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История L.The UNESCO
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National character

I. Canada resembles a garden where people of every race, creed and colour live. That's why multiculturalism is an important feature of its society. And it is precisely for this reason that Canadian identity is very difficult to describe or explain.

It may seem that Canada lacks its own national identity at all. Some people claim that Canadians do not differ much from Americans. And, to some extent, it is true. They are very American. However, they bristle when they are taken for Americans. They worry about preserving their own identity and tend to consolidate as a nation. And, of course, they have their own character and ideals.

Canadians are more open, curious and perceptive compared with other cultures. They display tendency toward non-violence and tolerance of others. Being peace-loving by nature and living in democracy and prosperity, Canadians encourage immigrants.

Many people think them to be rather conservative and reserved. They may also be a bit skeptical and hard-nosed. But they work hard and respect their institutions — both state and church. And they are warm- hearted and extremely courteous people. According to the sociologists, Canadians arc more polite, when they are being rude, than Americans arc, when they arc being polite.

Hockey is surely the most Canadian of metaphors and the history of Canadians. The game reflects the reality of Canada in its evolution, ambitions, character and partnership.

Lacking their exact national metaphor, Canadians have sought to define themselves by what they aré not. Not the Americans, not the British. Not warlike, not arrogant, but certainly Canadians.

Two hundred years of immigration has made Australia a very colourful and multicultural society, represented by the settlers from 200 countries of the world. Today Australia is one of the most cosmopolitan countries on the Earth, with increasing diversity of population and dynamic interaction between the ethnic groups.

Migrations strