. In contrast, Ontario is the only
province which provides two levels of Kindergarten (Junior and Senior).
In Canada, secondary schooling, known as high school or collegiate institute or
cole secondaire or secondary school, differs depending on the province in which
one resides. Additionally, grade structure may vary within a province and even within
a school division. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in
Canada, except for Ontario and New Brunswick (where the compulsory ages are 18).

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Students may continue to attend high school until the ages of 19 to 21 (the cut-off age
for high school varies between province). Those 19 and over may attend adult school.
Also if high schoolers are expelled or suspended for a period of time over 2 months or
so they could attend night school at the high school.
Ontario had a Grade 13 known as Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) year, but this
was abolished by the provincial government to cut costs. OAC was last offered for the
2002-2003 school year. As a result, the curriculum has been compacted, and the more
difficult subjects, such as mathematics, are comparatively harder than before. However,
the system is now approximately equivalent to what has been the case outside of Quebec
and Ontario for many years. Secondary education in Quebec continues to Grade 11
(Secondary V), and is typically followed by college, a two-year pre-university (university
for Quebecers is three years, except Engineering, Education, Medical, and Law), or
three year vocational program taken after high school. (see Education in Quebec).
An increasing number of international students are attending pre-university courses
at Canadian high schools.
Divisions by religion and language
Originally all the provinces had educational systems divided by religion, but most
provinces have abolished these. Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories,
and certain cities in Saskatchewan are exceptions to this, as they still maintain publicly
funded Separate district school boards (usually Catholic but occasionally Protestant).
In Quebec, the Catholic/Protestant divide was replaced with a French/English one in
1998. Quebecers must attend a French School up until the end of high school unless one
of their parents previously attended an English-language school somewhere in Canada
(immigrants from other countries cannot use this exception). In Ontario, French
language schools automatically admit students recognized under section 23 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and may admit non-francophone students
through the boards admissions committee consisting of the school principal, a school
superintendent and a teacher.
3.3.4 HEALTH SYSTEM
Health Care system has been a work in progress since its inception. Reforms have
been made over the past four decades and will continue in response to changes within
medicine and throughout society. The basics, however, remain the same - universal
coverage for medically necessary health care services provided on the basis of need,
rather than the ability to pay.
Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system,
which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities.
It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984.The government assures
the quality of care through federal standards. The government does not participate in

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day-to-day care or collect any information about an individuals health, which remains
confidential between a person and his or her physician. Canadas provincially based
Medicare systems are cost-effective partly because of their administrative simplicity. In
each province each doctor handles the insurance claim against the provincial insurer.
There is no need for the person who accesses health care to be involved in billing and
reclaim. Private insurance is only a minimal part of the overall health care system.
Canadas publicly funded health care system is best described as an interlocking
set of ten provincial and three territorial health insurance plans. Known to Canadians
as Medicare, the system provides access to universal, comprehensive coverage for
medically necessary hospital and physician services.
Medicare is designed to ensure that all residents have reasonable access to medically
necessary hospital and physician services, on a prepaid basis. Instead of having a single
national plan, we have a national program that is composed of 13 interlocking provincial
and territorial health insurance plans, all of which share certain common features and
basic standards of coverage. Framed by the Canada Health Act, the principles governing
our health care system are symbols of the underlying Canadian values of equity and
solidarity.
Roles and responsibilities for Canadas health care system are shared between the
federal and provincial-territorial governments. Under the Canada Health Act (CHA),
our federal health insurance legislation, criteria and conditions are specified that must
be satisfied by the provincial and territorial health care insurance plans in order for
them to qualify for their full share of the federal cash contribution, available under the
Canada Health Transfer (CHT). Provincial and territorial governments are responsible
for the management, organization and delivery of health services for their residents.
Competitive practices such as advertising are kept to a minimum, thus maximizing
the percentage of revenues that go directly towards care. In general, costs are paid
through funding from income taxes, except in British Columbia, the only province to
impose a fixed monthly premium which is waived or reduced for those on low incomes.
There are no deductibles on basic health care and co-pays are extremely low or nonexistent (supplemental insurance such as Fair Pharma care may have deductibles,
depending on income). A health card is issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health
to each individual who enrolls for the program and everyone receives the same level
of care. There is no need for a variety of plans because virtually all essential basic care
is covered, including maternity and infertility problems. Depending on the province,
dental and vision care may not be covered but are often insured by employers through
private companies. In some provinces, private supplemental plans are available for those
who desire private rooms if they are hospitalized. Cosmetic surgery and some forms of
elective surgery are not considered essential care and are generally not covered. These
can be paid out-of-pocket or through private insurers. Health coverage is not affected

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by loss or change of jobs, as long as premiums are up to date, and there are no lifetime
limits or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
Pharmaceutical medications are covered by public funds for the elderly or indigent
or through employment-based private insurance. Drug prices are negotiated with
suppliers by the federal government to control costs. Family physicians (often known as
general practitioners or GPs in Canada) are chosen by individuals. If a patient wishes
to see a specialist or is counseled to see a specialist, a referral can be made by a GP.
Preventive care and early detection are considered important and yearly checkups are
encouraged. Early detection not only extends life expectancy and quality of life, but cuts
down overall costs. Please see the following charts on Health invest and the priorities
for distributing this invest:
3.4 CULTURAL ASPECT
3.4.1 MEDIA
Canada has a well-developed media sector, but its cultural output particularly in
English films, television shows, and magazines is often overshadowed by imports
from the United States.Television, magazines, and newspapers are primarily forprofit corporations based on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues.
Nevertheless, both the television broadcasting and publications sectors require a
number of government interventions to remain profitable, ranging from regulation
that bars foreign companies in the broadcasting industry to tax laws that limit foreign
competition in magazine advertising.
In the broadcasting sector, Canada has a government-funded broadcaster, the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Socit Radio-Canada, which operates radio and
TV networks in English and French. As well, some provincial governments offer their
own public educational TV broadcast services as well, such as Ontarios TV Ontario
and Quebecs Tl-Qubec. Given Canadas small market and its position next to the
dominant producer of feature films, the Canadian film industry receives substantial
assistance from the government. In the 2000s, about half of the budget of a typical
Canadian film came from various federal and provincial government sources.
The organization Reporters Without Borders compiles and publishes an annual
ranking of countries based upon the organizations assessment of their press freedom
records. In 2011-12 Canada was ranked 10th out of 179 countries, which was an
improvement from the preceding year.
RADIO
The history of Canadian media performers goes back to the first days of radio. In the
1940s an association was formed called the Radio Artists of Toronto Society - RATS.

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Radio performers in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver also organized to fight for
artists rights, working conditions and better fees. In 1943, the Association of Canadian
Radio Artists (ACRA) was formed as a loose national coalition of actors groups. Over
the years, ACRA evolved to become the Association of Canadian Radio and Television
Artists, the Canadian Council of Authors and Artists, the Association of Canadian
Television and Radio Artists and, in 1984, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television
and Radio Artists.
As of 2010, the five largest major commercial radio broadcast groups in Canada are;
Astral Media, Newcap Broadcasting, Rogers Communications, Corus Entertainment,
and Bell Media. However, many smaller broadcasters operate radio stations as well.
Most genres of music are represented on the Canadian commercial radio spectrum,
including pop, rock, hip hop, country, jazz and classical. News, sports, talk radio
and religious stations are also available in many cities. In addition, many Canadian
universities and colleges have licensed campus radio stations, and some communities
also have community radio stations or Christian radio stations licensed to non-profit
groups or co-operatives.
As well, the publicly owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation operates four
national radio networks, two each in English and French. The English Radio One
and the French Premire Chane provide news and information programming to most
communities in Canada, regardless of size, on either the AM or FM band. The English
Radio 2 and French Espace musique provide arts and culture programming, including
classical music and opera, and are always on FM, generally serving larger communities
only.
TELEVISION
The Canadian television broadcasting industry is split between public and private
ownership. Canada currently has 130 originating television stations, which broadcast
on 1,456 transmitters across the country, on both the VHF and UHF bands.
In addition to the public Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Socit RadioCanada, which operates both English and French television networks, there are four
major private TV networks. CTV and Global broadcast in English, and are available
throughout the country. TVA and V broadcast in French and are available over the air
only in Quebec (and some communities in Ontario and New Brunswick which are near
the Quebec border), although TVA is available across Canada on cable. Radio-Canada
(the French division of the CBC), TVA and V function in the particular cultural context
of Quebec television. Most network stations are owned and operated by the networks
themselves, although all networks have some affiliates with different ownership.
In addition, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a service devoted mainly to
programming from the First Nations, is considered a network by the Canadian Radio-

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television and Telecommunications Commission, although the network airs terrestrially


only in the three Canadian territories, and is available only on cable in most of Canada.
Cable companies now offer digital cable packages in most Canadian cities,
including a number of channels which have been licensed exclusively for digital
package distribution. Digital cable also typically includes a range of audio broadcast
services such as Galaxie and Max Trax. In some markets, digital cable service may also
include local radio stations; where this is offered, it has largely replaced the availability
of cable FM service. Digital cable, however, is provided only if a customer chooses to
subscribe to that package.
NEWSPAPERS
Almost all Canadian cities are served by at least one daily newspaper, along with
community and neighbourhood weeklies. In large cities which have more than one
daily newspaper, usually at least one daily is a tabloid format. Bilingual cities like
Montreal and Ottawa have important papers in both French and English.
Canada currently has two major national newspapers, The Globe and Mail and
the National Post. Le Devoir, though not widely read outside Quebec, is the Frenchlanguage counterpart to the national newspapers.
The newspaper with the highest circulation overall is the Toronto Star, while the
newspaper with the highest readership per capita is the Windsor Star (with the Calgary
Herald running a very close second).
Canadian newspapers are mostly owned by large chains. The largest of these is
the CanWest News Service chain, owned by CanWest. Quebecor owns many tabloid
newspapers through its Sun Media subsidiary, including Le Journal de Montral and
the Toronto Sun.
At various times there have been concerns about concentration of newspaper
ownership, notably in 1970 and 1980 with two commissions, the Davey Committee
on combines and the Kent Royal Commission on Newspapers respectively, and most
recently when Conrad Blacks Hollinger acquired the Southam newspapers in the late
1990s. When Hollinger sold its Canadian properties, however, many of their smallermarket newspapers were in fact purchased by a variety of new ownership groups such
as Osprey Media, increasing the diversity of newspaper ownership for the first time in
many years.
The 1980s and 1990s have seen the emergence of city-based alternative weekly
newspapers, geared toward a younger audience with coverage of the arts and alternative
news. In recent years, many of these weeklies have also been acquired or driven out
of business by conglomerates like Canwest, Quebecor and Brunswick News. Smaller
newspapers like The Dominion, publishing primarily online but in a newspaper

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format, have attempted to fill gaps in Canadas journalistic coverage while avoiding the
vulnerabilities of the previous generation of alternative media.
In the 2000s, a number of online news and culture magazines have launched to
provide alternative sources of journalism. Some important online publications include
rabble.ca, The Tyee, Vigile, CBC Radio 3/Bande part and SooToday.com
FILMS
Most of Canadas film (and television) industry produces output geared towards
mainstream North American audiences, with Alliance Atlantis and Lions Gate
Entertainment in particular enjoying significant successes in recent years. Montreal,
Toronto and Vancouver are major production centers, with Vancouver being the second
largest film and television production centre in North America (after Los Angeles).
The Toronto International Film Festival is considered one of the most important events
in North American film, showcasing both Canadian talent and Hollywood films.
3.4.2 ARTS
Canadian art refers to the visual (including painting, photography, and printmaking)
as well as plastic arts (such as sculpture) originating from the geographical area of
contemporary Canada. Art in Canada is marked by thousands of years of habitation
by First Nations Peoples followed by waves of immigration which included artists of
European origins and subsequently by artists with heritage from countries all around
the world. The nature of Canadian art reflects these diverse origins, as artists have taken
their traditions and adapted these influences to reflect the reality of their lives in Canada.
The Government of Canada has at times played a central role in the development
of Canadian culture. The arts have flourished in Canada since the 20th century, and
especially since the end of World War II in 1945. Government support has played a vital
role in their development enabling visual exposure through publications and periodicals
featuring Canadian art, as has the establishment of numerous art schools and colleges
across the country. The Group of Seven is often considered the first uniquely Canadian
artistic group and style of painting. However, this claim is challenged by some scholars
and artists. Historically the Catholic Church was the primary patron of art in early
Canada, especially Quebec, and in later times artists have combined British, French
and American artistic traditions, at times embracing European styles and at other times
working to promote nationalism by developing distinctly Canadian styles. Canadian art
remains the combination of these various influences.
FIRST NATION PEOPLES ART
Aboriginal People were producing art in the territory that is now called Canada for
thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settler colonists and the eventual
establishment of Canada as a nation state

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One thing that distinguishes Indigenous art from European traditions is a focus
on art that tends to be portable and made for the body rather than for architecture,
although even this is only a general tendency and not an absolute rule. Indigenous visual
art is also often made to be used in conjunction with other arts, for example masks and
rattles play an important role in ceremonialism that also involves dance, storytelling
and music.
Many of the artworks preserved in museum collections date from the period
after European contact and show evidence of the creative adoption and adaptation of
European trade goods such as metal and glass beads. The distinct Mtis cultures that
have arisen from inter cultural relationships with Europeans have also contributed
new culturally hybrid art forms. During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century
the Canadian government pursued an active policy of assimilation toward indigenous
peoples and one of the instruments of this policy was the Indian Act, which banned
manifestations of traditional religion and governance, such as the Sun Dance and the
Potlatch, including the works of art associated with them. It was not until the 1950s
and 60s that indigenous artists such as Mungo Martin, Bill Reid and Norval Morrisseau
began to publicly renew and in some cases re-invent indigenous art traditions. Currently
there are many indigenous artists practicing in all media in Canada and two indigenous
artists, such as Edward Poitras and Rebecca Belmore, who have represented Canada at
the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1995 and 2005, respectively.
3.4.3 SPORTS AND LEISURE
Sports in Canada consists of a wide variety of games. There are many contests that
Canadians value, the most common are ice hockey, lacrosse, Canadian football,
basketball, soccer, curling and baseball, with ice hockey and lacrosse being the official
winter and summer sports, respectively.
Since its founding, Canadas official sport was lacrosse. In 1994, First Nations groups
objected to a government bill that proposed establishing ice hockey as Canadas national
sport, arguing that it neglected recognition of the game of lacrosse, a uniquely Native
contribution. In response, the House of Commons amended a bill to recognize hockey
as Canadas Winter Sport and lacrosse as Canadas Summer Sport, although lacrosse is
played all year, in all seasons, indoor and outdoors. On May 12, 1994 the National Sports
of Canada Act came into force with these designations:
Ice hockey, referred to as simply hockey, is Canadas most prevalent winter
sport, its most popular spectator sport in international competition. It is
Canadas official national winter sport.
Lacrosse, a sport with Native American origins, is Canadas oldest and official
summer sport. (See pictures)

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Lacrosse

Canadian football is Canadas second most popular spectator sport, and the Canadian
Football Leagues annual championship, the Grey Cup, is the countrys largest annual
sports event. While other sports have a larger spectator base, Association football,
known in Canada as soccer in both English and French, has the most registered players
of any team sport in Canada. Professional teams exist in many cities in Canada. Statistics
Canada reports that the top ten sports that Canadians participate in are golf, ice hockey,
swimming, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, skiing (downhill and alpine), cycling
and tennis.
As a country with a generally cool climate, Canada has enjoyed greater success
at the Winter Olympics than at the Summer Olympics, although significant regional
variations in climate allow for a wide variety of both team and individual sports. Major
multi-sport events in Canada include the 2010 Winter Olympics. Great achievements in
Canadian sports are recognized by Canadas Sports Hall of Fame, while the Lou Marsh
Trophy is awarded annually to Canadas top athlete by a panel of journalists. There are
numerous other Sports Halls of Fames in Canada.
3.4.4 DOMINANT BELIEFS AND VALUES
MULTICULTURALISM IN CANADA
Multiculturalism in Canada in the sense of equal acceptance of races, religions and
cultures was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the
prime ministership of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s.The Canadian
government has been described as the instigator of multiculturalism as an ideology
because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. The Canadian
Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism is often referred to as the origin
of modern political awareness of multiculturalism.

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Canadians have used the term multiculturalism both descriptively (as a matter of
fact) and normatively (as an ideal). In the first sense multiculturalism is description
of the many different groups of religions and cultures that make up the population in
Canada. The nation consists of people from all racial origins and is open to cultural
pluralism as it is believed to be advantageous to the Canadian society as a whole. Canada
has experience continual mass immigration since the nineteenth century, and by the
1980s almost 40 percent of the population were of neither British nor French origins
(the two largest groups, and among the oldest).In the past, the relationship between the
British and the French has been given a lot of importance in Canadas history. But by the
early twenty-first century, people from outside British and French heritage composed
the majority of the population, with an increasing percentage of those from visible
minorities.
Multiculturalism is reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act
and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is administered
by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Broadcasting Act of 1991 asserts the
Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the diversity of cultures in the country.
Despite the official policies, segments of the Canadian population are critical of the
concept(s) of a cultural mosaic and implantation(s) of multiculturalism.
HUMOR IN CANADA
If you understand a joke, you understand the culture (Note from Editor)
Canadian humor is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several
traditions in Canadian humor in both English and French. While these traditions are
distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians
shared history and geopolitical situation in North America and the world.
Various trends can be noted in Canadian comedy. One thread is the portrayal of a
typical Canadian family in an on-going radio or television series. Examples include
La famille Plouffe, with its mix of drama, humor, politics and religion and sitcoms such
as King of Kensington and La Petite Vie. Another major thread tends to be political
and cultural satire: television shows such as CODCO, Royal Canadian Air Farce, La
Fin du monde est 7 heures and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, monologuists such as
Yvon Deschamps and Rick Mercer and writers, including Michel Tremblay, Will
Ferguson and Eric Nicol draw their inspiration from Canadian and Qubcois society
and politics. Another trend revels in absurdity, demonstrated by television series like
The Kids in the Hall and The Frantics, and musician-comedians such as The Arrogant
Worms, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie and Bowser and Blue.
Satire is arguably the primary characteristic of Canadian humor, evident in each of
these threads, and uniting various genres and regional cultural differences.

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As is prevalent in other countries, humor at the expense of regional and ethnic


stereotypes is also found in Canada. Obvious examples are Newfie jokes (with Newfie
being a derogatory nickname for people from the island of Newfoundland) and jokes
revolving around English-speaking Canadians stereotype of French Canadians, and
vice versa.
Humber College in Toronto and the cole nationale de lhumour in Montreal offer
post-secondary programs in comedy writing and performance. Montreal is also home to
the bilingual (English and French) Just For Laughs festival and to the Just for Laughs
museum, a bilingual, international museum of comedy.

Only in Canada
1. Only in Canada.... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
2. Only in Canada.... are there handicap parking places in front of a skating
rink.
3. Only in Canada.... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the
back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy
cigarettes at the front.
4. Only in Canada.... do people order double cheese burgers, largefries, and
a diet coke.
5. Only in Canada.... do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens
to the counters.
6. Only in Canada.... do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the
driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
7. Only in Canada.... do we use answering machines to screen calls and then
have call waiting so we dont miss a call from someone we didnt want to
talk to in the first place.
8. Only in Canada.... do we buy hot dogs in packages of twelve and buns in
packages of eight.
9. Only in Canada.... do we use the word politics to describe theprocess
so well: Poli in Latin meaning many and tics meaning bloodsucking
creatures.
10. Only in Canada.... do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille
lettering. (*Becquet Enterprises)

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FESTIVALS
Traditionally, there is a long list of Festivals in Canada, in 2010 the largest attendance
was for:
1. Winterlude (Ottawa-Gatineau) 1.6 million
2. Celebration of Light (Vancouver) 1.6 million
3. Just For Laughs (Montreal) 1.5 million
4. Canadian National Exhibition (Toronto) 1.3 million
5. Calgary Stampede 1.2 million
6. Pride Toronto 1.3 million
7. Toronto International Film Festival 0.5 million
8. Quebec Winter Carnival 0.5 million

FOOD IN EVERYDAY LIFE


The agricultural and ethnic richness of Canada has led to two distinctive characteristics
of everyday food consumption. The first is its scale. Canadians are big eaters, with
meat portions in particular dominating the Canadian meal. There are generally three
regular meals in a given day. Breakfast, often large and important in rural areas, but
less so in urban areas, is most often not eaten in a group. Lunch, at midday, is most
often a snack in urban areas, but remains a substantial meal in rural centers. Dinner,
the final formal meal of the day, is also the meal most likely to be eaten by a residential
group as a whole, and it is the largest and the most socially important meal of the day.
It is the meal most often used as a social event or to which invitations to nonfamily
members are extended, in contrast with lunch which is often, for adults, shared with
coworkers. Meat plays a key role in all three of the formal meals, but with increasing
importance at breakfast and dinner. Dinner should have some special, and most often,
large, meat portion as its key component. Each of these three meals can be, and often
are, very substantial. There are general rules concerning appropriate foods for each
meal, rules that can be quite complex. For example, pork can figure in each meal, but
only particular kinds of pork would be considered appropriate. Pork at breakfast may
appear as bacon, or sausage, in small portions. Both of these products are made with the
least valuable portion of the pig. At lunch, pork may appear in a sandwich in the form
of processed meats, also made from the least valuable portion of the pig. For dinner,
pork appears in large and more highly valued forms, such as roasts or hams, which
require often elaborate preparation and which are presented to diners in a way that
highlights their value and size.

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ACTIVITIES
1. Make a timeline of the History of Canada and a second topic of your choice: Arts,
Literature, Music, Architecture, etc
2. Make a PP presentation about MULTICULTURALISM concept in Canada, how
it works and compare it to the situation of natives in a country of your choice among
the list: USA, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
3. Write an essay on the influence of the Monarchy in the history of Canada comparing
it to the United States.

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AUSTRALIA

Fast Facts
Sovereign

Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Governor-General

Quentin Bryce (2008)

Prime Minister

Julia Gillard (2010)

Land area

2,941,283 sq mi (7,617,931 sq km)

Total area

2,967,893 sq mi (7,686,850 sq km)

Population (2012 est.)


:

21,015,576 (growth rate: 1.13%); birth rate: 12.28/1000;


infant mortality rate: 4.55/1000; life expectancy: 81.9

Capital (2009 est.)

Canberra, 384,000

Largest cities
:

Sydney 4.429 million; Melbourne 3.853 millionBrisbane


1.97 million; Perth 1.599 million (2009

National Holiday

Australia Day, January 26

Monetary unit

Australian dollar

Languages
:

English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%,


Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified
5.7% (2006 Census)

Map of Australia

Religion in Australia

Education in Australia (survey data - page 160)

he culture of Australia is essentially a Western culture influenced by the unique


geography of the Australian continent, the diverse input of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples, the British colonisation of Australia which began in 1788, and
the various waves of multi-ethnic migration which followed. The predominance of
the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing
upon on British Westminster and American constitutionalist and federalist traditions,
Christianity as the dominant religion and the popularity of sports such as cricket and
rugby evidence a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage. In the two-and-a-quarter centuries
since British settlement, however, Australian culture has diverged significantly, forming
a distinct culture.
4.1 HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK
4.1.1 Geography
The continent of Australia, with the island state of Tasmania, is approximately equal
in area to the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Mountain ranges run from
north to south along the east coast, reaching their highest point in Mount Kosciusko
(7,308 ft; 2,228 m). The western half of the continent is occupied by a desert plateau that
rises into barren, rolling hills near the west coast. The Great Barrier Reef, extending
about 1,245 mi (2,000 km), lies along the northeast coast. The island of Tasmania (26,178
sq mi; 67,800 sq km) is off the southeast coast.

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4.1.2 History
The first inhabitants of Australia were the Aborigines, who migrated there at least
40,000 years ago from Southeast Asia. There may have been between a half million to
a full million Aborigines at the time of European settlement; today about 350,000 live
in Australia.
Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish ships sighted Australia in the 17th century; the
Dutch landed at the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606. In 1616 the territory became known
as New Holland. The British arrived in 1688, but it was not until Captain James Cooks
voyage in 1770 that Great Britain claimed possession of the vast island, calling it New
South Wales. A British penal colony was set up at Port Jackson (what is now Sydney) in
1788, and about 161,000 transported English convicts were settled there until the system
was suspended in 1839.
Free settlers and former prisoners established six colonies: New South Wales
(1786), Tasmania (then Van Diemens Land) (1825), Western Australia (1829), South
Australia (1834), Victoria (1851), and Queensland (1859). Various gold rushes attracted
settlers, as did the mining of other minerals. Sheep farming and grain soon grew into
important economic enterprises. The six colonies became states and in 1901 federated
into the Commonwealth of Australia with a constitution that incorporated British
parliamentary and U.S. federal traditions. Australia became known for its liberal
legislation: free compulsory education, protected trade unionism with industrial
conciliation and arbitration, the secret ballot, womens suffrage, maternity allowances,
and sickness and old-age pensions.
From the World Wars to the End of the Millennium
Australia fought alongside Britain in World War I, notably with the Australia and New
Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in the Dardanelles campaign (1915). Participation in
World War II helped Australia forge closer ties to the United States. Parliamentary
power in the second half of the 20th century shifted between three political parties: the
Australian Labour Party, the Liberal Party, and the National Party. Australia relaxed
its discriminatory immigration laws in the 1960s and 1970s, which favored Northern
Europeans. Thereafter, about 40% of its immigrants came from Asia, diversifying a
population that was predominantly of English and Irish heritage. An Aboriginal
movement that grew in the 1960s gained full citizenship and improved education for
the countrys poorest socioeconomic group.
In March 1996, the opposition Liberal PartyNational Party coalition easily won
the national elections, removing the Labour Party after 13 years in power. Pressure
from the new, conservative One Nation Party threatened to reduce the gains made by
Aborigines and to limit immigration.

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In Sept. 1999, Australia led the international peacekeeping force sent to restore
order in East Timor after pro-Indonesian militias began massacring civilians to thwart
East Timors referendum on independence
Changes in Immigration Policy
John Howard won a third term in Nov. 2001, primarily as the result of his tough policy
against illegal immigration. This policy has also brought him considerable criticism:
refugees attempting to enter Australiamost of them from Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq
and numbering about 5,000 annuallyhave been imprisoned in bleak detention camps
and subjected to a lengthy immigration process. Asylum-seekers have staged riots and
hunger strikes. Howard has also dealt with refugees through the Pacific solution,
which reroutes boat people from Australian shores to camps in Papua New Guinea and
Nauru. In 2004, however, the government began easing its policies on immigration.
Australia on the International Stage as Peacekeeper
Prime Minister Howard sent 2,000 Australian troops to fight alongside American and
British troops in the 2003 Iraq war, despite strong opposition among Australians.
In July 2003, Australia successfully restored order to the Solomon Islands, which
had descended into lawlessness during a brutal civil war.
Australian citizens have been the victims of two significant terrorist attacks in
recent years: the 2002 Bali, Indonesia, bombings by a group with ties to al-Qaeda in
which 202 died, many of whom were Australian, and the 2004 attack on the Australian
embassy in Indonesia, which killed ten.

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In Oct. 2004, Howard won a fourth term as prime minister. When rival security
forces in East Timor began fighting each other in 2006, Australia sent 3,000 peacekeeping
troops to stem the violence. Howard was defeated by the Labor Partys Kevin Rudd in
elections in Nov. 2007. Rudd campaigned on a platform for change, and promised to
focus on the environment, education, and healthcare. Observers predicted Rudd would
maintain a close relationship with the United States. The military began withdrawing
Australias 550 troops from Iraq in June 2008, following through on a promise made by
Rudd.
The worst wildfires in Australian history killed at least 181 people in the state of
Victoria, injured more than a hundred, and destroyed more than 900 houses in Feb.
2009. At least one of the fires was determined to be the work of arsonists. Australian
officials were criticized for failing to evacuate those in danger. A government inquiry
was requested to research the states response to the fire
Australia Elects Its First Female Prime Minister
Rudds popularity plummeted in May 2010, largely because he shelved his environmental
policy that centered on an emissions-trading system. In June, the Labor Party ousted
him as its leader and elected his deputy, Julia Gillard. She became Australias first female
prime minister in June and promptly called for elections, which were held in August.
They resulted in a hung parliament, with neither the incumbent Labor Party nor the
conservative Liberal-National coalition, led by Tony Abbott, taking a majority of seats.
It is the countrys first hung parliament in 70 years. After several weeks of attempting
to woo members of parliament to her side, Gillard succeeded in early September, when
two independents backed her. It was enough to give her the slimmest majority: 76 out
of 150 seats.
Worst Flooding in Decades
In Jan. 2011, the worst flooding for decades in Queensland cut off many cities and
towns. The floods left more than 30 people dead and caused billions of dollars in
damage to mines, farms, and cities. Coal mining operations in the Australian state were
severely hampered. The flood affected about 200,000 people and covered an area larger
than France and Germany combined. Prime Minister Gillard started off the New Year
by visiting the ravaged state. In April, Queensland urban areas were plagued with
extremely large numbers of flying beetles, a likely result of the floods.
U.S. Establishes Military Presence
Nov. 2011 saw Barack Obama in Canberra where he announced a new American
military presence near the port city of Darwin, Australias Pearl Harbor. Marines will
be gradually deployed over the coming years, to a total strength of 2,500. Mr. Obamas
speech established his commitment to a larger and long-term role in shaping the

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region, which will include providing humanitarian relief and responding to security
issues in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea.
ACTIVITIES
1. Draw a map of Australia indicating the concentration of population in each city or
area, using different colors and also point out at rivers or lakes.
2. Prepare a poster of Australia indicating the highlighting points as famous
mountains, typical animals and important cities.
3. Analyze and prepare a presentation on the history of Australia. Highlight the type
of settlers that established in Australia in 19th century and state how these people
would have affected the culture
4.2 SOCIAL STRUCTURE
4.2.1 Ethnicity
Racial composition: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Australias aboriginal inhabitants (hunting-gathering people), referred to today as
Aboriginals and Torres Straits Islanders, arrived more than 40,000 years ago . Current
aboriginal population is approx.
517,200 (about 2.5% of the population) The government and the public are now
trying to be more responsive to aboriginal rights and needs.
4.2.2 Religion
Protestant 27.4% (Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed
3%), Catholic 25.8%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%,
Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census) According to
the ABS 2006 census (the most recent):
1. About 13 million or 64% of Australians called themselves Christian. However,
only about 7.5% attend any church services weekly (NCLS Research 2004).
2. The main denominations continue to decline slowly, while 19% of Australians
claimed no religion. Another two million did not state or adequately describe
their religion.
3. Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and other religions are still minorities but have also
grown, due to increased immigration from the Asian region.

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4.2.3 Main Social Issues


Australian alcohol guidelines : reducing the health risks
Alcohol has a complex role in Australian society. Most Australians drink alcohol,
generally for enjoyment, relaxation and sociability. However, a substantial proportion
of people drink at levels that increase their risk of alcohol-related harm. These
guidelines will help you make an informed choice and also help health agencies guide
the community in reducing health risks that arise from drinking alcohol.
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your_health/healthy/alcohol/index.htm
Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA)
The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA) site provides access
to current information and resources to assist those working against sexual assault.
http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/
Bullying. No way!
School communities around Australia can increase understanding about the issues
surrounding bullying, harassment and violence, hear others stories, find out about
resources, and share strategies and success stories across the nation.
http://www.bullyingnoway.com.au/
Online gambling
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has
responsibility for the Interactive Gambling Act. Links provide information on the IGA
and its operation.
http://www.dbcde.gov.au/broadband/online_gambling
Organ donor registration
The Australian Organ Donor Register is the only national register for organ and
tissue donation for transplantation. The register records your donation decision and
the organs and tissue you agree to donate. Register online, and remember to discuss
your decision with loved ones as family consent is always sought before donation can
proceed.
http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/Medicare/australian-organdonor-register

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Racism. No Way.
Racism. No Way aims to tackle racism in schools in Australia, through providing
teachers, school students, parents and governors with games, research and lesson ideas
that explore the causes and effects of racism for practical use in the classroom.
http://www.racismnoway.com.au/
Reducing violence
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs (FaHCSIA) page provides information for reducing violence against women
and their children.
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/programs-services/
reducing-violence
The Road Home - Australian Government White Paper on Homelessness
The Road Home sets the strategic agenda for reducing homelessness to 2020.
The White Paper addresses the causes of homelessness and provides a framework for
preventing homelessness from occurring in the first place.
ACTIVITIES
1. Research on the aborigines of Australia, where did they come from? Did they have
a culture?
2. Compare the Religious aspect of Australia with another western culture country.
Establish differences or similarities.
3. For the social issues mentioned, how effectively is the government working ?
Research and prepare a presentation in a graphic organizer.
4.3 POLITICAL STRUCTURE
4.3.1 Government
The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, also known as the Australian
Government, Commonwealth Government or Federal Government, is the
administrative authority of Australia. The Commonwealth of Australia, a federal
constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy, was formed in 1901 as a
result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six
states. The terms of this agreement are embodied in the Australian Constitution, which
was drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies
at referendums. The structure of the Australian Government may be examined in light
of two distinct concepts, namely federalism and the separation of powers into executive,

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legislative, and judicial branches of government. Separation of powers is implied from


the structure of the Constitution which breaks down the branches of government into
separate chapters.
Federal Government
Section 1 of the Australian Constitution creates a democratic legislature, the bicameral
Parliament of Australia which consists of the Queen and two houses, the Senate
and the House of Representatives. Section 51 of the Constitution provides for the
Commonwealth Governments legislative powers and allocates certain powers and
responsibilities (known as heads of power) to the federal government. All remaining
responsibilities are retained by the six States (previously separate colonies). Further,
each State has its own constitution, so that Australia has seven sovereign Parliaments,
none of which can encroach on the functions of any other. The High Court of Australia
arbitrates on any disputes which arise between the Commonwealth and the States, or
among the States, concerning their respective functions.
The Commonwealth Parliament can propose changes to the Constitution. To
become effective, the proposals must be put to a referendum of all Australians of voting
age, and must receive a double majority: a majority of all votes, and a majority of
votes in a majority of States.
The Commonwealth Constitution also provides that the States can agree to refer any
of their powers to the Commonwealth. This may be achieved by way of an amendment
to the Constitution via referendum (a vote on whether the proposed transfer of power
from the States to the Commonwealth, or vice versa, should be implemented). More
commonly powers may be transferred by passing other acts of legislation which authorise
the transfer and such acts require the legislative agreement of all the state governments
involved. This transfer legislation may have a sunset clause, a legislative provision
that nullifies the transfer of power after a specified period, at which point the original
division of power is restored...
In addition, Australia has several territories, three of which are self-governing:
the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the Northern Territory (NT) and Norfolk
Island. The legislatures of these territories exercise powers delegated to them by the
Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth Parliament retains the power to override
territorial legislation and to transfer powers to or from the territories. While Australian
citizens living in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are
represented in the Commonwealth Parliament, Norfolk Islanders are not represented
federally.
Australias other territories that are regularly inhabited (Jervis Bay, Christmas
Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) are not self-governing. Instead, these territories
are largely governed by federal law, with Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands also

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having local governments. The largely uninhabited Coral Sea Islands was established
as a Territory of the Commonwealth in 1969 while Ashmore and Cartier Islands has
been a territory since 1933 and administered under the laws of the Northern Territory.
The federal nature of the Commonwealth and the structure of the Parliament of
Australia were the subject of protracted negotiations among the colonies during the
drafting of the Constitution. The House of Representatives is elected on a basis which
reflects the differing populations of the States. Thus New South Wales has 48 members
while Tasmania has five. But the Senate is elected on a basis of equality among the
States: all States elect 12 Senators, regardless of population. This was intended to allow
the Senators of the smaller States to form a majority and amend or even reject bills
originating in the House of Representatives. The ACT and the NT also elect two
senators each.
The third level of government after Commonwealth and State/Territory is Local
government, in the form of shire, town or city. These bodies such as Councils are
composed of elected representatives (known as either councillor or alderman depending
on the State), usually serving on a part-time basis.
Government is undertaken by three inter-connected arms of government:
Legislature: The Commonwealth Parliament
Executive: The Sovereign, whose executive power is exercisable by the
Governor-General, the Prime Minister, Ministers and their Departments
Judiciary: The High Court of Australia and subsidiary Federal courts.
The Separation of powers is the principle whereby the three arms of government
undertake their activities separate from each other:
the Legislature proposes laws in the form of Bills, and provides a legislative
framework for the operations of the other two arms. The Sovereign is formally
a part of the Parliament, but takes no active role in these matters
the Executive enacts the laws by Royal Assent, administers the laws and carries
out the tasks assigned to it by legislation
the Judiciary hears cases arising from the administration of the law, using both
statute law and the common law. The Australian courts cannot give advisory
opinions on the constitutionality of laws
the other arms cannot influence the Judiciary.
Until the passage of the Australia Act 1986, and associated legislation in the
parliament of the United Kingdom, some Australian cases could be referred to
the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for final appeal. With this act,
Australian law was made unequivocally sovereign, and the High Court of Australia

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was confirmed as the highest court of appeal. The theoretical possibility of the British
Parliament enacting laws to override the Australian Constitution was also removed.
Legislature
The Legislature makes the laws, and supervises the activities of the other two arms
with a view to changing the laws when appropriate. The Australian Parliament is
bicameral, consisting of the Queen, a 76-member Senate and a 150-member House of
Representatives. Twelve Senators from each state are elected for six-year terms, using
proportional representation and the single transferable vote (known
in Australia as preferential voting: see Australian electoral system), with half
elected every three years.
In addition to the state Senators, two senators are elected by voters from the Northern
Territory (which for this purpose includes the Indian Ocean Territories, Christmas
Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands), while another two senators are elected by the
voters of the Australian Capital Territory (which includes the Jervis Bay Territory for
this purpose). Senators from the territories are also elected using preferential voting,
however, their term of office is not fixed: it starts on the day of a general election for the
House of Representatives and ends the day before the next such election day.
The members of the House of Representatives are elected by preferential voting
from single-member constituencies allocated among the states and territories roughly
in proportion to population. In ordinary legislation, the two chambers have coordinate
powers, but all proposals for appropriating revenue or imposing taxes must be
introduced in the House of Representatives. Under the prevailing Westminster system,
the leader of the political party or coalition of parties that holds the support of a majority
of the members in the House of Representatives is invited to form a government and is
named Prime Minister.

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The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament, of which
they must, in most circumstances, be members. General elections are held at least once
every three years. The Prime Minister has a discretion to advise the Governor-General
to call an election for the House of Representatives at any time, but Senate elections
can only be held within certain periods prescribed in the Constitution. The most recent
general election was on 21 August 2010.
The Commonwealth Parliament and all the state and territory legislatures operate
within the conventions of the Westminster system, with a recognized Leader of the
Opposition, usually the leader of the largest party outside the government, and a
Shadow Cabinet of Opposition members who shadow each member of the Ministry,
asking questions on matters within the Ministers portfolio. Although the government,
by virtue of commanding a majority of members in the lower house of the legislature,
can usually pass its legislation and control the workings of the house, the Opposition
can considerably delay the passage of legislation and obstruct government business
if it chooses. The day-to-day business of the house is usually negotiated between a
designated senior Minister, who holds the title Leader of the House, and an Opposition
frontbencher known as the Manager of Opposition Business in the House. The current
Leader of the Opposition in the federal Parliament is Tony Abbott
Head of state
The Australian Constitution dates from 1901, when the Dominions of the British Empire
were not sovereign states, and does not use the term head of state. In practice, the role
of head of state of Australia is divided between two people, the Queen of Australia and
the Governor-General of Australia, who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of
the Prime Minister of Australia. Though in many respects the Governor-General is the
Queens representative, and exercises various constitutional powers in her name, they
are also independently vested with many important powers by the Constitution.
The Sovereign of Australia, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is also the Sovereign of
fifteen other Commonwealth Realms including the United Kingdom. Like the other
Dominions, Australia gained legislative independence from the Parliament of the
United Kingdom by virtue of the Statute of Westminster 1931, which was adopted
in Australia in 1942 with retrospective effect from 3 September 1939. By the Royal
Style and Titles Act 1953, the Australian Parliament gave the Queen the title Queen
of Australia, and in 1973 titles with any reference to her status as Queen of the United
Kingdom and Defender of the Faith as well were removed, making her Queen of
Australia.
Section 61 of the Constitution provides that The executive power of the
Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the GovernorGeneral
as the Queens representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this

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Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth. Section 2 of the Australian


Constitution provides that a Governor-General shall represent the Queen in Australia.
In practice, the Governor-General carries out all the functions usually performed by a
head of state, without reference to the Queen.
The question of whether the Queen is Australias head of state became a political
one during the 1999 Australian republic referendum, when opponents of the move to
make Australia a republic claimed that Australia already had an Australian as head
of state in the person of the Governor-General, who since 1965 has invariably been an
Australian citizen. The former Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, said
in 2004: Her Majesty is Australias head of state but I am her representative and to all
intents and purposes I carry out the full role. However, in 2005, he declined to name
the Queen as head of state, instead saying in response to a direct question, The Queen
is the Monarch and I represent her, and I carry out all the functions of head of state.
The Governor-General represents Australia internationally, making and receiving
State visits.
In 2009 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the Governor-General as the
Australian head of state, announcing an overseas visit by Quentin Bryce by saying, A
visit to Africa of this scale by Australias Head of State will express the seriousness of
Australias commitment.
Under the conventions of the Westminster system the Governor-Generals powers
are almost always exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister or other ministers. The
Governor-General retains reserve powers similar to those possessed by the Queen in the
United Kingdom. These are rarely exercised, but during the Australian constitutional
crisis of 1975 Governor-General Sir John Kerr used them independently of the Queen
and the Prime Minister.

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Australia has periodically experienced movements seeking to end the monarchy. In a


1999 referendum, the Australian people voted on a proposal to change the Constitution.
The proposal would have removed references to the Queen from the Constitution and
replaced the Governor-General with a President nominated by the Prime Minister, but
subject to the approval of a two-thirds majority of both Houses of the Parliament. The
proposal was defeated. The Australian Republican Movement continues to campaign
for an end to the monarchy in Australia, opposed by Australians for Constitutional
Monarchy and Australian Monarchist League.
Executive Council
The Federal Executive Council consists of the Governor-General, the Prime Minister
and Ministers. It is a formal body which exists to give legal effect to decisions made
by the Cabinet, and to carry out various other functions. Members of the Executive
Council are entitled to be styled The Honourable, a title which they retain for life.
The Governor-General usually presides at Council meetings, but a Minister with the
title Vice-President of the Executive Council serves as the link between the government
and the Council.
Cabinet
The Constitution of Australia does not recognise the Cabinet, and its decisions have
no legal force. All members of the ministry must be sworn as members of the Federal
Executive Council, a body which is chaired by the Governor-General and which meets
solely to endorse and give legal force to decisions already made by the Cabinet. That
is why there is always a member of the ministry holding the title Vice-President of the
Executive Council.
Until 1956 all members of the ministry were members of the Cabinet. The growth
of the ministry in the 1940s and 1950s made this increasingly impractical, and in 1956
Robert Menzies created a two-tier ministry, with only senior ministers holding Cabinet
rank, also known within parliament as the front bench. This practice has been continued
by all governments except the Whitlam Government.
When the non-Labor parties are in power, the Prime Minister makes all Cabinet and
ministerial appointments at their own discretion, although in practice they consult with
senior colleagues in making appointments. When the Liberal Party and its predecessors
(the Nationalist Party and the United Australia Party) have been in coalition with the
National Party or its predecessor the Country Party, the leader of the junior Coalition
party has had the right to nominate their partys members of the Coalition ministry, and
to be consulted by the Prime Minister on the allocation of their portfolios.
When the Labor first held office under Chris Watson, Watson assumed the right
to choose members of his Cabinet. In 1907, however, the party decided that future

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Labor Cabinets would be elected by the members of the Parliamentary Labor Party,
the Caucus, and the Prime Minister would retain the right to allocate portfolios. This
practice was followed until 2007. Between 1907 and 2007, Labor Prime Ministers
exercised a predominant influence over who was elected to Labor ministries, although
the leaders of the party factions also exercised considerable influence. Prior to the 2007
general election, the then Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd, said that he and he
alone would choose the ministry should he become Prime Minister. His party won the
election and he chose the ministry, as he said he would. The cabinet meets not only in
Canberra but also in various other Australian state capitals, most frequently Sydney
and Melbourne. Kevin Rudd was in favour of the Cabinet meeting in other places, such
as major regional cities.[7] There are Commonwealth Parliament Offices in each State
Capital, with those in Sydney located in Phillip Street
International disputes: In 2007, Australia and Timor-Leste signed agreed to a 50year development zone and revenue sharing arrangement and deferred a maritime
boundary; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to Antarctica; Australias 2004
submission to Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) extends its
continental margins over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its seabed roughly
30 percent beyond its claimed exclusive economic zone; all borders between Indonesia
and Australia have been agreed upon bilaterally, but a 1997 treaty that would settle
the last of their maritime and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary has yet to
be ratified by Indonesias legislature; Indonesian groups challenge Australias claim
to Ashmore Reef; Australia has closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to
Indonesian traditional fishing.
4.3.2 ECONOMY
GDP/PPP $917.7 billion (2011 est.); per capita $40,800. Real growth rate: 1.8%.
Inflation: 3.4%. Unemployment: 5.1%. Arable land: 6.15%. Agriculture: wheat,
barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry. Labor force: 12.05 million; agriculture
3.6%, industry 21.1%, services 70.4% (2011 est.). Industries: mining, industrial and
transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel. Natural resources: bauxite,
coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead,
zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum. Exports: $266 billion (2011 est.): coal, gold,
meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment. Imports:
$236.3 billion (2011 est.): machinery and transport equipment, computers and office
machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products.
Major trading partners: China, US, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, India,
Germany, Malaysia (2010).

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Member of Commonwealth of Nations


Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 8.66 million (2011); mobile cellular:
22.5 million (2011). Broadcast media: the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
runs multiple national and local radio networks and TV stations, as well as Australia
Network, a TV service that broadcasts throughout the Asia-Pacific region and is the
main public broadcaster; Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a second large public
broadcaster, operates radio and TV networks broadcasting in multiple languages;
several large national commercial TV networks, a large number of local commercial
TV stations, and hundreds of commercial radio stations are accessible; cable and satellite
systems are available (2008). Internet hosts: 16.952 million (2011). Internet users: 15.81
million (2011).
Transportation: Railways: total: 38,445 km. Highways: total: 818,356 km (2011).
Waterways: 2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river
systems) (2006). Ports and terminals: Brisbane, Cairns, Dampier, Darwin, Fremantle,
Gladstone, Geelong, Hay Point, Hobart, Jervis Bay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port
Adelaide, Port Dalrymple, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Lincoln, Port Walcott,
Sydney. Airports: 465 (2012).
4.3.3 EDUCATION
Education in Australia is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories. Each
state or territory government provides funding and regulates the public and private
schools within its governing area. The federal government helps fund the public
universities, but was not involved in setting curriculum. As of 2012, the Australian
National Curriculum under development and trial for several years, has already been
adopted by some schools and will become mandatory soon. Generally, education in
Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary
schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary
education (universities and/or TAFE colleges).

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The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked
the Australian education system as sixth for reading, eighth for science and thirteenth for
mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The PISA 2010 evaluation
ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, seventh for science and
ninth for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2006 rankings.
The Education Index, published with the UNs Human Development Index in
2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world,
tied for first with Denmark and Finland
Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five and fifteen to
seventeen, depending on the state or territory, and date of birth. Post-compulsory
education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified
system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE)
and the higher education sector (university).
The academic year in Australia varies between states and institutions, but generally
runs from late January/early February until mid-December for primary and secondary
schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holiday and TAFE colleges, and from
late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks
for each educational institute.
Survey data
In May 2011, there were 14.8 million people aged 15-64 years and 323,600 people aged
65-74 years in the labor force or marginally attached to the labor force who were in the
scope of a survey applied.
Of those aged 15-64 years, 2.9 million (20%) were enrolled in a course of study.
Approximately 1.1 million (39%) of these enrolled people were attending a higher
education institution, 771,000 (27%) were at school, 599,900 (21%) were at Technical and
Further Education (TAFE) institutions, and 410,100 (14%) were at other educational
institutions.
In May 2011, 53% of people aged 15-64 years enrolled in a course of study were
female, 40% were aged 15-19 years, 64% were studying full-time, and 25% were born
overseas. (See ilustration).
PROPORTION OF PEOPLE AGED 20-64 YEARS WITH A NON-SCHOOL
QUALIFICATION, May 2001 to May 2011
The Australian Standard Classification of Education,(ASCED) is a national
standard classification which can be applied to all sectors of the Australian education
system including schools, vocational education and training and higher education. The
ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education. Level

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of Education is defined as a function of the quality and quantity of learning involved


in an educational activity. There are nine broad levels, 15 narrow levels and 64 detailed
levels.
Field of Education is defined as the subject matter of an educational activity. Fields
of education are related to each other through the similarity of subject matter, through
the broad purpose for which the education is undertaken, and through the theoretical
content which underpins the subject matter. There are 12 broad fields, 71 narrow fields
and 356 detailed fields.
Catholic and independent schools
In 2010 66% of students in Australia attended government schools, 20% attended
Catholic schools and 14% attended independent schools. In 2000 these figures were
69%, 20% and 11% respectively.
Most Catholic schools are either run by their local parish, local diocese and their
states Catholic education department.independent schools include schools operated by
secular educational
Philosophies such as Montessori, however, the majority of independent schools are
religious, being Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or non-denominational.Some Catholic and
independent schools charge high fees, because of this Government funding for these
schools often comes under criticism from the Australian Education Union and the
Greens.

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Common ages
Students may be slightly younger or older than stated below, due to variation between
states and territories. The name for the first year of primary school varies considerably
between states and territories, e.g. what is known as kindergarten in ACT and NSW
may mean the year preceeding the first year of primary school or preschool in other
states and territories. Some states vary in whether Year 7 is part of the primary or
secondary years,as well as the existence of a middle school system. Beginning in 2008,
the Northern Territory introduced middle schools for Years 79 and high school for
Years 1012.
Primary
Kindergarten (QLD) 34 year olds]
Pre-school / kindergarten / prep
Kindergarten / preparatory / pre-primary National Curriculum this year-level
will be renamed: Foundation Year
Grade/Year 1: 56 year olds
Grade/Year 2: 78 year olds
Grade/Year 3: 89 year olds
Grade/Year 4: 910 year olds
Grade/Year 5: 1011 year olds
Grade/Year 6: 1112 year olds
Grade/Year 7: 1213 year olds (QLD, SA, WA)
Secondary
Year 7: 1213 year olds (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC) (middle school NT)
Year 8: 1314 year olds
Year 9: 1415 year olds
Year 10: 1516 year olds (high school NT)
Year 11: 1617 year olds (college ACT, TAS)
Year 12: 1719 year olds

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4.3.4 HEALTH
Health care in Australia is universal. The federal government pays a large percentage of
the cost of services in public hospitals. This percentage is calculated on:
1. Whether the government subsidizes this service (based on the Medicare Benefits
Schedule. Typically, 100% of in-hospital costs, 75% of General Practitioner and
85% of specialist services are covered.
2. Whether the patient is a concession or receives other benefits
3. Whether the patient has crossed the threshold for further subsidized service (based
on total health expenditure for the year)
Where the government pays the large subsidy, the patient pays the remainder out
of pocket, unless the provider of the service chooses to use bulk billing, charging only
the scheduled fee, leaving the patient with no extra costs. In some countries, this is
commonly referred to as a copayment. Where a particular service is not covered, such
as dentistry, optometry, and ambulance transport, the patient must pay the full amount
(unless they hold a Low Income Earner card, which may entitle them to subsidized
access).
Individuals can take out private health insurance to cover out-of-pocket costs, with
either a plan that covers just selected services, to a full coverage plan. In practice, a
person with private insurance may still be left with out-of-pocket payments, as services
in private hospitals often cost more than the insurance payment.

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The government encourages individuals with income above a set level to privately
insure. This is done by charging these (higher income) individuals a surcharge of 1% of
income if they do not take out private health insurance, and a means-tested rebate. This
is to encourage individuals who are perceived as able to afford private insurance not to
resort to the strained public health system.
In addition, citizens of Australia are also often encouraged to use the private
insurance system as a matter of convenience since public hospitals may have long
waiting lists [for elective surgery], whereas you could get your treatment more swiftly
in the private system.
Insurance
The public health system is called Medicare, which funds free universal access to
hospital treatment and subsidized out-of-hospital medical treatment. It is funded by a
1.5% tax levy on taxpayers with incomes above a threshold amount, an extra 1% levy
on high income earners without private health insurance, as well as general revenue.
The private health system is funded by a number of private health insurance
organizations. The largest of which is Medibank Private, which is government-owned,
but operates as a government business enterprise under the same regulatory regime
as all other registered private health funds. The Coalition Howard government had
announced that Medibank would be privatized if it won the 2007 election, however
they were defeated by the Australian Labor Party under Kevin Rudd which had already
pledged that it would remain in government ownership.
Some private health insurers are for profit enterprises, and some are non-profit
organizations such as HCF Health Insurance. Some have membership restricted to
particular groups, some focus on specific regions - like HBF which centers on Western
Australia, but the majority has open membership as set out in the PHIAC annual report.
Membership to most of these funds is also accessible using a comparison websites or the
decision assistance sites. These sites operate on a commission-basis by agreement with
their participating health funds and allow consumers to compare policies before joining
online.
Most aspects of private health insurance in Australia are regulated by the Private
Health Insurance Act 2007. Complaints and reporting of the private health industry
is carried out by an independent government agency, the Private Health Insurance
Ombudsman. The ombudsman publishes an annual report that outlines the number
and nature of complaints per health fund compared to their market share.
The private health system in Australia operates on a community rating basis,
whereby premiums do not vary solely because of a persons previous medical history,
current state of health, or (generally speaking) their age (but see Lifetime Health Cover
below).Balancing this are waiting periods, in particular for pre-existing conditions

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(usually referred to within the industry as PEA, which stands for pre-existing
ailment). Funds are entitled to impose a waiting period of up to 12 months on benefits
for any medical condition the signs and symptoms of which existed during the six
months ending on the day the person first took out insurance. They are also entitled
to impose a 12-month waiting period for benefits for treatment relating to an obstetric
condition, and a 2-month waiting period for all other benefits when a person first takes
out private insurance.Funds have the discretion to reduce or remove such waiting
periods in individual cases. They are also free not to impose them to begin with, but
this would place such a fund at risk of adverse selection, attracting a disproportionate
number of members from other funds, or from the pool of intending members who
might otherwise have joined other funds. It would also attract people with existing
medical conditions, who might not otherwise have taken out insurance at all because
of the denial of benefits for 12 months due to the PEA Rule. The benefits paid out for
these conditions would create pressure on premiums for all the funds members, causing
some to drop their membership, which would lead to further rises, and a vicious cycle
would ensue.
There are a number of other matters about which funds are not permitted to
discriminate between members in terms of premiums, benefits or membership - these
include racial origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nature of employment, and leisure
activities. Premiums for a funds product that is sold in more than one state can vary
from state to state, but not within the same state.
The Australian government has introduced a number of incentives to encourage
adults to take out private hospital insurance. These include:
Lifetime Health Cover: If a person has not taken out private hospital cover
by the 1st July after their 31st birthday, then when (and if) they do so after
this time, their premiums must include a loading of 2% per annum. Thus, a
person taking out private cover for the first time at age 40 will pay a 20 per
cent loading. The loading continues for 10 years. The loading applies only to
premiums for hospital cover, not to ancillary (extras) cover.
Medicare Levy Surcharge: People whose taxable income is greater than a
specified amount (in the 2011/12 financial year $80,000 for singles and $168,000
for couples) and who do not have an adequate level of private hospital cover
must pay a 1% surcharge on top of the standard 1.5% Medicare Levy. The
rationale is that if the people in this income group are forced to pay more money
one way or another, most would choose to purchase hospital insurance with
it, with the possibility of a benefit in the event that they need private hospital
treatment - rather than pay it in the form of extra tax as well as having to meet
their own private hospital costs.

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The Australian government announced in May 2008 that it proposes to increase


the thresholds, to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for families. These changes
require legislative approval. A bill to change the law has been introduced but
was not passed by the Senate. A changed version was passed on 16 October
2008. There have been criticisms that the changes will cause many people to
drop their private health insurance, causing a further burden on the public
hospital system, and a rise in premiums for those who stay with the private
system. Other commentators believe the effect will be minimal.
Private Health Insurance Rebate: The government subsidizes the premiums
for all private health insurance cover, including hospital and ancillary (extras),
by 10%, 20% or 30%. In May 2009, The Labor Government under Kevin Rudd
announced that as of June 2010, the Rebate would become means-tested and
offered on a sliding scale.
ACTIVITIES
1. Compare our government to Australians. Present it in a graphic organizer.
2. Compare our Education system to Australians. Design a plan for a Forum or a
Panel and conduct it in class.
3. Compare our health care system to Australians. Find SIMILARITIES as possible.

4.4 CULTURAL ASPECT


4.4.1 Media
Television was introduced in Australia gradually from 1956 until 1975. There are public
broadcasters which are available to almost all of Australias population, and added to
this, there are three major commercial television networks: the Nine Network, the
Seven Network and Network Ten. Most of Australias heavily populated cities are
serviced by all three networks. Some rural or regional areas may receive a more limited
selection, often with some of the channels available showing programming from more
than one of the major networks. An example of such a shared regional network is
Imparja.
After heated debate in the early 2000s over a Bill that would have removed the
foreign ownership restrictions of broadcasting TV licenses, the Australian government
chose to retain the foreign-ownership restrictions in its 1992 Broadcasting Act. As
such, Australia continues to disallow foreign control of a broadcasting license and limit
foreign ownership of broadcasting firms to 20%. The Howard Government were set
to remove this law sometime in 2007, having gained parliamentary approval to change

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the legislation in 2006, however the Howard Government was removed from power in
2007.
Approximately 25% of Australian households had access to pay television services
by the end of 2005.
Controls over media ownership in Australia are laid down in the Broadcasting
Services Act 1992, administered by the ACMA. Even with laws in place Australia
has a high concentration of media ownership compared to other western countries.
Ownership of national and the newspapers of each capital city are dominated by two
corporations, Rupert Murdochs News Corporation, (which was founded in Adelaide
but is now based from the United States) and John Fairfax Holdings Murdoch-owned
titles account for nearly two-thirds (64.2 per cent) of metropolitan circulation and
Fairfax-owned papers account for a further quarter (26.4 per cent)
Press
There are 2 national and 10 state/territory daily newspapers, 37 regional dailies and
470 other regional and suburban newspapers. All major newspapers are owned either
by News Limited, a subsidiary of News Corporation, or Fairfax Media. The national
daily newspaper is The Australian. Also with nationwide circulation is The Australian
Financial Review, the most prominent financial newspaper. Other notable newspapers
are The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), The Age and the
Herald Sun (Melbourne). There are a few popular independent news sources.
Of 1600 magazines published in Australia, 30 have circulations of more than 80 000,
including womens interest, general interest, television, home and garden, leisure and
current affairs titles.
Radio
Australias first regular radio broadcasts began on 13 November 1923 with station 2SB
(later to become 2BL) in Sydney. The ABC began broadcasting in 1932.Talkback radio
was first broadcast with 3AW in Melbourne, 1967. ABC began experimenting with FM
stations in the 1960s, but it wasnt until July 1980 did the first FM station commence full
operations. Melbourne-based 3EON (now known as 3MMM) was the first to air.
Currently there are 274 operational commercial stations (funded by advertising)
and 341 community (publicly funded) radio stations,
Regulation
Regulation of the media in Australia is limited to a narrow range of specific areas.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the broadcasting
regulator for radio and television in Australia, and also the co-regulatory Online Content
Scheme. Consumers who have complaints about programs on television and radio or

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certain types of content on the Internet can apply to the ACMA. The Commercial
Television Code of Practice is a set of regulatory guidelines, registered with the ACMA,
with which commercial television broadcasters should comply.
The Australian Press Council is the self regulatory body of the print media. The
Council deals with complaints from the public about editorial material in newspapers
and magazines published in Australia, and aims to maintain the freedom of the press.
Newspapers
The Age
The Age is a Melbourne-based daily with a generally more educated readership than the
tabloids (newspapers which are half-size with bold headlines and large photographs).
The Age has a broadsheet (full page) format and is strong on Australian and Victorian
news and sport. International news is not so well covered. The Age includes several
useful supplements:
Thursday: The Green Guide (a comprehensive television and radio guide)
Friday: EG the entertainment guide
Saturday: classified advertisements
The Herald Sun
The Herald Sun is a Melbourne-based daily with a tabloid format and generally shorter
and articles are easier-to-read than those in The Age or The Australian. There is a
strong emphasis on local news, especially more sensational stories.
The Australian
This newspaper is the only national daily. It has a similar format to The Age but with a
stronger emphasis on national and international news.
The Financial Review
This specialist national financial daily is useful for business and economics students.
Television
ABC
Channel 2 is run by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) a governmentfinanced broadcaster which often addresses controversial issues and questions political
decisions. It is very strong in news, current affairs and documentaries. The ABC obtains
many programs from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).

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Highlights:
News: 7.00 pm
The 7.30 Report: 7.30 pm: in-depth coverage and analysis of major daily news
events - both domestic and international
Lateline:10.30pm: nightly news analysis program with up-to-the-minute
coverage of Australian and International news
Four Corners: Mondays 8.30 pm: Australias longest running current affairs
program
Media Watch: Mondays 9.20pm: evaluates the way in which news is presented
in the media
Foreign Correspondent: Tuesdays 9.20 pm: current affairs from around the
world.
SBS
SBS is also government-financed, with some commercial funding. With a role to
promote multicultural television, it has many international programs broadcast in
languages other than English (with English subtitles), including news from all over the
world.
Highlights:
World News at 6.30 pm
foreign films shown in original languages
world soccer.
Channels 7, 9 and 10
These are fully commercial channels and show similar programs, many of which are
American. There is a strong emphasis on sport, especially on Channels 7 and 9.
Radio
Radio programs are an excellent way of practising your listening skills as well as keeping
up to date with the latest news and music. The Australian Broadcasting Commission
(ABC) has several radio stations: Radio National, Triple J, ABC News Radio, Classic
FM and Radio Australia, which offer a variety of specialised music, news and current
affairs. You can download programs broadcast on ABC radio from ABC online.
There are also commercial radio stations, such as 3AW (AM 693), which highlight
current events and discussion via talk-back with listeners. Community radio stations
such as 3RRR (FM 102.7) and PBS (FM 106.7) provide an enormous range of alternative
music, arts and reviews programs.

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ABC Radio National (AM 621)


Radio National has a broad range of interesting programs. Their news programs
AM and PM give comprehensive national and general international news, morning
and night. Other specialised shows such as The Health Report, The Book Show, Life
Matters, The Science Show give fascinating insights into a wide range of topics. Most
shows can be downloaded and many programs have transcripts available. Students who
are not fluent in English can create a valuable listening resource by using the transcripts
and listening to the programs read on air.
RPH Print Radio (AM 1179)
The Vision Australia Foundation operates the radio station, RPH Print Radio where
articles from the daily newspapers are read aloud. This is also a useful resource for
speakers of English as an Additional Language as you could record a newspaper being
read on air and follow the text on the printed page. The Age, the Herald Sun, The
Australian and the Australian Financial Review are read at various times of the day.
4.4.2 ARTS
Australian art incorporates art made in Australia or about Australian subjects since
prehistoric times. This includes Australian Aboriginal art, Australian Colonial art,
Landscape, Atelier, Modernist and Contemporary art. The visual arts have a long history
in Australia, with evidence of Aboriginal art dating back at least 30,000 years. Australia
has produced many notable artists from both Western and Indigenous Australian
traditions including the late-19th-century Heidelberg School plein air painters, Central
Australian Hermannsburg School watercolourists (most notably Albert Namatjira),
Western Desert Art Movement, Heide Circle of Modernists, and the expatriates who
worked in London in the 1960s. Traditionally the art market has strongly supported oil
paintings of Australian landscapes. In the work of artists Eugene Von Guerard, Arthur
Streeton, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan and Louise Hearman, the human figure has
been placed within an Australian landscape. In photography, Harold Cazneaux, Max
Dupain, Wolfgang Sievers, Mark Strizic, Rennie Ellis and Tracey Moffatt are examples
of artists noted for their documentation of urban Australia. Since the late 1990s, senior
Indigenous artists like Yannima Tommy Watson and Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda
Sally Gabori, Baby Boomer and Generation X contemporary artists have commanded
a rapidly increasing share of a domestic art market that has long been both cultural
nationalist and internationalist.
Australia has a number of major museums and galleries, including the National
Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait
Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and the Art
Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. Notable Indigenous sites have been set aside as
UNESCO listed areas such as those at Uluru and Kakadu National Park

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4.4.3 SPORTS and LEISURE


Australians are obsessed with sport and, despite our comparatively small population,
we partake in and excel at a variety of sports. As a result of this talent and enthusiasm,
as well as our first-class venues and our agreeable climate, we often play host to major
international events. These include the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the Formula 1
Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Cricket Tests,
the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, and many other notable sporting
tournaments.
There are more than 100 national sporting organizations and over 30,000 local
clubs representing every kind of sport imaginable. Common sports for both spectators
and participants include Australian Rules Football, Cricket, Tennis, Soccer (Football),
Rugby and Rugby League, Hockey, Athletics, and Netball.
Other fitness and leisure pursuits fostered by Australias temperate to tropical
climate are golf, swimming, rollerblading, cycling, bushwalking, and water activities
including sailing and water skiing.
In all regions of Australia there are special events for all sorts of people. Sports,
recreation, art festivals, musical events, etc.
As a nation, Australia has competed in many international events including the
Olympics and Paralympics, the Commonwealth Games and sport specific events like
the FIFA World Cup and the Cricket World Cup. The country has a large number of
national teams in sports such as cricket, rugby union, rugby league, basketball, hockey,
netball, soccer, softball, water polo and wheelchair rugby. Womens sport first really
began in Australia in the 1880s. Netball is one of the most popular womens sports in
the country. Competitive disabled sport exists in Australia, with the country having a
national womens deaf association football (soccer) team, and competing in major events
such as the Summer and Winter Paralympics.
4.4.4 DOMINANT BELIEFS, VALUES AND TRADITIONS
Australians grew increasingly aware of their proximity to Asia. Egalitarianism,
informality and an irreverent sense of humor have been common themes of cultural
commentary - exemplified by the works of C J Dennis, Barry Humphries and Paul
Hogan. Fascination with the outback has persisted in the arts in Australia and agriculture
has been an important economic sector, despite the nation becoming increasingly
urbanized during the 20th century. Two-thirds of the population reside in capital cities
along the coast, which have served as melting pots for the assimilation of immigrants,
and sometimes aspects of their home cultures, into mainstream Australian culture.
Australians have very strong attitudes and beliefs which are reinforced by the tenets
of the countrys society.

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The Australian national character has been forged by the difficulty of subduing
the land. Unlike other cultures based on a nurturing landscape that they seek to protect
from others, Australian settlers experienced great hardship and had to support each
other to survive. The battle against the elements led to the nickname of a member of
Australias working class being the Aussie battler.
The need to laugh in the face of danger while battling the landscape has provoked
a strange view of the world, with a distinctive upside-down sense of humor. Times of
hardship or even disaster are ridiculed, and this extends to the Australian delight in
dubbing a tall man Shorty, a quiet one Rowdy, a bald man Curly and a redhead
Bluey.
Mateship or loyal fraternity, has been a central tenet of survival in the harsh
landscape. Mateship can be defined as the code of conduct, particularly between men,
although more recently also between men and women, stressing equality and friendship.
Mateship is seen as an important element of the qualities that the Australian Defence
Force values in its troops. The glorification of Australias early soldiers in the Boer War
and World War I reinforces these values. This may also explain why sport plays such a
central role in Australian culture.
Friendly rivalry
Australians and New Zealanders have a rivalry, especially in certain sports such
as rugby league, rugby union and netball. The rivalry is often compared to brothers
in the same family competing against each other. This is mirrored in the traditional
sporting rivalry that exists between Australia and the United Kingdom. Rivalry
between Australia and allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and
New Zealand is friendly and jocular in nature, as Australians often view these nations
as members of an Anglo sphere cultural tradition which has significant overlap with
their own
ACTIVITIES
1. Prepare a Slide show presenting famous actors from Australia, provide full
information.
2. Bring to class a collection of pieces of music original from Australia, explain.
3. Find out how to play a favorite sport in Australia, bring th instructions to class and
play it as a demonstration.

174

INDIA

Fast Facts
Population : 1,205,073,612 (July 2011)
Capital : New Delhi, about 13,000,000
Area : total: 3,287,590 Sq Km
Language : 17 major languages, 844 dialects
Religion
: Hinduism (80%), Muslim (10%), But there are
alsoBudish, Christians, Sikhs, Parsees and Jains.
Currency : Indian Rupee
Life Expectancy

: 67.14

GDP per Capita

: 3.1% (2006)

Literacy Percent

: 61%

Religions in India

Friedrich Huebler, May 2007, huebler.blogspot.com

Ritual in Ganghes

ndia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich
cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the last
64 years of its Independence. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production
and is now one of the top industrialized countries in the world and one of the few
nations to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people.
It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan
heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world,
India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea,
which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas
in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the
Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland extends between latitudes
8 4 and 37 6 north, longitudes 68 7 and 97 25 east and measures about 3,214 km
from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west
between the extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total
length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman & Nicobar
Islands is 7,516.6 km.
Indias history and culture is dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human
civilization. It begins with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming
communities in the southern lands of India. The history of India is punctuated by
constant integration of migrating people with the diverse cultures that surround India.
Available evidence suggests that the use of iron, copper and other metals was widely
prevalent in the Indian sub-continent at a fairly early period, which is indicative of the
progress that this part of the world had made. By the end of the fourth millennium BC,
India had emerged as a region of highly developed civilization.
Bihar, the ancient land of Buddha, has witnessed golden period of Indian history. It
is the same land where the seeds of the first republic were spread and which cultivated

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the first crop of democracy. Such fertile is the soil that has given birth to innumerous
intellectuals which spread the light of knowledge and wisdom not only in the country
but in the whole world. The state has its capital at Patna, which is situated on the bank
of the holy river Ganga. The state as it is today has been shaped from its partition from
the province of Bengal and most recently after the separation of the tribal southern
region now called Jharkhand.
In this work we will divide this introduction of history in three parts:
Ancient
Medieval
Modern
5.1 HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK
5.1.1 hISTORY
The history of the land mass currently known as Bihar is very ancient. In fact, it extends
to the very dawn of human civilization. Earliest myths and legends of hinduism the
Sanatana (Eternal) Dharma - are associated with Bihar. Sita, the consort of Lord Rama,
was a princess of Bihar. She was the daughter of King Janak of Videha. The present
districts of Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Samastipur, Madhubani, and Darbhanga, in northcentral Bihar, mark this ancient kingdom. The present small township of Sitamarhi is
located here. According to legend, the birthplace of Sita is Punaura, located on the westside of Sitamarhi, the headquarters of the district. Janakpur, the capital of King Janak,
and the place where Lord Rama and Sita were married, lies just across the border in
Nepal. It is reached via the rail station of Janakapur Road located in the Sitamarhi
district, on the Narkatiyaganj - Darbhanga section of the North-Eastern Railway. It
is no accident, therefore, that the original author of the Hindu epic - The Ramayana Maharishi Valmiki - lived in Ancient Bihar. Valmikinagar is a small town and a railroad
station in the district of West Champaran, close to the railhead of Narkatiyaganj in
northwest Bihar. The word Champaran is derived from champa-arnya, or a forest of
the fragrant Champa (magnolia) tree.
It was here that Prince Gautam attained enlightenment, became the Buddha- at
the present Bodh Gaya- a town in central Bihar; and the great religion of buddhism
was born. It is here also that Lord Mahavira, the founder of another great religion,
Jainism, was born and attained nirvana (death). That site is located at the present town
of pawapuri, some miles to the south east of Patna, the Capital of Bihar., it is here
that the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh was born and attained
the sainthood of sikhism, that is became a Guru. A lovely and majestic Gurudwara
(a temple for Sikhs) built to commemorate his memory - the harmandir- is located in

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eastern Patna. Known reverentially as the Patna Sahib, it is one of the five holiest places
of worship (Takhat) for Sikhs.
The ancient kingdoms of Magadh and of Licchavis, around about 7-8th century
B.C., produced rulers who devised a system of administration that truly is progenitor of
the modern art of statecraft, and of the linkage of statecraft with economics. Kautilya,
the author of Arthashastra, the first treatise of the modern science of Economics, lived
here. Also known as Chanakya, he was the wily and canny adviser to the Magadh king,
Chandragupta Maurya. As an emissary of Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya traveled
far and wide in pursuit of promoting the interests of the State and dealing with the
Greek invaders settled in the northwest of India, along the Indus valley. He succeeded
in preventing the further onslaught of the Greeks. Indeed, he brought about amicable
co-existence between the Greeks and the Mauryan Empire. Megasthenes, an emissary
of Alexanders General, Seleucus Necator, lived in Pataliputra (ancient name of Patna,
the Mauryan capital) around 302 B.C. He left behind a chronicle of life in and around
Patliputra. This is the first recorded account by a foreign traveler in India. It describes
in vivid terms the grandeur of life in Patliputra, a city established by King Ajatshatru,
around 5th Century B.C., at the confluence of the rivers Sone and Ganga.
Another Mauryan king, Ashok, (also known as Priyadarshi or Priyadassi), around
270 B.C., was the first to formulate firm tenets for the governance of a people. He had
these tenets, the so called Edicts of Ashok, inscribed on stone pillars which were planted
across his kingdom. The pillar were crowned with the statue of one or more lions sitting
on top of a pedestal which was inscribed with symbols of wheels. As the lion denoted
strength, the wheel denoted the eternal (endless) nature of truth (dharma), hence
the name Dharma (or Dhamma) Chakra. This figure of lions, atop a pedestal, with
inscription of a wheel, was adopted as the Official Seal of the independent Republic of
India (1947). Also, Ashoks dharma chakra was incorporated into the national flag of
India, the Indian tricolor. Remains of a few of these pillars are still extant, for example
at Lauriya-Nandan Garh in the district of West Champaran and at vaishali, in the
present district of the same name. Ashok, a contemporary of Ptolemy and Euclid, was
a great conqueror. His empire extended from what is now the North West Frontier
Province (in Pakistan) in the west, to the eastern boundaries of present India in the
north, and certainly, up to the Vindhyan Range in the south. Ashok was responsible
also for the widespread proselytization of people into Buddhism. He sent his son, Prince
Mahendra, and daughter, Sanghamitra, for this purpose to as far south as the present
country of Sri Lanka (Sinhal Dweep in ancient times, and Ceylon during the British
Empire. Some historians, particularly Sinhalese, consider Mahindra and Sanghmitra as
brother and sister.
Ancient Bihar also saw the glorification of women in matters of state affairs. It was
here that Amrapali, a courtesan of Vaishali (the present district of the same name) in
the kingdom of the Lichhavis, attained and wielded enormous power. It is said that the

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Lord Buddha, during his visit to Vaishali, refused the invitation of many princes, and
chose to have dinner with Amrapali instead. Such was the status of women in the Bihari
society of several centuries B.C.!
A little-known, but historically and archaeologically documented, event is worth
mentioning in this context. After his visit with Amrapali, Lord Buddha continued with
his journey towards Kushinagar (also called Kusinara in Buddhist texts.) He travelled
along the eastern banks of the river Gandak (also called Narayani, which marks the
western border of Champaran, a district now administratively split into two- West and
East Champaran.) A band of his devoted Licchavis accompanied Lord Buddha in this
journey. At a spot known as Kesariya, in the present Purbi (meaning, East) Champaran
district, Lord Buddha took rest for the night. It was here that he chose to announce to
his disciples the news of his impending niravana (meaning, death); and implored them
to return to Vaishali. The wildly lamenting Licchavis would have none of that. They
steadfastly refused to leave. Whereupon, Lord Buddha, by creating a 3,000 feet wide
stream between them and himself compelled them to leave. As a souvenir he gave them
his alms-bowl. The Licchavis, most reluctantly and expressing their sorrow wildly, took
leave and built a stupa there to commemorate the event. Lord Buddha had chosen that
spot to announce his impending nirvana because, as he told his disciple Anand, he knew
that in a previous life he had ruled from that place, namely, Kesariya, as a Chakravarti
Raja, Raja Ben. (Again, this is not just a mere legend, myth or folk-lore. Rather, it is
a historiclly documented fact supported by archaeological findings. However, neither
this part of Buddhas life, nor the little town of Kesariya, is well-known even in India
or Bihar.
At Nalanda, the worlds first seat of higher learning, an university, was established
during the Gupta period. It continued as a seat of learning till the middle ages, when the
muslim invaders burned it down. The ruins are a protected monument and a popular
tourist spot. A museum and a learning center- The Nava Nalanda Mahavira - are
located here.
Nearby, Rajgir, was capital of the Muaryan Empire during the reign of Bimbisara.
It was frequently visited by Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira. There are many
Buddhist ruins here. It is also well-known for its many hot-springs which, like similar
hot-springs elsewhere in the world, are reputed to have medicinal property.
Medieval History
This glorious history of Bihar lasted till around the middle of the 7th or 8th century
A.D. - the Gupta Period - when, with the conquest of almost all of northern India by
invaders from the middle-east, the Gupta dynasty also fell a victim.
In medieval times Bihar lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India.
The Mughal period was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from

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Delhi. The only remarkable person of these times in Bihar was Sher Shah, or Sher
Khan Sur, an Afghan. Based at Sasaram which is now a town in the district of the same
name in central-western Bihar, this jagirdar of the Mughal King Babur was successful
in defeating Humayun, the son of Babur, twice - once at Chausa and then, again, at
Kannauj (in the present state of Uttar Pradesh or U.P.) Through his conquest Sher
Shah became the ruler of a territory that, again, extended all the way to the Punjab.
He was noted as a ferocious warrior but also a noble administrator - in the tradition of
Ashok and the Gupta Several acts of land reform are attributed to him. The remains
of a grand mausoleum that he built for himself can be seen in todays Sasaram (Sher
Shahs maqbara.)
For a period that has come to be so strongly associated with the Islamic influence and
rule in India, Medieval Indian history went for almost three whole centuries under the
so-called indigenous rulers, that included the Chalukyas, the Pallavas, the Pandyas, the
Rashtrakutas, the Muslims rulers and finally the Mughal Empire. The most important
dynasty to emerge in the middle of the 9th century was that of the Cholas.
The Palas
Between 8th and 10th centuries A.D., a number of powerful empires dominated
the eastern and northern parts of India. The Pala king Dharmpala, son of Gopala
reigned from the late 8th century A.D. to early 9th century A.D. Nalanda University and
Vikramashila University were founded by Dharmpala.
The Senas
After the decline of the Palas, the Sena dynasty established its rule in Bengal.
The founder of the dynasty was Samantasena. The greatest ruler of the dynasty was
Vijaysena. He conquered the whole of Bengal and was succeeded by his son Ballalasena.
He reigned peacefully but kept his dominions intact. He was a great scholar and
wrote four works including one on astronomy. The last ruler of this dynasty was
Lakshamanasena under whose reign the Muslims invaded Bengal, and the empire fell.
The Pratihara
The greatest ruler of the Pratihara dynasty was Mihir Bhoja. He recovered Kanauj
(Kanyakubja) by 836, and it remained the capital of the Pratiharas for almost a century.
He built the city Bhojpal (Bhopal). Raja Bhoja and other valiant Gujara kings faced and
defeated many attacks of the Arabs from west.
Between 915-918 A.D, Kanauj was attacked by a Rashtrakuta king, who devastated
the city leading to the weakening of the Pratihara Empire. In 1018, Kannauj then ruled
by Rajyapala Pratihara was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni. The empire broke into
independent Rajput states.

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The Rashtrakutas
This dynasty, which ruled from Karnataka, is illustrious for several reasons. They ruled
the territory vaster than that of any other dynasty. They were great patrons of art and
literature. The encouragement that several Rashtrakuta kings provided to education
and literature is unique, and the religious tolerance exercised by them was exemplary.
The Chola Empire of the South
It emerged in the middle of the 9th century A.D., covered a large part of Indian peninsula,
as well as parts of Sri Lanka and the Maldives Islands.
The first important ruler to emerge from the dynasty was Rajaraja Chola I and
his son and successor Rajendra Chola. Rajaraja carried forward the annexation policy
of his father. He led armed expedition to distant lands of Bengal, Odisha and Madhya
Pradesh.
The successors of Rajendra I, Rajadhiraj and Rajendra II were brave rulers who
fought fiercely against the later Chalukya kings, but could not check the decline of
Chola Empire. The later Chola kings were weak and incompetent rulers. The Chola
Empire thus lingered on for another century and a half, and finally came to an end with
the invasion of Malik Kafur in the early 14th century A.D.
Vedic civilization
The Vedic civilization is the earliest civilization in the history of ancient India associated
with the coming of Aryans. It is named after the Vedas, the early literature of the Hindu
people. The Vedic Civilization flourished along the river Saraswati, in a region that
now consists of the modern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab. Vedic is synonymous
with Aryans and Hinduism, which is another name for religious and spiritual thought
that has evolved from the Vedas. The largely accepted view is that a section of Aryans
reached the frontiers of the Indian subcontinent around 2000 BC and first settled in
Punjab and it is here, in this land, where the hymns of Rigveda were composed.
The Aryans lived in tribes and spoke Sanskrit, which belonged to the IndoEuropean group of languages. Gradually, the Aryans intermingled with the local people
and a historic synthesis was worked out between the Aryan tribes and the original
inhabitants. This synthesis broadly came to be known as Hinduism. The Ramayana
and Mahabharata were the two great epics of this period.
The Buddhist Era
During the life time of Lord Gautam Buddha, sixteen great powers (Mahajanpadas)
existed in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC. Among the more important republics were
the Sakyas of Kapilavastu and the Licchavis of Vaishali. Besides the republics, there
were monarchical states, among which the important ones were Kaushambi (Vatsa),

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Magadha, Kosala and Avanti. These states were ruled by vigorous personalities who
had embarked upon the policies of aggrandisement and absorption of neighbouring
states. However, there were distinct signs of the republican states while those under the
monarchs were expanding.
Buddha was born in BC 560 and died at the age of eighty in BC 480. The place of
his birth was a grove known as Lumbini, near the city of Kapilavastu, at the foot of
Mount Palpa in the Himalayan ranges within Nepal. Buddha, whose original name was
Siddhartha Gautama, was the founder of Buddhism, the religion and the philosophical
system that evolved into a great culture throughout much of southern and eastern Asia.
5.2 SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN INDIA
The ethnic and linguistic diversity of India is proverbial and rivals the diversity
of continental Europe which is not a single nation-State like India. India contains a
large number of different regional, social, and economic groups, each with distinctive
or dissimilar customs and cultural practices. Region-wise, differences between social
structures of Indias north and south are marked, especially with respect to kinship
systems and family relationships. Religious differences are pervasive through out
the country. There is the Hindu majority and the large Muslim minority or second
majority. There are other Indian groupsBuddhists, Christians, Jains, Jews, Parsis,
Sikhs, and practitioners of tribal religionsand hundreds of sub-religions or religious
communities within larger communities like the Arya Samajis, Sanatanis among the
Hindus; Shias and Sunnis among the Muslims; Monas and Keshdharis among Sikhs
and hundreds of other castes, sub-castes, communities, vegetarians and non-vegetarians
from each religion. Each group is proud of its faith and very sure of its superiority over
other faiths.
A highly noticeable feature of Indias social structure is highly inequitable division
of the nations wealth. Access to wealth and power varies sharply. Extreme differences
in socio-economic status are glaringly visible among the smallest village communities
to metropolitan cities and mega-towns. The poor and the rich live side by side in urban
and rural areas. Prosperous, well-fed, perfumed men or women in chauffeured luxury
cars passing and even living in narrow streets with poor, starving, ill-nourished, ill-clad
or even half-naked men, women, children dwelling on their pavements and bathing
in dirty water of its flowing or even clogged drains are common sights. Contrasting
extreme poverty and enormous wealth and obvious class distinctions are egregiously
visible in almost every settlement in India.
Urban-rural differences too are immense. Over 70 per cent of Indias population lives
in villages; agriculture still remains their mainstay. Mud houses, dusty lanes, grazing
cattle, chirping and crying of birds at sunset and rising smell of dung and chulah-smoke
are the usual settings for the social lives of most rural Indians. In Indias enlarging

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cities, millions of people live among roaring vehicles, surging crowds, overcrowded
streets, busy commercial establishments, loudspeakers blaring movie tunes or religious
recitations, factories and trucks and buses breathing poisonous pollution into unhealthy
lungs.
Gender distinctions are highly pronounced. The behaviour norms of men and
women are very different, more so in villages. Prescribed ideal gender roles are fast
losing to new patterns of behaviour among both sexes. Individually, both men and
women behave in one way and collectively in quite another way. Public behaviour of
both men and women is rude and unhelpful, but the same people when in individual
situation and relationship can be very different. People occupying public positions are
extremely unhelpful and even normal actions done toward others as part of normal
routine are projected as personal favours. Even senior citizens, retired persons, war
widows do not get their pension approved for years! A clerk in a government office
wields greater actual power than a decision-making executive and can withhold
implementation of his superiors orders for ever. If the victim of delay approaches the
court, the litigant is in for a shock after shock as the case gets adjourned endlessly and
after years of attending court hearings gets an unimaginably skewed judgment written
in a highly ambiguous language. Litigants pay high fees to lawyers and bribes to court
staff and even to judges.
Surprisingly, observers tend to bypass these all-pervading differences of region,
language, wealth, status, religion, urbanity, gender and absence of the rule of law
but pay most devoted attention to that special and peculiar feature of Indian society:
CASTE. The most loved and recognized identity of Indians is their caste. And,
there are thousands of castes and caste-like groups. These are hierarchically ordered
and named groups into which members are born. Caste members, as far as possible,
marry within the caste or sub-caste and follow caste rules with respect to diet, ritual and
aspects of life.
Yet, no generalisation can be made because, increasingly, caste- discipline is
loosening and every individual is free to decide her or his own social ways and such an
indivi-dual will always find small or big support and a milieu to evolve a suitable mode
of living in spite of turning her/his back on caste and caste-ridden society, though at
times, this can be a harrowing experience, especially in sub-caste communities where
inter-caste and widow marriage is equated with community honour leading to honourkilling of the perceived violator of caste-norms, especially if the violator is weak.
However, underlying norms of life, though honesty of thought and action may not be
among them, are widely accepted in India.
Indian city dwellers are often nostalgic about simple village life, but Indian
villages have been losing both simplicity and gaiety of life and are boiling in the caste
cauldron of petty rivalries. They are afflicted with addiction to all kinds of drugs like

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alcohol, opium and heroin. Roads, television and mobile phones are now changing the
village scene though dirt, squalor and disease still vitiate rural India.
Indian village life is neither simple nor inviting. That is why no villager who
has come to the city goes back. According to sociologists: Each village is connected
through a variety of crucial horizontal linkages with other villages and with urban
areas both near and far. Most villages are characterized by a multiplicity of economic,
caste, kinship, occupational, and even religious groups linked vertically within each
settlement. Factionalism is a typical feature of village politics. In one of the first of the
modern anthropologi-cal studies of Indian village life, anthropologist Oscar Lewis
called this complexity rural cosmopolitanism.
Typical Indian villages have clustered dwelling patterns built very close to one
another. Sociologists call them nucleated settlements, with small and narrow lanes
for passage of people and sometimes carts. Village fields surround these settlements.
On the hills of central, eastern, and far northern India, dwellings are more spread out.
In wet States of West Bengal and Kerala, houses are a little dispersed; in Kerala, some
villages merge into the next village and visitor are not able to see divisions between such
villages.
In northern and central India, neighbourhood boundaries can be vague. Houses
of Dalits are ordinarily situated on outskirts of nucleated settlements. Distinct Dalit
hamlets, however, are rare. Contrastingly, in the south, where socio-economic divisions
and caste pollution observances tend to be stronger than in the north, Dalit hamlets are
set at a little distance from other caste neighbourhoods
Bigger landowners do not cultivate lands but hire tenant farmers to do this work.
Artisans in pottery, wood, cloth, metal, and leather, although diminishing, continue to
eke out their existence in contemporary Indian villages like centuries past. Religious
observances and weddings are occasions for members of various castes to provide
customary ritual goods and services.
Accelerating urbanization is fast transforming Indian society. More than 26 per
cent of the countrys population is urban. Indias larger cities have been growing at
twice the rate of smaller towns and villages. About half of the increase is the result of
rural-urban migration, as villagers seek better lives for themselves in the cities.
Most Indian cities are densely populated. New Delhi, for example, had 6,352
people per square kilometre in 1991. Congestion, noise, traffic jams, air pollution,
grossly inadequate housing, transportation, sewerage, electric power, water supplies,
schools, hospitals and major shortages of key necessities characterize urban life. Slums
and pavement dwellers constantly multiply so also trucks, buses, cars, auto-rickshaws,
motorcycles, and scooters, spewing uncontrolled fumes, all surging in haphazard
patterns along with jaywalking pedestrians and cattle.

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A recent phenomenon is illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and


terrorists via Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. They stalk all big cities and State capitals
and strike at will. Indias city life is extremely insecure and crime-infested.
Once a sleepy land of docile people, India has become one of the 20 most dangerous
countries of the world to live in.
India is a country with diverse cultures. Customs and traditions vary from region to
region. Yet, of course, some commonality does exist in the social structure, which is an
unifying force. Let us try to understand the various social formations that provide the
unifying force as well as distinct characteristics to the Indian society.
Cast System
Caste system The social structure is based upon the caste system. The society is
divided into four major castes- the Brahmans, Kashtriyas, Vaisyas and the Sudras. The
Brahmans are the priests and are considered to be the uppermost caste. The Kshatriyas
are the warriors, Vaisyas are the business class, the merchants and the Sudras are the
working class. Inter-caste marriages are not permitted as a rule, although now it has
become quite common in the urban areas. Untouchability continues to be practiced. The
Dalits are treated as untouchables as they do the menial jobs of removing the night soil
or cleaning the streets. The Constitution does not permit the practice of untouchability
and those practising it can be persecuted. Now of course, with growing urbanization,
the caste system is becoming obsolete.
Family The family as a unit is given much importance. Divorces as a rule are
not very common or appreciated. Couples prefer adjusting rather than breaking up a
marriage. Since children are given much importance, divorces are generally shunned.
The family system nurtures the well-being of the children. Nowadays, in the urban setup due to modernization, preference is being given to divorce as a solution to settle an
unhappy marriage. But on the whole, people like to retain the family unit.
Women Historically, women have played a significant role in the social and
political structure of India. In the ancient times, women enjoyed much freedom, but
with advent of the Muslims the purdah system came into vogue in the northern part of
India. In many regions, women remain very submissive, although with the improved
education levels, women have become more assertive.
Men In the Indian society, a man is considered to be the bread-earner and
shoulders the responsibility of the family. He is very dominating by nature and prefers
to rule over his women.
Patriarchal setup India is mostly a patriarchal set-up, with the father having
control over the family unit. The man controls the reins of the family unit. He is the
head of the family. The eldest male member has much say in the matters of the family.

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Matriarchal setup In Kerala, in the south of India, the woman of the house is the
dominant force. She decides the issues of the family.
Marriage This is an important social obligation which most Indians adhere to. It
is given much importance by society. Marriages are generally arranged, but now many
are choosing their own partners in urban areas. Children born outside marriage are
looked down upon. Marriages are conducted with elaborate rituals and much money is
spent on this occasion.
Birth This is an occasion for rejoicing. Ceremonies and rituals are held to celebrate
the occasion. The birth of male child is looked up to. In some areas, the birth of a girl is
looked down upon.
Death This is also an important occasion in the family system. Death is considered
to be inevitable. Ceremonies are held on this occasion and even after the death of a
person, yearly rituals are held in remembrance of them.
Thus, Indian society is very complex, but yet remains intact as people follow certain
guidelines laid down by the society. They prefer not to deviate from it.
5.2.1 ETHNICITY
India is a fascinating country where people of many different communities and religions
live together in unity. Indian Population is polygenetic and is an amazing amalgamation
of various races and cultures.
It is impossible to find out the exact origin of Indian People. The species known
as Ramapithecus was found in the Siwalik foothills of north western Himalayas. The
species believed to be the first in the line of hominids (Human Family) lived some 14
million years ago. Researchers have found that a species resembling the Austrapithecus
lived in India some 2 million years ago. Even this discovery leaves an evolutionary gap
of as much as 12 million years since Ramapithecus.
There are many diverse ethnic groups among the people of India. The 6 main
ethnic groups are as follows.
1. Negrito
2. Proto - Australoids or Austrics
3. Mongoloids
4. Mediterranean or Dravidian
5. Western Brachycephals
6. Nordic Aryans

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NegroidsThe Negritos or the Brachycephalic (broad headed) from Africa were


the earliest people to have come to India. They have survived in their original habitat
in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese and the Great
Andamanese are some of the examples. Some hill tribes like Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans
and Kurumbas are found in some patches in Southern part of mainland India.
Pro-Australoids or AustricsThese groups were the next to come to India after
the Negritos. They are people with wavy hair lavishly distributed all over their brown
bodies, long headed with low foreheads and prominent eye ridges, noses with low and
broad roots, thick jaws, large palates and teeth and small chins. The Austrics of India
represent a race of medium height, dark complexion with long heads and rather flat
noses but otherwise of regular features. Miscegenation with the earlier Negroids may be
the reason for the dark or black pigmentation of the skin and flat noses.
The Austrics laid the foundation of Indian civilization. They cultivated rice and
vegetables and made sugar from sugarcane. Now these people are found in some parts
of India, Myanmar and the islands of South East Asia. Their languages have survived
in the Central and Eastern India.
MongoloidsThese people are found in the North eastern part of India in the states
of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Tripura.
They are also found in Northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Ladakh. Generally
they are people with yellow complexion, oblique eyes, high cheekbones, sparse hair
and medium height.DravidiansThese are the people of South India. They have been
believed to come before the Aryans. They have different sub-groups like the PaleoMediterranean, the true Mediterranean, and the Oriental Mediterranean. They appear
to be people of the same stock as the peoples of Asia Minor and Crete and pre- Hellenic
Aegeans of Greece. They are reputed to have built up the city civilization of the Indus
valley, whose remains have been found at Mohenjo- daro and Harappa and other Indus
cities.
Western BracycephalsThese include the Alpinoids, Dinarics and Armenoids. The
Parsis and Kodavas also fall in this category. They are the broad headed people living
mainly on the western side of the country such as the Ganga Valley and the delta, parts
of Kashmir, Kathiawar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Nordics or the Indo-AryansThis group were the last one to immigrate to India.
They came to India somewhere between 2000 and 1500 B.C. They are now mainly
found in the northern and central part of India.
5.2.2 Religions
India, the land of spirituality and philosophy considers religion as an integral part of its
entire tradition. The worship of various religions and its rituals play a significant role in
every aspect of human life in the country.

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India is the birthplace of two great religions of the world, namely, Hinduism
and Buddhism. It is also the birthplace of one of the oldest religions of the world,
Zoroastrianism, and home to an ancient religion, Jainism. Sikhism is another very
recognizable religion which began here bringing together the best aspects of Hinduism
and Islam. Followers of religions originated in other countries such as Islam, Christianity,
Bahaism and Judaism also form a part of the population of secular nation, India.
Hinduism is the dominant faith. According to 2001 Census, 80.5% of the population
of the country are designated Hindu. It is one of the ancient religions in the world,
which began about 6000 years ago. Besides Hindus, Muslims are the most prominent
religious group and are an integral part of Indian society. There are approximately13.4%
Muslims (over 100 million), 2.3% Christians (over 20 million), 1.9 % Sikhs (18 million)
and others including Buddhists (6 million), Jains, Parsis (Zoroastrians), Jews, and
Bahais, less than 2 percent.
Hindus and Muslims are spread throughout the country. Muslims are found mostly
in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh,
and Kerala. They represent a majority in Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep.
Christian concentrations are found in the northeastern states like Nagaland, Mizoram
and Meghalaya and the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. Sikhs are
a majority in the state of Punjab whereas Buddhists are found in large numbers in
Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Bengal and Sikkim. Though a tiny minority, Jains are
found all over India. Majority of Jains live in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan,
Karnataka and Gujarat.

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5.2.3 MAIN SOCIAL ISSUES


What Are The Current Social Issues In India? We have already written on the most
common social issues in India and we keep adding more and more articles regarding
the contemporary social issues in India and social problems faced by India. This is an
effort to bring to the social evils of India to the notice of as many people as possible.
Recent Trend of Divorce in India
Relevance of National Rural Health Mission
Reproductive Health Status of Women in India
Female Infanticide in India
The Status Of Education And Vocational Training In India
Plight of Indian Women: Victims of NRI marriages
Problem of Child Abuse
Sustainable Development
Class Struggle
Women Employment in India
Literacy Rate In India
Woman Empowerment In India
Drug Abuse in India
Dowry System in India
HIV/AIDS in India

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Poverty in India
Population of India
Child labour in India
Rural Girls Education
State of Maternal Health in India
Unemployment in India
The status of children in India - Findings of UNICEF 2005 report
HIV/AIDS and Women
NACO covers less than 10% of HIV infected in India
Deadly AIDS numbers rising across the world
Migration In India
As you could read most of these are the ones we can see all around the globe.
However, studying how some of these problems are being tackled through their
government.
Overpopulation
Further information: Family planning in India and Demographics of India
India suffers from the problem of overpopulation. The population of India is very
high at an estimated 1.2 billion. Though India ranks second in population, it ranks 33 in
terms of population density below countries such as The Netherlands, South Korea and
Japan. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, had implemented a forced sterilization
programme in the early 1970s but the programme failed. Officially, men with two
children or more had to submit to sterilization, but many unmarried young men,
political opponents and ignorant, poor men were also believed to have been sterilized.
This program is still remembered and criticized in India, and is blamed for creating
a public aversion to family planning, which hampered Government programmes for
decades.
Poverty
Percent of population living under the poverty line One-third of Indias population
(roughly equivalent to the entire population of the United States) lives below the poverty
line and India is home to one-third of the worlds poor people.
Though the middle class has gained from recent positive economic developments,
India suffers from substantial poverty. According to the new World Banks estimates
on poverty based on 2005 data, India has 456 million people, 41.6% of its population,

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living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 (PPP) per day. The world Bank
further estimates that 33% of the global poor now reside in India. Moreover, India also
has 828 million people, or 75.6% of the population living below $2 a day, compared to
72.2% for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wealth distribution in India is fairly uneven, with the top 10% of income groups
earning 33% of the income. Despite significant economic progress, 1/4 of the nations
population earns less than the government-specified poverty threshold of $0.40/day.
Official figures estimate that 27.5% of Indians lived below the national poverty line in
20042005. A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the
Unorganized Sector (NCEUS) found that 25% of Indians, or 236 million people, lived
on less than 20 rupees per day with most working in informal labor sector with no job
or social security, living in abject poverty.
Sanitation
Lack of proper sanitation is a major concern for India. Statistics conducted by UNICEF
have shown that only 31% of Indias population is using improved sanitation facilities as
of 2008. It is estimated that one in every ten deaths in India is linked to poor sanitation
and hygiene. Diarrhoea is the single largest killer and accounts for one in every twenty
deaths. Around 450,000 deaths were linked to diarrhoea alone in 2006, of which 88%
were deaths of children below five. Studies by UNICEF have also shown that diseases
resulting from poor sanitation affects children in their cognitive development.
Without proper sanitation facilities in India, people defecate in the open or rivers.
One gram of faeces could potentially contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria,
1000 parasite cysts and 100 worm eggs. The Ganges river in India has a stunning 1.1
million litres of raw sewage being disposed into it every minute. The high level of
contamination of the river by human waste allow diseases like cholera to spread easily,
resulting in many deaths, especially among children who are more susceptible to such
viruses.
A lack of adequate sanitation also leads to significant economic losses for the country.
A Water and sanitation Program (WSP) study The Economic Impacts of Inadequate
Sanitation in India (2010) showed that inadequate sanitation caused India considerable
economic losses, equivalent to 6.4 per cent of Indias GDP in 2006 at US$53.8 billion
(Rs.2.4 trillion). In addition, the poorest 20% of households living in urban areas bore
the highest per capita economic impacts of inadequate sanitation.
Recognising the importance of proper sanitation, the Government of India started
the Central Rural Sanitation Program (CRSP) in 1986, in hope of improving the basic
sanitation amenities of rural areas. This program was later reviewed and, in 1999,
the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was launched. Programs such as Individual
Household Latrines (IHHL), School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE),
Community Sanitary Complex, Anganwadi toilets were implemented under the TSC.

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Through the TSC, the Indian Government hopes to stimulate the demand for
sanitation facilities, rather than to continually provide these amenities to its population.
This is a two-pronged strategy, where the people involved in this program take
ownership and better maintain their sanitation facilities, and at the same time, reduces
the liabilities and costs on the Indian Government. This would allow the government
to reallocate their resources to other aspects of development. Thus, the government set
the objective of granting access to toilets to all by 2017. To meet this objective, incentives
are given out to encourage participation from the rural population to construct their
own sanitation amenities. In addition, the government has set out to educate its people
on the importance and benefits of proper sanitation through mass communication and
interpersonal communication techniques. This is done through mass and print media
to reach out to a larger audience and through group discussions and games to better
engage and interact with the individual.
Education Initiatives
Since the Indian Constitution was finalized in 1949, education has remained one of
the priorities of the Indian government. The first education minister Maulana Azad
founded a system of education which aimed to provide free education at the primary
level. Primary education was made free and compulsory for children from 6-14, and
child labour was banned. The government introduced incentives to education and
disincentives for not receiving education for instance, the provision of mid-day meals
in schools were introduced. Many similar initiatives echoed, and the largest of such
initiatives is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which actively promoted Education for All. In line
with this, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) aimed to increase their expenditure on
education to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from values fluctuating about 3%
through their National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) in 2004. The Right
of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was also imposed in 2009. Despite
these initiatives, education continues to persist as an impediment to development.
While many schools were built, they had poor infrastructure and inadequate
facilities. Schools in the rural areas were especially affected. According to District
Information System for Education (DISE) in India in 2009, only about 51.5% of all
schools in India have boundary walls, 16.65% have computers and 39% have electricity.
Of which, only 6.47% of primary schools and 33.4% of upper primary schools have
computers, and only 27.7% of primary schools have electricity. Learning in poorly
furnished schools was not conducive, resulting in poor quality education.
Furthermore, the absence rates of teachers and students were high, while their
retainment rates low. The incentives for going to school were not apparent, while
punishment for absence was not enforced. Despite the governments decree on
compulsory education and the child labour ban, many children were still missing classes
to go to work. The government did not interfere even when children missed school.

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Also, online country studies publications by the Federal Research Division of the
Library of Congress stated that it was not unusual for the teacher to be absent or
even to subcontract the teaching work to unqualified substitutes. This exacerbates the
problems of the lack of qualified teachers. Currently, the student-teacher ratio remains
high at around 32, which is not much of an improvement since 2006 when the ratio
was 34.
Economic and social disparities also plague the fundamentals of the education
system. Rural children are less able to receive education because of greater opportunity
costs, since rural children have to work to contribute to the familys income. According
to the Annual Status of Education in 2009, the average attendance rate of students in the
rural states is about 75%. Though this rate varies significantly, states like Uttar Pradesh
and Bihar had more than 40% absentees during a random visit to their schools. In the
urban states, more than 90% of the students were present in their schools during a visit.

5.3 POLITICAL STRUCTURE

5.3.1 Government
India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States.It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular
Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is
governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent
Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950.
The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal
in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of
the Union is the President. As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the council

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of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the
Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Article 74(1)
of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime
Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her functions
in accordance to the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of
Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head.
The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok
Sabha). Every State has a Legislative Assembly. Certain States have an upper House also
called State Legislative Council. There is a Governor for each state who is appointed by
the President. Governor is the Head of the State and the executive power of the State is
vested in him. The Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head advises the
Governor in the discharge of the executive functions. The Council of the Ministers of a
state is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
The Constitution distributes legislative powers between Parliament and State
legislatures as per the lists of entries in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. The
residuary powers vest in the Parliament. The centrally administered territories are
called Union Territories.
Parliament
Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India. The Indian Parliament comprises
of the President and the two Houses-Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha
(Council of States). The President has the power to summon and prorogue either House
of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha.
The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The first general
elections under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first
elected Parliament came into being in April, 1952, the Second Lok Sabha in April, 1957,
the Third Lok Sabha in April, 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March, 1967, the Fifth
Lok Sabha in March, 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha in March, 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha
in January, 1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha in December, 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in
December, 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha in June, 1991, the Eleventh Lok Sabha in May,
1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha in March, 1998, Thirteenth Lok Sabha in October, 1999,
Fourteenth Lok Sabha in May, 2004 and Fifteenth Lok Sabha in April, 2009.

5.3.2 Economy
The cardinal functions of the Legislature include overseeing of administration,
passing of budget, ventilation of public grievances, and discussing various subjects like
development plans, international relations, and national policies. The Parliament can,
under certain circumstances, assume legislative power with respect to a subject falling
within the sphere, exclusively reserved for the states. The Parliament is also vested with

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powers to impeach the President, remove judges of Supreme and High Courts, the
Chief Election Commissioner, and Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance
with the procedure laid down in the Constitution. All legislation requires the consent
of both Houses of Parliament. In the case of Money Bills, the will of the Lok Sabha
prevails. The Parliament is also vested with the power to initiate amendments in the
Constitution.
5.3.3 EDUCATION
Elementary Education
Education has been a thrust sector ever since India attained Independence. The year
2010 was a landmark year for education in the country.The Right of Children to Free
and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, representing the consequential legislation
to the Constitutional (86th Amendment) Act, 2002, was enforced with effect from 1st
April, 2010.The RTE Act secures the right of children to free and compulsory education
till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school.
The government introduced the District Primary Education Programme in
November 1994 to regulate the elementary education system in India. The programme
aims at operationalising the strategies for achieving UEE through district specific
planning and disaggregate target setting.
There are other programmes for compulsory elementary education, especially for
girls. The Kasturba Gandhi Shiksha Yojana aims at establishing residential schools for
girls in all districts, which have a particularly low female literacy rate. Institutes like
National Bal Bhavan encourage children to pursue activities as per their liking, and
thus enhance their creative potential. Other programmes such as the Sarva Shiksha

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Abhiyan and the Mid-Day MeaScheme have been introduced with the intention of
attracting more children (and parents) towards literacy.
Higher Education
Since ancient times, India has been a centre of excellence in the field of higher education.
Nalanda, Vikramashila and Takshashila were few of the oldest universities in the world
and were the most renowned seats of higher education during their time. Students
from far off countries came to study in these universities. Today India has one of the
largest higher education systems in the world and also some world-class institutions for
higher education.
The present system of higher education dates back to Mountstuart Elphinstones
minutes of 1823, which stressed on the need for establishing schools for teaching
English and the European sciences. Subsequently, the universities of Calcutta, Bombay
and Madras were set up in 1857, followed by the university of Allahabad in 1887.
The first attempt to formulate a national system of education in India came
in 1944, with the Report of the Central Advisory Board of Education on Post War
Educational Development in India, which recommended the formation of a University
Grants Committee, which was formed in 1945 to oversee the work of the three Central
Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and Delhi. After independence, a full-fledged Ministry
of Education was established on 29th August 1947.
In 1952, the Union Government decided that all cases pertaining to the allocation of
grants-in-aid from public funds to the Central Universities and other Universities and
Institutions of higher learning might be referred to the University Grants Commission
(UGC). The UGC was formally established in November 1956 as a statutory body of the
Government of India through an Act of Parliament for the coordination, determination
and maintenance of standards of university education in India. In order to ensure
effective region-wise coverage throughout the country, the UGC has decentralised its
operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal,
Guwahati and Bangalore. The head office of the UGC is located in New Delhi.
Organisations involved in the higher education system of the country
University Grants Commission (UGC) has the unique distinction of being the only
grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities:
that of providing funds and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of
standards in institutions of higher education.
Department of Education under the Union Ministry of Human Resource
Development is responsible for improving the overall education scenario of the
country as well as planning and implementing various programmes and policies of the
government related to education.

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Provisions of the Constitution of India having a bearing on Education


Autonomous Organisations of Department of Higher Education
Scholarships and Awards
As an acknowledgement of brilliance, scholarships form an excellent means to
pursue higher education, without feeling the pinch of the high tuition fees demanded
in most courses. The following links give you a list of National Scholarships.
National Talent Search (NCERT)
Children form the major human resource, and no Country can afford to ignore
the development of this segment of society. The National Council for Educational
Research and Training promotes educational development both in quantitative
and qualitative terms, and makes special efforts to remove disparities and equalize
educational opportunities for all students. NCERT acknowledges and appreciates
educational brilliance in students through the National Talent Search Scheme (for
Regular Students) and National Talent Promotion Scheme (for School Dropouts). It
also seeks to applaud artistic distinction through the Chacha Nehru Scholarships for
Artistic and Innovative Excellence.
Olympiads
The Olympiads signify excellence in education and an undoubted knowledge base.
India has the following Olympiads to appreciate such talent in students.
National Cyber Olympiad
National Science Olympiad
National Mathematical Olympiad
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education Olympiad
5.3.4 Health System
A healthy citizen contributes to the making of a healthy nation. The Government of
India has introduced various health programmes and policies to improve the Indian
citizens standard of living. These efforts have paid rich dividends by way of increase in
the life expectancy of males and females at birth to 62 and 64 years respectively. Also,
the infant mortality rate (less than five death rate) has fallen to 53 per thousand births.
The issue of health comes under the purview of the Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare and its 3 departments; the Department of Health, Department of Family
Welfare and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and
Homeopathy. As part of its drive to educate and encourage a healthy lifestyle, the
ministry promotes a website called Healthy India.

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The Citizen Health section of our website offers information about the various
health schemes launched by the government, resources on different aspects of health
care as well as a list of hospitals and medical institutions in the country. Other than this,
we also provide information about alternative systems of medicine, medical insurance,
family welfare and rehabilitation.
Alternate Systems of Medicine
Ayurveda is that knowledge of life, which deals elaborately and at length with conditions
beneficial or otherwise to the humanity. It deals with getting to the root of the issue and
treatments involve the usage of natural/ herbal products.
Yoga is a science as well an art of healthy living physically, mentally, morally and
spiritually. It is not limited by race, age, sex, religion, cast or creed and can be practiced
by those who seek fitness and well-being.
Naturopathy or Nature Cure treatment primarily stresses on the curing of the body
in the most natural manner i.e. give the body time to heal on its own. The five main
modalities of treatment are air, water, heat, mud and space. Naturopathy
Homeopathy has been practiced in India for more than a century and a half. It is
recognised as one of the National Systems of Medicine and plays an important role
in providing health care to a large number of people. Its strength lies in its holistic
approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental,
emotional, spiritual and physical levels.
Unani postulates that the body contains a self-preservative power, which strives to
restore any disturbance within the limits prescribed by the constitution or State of the
individual. The physician merely aims to help and develop rather than supersede or
impede the action of this power.
Siddha is very similar to Ayurveda. In the Siddha system, chemistry has been well
developed into a science auxiliary to medicine and alchemy. The knowledge of plants
and mineral are of very high order in this form of treatment.
Acupressure is the application of pressure or localized massage to specific sites on
the body to control symptoms such as pain or nausea. This therapy is also used to stop
bleeding. It is derived from traditional Chinese medicine, which is a form of treatment
for pain that involves pressure on particular points in the body knows as acupressure
points.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine, which involves the insertion
of pins in certain vital points of the body. It is used for the treatment of chronic pain
conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, headache, athletic injuries, and posttraumatic and
post surgical pain. It is also used for treating chronic pain associated with immune
function dysfunction such as psoriasis (skin disorders), allergies, and asthma. Some

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modern application of acupuncture is in the treatment of disorders such as alcoholism,


addiction, smoking, and eating disorders.
Telemedicine refers to the use of communication and information technologies for
the delivery of clinical care. It may be as simple as two health professionals discussing
a case over the telephone, or as complex as using satellite technology and videoconferencing equipment to conduct a real-time consultation between medical specialists
in two different countries. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology
(DEIT) had taken up the initiative for defining the Standards for Telemedicine Systems
in India, through the deliberations of the committee on Standardization of digital
information to facilitate implementation of Telemedicine system using IT enabled
services under the chairmanship of the Secretary, DIT. Simultaneously, DIT undertook
another initiative, in a project mode, for defining The framework of Information
Technology Infrastructure for Health (ITIH) to efficiently address information needs
of different stakeholders in the healthcare sector. The department has issue specific
guidelines for practicing telemedicine in India.
5.4 CULTURAL ASPECT
The Ministry of Culture plays a vital role in the preservation and promotion of art and
culture. Its aim is to develop ways and means by which basic cultural and aesthetic
values and perceptions remain active and dynamic among the people. It also undertakes
programmes for the promotion of various manifestations of contemporary art. The
Department is a nodal agency for commemorating significant events and celebrating
centenaries of great artists.
National Library
The National Library, Kolkata was established in 1948 with the passing of the imperial
Library Change of Name in, 1948. The basis functions of the Library, which enjoys the
status of an institution of national importance, are:
Acquisition and conservation of all significant production of printed material as
well as of manuscripts of national importance
Collection of printed material concerning the country, no matter where this is
published
Rendering of bibliographical and documentary services of current and retrospective
material, both general and specialised. (This implies the responsibility to produce
current national bibliographies and retrospective bibliographies on various aspects of
the country)

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Acting as referral centre, purveying full and accurate knowledge of all sources of
bibliographical information and participation in international bibliographical activities
and Acting as a centre for international book exchange and internal loan.
World Heritage Sites
Sites of outstanding value to humanity that are to be protected and for posterity are
considered as World Heritage Sites. Conservation of such sites is embodied in an
international treaty called the Convention concerning the protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
World Heritage Committee under this Convention includes properties under the
following three categories:
Natural Heritage Sites: A natural heritage consist of natural features consisting
of physical and biological formations, which are of outstanding universal value from
aesthetic or scientific point of view; geological and physiographical formation and
precisely delimitated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals
and plants of outstanding universal value from point of view of science or conservation;
and/ or natural sites.
Cultural Heritage sites: A cultural heritage consists of monuments, architectural
works, works of monumental sculptures, painting, elements or structures of an
archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features of
outstanding universal value; group of buildings or groups of separate or connected
buildings ; works of man or the combined work of nature and man and areas including
archaeological sites which are out outstanding universal value from historical, aesthetic,
ethnological or anthropological point of view.
Mixed Heritage Sites: A Mixed heritage consists of properties having both the
natural as well as cultural importance.
India was ratified to the World Heritage Convention on 14th November 1977. Since
then 5 natural sites have been declared as World Heritage Sites. In addition, Valley of
Flowers was included in the World Heritage list as an extension to the Nanda Devi
National Park.
5.4.1 MEDIA
The potential of mass media is not only vast but also just beginning to be tapped. This
field provides excitement, glamour, glory and above all, huge rewards. The trick is
being able to find a path that is best suited for you.
According to Chitkara University, traditional print, radio and television isnt
what it used to be - its bigger. While the print medium is poised to grow from the
present size of Rs 10,900 to Rs 19,500, the radio sector is projected to grow four times

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over Rs 1,500 crore by 2013. Economic growth, rising income levels, consumerism,
coupled with technological advancements and policy initiatives taken by the Indian
government, which are encouraging the inflow of investment, will prove to be the key
drivers for the entertainment and media industry. It is only now that the impact of the
media is beginning to be felt in India. Today, a large number of accredited journalists,
together with countless stringers, critics, commentators, and others seek out, report on
and publicise occurrences of consequence happening in the world around us. Their
stories are carried by numerous newspapers, magazines and periodicals, besides radio
and television networks. Some of these cover a general mix of political, financial, social,
environmental and sports news. Others focus on the specific needs of professional or
special interest groups.

With the advent of satellite television, the rise of private radio stations, the
proliferation of content on mobile devices and the growing popularity of the Internet,
there is no shortage of opportunities available to the broadcast professional.
According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Indian entertainment and media
industry has outperformed the Indian economy through the years and is one of the
fastest growing sectors in the country.
By all means, the television industry alone continues to dominate. It is at present
garnering a share of over 42 percent and is expected to increase it by 9 percent to reach
about 51 percent The size of the entertainment and media industry in India is currently
estimated to be Rs 35,300 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) of 19 % over the next five years.
According to ABC and NRS reports, Indian print industry is growing many folds
in not only number of newspapers but also its readership. Language newspaper and
vernaculars are coming up from small towns to state capitals and increase in literacy
per cent (65) has given a boost. The demand for print professionals is increasing where
media students can see their hope.
There are over 300 television channels in the country and it is expected that nearly
100 more TV stations are going to be launched in the coming six years.
Films Division
The Films Division was constituted in January 1948 by re-christening the erstwhile
Information Films of India and the Indian New Parade set up in 1943, primarily for
war coverage. The Cinematograph Act of 1918 was Indianised in 1952 which made the
screening of documentary films compulsory throughout the country.
Since 1949, Films Division has been releasing a documentary or news- based or
an animation film every single Friday for the theatres spread across the country, in 15
national languages. Over the decades, the Division has virtually recorded the countrys

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entire post-independence history. With headquarters in Mumbai, Films Division is


equipped with all facilities of production studios, recording theatres, editing rooms,
animation unit, cameras, video set-up and preview theatres. Dubbing of films in 15
Indian languages is also done in-house.
The story of the Films Division is synchronous with the eventful years of the country
since Independence and over the last 60 years. The Division has been motivating the
broadest spectrum of the Indian Public with a view to enlisting their active participation
in nation building activities. The aims and objectives of the Division, focused on national
perspectives, are to educate and motivate people in the implementation of national
programmes and to project the image of the land and the heritage of the country to
Indian and foreign audiences. The Division also aims at fostering the growth of the
documentary film movement, which is of immense significance to India in the field of
national information, communication and integration.
The Division produces documentaries, short films, animation films and news
magazines from its headquarters at Mumbai, films on Defence and family welfare
from Delhi unit and short fiction films for rural audience from the regional production
centers at Kolkata and Bangalore. The Division caters to nearly 8500 cinema theatres
all over the country and to the non theatrical circuits like units of the Directorate of
Field Publicity, mobile units of the State Governments, Doordarashan, field units of the
Department of Family Welfare, educational institutions, film societies and voluntary
organizations. The documentaries and newsreels of State Government are also featured
in the Divisions release on the theatrical circuit. This Division also sells prints, stock
shots, video cassettes and distribution rights of documentaries and feature films in India
and abroad. Apart from production of films, Films Division also gives on hire, its studio,
recording theatre, Editing Rooms & other Cine Equipments to private film makers.
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India has entrusted the
task of organizing the MIFF for Documentary, Short and Animation Films to Films
Division.
The aim of MIFF contest is the dissemination of images contributing to
wider knowledge and close knit fraternity among the nations of the world. This
event provides a unique opportunity and platform to filmmakers, film producers,
distributors, exhibitors and film critics from different countries to meet and interact
during festival. Over the year, MIFF has become a preferred and much awaited event
for the filmmakers to showcase their work, internet and exchange ideas. MIFF began
in historic journey way back in 1990 and since then it has grown in size and stature
as one of the promise international events of the documentary film movement. The
biennial MIFF is attended by a large number of prominent documentary and short
filmmakers and intellectuals, students from India and other parts of the world. Nearly,
35-40 countries with more than 500 entries participate in every edition of the festival.

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The 10th edition of MIFF for Documentary, short and Animation was held from 3February; 2008 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai in cooperation with the Government of Maharashtra.
All India Radio
Radio Broadcasting started in India in the early 1920s. The first programme was
broadcast in 1923 by the Radio club of Bombay. This was followed by setting up
Broadcasting Services in 1927 with two privately-owned transmitters at Bombay and
Calcutta. The Government took over the transmitters in 1930 and started operating
them under the name of Indian Broadcasting Service. It was changed to All India Radio
(AIR) in 1936 and it came to be known as Akashvani from 1957.
Organisational Set Up
The Directorate General, All India Radio functions under the Prasar Bharati. The Prasar
Bharati Board functions at the apex level ensuring formulation and implementation of
the policies of the organisation and fulfillment of the mandate in terms of the Prasar
Bharati. Act, 1990. The Executive Member functions as a Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of the Corporation subject to the control and supervision of the Board. The
CEO, the Member (Finance) and the Member (Personnel) perform their functions
from Prasar Bharati headquarters at 2nd Floor, PTI Building - Parliament Street, New
Delhi-110001.
All important policy matters relating to Finance, Administration and Personnel
are submitted to CEO and the Board through the Member (Finance) and Member
(Personnel) as required, for the purpose of advice, implementation of proposals and
decisions thereon. Officers from different streams working in the Prasar Bharati
Secretariat assist the CEO, Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel) in integrating
action, operations, plans and policy implementation as well as to look after the budget,
accounts and general financial matters of the Corporation.
Prasar Bharati also has a unified vigilance set up at the headquarters, headed by a
Chief Vigilance Officer.
The Director General of All India Radio is headed by the Director General. He
functions in close association with the Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel)
and the CEO in carrying out the day to day affairs of AIR. In AIR there are broadly
five different Wings responsible for distinct activities viz, Programme, Engineering,
Administration, Finance and News.

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Television - Doordarshan
Doordarshan, a Public Service Broadcaster, is among the largest terrestrial television
network in the world. The service was started in New Delhi on 15 September 1959
to transmit educational and development programmes on an experimental basis with
half-an-hour programming.
Commencement of regular television service as part of All India Radio commenced
in Delhi (1965); Mumbai (1972); Kolkata (1975), Chennai (1975). Doordarshan was
established on 15 September 1976. A major landmark thereafter was the introduction
of colour television in 1982 coinciding with the 9th Asian Games held in New Delhi
that ushered in a major revolution in broadcasting in the country. This was followed by
a phase of rapid expansion of Doordarshan when, in 1984 more or less every day saw
the installation of a transmitter in the country.
Other significant milestones that followed thereafter were:
Launch of second channel
Delhi (9 August 1984), Mumbai (1 May 1985), Chennai (19 November 1987),
Kolkata (1 July 1988)
Networking of second channels to launch the Metro Channel (26 January 1993)
Launch of International channel-DD India (14 March 1995)
Formation of Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) (23 November
1997)
Launch of sports channel-DD Sports (18 March 1999)
Launch of enrichment/cultural channel-DD Bharati (26 January 2002)
Launch of 24 hours news channel-DD News (3 November 2002)
Launch of free to air Direct-to-Home Service-DD Direct + (16 December 2004)
Doordarshan has contributed significantly towards the acceleration of socioeconomic
change, promotion of national integration and stimulation of scientific temper in
the country. Being a Public Service Broadcaster, its mandate is to carry through its
programmes messages on population control and family welfare, preservation of
environment and ecological balance, highlighting the need for social welfare measures
for women, children and the less privileged. It is also mandated to promote games and
sports, and the artistic and cultural heritage of the country.
The following graph shows the figures of social networks in India. As technology
has taken part the younger generations. We may consider the Indian

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5.4.2 DOMINANT BELIEFS, VALUES AND TRADITIONS


India is a land of festivals and fairs. Virtually celebrating each day of the year, there are
more festivals celebrated in India than anywhere else in the world. Each festival pertains
to different occasions, some welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or
the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings and
saints, or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most
parts of India. However, they may be called by different names in various parts of the
country or may be celebrated in a different fashion. Some of the festivals celebrated all
over India are mentioned below. However, this section is still under enhancement.
Janmashtami
Lord Vishnu is invoked in his human incarnation as Krishna on his birth anniversary
in the festival of Janmashtami. This festival of Hindus is celebrated with great devotion
on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana (July-August) in India.
According to Hindu mythology, Krishna was born to destroy Mathuras demon King
Kansa, brother of his virtuous mother, Devaki.
Men and women fast and pray on the occasion of Janmashtami. Temples and
homes are beautifully decorated and lit. The temples of Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh
witness an extravagant and colourful celebration on this occasion. Raslila is performed
to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha.
This festival is also known as Krishnastami or Gokulastami.
The image of the infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed in a cradle.
Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over
Northern India.
In Maharashtra, Janmashtami witnesses the exuberant enactment of Krishnas
childhood endeavours to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach.
A matka or pot containing these is suspended high above the ground and groups of
young men and children form human pyramids to try and reach the pot and eventually
break it.
Christmas
Christmas celebrations begin with a midnight mass, which is considered to be an
essential part of the celebrations, it is followed by merrymaking. Children in brightly
colored dresses, accompanied by an orchestra of drums and cymbals, perform group
dances using gay-colored sticks.
St. Benedict, alias Santa Claus, is a legendary chubby oldie figure, clad in red and
white dress, who rides the reindeer and forms a significant part of the celebrations
especially for children. He loves kids and gets chocolates, gifts and other desired goodies
for them, which he apparently places in their stockings at night.

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People sing carols in the glory of the Lord during Christmas. They go from door to
door preaching the message of love and brotherhood.
The Christmas tree is popular all over the world for its grandeur. People decorate
their homes with trees and hang mistletoe in every corner. After the church mass, people
engage in friendly visits and feast and by exchange of greetings and gifts, they spread
the message of peace and goodwill.
There are some popular churches in India specially in Goa, where Christmas is
celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. Most of these churches were established
during the Portuguese and British regime in India.
Some of the major churches in India include St. Joseph Cathedral and Medak
church in Andhra Pradesh; St. Cathedral, The Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the
Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa; St. Johns Church in Wilderness and the Christ Church in
Himachal Pradesh; Santa Cruz Basilica Church and St. Francis Church in Kerala; Holy
Christ Church and Mount Mary Church in Maharashtra; Christ the King Church and
Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu; and All Saints Cathedral and Kanpur Memorial
Church in Uttar Pradesh.
RASKSHABANDHAM
Celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana (July/August), this
festival celebrates the love of a brother for his sister. On this day, sisters tie rakhi on the
wrists of their brothers to protect them against evil influences, and pray for their long
life and happiness. They in turn, give a gift which is a promise that they will protect
their sisters from any harm. Within these Rakhis reside sacred feelings and well wishes.
This festival is mostly celebrated in North India.
The history of Rakshabandhan dates back to Hindu mythology. As per Hindu
mythology, in Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas
had torn the corner of her sari to prevent Lord Krishnas wrist from bleeding (he had
inadvertently hurt himself). Thus, a bond, that of brother and sister developed between
them, and he promised to protect her.
It is also a great sacred verse of unity, acting as a symbol of lifes advancement and
a leading messenger of togetherness. Raksha means protection, and in some places in
medieval India, where women felt unsafe, they tie Rakhi on the wrist of men, regarding
them as brothers. In this way, Rakhi strengthens the bond of love between brothers and
sisters, and revives the emotional bonding. Brahmins change their sacred thread (janoi)
on this day, and dedicate themselves once again to the study of the scriptures.
DIWALI
Deepawali or Diwali, is a festival of lights symbolising the victory of righteousness
and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word Deepawali literally means rows of

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diyas (clay lamps). This is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is
celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November). This festival commemorates
Lord Ramas return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.
The most beautiful of all Indian festivals, Diwali is a celebration of lights. Streets are
illuminated with rows of clay lamps and homes are decorated with colours and candles.
This festival is celebrated with new clothes, spectacular firecrackers and a variety of
sweets in the company of family and friends. All this illumination and fireworks, joy
and festivity, signify the victory of divine forces over those of wicked.
The Goddess Lakshmi (consort of Vishnu), who is the symbol of wealth and
prosperity, is also worshipped on this day. In West Bengal, this festival is celebrated as
Kali Puja, and Kali, Shivas consort, is worshipped on the occasion of Diwali.
In the South, Deepawali festival often commemorates the conquering of the Asura
Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of inhabitants. It was
Krishna who was finally able to subdue Naraka and free the prisoners. To commemorate
this event, people in Peninsular India wake before sunrise and make imitation blood
by mixing kumkum or vermillion with oil. After crushing underfoot a bitter fruit as a
symbol of the demon, they apply the blood triumphantly on their foreheads. They then
have ritual oil baths, anointing themselves with sandalwood paste. Visits to temples for
prayers are followed by large family breakfasts of fruits and a variety of sweets.
Another story of king Bali is attached to the Diwali festival in South India. According
to the Hindu mythology, King Bali was a benevolent demon king. He was so powerful
that he became a threat to the power of celestial deities and their kingdoms. And Lord
Vishnu came as the dwarf mendicant Vamana, to dilute Balis power. Vamana shrewdly
asked the king for land that would cover three steps as he walked. The king happily
granted this gift. Having tricked Bali, Vishnu revealed himself in the full glory of his
godhood. He covered the heaven in his first step and the earth in his second. Realising
that he was pitted against the mighty Vishnu, Bali surrendered and offered his own head,
inviting Vishnu to step on it. Vishnu pushed him into the nether world with his foot. In
return Vishnu gave him the lamp of knowledge to light up the dark underworld. He
also gave him a blessing that he would return to his people once a year to light millions
of lamps from this one lamp so that on the dark new moon light of Diwali, the blinding
darkness of ignorance, greed, jealousy, lust, anger, ego, and laziness would be dispelled
and the radiance of knowledge, wisdom and friendship would prevail. Each year on
Diwali day, even today, one lamp lights another and like a flame burning steadily on a
windless night, brings a message of peace and harmony to the world.
Id-ul-Zuha
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id), is a festival of great rejoice, special prayers and exchange of
greetings and gifts mark this festival of Muslims. Id-ul-zuha, the festival of sacrifice

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is celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India and the world. It is called Idul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in the Indian subcontinent, because of the tradition of
sacrificing a goat or bakr in Urdu. The word id derived from the Arabic iwd means
festival and zuha comes from uzhaiyya which translates to sacrifice.
According to Islamic belief, to test Ibrahim, Allah commanded him to sacrifice his
son Ismail. He agreed to do it but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So he
blindfolded himself before putting Ismail on the altar at the mount of Mina near Mecca.
When he removed his bandage after performing the act, he saw his son standing in
front of him, alive. On the altar lay a slaughtered lamb. Joyous festivities and somber
rituals mark this event. Every Muslim owning property worth 400 grams of gold or
more is expected to sacrifice a goat, sheep or any other four-legged animal during one
of the three days of the festival. This symbolises devotion to Allah and his desires. The
sacrificial meat is then distributed and partaken of after the Id prayers.
RAMNAVAMI
Ramnavami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama, the son of king Dashrath. He
is known as Maryada Purusottama and is the emblem of righteousness. The festival
commemorates the birth of Rama on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksh
(the waxing moon), which falls sometime in the month of April.
Lord Rama is remembered for his prosperous and righteous reign. He is considered
to be an avatar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who came down to earth to battle the
invincible Ravana (demon king) in human form. Ramrajya (the reign of Rama) has
become synonymous with a period of peace and prosperity.
On the Ramnavami day, devotees crowd the temples and sing devotional bhajans
in praise of Rama and rock images of him in cradles to celebrate his birth. There are
recitations of Tulsi Ramayan, the epic, which recounts the story of this great king.
Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama is the focus of great celebrations of
Ramanavami festival. Rathayatras or the chariot processions of Rama, his wife Sita,
brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman, are taken out from many temples.
Ramnavami is commemorated in Hindu households by puja (prayer). The items
necessary for the puja are roli, aipun, rice, water, flowers, a bell and a conch. After
that, the youngest female member of the family applies teeka to all the members of the
family. Everyone participates in the puja by first sprinkling the water, roli, and aipun
on the Gods, and then showering handfuls of rice on the deities. Then everybody stands
up to perform the aarti, at the end of which ganga jal or plain water is sprinkled over
the gathering. The singing of bhajans goes on for the entire puja. Finally, the Prasad is
distributed among all the people who have gathered for worship.

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ACTIVITIES
1. Prepare a Time line about the Indian Kings according to its history.
You can use the following videos to help you:
http://youtu.be/HcshPyzFfNg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APn07PS-5qc
2. Using a graph different from the one shown in the video, draw a graph or map
showing what a Cast is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H22zEdmLns
3. What aspects of Education can you highlight from the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKspt58JbsM

214

NEW ZEALAND

Fast Facts
Capital

: Wellington

Dialing code

64

Population

4,405,200 (2011) World Bank

GDP

US$ 142.5 billion (2010) World Bank

National anthem

God Save the Queen, God Defend New Zealand

Currencies

New Zealand dollar, Cook Islands dollar

Map of New Zealand

Sufficient
apropriately
skilled and
qualited educators
are available
Resource
allocations
meet the
educational
needs for
all learners

Educational
experiences
promote the
achievement
of full human
potential

AVAILABILITY

Barriers to
education
are
eliminated

ACCESSIBILITY

Right to Education
Framework

Obstacles
preventing
progression
between levels
of education and
into meaningful
and rewarding
employmente are
eliminated

Effective precesses
ensure education
provision consistently
ADAPTABILITY ACCEPTABILITY
meets quality
education
standars
Educational
environments
are emotionally
Education
Those who intellectually, physically,
provision promotes
and culturally safe
work in
equitable
and nurturing
education
achievement
esperience
outcomes for all
good
learners
working
conditions

Education System in New Zealand

Tertiary

University and Colleges of


Education
Doctorate
Masters degree
Postgraduate diploma
Bachelors degree

Masters degree
Postgraduate diploma
Bachelors degree
Diploma
Certificate

Foundation
programmes

Teaching diploma

Institute of Technology,
Polytechnics and Private
Education Providers

Secondary
Ages 13-18

Year 13 NCEA Level 3


Year 12 NCEA Level 2
Year 11 NCEA Level 1
Year 10

Primary
Ages 5-12

Year 9

Year 1 - Year 8

Note: NCA = National Certificate


of Education Achievement

ew Zealand is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The


country geographically comprises two main landmasses that of the North and
South Islands and numerous smaller islands.
During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of both
animal and plant life. Most notable are the large number of unique bird species, many
of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and introduced mammals. With
a mild maritime climate, the land was mostly covered in forest. The countrynd and
volcanic eruptions caused by the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates clashing beneath
the earths surface.

Polynesians settled New Zealand in 12501300 CE and developed a distinctive


Mori culture, and Europeans first made contact in 1642 CE. The introduction of
potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among Mori early during the 19th century,
which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. In 1840 the British and Mori signed
a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers
increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars, which resulted
in much Mori land being confiscated in the mid North Island. Economic depressions
were followed by periods of political reform, with women gaining the vote during
the 1890s, and a welfare state being established from the 1930s. After World War II,
New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty,
although the United States later, until 2010, suspended the treaty after New Zealand
banned nuclear weapons. New Zealand is part of the intelligence sharing among the
Anglosphere countries, the UKUSA Agreement. New Zealanders enjoyed one of the
highest standards of living in the world in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a deep recession,
worsened by oil shocks and the United Kingdoms entry into the European Economic
Community. The country underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which
transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. Markets for
New Zealands agricultural exports have diversified greatly since the 1970s, with oncedominant exports of wool being overtaken by dairy products, meat, and recently wine.

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The majority of New Zealands population is of European descent; the indigenous


Mori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Mori Polynesians. English,
Mori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages, with English
predominant. Much of New Zealands culture is derived from Mori and early British
settlers. Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits
of Mori. A recent resurgence of Mori culture has seen their traditional arts of carving,
weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. Many artists now combine Mori
and Western techniques to create unique art forms. The countrys culture has also
been broadened by globalisation and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands
and Asia. New Zealands diverse landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor
pursuits and has provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.
New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for
local government purposes; these have less autonomy than the countrys long defunct
provinces did. Nationally, executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by
the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is the countrys head of state and is represented
by a Governor-General. The Queens Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a
dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association);
and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica. New
Zealand is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Commonwealth of
Nations, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands
Forum, and the United Nations.
New Zealand has been called Gods own country and the Paradise of the Pacific
since the early 1800s. Travellers generally agree New Zealand deserves this description.
6.1 HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK
6.1.1 Geography
New Zealand is a remote island country in the south-western Pacific, situated about
2,000 km south-east of Australia across the Tasman Sea. Its closest neighbours to the
north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga, with Antarctica to the south.
The country comprises two main islands the North and South islands and a
number of small islands. New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (selfgoverning but in free association); the island group of Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency
(New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica).
The countrys total area is 268,000 sq km, a little larger than the United Kingdom.
About two-thirds of the land is economically useful, the remainder being mountainous.
The climate throughout the country is mild and temperate, mainly maritime, with
temperatures rarely falling below 0C.

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The capital city is Wellington, located on the North Island.


6.1.2 History
Due to its geographical isolation, it is one of the most recently settled major countries.
James Cook did not reach New Zealand until 1769, and the British government did not
claim sovereignty until 1840.
The number of European settlers increased thereafter, causing conflict with the
indigenous population, the Maori. The conflict caused by European settlement and
their acquisition of land from the Maori remains controversial.
In 1907, the United Kingdom granted New Zealand dominion status within
the British Empire. Exactly when full independence was achieved from the United
Kingdom is argued among historians; however, New Zealand became an independent
British Commonwealth realm following the recognition of Queen Elizabeth II as head
of state.
New Zealands population is around 4.25m, with over 85% now living in urban
areas, of which the main areas are on North Island Auckland, the main industrial
complex; Hamilton; and Wellington. Christchurch, the second largest industrial area,
and Dunedin are on South Island.
By the late 1850s settlers outnumbered Maori, and 70% of New Zealands population
is now of European descent. Although the overwhelming majority of immigrants were
of British extraction, other Europeans came as well. The Maori are still the largest
minority at almost 8%, but Asians and non-Maori Pacific islanders are also significant
minority groups, especially in urban areas.
The most commonly spoken language is English, but Maori also remains an official
language.
Around 53% of New Zealanders profess to be Christian, but there is no state religion.
6.2 SOCIAL STRUCTURE
6.2.1 Ethnicity
Mori society has traditionally been one based on rank, which derived from ancestry
(whakapapa). Chiefs were invariably descended from other chiefs, although
chieftainship was not the exclusive right of the first born son of the previous chief. If he
did not show signs of leadership ability he would be passed over in favour of a brother
or other relative. In some tribes women could take on leadership roles, although this
was not usual. Women, lowly born men, and even people from other tribes were able
to achieve positions of considerable influence. Such people have included Princess Te
Puea Herang and kingmaker Wiremu Tamihana. Until the advent of Christianity it

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was normal for prisoners of war to be enslaved. Slaves had no rights and could be killed
at the will of their master. However their children were free members of the tribe.
Present-day Mori society is far less hierarchical than it traditionally was, although
it is still stratified by European standards. A disproportionate number of Mori MPs
come from chiefly families, for example. However, a number of lowly-born Mori have
achieved positions of considerable mana within their communities by virtue of their
achievements or learning.
The classless society
An egalitarian New Zealand was briefly realised in the decades after the 1936 Budget,
when successive governments sponsored a massive state housing programme.
Until about the 1980s it was claimed that New Zealand was a classless society.
Historian Keith Sinclair wrote in 1969 that although New Zealand was not a classless
society, it must be more nearly classless... than any advanced society in the world.
From the nineteenth century many visitors also made this claim, for example British
socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb. The evidence for this was the relatively small range
of wealth (that is, the wealthiest did not earn hugely more than the poorest earners),
lack of deference to authority figures, high levels of class mobility, a high standard of
working class living compared to Britain, progressive labour laws which protected
workers and encouraged unionism, and a welfare state which was developed in New
Zealand before most other countries. Also, during the post-WWII years, New Zealand
became an increasingly prosperous society, with the majority of New Zealanders coming
to attain an affluent lifestyle. As noted by the historian William Ball Sutch in 1966,

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Living standards rose in the post-war years through a combination of good prices for
exports, borrowing abroad, and the much greater use of internal resources made possible by full production. And as the New Zealand wage structure, taxation system, social
security benefits and family farmers combined to make the basic family income fairly
high, a higher proportion of people in New Zealand shared the increased amount of
goods and services than would have been the case in any other country. This is why
most New Zealand families have good housing and extensive durable goods, including
a motor-car.

Recently James Belich has argued that most of this is not evidence of an absence of
class but rather of the relatively high status and standard of living of the working class
in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Unlike in Britain at this time, New
Zealand working-class people could regularly eat meat, own their own homes, and own
horses (and later cars), while still being working class. Until the advent of compulsory
secondary education in the 1930s, class mobility was limited, although much less so than
in Britain.
It has also been argued that in New Zealand race takes the place of class, with
Mori and other Polynesians earning less, having a lower standard of living and less
education, and working in lower status jobs than people of European descent. They also
face prejudice akin to that facing working-class people in many European countries.
New Zealanders egalitarianism has been criticized by whom? as discouraging
and denigrating ambition and individual achievement and success a phenomenon
known colloquially as Tall Poppy Syndrome. New Zealanders tend to value modesty
and distrust those who talk about their own merits. They especially dislike anyone
who seems to consider themselves better than others even if the person in question is
demonstrably more talented or successful than others. It is partly for this reason that
mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary is so admired in New Zealand; despite being the
first person to climb Mount Everest he was always very modest. Extreme humility was
arguably partly responsible for the early death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk, who
may have survived his various health problems had he used his status to get preferential
treatment from the public health system, or used private healthcare.
New Zealands claims to be a classless society were dealt a fatal blow in the 1980s
and 1990s by the economic reforms of the fourth Labour government and its successor,
the fourth National government. The reforms made by these governments severely
weakened the power of unions, removed a lot of protection from workers, cut social
welfare benefits and made state housing less affordable. Over the period of these reforms,
the gap between rich and poor New Zealanders has increased dramatically,with the
incomes of the richest 10% of New Zealanders advancing while the other 90% stayed
largely static. In addition the number of New Zealanders living in poverty is much
higher than in the 1970s. In an article entitled Countries with the Biggest Gaps Between
Rich and Poor, BusinessWeek ranked New Zealand at 6th in the world:

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The U.N. Development Program recently came out with a report looking, among
other things, at income inequality worldwide... According to the OECD, New Zealand
had the biggest rise in inequality among member nations in the two decades starting in
the mid-1980s.

However although wealth is much more unevenly distributed than previously,


New Zealand still lacks most of the overt signals of class which mark countries such as
Britain. Most people do not care what others parents do for a living, who a person is
descended from, or where they went to school, and New Zealanders almost invariably
have more respect for those who have earned their money through hard work than
those who have inherited it or made it through investment.
The trend of greater social disparity has also seen a change in attitudes. Younger
New Zealanders increasingly accept inequality as an unavoidable social reality, and
egalitarian concerns are less popular.
New Zealand Brain Drain
Since approximately 1999, data has consistently shown a pattern indicating that
University graduates of New Zealand are choosing to live and work abroad more
often. Studies suggest that around 25% of kiwi graduates will choose to emigrate upon
graduation, usually selecting Australia, the UK or Canada as their new home.
This has been a troubling phenomenon to all sitting governments and one which
becomes hotly debated leading up to the nations elections.
Measures of social class
In 1972 Elley and Irving published Socioeconomic Status in New Zealand, which
became one of the most cited papers in New Zealand social sciences. They outlined a
socioeconomic index, now known as Elley-Irving (E-I), based on 1966 Census data. E-I
proposed six social strata based upon education and income, and grouped by occupation.
The publication of the scale was welcomed by many researchers but regarded with suspicion by a number of lay critics who presumably clung to the belief that New Zealand
was still a classless society. One newspaper headlined the production of a snobbery
scale. Such characterizations, and the numerous critics who misinterpreted its intentions, no doubt added to the frequency of its citing, but it is true that many researchers
have made appropriate use of it for its original purpose. It is cited often because it is a
useful tool
Warwick B. Elley.

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6.2.2 Religion
New Zealands religious history after the arrival of the Europeans was characterised by
substantial missionary activities (with Mori conversions to Christian faith generally
being voluntarily, unlike some missionary work in previous centuries in other parts of
the world) as well as by the new immigrants bringing their particular Christian faiths
with them.
The religious climate of early New Zealand was influenced by voluntarism.
Whereas in Britain, the Anglican Church was an established state church, by the middle
of the 19th century even the Anglicans themselves sometimes doubted this arrangement,
while the other major denominations of the new colony (Presbyterians, Methodist and
Catholics) obviously preferred that the local set up allowed for all their groups.
Initial religious distribution was heavily influenced by the fact that local communities
were still small and often came from comparatively small regions in the origin countries
in Great Britain. As a result, by the time of the 1921 census, no uniform distribution
existed amongst the Non-Mori Christian, with Presbyterians being the dominant
group in Otago and Southland, Anglicans in the Far North, the East Cape and various
other areas including the Banks Peninsula, while Methodists flourished mainly in the
Taranaki and Manawatu.
Catholicism meanwhile was the dominant religion on the West Coast with its
many mining concerns, and in Central Otago. The Catholic Church, while not being
particularly dominant in terms of pure numbers, became especially known throughout
the country in the early and middle 20th century for its strong stance on education,
establishing large numbers of schools.

Native greeting

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6.2.3 main Social Issues


Differences in health outcomes for Pacific peoples (and other ethnic groups) are due to a
complicated combination of factors, including socio-economic inequality, access to and
quality of health care, and health risk factors such as tobacco, diet, and other lifestyle
factors (Blakely, 2007)
Maori and Pacific communities being over represented in negative statistics,
such as crime, and teen pregnancy, etc.
Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment.
Economic and social inequality.
Crime rates are fairly high.
Obesity, NZ has a very high obesity rate in comparison with the rest of the
OECD.
Binge drinking culture.
The National Childrens Nutrition Survey conducted in 2002 found that Pacific
children were the least likely to bring their food from home to school, and most likely
to buy it from a canteen, shop, or takeaway.
Pacific children had a lower mean energy intake than Mori children (but higher
than European children), and derived a higher portion of their energy intake from fat.
The proportion of fat intake increased with a decrease in family resources.
The New Zealand Health Survey 2006/07 found that Pacific children aged 214
years, compared with the overall New Zealand population, were less likely to have
eaten breakfast at home every day, more likely to have consumed three or more fizzy
drinks in the last week, and more likely to have eaten fast food at least three times in
the previous week.
Source: Ministry of Health, 2008a; Utter, Scragg, Schaaf, & Fitzgerald, 2006.
6.3. Political structure

6.3.1 Goverment
New Zealand has a long-established democracy and a very stable political environment.
Elections are held every 3 years in a mixed member proportional representation
(MMP) system. 120 MPs represent a particular geographical area (their electorate).
Parliament buildings are in Wellington. Members of the public may walk in the
grounds and tour the buildings. There is a public gallery from which you can observe
the debates, which are also broadcast on the radio.

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Legal system
New Zealand doesnt have a written constitution but functions on traditions inherited
from Britain. Power is distributed between the legislature (parliament), the judiciary
(courts) and the executive (government departments, local bodies and the ruling party)
so no branch of government has too much power.
A Governor General represents the Queen. The Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement
signed by representatives of Maori tribes and the British Crown in 1840, is regarded by
many as a founding document for modern New Zealand society.
Privacy laws
New Zealand has privacy and official information laws that regulate the collection,
holding, use and disclosure of personal data. Information about you cannot be given out
without your permission.
Police
New Zealand police have a reputation for being approachable, reliable, and free of
corruption. You have the right to a professional interpreter if you have to go to court or
are questioned by the police.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry develops and maintains education policy, curriculum and funding of New
Zealand education in close partnership with other government agencies and education
sector bodies. The Ministry developed the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of
International Students.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The main role of NZQA is to assure the quality of programmes offered by state and
private institutions in New Zealand.
Head of State
Queen Elizabeth II is the current Queen of New
Zealand and the Realm of New Zealands head of
state. The New Zealand monarchy has been distinct
from the British monarchy since the Statute of
Westminster Adoption Act 1947, and all Elizabeth
IIs official business in New Zealand is conducted
in the name of the Queen of New Zealand, not
the Queen of the United Kingdom. While Royal
Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to
enact laws, letters patent, and Orders in Council,

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the authority for these acts stems from the New Zealand populace. In practice, the
functions of the monarchy are conducted by the Governor-General, appointed by the
monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister. As of 2011, the Governor-General is Sir
Jerry Mateparae. The Governor-Generals powers are primarily symbolic and formal
in nature. The Governor-General formally has the power to appoint and dismiss Prime
Ministers and to dissolve Parliament; and also formally signs legislation into law after
passage by Parliament. The Governor-General chairs the Executive Council, which is
a formal committee consisting of all ministers of the Crown. Members of the Executive
Council are required to be Members of Parliament, and most are also in Cabinet.
Head of Government
John Key, MP, Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the National Party.
Cabinet is the most senior policy-making body and is led by the Prime Minister,
who is also, by convention, the Parliamentary leader of the governing party or coalition,
and is known as the head of government. The New Zealand Cabinet is responsible
to the Parliament of New Zealand, from which its members are derived. All Cabinet
Ministers must be Members of Parliament (MPs) and are collectively responsible to it.
General elections are held every three years, with the last one in 2011 and the next
one not later than early 2015. National won the 2008 election ending nine years of
Labour led Government. National leader John Key formed a minority government,
negotiating agreements with the ACT party, the United Future party and the Mori
Party. The leaders of each of these parties hold ministerial posts but remain outside of
Cabinet. There are currently four parties in Opposition; the Labour Party, the Green
Party, New Zealand First and the Mana Party. The Leader of the Opposition is David
Shearer, who replaced Phil Goff as leader of the Labour Party.

6.3.2 Education
There are two phrases that call our attention from the educational point of view: These
two phrases reflect what this ministry of education from New Zealand tries to achieve:
1. Building a world-leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with
the knowledge, skills, and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century.
2. Not a provider of Education, the purpose is support and facilitative rather tan a
directive.
What is the right to education?
Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realising
other human rights. Education is essential for the development of human potential, the
enjoyment of the full range of human rights and respect for the rights of others.

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It is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalised adults and
children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in
their communities. Throughout the world, education is seen as one of the best financial
investments that a State can make. The importance of education is not just practical. A
well-educated, enlightened and active mind, able to wander freely and widely, is one of
the joys and rewards of human existence (UN Economic & Social Council, 1999).
The right to education straddles civil and political rights, and economic, social and
cultural rights. Core elements of the right to education, as specified in international
treaties, include:
Entitlement to free and compulsory primary education.
Availability of different forms of secondary education.
Access to higher education on the basis of capacity and on non-discriminatory
terms.
Availability of accessible educational and vocational information.
Measures developed by the State to ensure full participation in education.
Availability of some form of basic education for those who may not have
received or completed primary education.
Protection and improvement of conditions for teachers.
Respect for the right of parents/legal guardians to choose for their children schools
other than those established and funded by the State, and to ensure the religious and
moral education of their children conforms with their own convictions.
Respect for academic freedom and institutional autonomy. This includes the
freedom of, and accompanying obligations on, individuals to express opinions about the
institution or system in which they work, to fulfil their functions without discrimination
or fear of sanction, and to participate in professional or representative academic bodies.
Katarina Toma s evski , United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to
education, proposes a set of four broad standards (the 4-A scheme) as the basis for
assessing the achievement of the right to education. The standards include:
availability: ensuring free and compulsory education for all children and respect
for parental choice of their childs education
accessibility: eliminating discrimination of access to education as mandated by
international law
acceptability: focusing on the quality of education and its conformity to
minimum human rights standards

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adaptability: ensuring that education responds and adapts to the best interest
and benefit of the learner in their current and future contexts.
These standards have been adapted for use in the New Zealand context in the form
of a Right to Education Framework, He Whare Tpapa Mtauranga.
The right to education involves three key factors: the Government as the regulator,
provider and funder of schooling; the student as the bearer of the right to education and
the duty to comply with compulsory education requirements; and the childs parents,
who are the first educators ( Toma s evski & UNESCO, 2004).
The right to education is not specifically stated in New Zealand law, but it is reflected
in the Education Act 1964, the Education Act 1989, the Education Standards Act
2001 (an amendment to the Education Act 1989), and the Private Schools Conditional
Integration Act 1975. The Education Standards Act responds directly to the Human
Rights Act 1993 by ensuring compliance with human rights standards particularly
in areas of gender, marital status and disability. Education policy and administrative
practice further supplement the realisation of this right. The Human Rights Act 1993
states specifically that it is unlawful to discriminate in the area of access to educational
institutions.
The education system in New Zealand is made up of compulsory and noncompulsory sectors. In both sectors education can be funded by the State, funded
privately or funded through a combination of both.
Compulsory education sector
Education is compulsory for all children aged between six and 16 years, although in
practice most children begin school on their fifth birthday.
Primary schools: are the first level of compulsory schooling. They cater for children
from the age of five years (Year 1) to the end of their 8th year of schooling.
Intermediate schools: children in their 7th and 8th years of schooling may be in a
separate intermediate school or in part of a full primary, secondary or composite/area
school.
Secondary schools: usually provide for students from Year 9 until the end of Year
15, although some take children from Year 7.
Area or composite schools , which are usually based in rural areas, combine primary,
intermediate and secondary schooling at one location.
Kura Kaupapa Mori schools provide immersion programmes in te reo and tikanga
Maori for children aged between five and 18 years.

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Students with physical or other disabilities may enrol either at regular schools
or at a special school. The Government currently funds extra teaching, specialist
programming, therapy and educational support for up to 7,000 children.
Home schooling is possible for those who prefer it, on the condition that the
standard of education is similar to that available in a registered school.
The Correspondence School provides education for students who are unable to
attend a school because of, for example, location, illness, disability or exclusion.
Teen Parent Units (TPUs) provide the opportunity for second chance education for
teens who have had to opt out of their schooling early due to pregnancy and parenthood.
Non-compulsory education sector
Early childhood education (ECE) services include childcare centres, home-based
services, kindergartens, kohanga reo, Pacific language nests, Deaf nests, playcentres,
playgroups, distance early childhood education, and support and development
programmes for parents.
Tertiary education providers offer qualifications that are assessed by quality approval
bodies, such as the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or the New Zealand ViceChancellors Committee. These providers are eligible to apply for government funding.
There are currently 36 public tertiary education institutions (TEIs), including eight
universities, 21 institutes of technology and polytechnics, four colleges of education, and
three wananga (Maori indigenous tertiary education institutions). In 2002, students at
TEIs represented 83 percent of the total number of formally enrolled tertiary students.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority also has also registered 46 industry training
organisations and approximately 915 private training establishments, including private
English language schools.
Adult and community education includes non-qualification-based programmes
that are offered through schools, tertiary institutions and NGOs. Life-long learning
opportunities that may be credited towards a qualification are also offered by the public
and private sector, and include predominately on-the-job vocational training.
Of children who participated in early childhood education at 1 July 2002 , 68
percent were European, 18.7 percent were Maori, and 6.5 percent were Pacific peoples
(MoE, 2003a). Table 1 shows the proportion of each group enrolled in early childhood
education, compared to population figures.
Of the three quarters of New Zealanders aged 15 years and over, 2.5 million (65.4
percent of the total population) were 15-64 years old. Of this group, 13.2 percent were in
tertiary study at some time during 2001 (NZ Census 2001). A total of 0.46 million New
Zealanders (11.6 percent) were over 65 years.

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Within population groups, Maori had a higher overall participation rate in tertiary
education than non-Maori (18.9 percent of Maori compared to 12.4 percent of nonMaori). Pacific students made up nearly four percent of the total student population.
Maori, however, participated at over twice the rate of non-Maori in study for a
qualification of less than degree level.
Females participated at a higher rate than males across all age groups and provider
types for both Maori and non-Maori students (including Pacific and Asian).
About one in five students in 2001 studied extramurally. Part-time enrolments
were increasing, particularly among females and Maori.
UNIVERSITIES IN NEW ZEALAND
University education was established in New Zealand in 1870 and has a similar
tradition to the British university system. There are eight state-funded universities in
New Zealand, all of them internationally respected for their academic and research
performance: In addition to a centrally co-ordinated system of quality assurance audits
at both institution and programme level, each university undertakes internal quality
checks. All New Zealand universities offer a broad range of subjects in Arts, Commerce
and Science.
POLYTECHNICS IN NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Polytechnics, and Institutes of Technology, are state funded and provide
education and training at all levels ranging from introductory studies through to full
degree programmes. A few of them offer PG programmes as well. Polytechnics and
Institutes of Technology are efficient tertiary providers offering programmes which
can be both academically and vocationally focused. Due to their active engagement
with industry, employers and government agencies they provide programmes which
are of a high academic standard and are relevant to the rapidly changing workforce on a
global basis. Polytechnics offer diverse courses like Arts and Design, Travel & Tourism,
Hospitality etc.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDY IN NEW ZEALAND
At most New Zealand universities the course of study for a bachelors degree consists
of a prescribed number of unit, papers or courses. In each subject there are usually
first-year (stage 1 or 100 - level), second year (stage 2 or 200 level) and third-year (stage
3 or 300 level) courses. A second year course may be commenced only after prescribed
passes in the subject at stage 1 and a third-year course only after required passes in
the subject at stage 2. In each subject the student is required to attend a given number
of lectures, tutorials and/or laboratory periods per week. In some courses field trips
provide opportunities for on-site study of natural phenomena or social processes. These
learning contacts are supplemented by personal reading and research.

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POST GRADUATE STUDY IN NEW ZEALAND


The first degree a student is able to gain in New Zealand is as elsewhere, a Bachelors
degree. With a completed Bachelors degree, a graduate may be able to go on to a
Masters degree. These degrees may be awarded with Honours, an indication both of
the challenge the course presents and of the students achievement in it.
Postgraduate Diploma
A one-years full-time study, designed for graduates, which builds on the subject matter
in the academic field of the previous degree.
Graduate Diploma
A one-year, full-time course of study for graduates. It does not always require its
students to have prior learning or experience in the subject matter of the diploma.
Masters Degree
The Masters degree is open to those who have completed a Bachelors degree. The
course of study is usually of one or two years full-time study or its equivalent in parttime study. The work required normally builds upon the prior knowledge gained in
the major part of the Bachelors degree, and most or all of it is in that discipline. It is
at a more advanced level. That is normally reflected in the content of the work; in the
mode of teaching which is likely to emphasise seminar presentation; and in provision
of research experience for the candidate. A thesis component, and in some cases,
particularly those which are taken after a four-year Bachelor (Honours) course, the
degrees may be thesis-only. However increasingly Masters degrees by papers, or papers
plus research, are becoming available. The successful student is expected to show, as
the title implies, a real grasp of the subject, demonstrated by an understanding of the
discipline, a capacity to reflect upon it, and an ability to undertake research into it.
6.3.4 HEALTH SYSTEM
The Minister of Health (with Cabinet and the government) develops policy for the
health and disability sector and provides leadership. The Minister is supported by the
Ministry of Health and its business units, and advised by the Ministry, the National
Health Board, Health Workforce New Zealand, the National Health Committee, and
other ministerial advisory committees.
Most of the day-to-day business of the system, and around three quarters of the
funding, is administered by district health boards (DHBs). DHBs plan, manage, provide
and purchase health services for the population of their district to ensure services are
arranged effectively and efficiently for all of New Zealand. This includes funding for
primary care, hospital services, public health services, aged care services, and services

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provided by other non-government health providers including Mori and Pacific


providers.
mportant roles in providing services and ensuring efficiency and quality are
undertaken by public health units, primary health organisations, non-government
organisations, Crown entities, health professionals, and professional and regulatory
bodies for all health professionals including all medical and surgical specialist areas,
nurses and allied health groups.
There is a range of educational and research institutions involved in the provision
of services and training of the workforce. There are also many consumer bodies and
non-government organisations that provide services and advocacy for the interests
of different groups, and more formal advocacy and inquiry boards, committees and
entities.
The Ministry of Health has a range of roles in the system in addition to being the
principal advisor and support to the Minister. It funds a range of national services,
including disability support and public health services, and has a number of regulatory
functions.
Accident services are funded by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
This network of organisations is linked through a series of funding and
accountability arrangements to ensure performance and service delivery across the
health and disability system.
6.4 CULTURAL aspect
We would like to start with one of the most recent ways of sharing and communicating:
6.4.1 Media (Blogosphere)
New Zealands blogosphere is a small community of around 600 blogs that comment on
New Zealand politics, society and occurrences. One list of over 200 author-operated,
public discourse blogs in New Zealand (ranked according to traffic, links incoming,
posting frequency and comments) suggests New Zealand blogs cover a wide range of
ideological positions but a lack female contributors. Some personal blogs have been
around since the mid 1990s, but there are now blogs about cities, science, law and
fashion magazines. Political bloggers include current and former party apparatchiks
such as David Farrar (Kiwiblog), Jordan Carter, Peter Cresswell and Trevor Loudon,
and journalists and commentators such as Russell Brown.
New Zealand politicians and political groups operate blogs which, unlike
overseas counterparts, allow comments. The former ACT party leader Rodney Hide
often comments from within the House of Representatives and Craig Foss operates

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a personal blog. The Green Party expand on party press releases, and Labour MPs
discuss policy and Parliamentary business. Blogging is a central campaigning tool for
many political lobbying groups. A 2007 New Zealand Herald article by Bill Ralston
described political bloggers as being potentially the most powerful opinion makers
in New Zealand politics. A few weeks earlier the National Business Review had stated
that, Any realistic power list produced in this country would include either [David]
Farrar or his fellow blogger and opinion leader Russell Brown. And in 2008 The Press
said that years election could be the time when New Zealands burgeoning political
bloggers finally make their presence felt. The article saw the increasing influence
of the Internet (as opposed to television and radio) on peoples lives and the number
of professional journalists now maintaining blogs as the reason for the blogospheres
increased significance, alongside the fact that unlike newspapers blogs can link directly
to facts and sources. The blogosphere has also make an impart on parliament Russell
Brown is quoted as saying, Every now and then you see a line from the blog turn up
in a parliamentary speech and in December 2007 then prime minister Helen Clark
accused political journalists of rushing to judgment on their blogs
Television
Television in New Zealand was introduced in 1960. Provision was first made for the
licensing of private radio and television stations in New Zealand by the Broadcasting
Act 1976. In addition to a legacy analogue network, there are three forms of broadcast
digital television: satellite services provided nationwide by Freeview and Sky, a
terrestrial service provided in the main centres by Freeview, and a cable service provided
in Wellington and Christchurch by TelstraClear. There are currently 11 national
free-to-air channels, 22 regional free-to-air stations and several pay TV networks.
Programming and scheduling is done in Auckland where all the major networks are
now headquartered.
The first nationwide digital TV service was launched in December 1998 by
SKY TV, who had a monopoly on digital satellite TV until the launch of Freeviews
nationwide digital Satellite service in May 2007. The Freeview terrestrial service,
named Freeview|HD is a high definition digital terrestrial television service launched
on 14 April 2008. The service currently serves areas surrounding Auckland, Hamilton,
Tauranga, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, and
Dunedin. Digital cable television currently operates in Wellington and Christchurch
on TelstraClears cable TV system. High Definition programming is available from
Freeview on terrestrial broadcast only and on SKY TV through the MY SKY HDi
decoder. Only a limited range of channels are available in High Definition.
Radio
Professor Robert Jack made the first broadcast in New Zealand from the University
of Otago physics department on 17 November 1921. The first radio station, Radio

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Dunedin, began broadcasting on 4 October 1922, but it was only in 1925 that the
Radio Broadcasting Company (RBC) began broadcasts throughout New Zealand. In
1932, its assets were acquired by the government, which established the New Zealand
Broadcasting Board (NZBB). This would later be replaced by the New Zealand
National Broadcasting Service (NBS) and the National Commercial Broadcasting
Service (NCBS). In the 1950s, these merged to become the New Zealand Broadcasting
Service (NZBS), a government department. In 1962, this gave way to the New Zealand
Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC), an independent public body modelled on the BBC
in the UK.
Until the 1980s, stations used a series of call signs, consisting of a single digit and
two letters (see left). In addition to YA National programme stations, YC Concert
programme stations and a limited number of privately owned X stations, several
stations were operated commercially by the government. In each region, the largest
city was assigned a ZB station (1ZB Auckland, 2ZB Wellington, 3ZB Christchurch and
4ZB Dunedin) and a ZM music station (1ZM Auckland, 2ZM Wellington and 3ZM
Christchurch). The Newstalk ZB and ZM brands continue to be used by The Radio
Network. The second largest city was assigned a ZA station: 1ZA in Taupo, 2ZA in
Palmerston North, 3ZA in Greymouth and 4ZA in Invercargill. In other towns and
cities the final letter was assigned from the town or city name such as 4ZG in Gore
and 1ZH in Hamilton. These ZA and other stations, also now owned by The Radio
Network, have been rebranded as Classic Hits. 1YA, 2YK, 3AQ, 4YA were the first
stations operating in the countrys four main cities, and 5ZB was a mobile radio station
broadcast in railway carriages during the 1940s.
FM broadcasting
The United Kingdom and New Zealand until recently shared an FM broadcasting
allocation of 88.0 105.0 MHz. This smaller allocation (less than 20 MHz [i.e.: 88
MHz 108 MHz], typical of FM in the rest of the world) can be traced to the 405
line systems VHF allocation block. The UK adopted the 405 line system but NZ
did not. NZs allocation for FM remained smaller as if NZ had adopted the 405 line
system. New Zealand considered adopting the 405 line system in the late 1950s to early
1960s but adopted PAL instead. This impacted the frequency allocation block for FM
broadcasting making it smaller. New Zealands FM frequency allocation issue was not
fixed until the late 1990s, when the band was expanded to the full 20 MHz. Both New
Zealand and the United Kingdom have the standard global allocation of 88.0 108.0
for FM now. NZ permits Radio Data System subcarriers, but their adoption is not
universal. Radio NZ uses RDS for its FM network, but commercial radios adoption of
the technology is not universal.
The very first station to broadcast on FM in New Zealand was a temporary station
in Whakatane called FM 90.7. The station ran from the 5 January 1982 until the 31

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January 1982. The very first permanent station in New Zealand to broadcast on FM
was Magic 91FM in Auckland broadcasting on 91.0FM followed by 89 Stereo FM
broadcasting on 89.4FM. Both stations are no longer in operation; Magic 91 is the local
Auckland frequency for ZM and 89 Stereo FM today broadcasts a simulcasted FM
version of Newstalk ZB. Radio New Zealand started broadcasting on FM in the early
1980s and most networks now broadcast on FM.
NEWSPAPERS
Mori in New Zealand had non-literate culture before contact with the Europeans in
the early 19th century, but oratory recitation of quasi-historical and hagiographical
ancestral blood lines was central to the culture; oral traditions were first published
when early 19th century Christian missionaries developed a written form of the Maori
language to publish Bibles. The literature of New Zealand includes many works
written in English and Maori by New Zealanders and migrants during the 20th and 21st
centuries. Novelists include Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt and Maurice Gee; childrens
authors include Margaret Mahy. Keri Hulme won the Booker Prize for The Bone
People; Witi Ihimaeras novel Whale Rider, which dealt with Maori life in the modern
world, became a Nikki Caro film. Migrant writers include South African-born Robin
Hyde; expatriate writers like Dan Davin and Katherine Mansfield often wrote about
the country. Samuel Butler stayed in New Zealand and set his novel Erewhon in the
country. Karl Wolfskehl prepared works of German literature during a sojourn in
Auckland. New Zealands lively community of playwrights, supported by Playmarket,
include Roger Hall.
The number of newspapers in New Zealand has dramatically reduced since
the early 20th century as a consequence of radio, television and new media being
introduced to the country. Aucklands New Zealand Herald is the countrys national
newspaper and serves the upper North Island, Wellingtons The Dominion Post serves
the lower North Island and Canterburys The Press and Otago Daily Times serve the
South Island. Provincial and community newspapers, such as the Waikato Times daily,
serve particular regions, cities and suburbs. Ownership of New Zealand newspapers
is dominated by Fairfax New Zealand and APN News & Media with Fairfax having
48.6% of the daily newspaper circulation. Local and overseas tabloids and magazines
cover food, current affairs, personal affairs, gardening and home decor, personal affairs
and business or appeal to gay, lesbian, ethnic and rural communities.
Film
The New Zealand film industry is small but successful, boasting directors such as Peter
Jackson and Jane Campion. The cinema of New Zealand includes many films made in
New Zealand, made about New Zealand or made by New Zealand-based production
companies. Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings film trilogy was produced and filmed
in New Zealand, and animation and photography for James Camerons Avatar was

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primarily done in New Zealand; both films are among the highest grossing movies of
all time. The New Zealand Film Commission funds films with New Zealand content.
Mainstream American, British and Australian films screen in theatres in most cities
and towns. Some arthouse films and foreign language films reach cinemas, including
weekly Bollywood screenings in many city cinemas. Asian films, particularly from
India, China, Hong Kong and Japan, are widely available for rental on videocassette,
DVD and similar media, especially in Auckland.
6.4.2 ArtS
Charcoal drawings can be found on limestone rock shelters in the centre of the South
Island, with over 500 sites stretching from Kaikoura to North Otago. The drawings
are estimated to be between 500 and 800 years old, and portray animals, people and
fantastic creatures, possibly stylised reptiles. Some of the birds pictured are long extinct,
including moa and Haasts eagles. They were drawn by early Mori, but by the time
Europeans arrived, local inhabitants did not know the origins of the drawings.
Mori visual art consists primarily of four forms: carving, tattooing (ta moko),
weaving and painting. It was rare for any of these to be purely decorative; traditional
Mori art was highly spiritual and in a pre-literate society conveyed information about
spiritual matters, ancestry, and other culturally important topics. The creation of art
was governed by the rules of tapu. Styles varied from region to region: the style now
sometimes seen as typical in fact originates from Te Arawa, who maintained a strong
continuity in their artistic traditions thanks partly to early engagement with the tourist
industry. Most traditional Mori art was highly stylised and featured motifs such as the
spiral, the chevron and the koru. The colours black, white and red dominated.
Carving
Carving was done in three media: wood, bone, and stone. Arguably ta moko was
another form of carving. Wood carvings were used to decorate houses, fencepoles,
containers, taiaha and other objects. The most popular type of stone used in carving
was pounamu (greenstone), a form of jade, but other kinds were also used, especially
in the North Island, where pounamu was not widely available. Both stone and bone
were used to create jewelry such as the hei-tiki. Large scale stone face carvings were
also sometimes created. The introduction of metal tools by Europeans allowed more
intricacy and delicacy, and caused stone and bone fish hooks and other tools to become
purely decorative. Carving is traditionally a tapu activity performed by men only.
A master carver was highly considered. The belief was that the gods created and
communicated through the master carvers.
They differed from other Polynesians in that they preferred curves to straight lines
in much of their carvings. Many carvings take the distinctive koru spiral form.

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The koru. form represents the basis of the red, white and black rafter patterns. This
pattern is repeated with their weapons.

The large carved meeting house (whare runanga) was usually named after an
important ancestor and, in most parts of the country, was a symbol of that ancestor.
The front of a carved house has at the apex of the gable a large carved head with no
part of the body visible.
Wood, bone and Greenstone (jade) carving was both an art and a necessity,
providing the tools in which to catch, propagate and prepare food.
With the growing need to protect property and possessions, these skills lead to the
design and implementation of Maori weapons for close quarter fighting.
Abundance of timber in the new land allowed for the transition of making small
outrigger canoes to large single elaborately decorated ones.
Canoes, storehouses, dwellings, village fortifications, weapons, domestic bowls, and
working equipment were basically made of wood.

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Weaving of baskets, floor mats, skirts and cloaks used flax of which there are
more than fifty different varieties in New Zealand and each had its own advantages of
respective use.
Tattoos a traditional Polynesian art, was initially restricted to the face of both men
and women of the noble classes, however this has progressed to include any part of the
body.
The symbols that represent ancestors and Gods are different from and sacred to the
respective tribes and families.
A Maori saying, he iti toki, e, rite ana ki te tangata ( though the adze be small, yet
does it equal a man), reflects the pre-eminence of stone adzes and chisels among their
tools.
Ta moko
Ta moko is the art of traditional Mori tattooing, done with a chisel. Men were tattooed
on many parts of their bodies, including faces, buttocks and thighs. Women were usually
tattooed only on the lips and chin. Moko conveyed a persons ancestry. The art declined
in the 19th century following the introduction of Christianity, but in recent decades has
undergone a revival. Although modern moko are in traditional styles, most are carried
out using modern equipment. Body parts such as the arms, legs and back are popular
locations for modern moko, although some are still on the face.
Weaving
Weaving was used to create numerous things, including wall panels in meeting houses
and other important buildings, as well as clothing and bags (kete). While many of these
were purely functional, others were true works of art taking hundreds of hours to
complete, and often given as gifts to important people. Cloaks in particular could be
decorated with feathers and were the mark of an important chief. In pre-European
times the main medium for weaving was flax, but following the arrival of Europeans
cotton, wool and other textiles were also used, especially in clothing. The extinction and
endangerment of many New Zealand birds has made the feather cloak a more difficult
item to produce. Weaving was primarily done by women.
Painting
Although the oldest forms of Mori art are rock paintings, in classical Mori art,
painting was not an important art form. It was mainly used as a minor decoration in
meeting houses, in stylised forms such as the koru. Europeans introduced Mori to their
more figurative style of art, and in the 19th century less stylised depictions of people and
plants began to appear on the walls of meeting houses in place of traditional carvings and

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woven panels. The introduction of European paints also allowed traditional painting to
flourish, as brighter and more distinct colours could be produced.

ACTIVITIES
1. Write a profile of the culture of Maoris from New Zealand
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CNQZCF9yfE
2. What is a constitutional monarchy?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xylwpqE-72U
3. Watch the video and prepare an information poster about the media in NZ.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2W0v7UPnsY

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Bibliography
American Culture, an anthology , 2nd edition, Edited by Anders Breidlid
America. The story of US, Kevin Baker
American Cultural Studies, Neil Campbell and Alasdair Kean
American Civilization, An introduction, by David Mauk and John Oakland
A different Mirror, Ronald Takaki
The American Kaleidoscope, Race, Ethnicity sand the Civic Culture, Lawrence
H. Fuchs,Edit Wesleyan New England,1990
Reclainig Dine History, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, the Univerisity of Arizona
press, 2007
An Amish Patchwork, Thomas Meyers and Steven M. Nolt, Indiana University
press,2005
Unequal Democracy, Larry M. Bartels,Princeton University press,2008
American Grace,Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell,Simon and
Schuster,2010
U.S.A. History in Brief-The Learner English Series,U.S. Department of State,
2010
British Greats- John Mitchinson, Cassell Illustrated (2 Nov 2000)
Frommers Australia, Lee Atkinson, Ron Crittall, Marc Llewellyn and Lee
Mylne (Feb 1, 2012)
Canada Country Travel guide, Karla Zimmerman and Ryan Ver Berkmoes,
Lonely Planet,2011

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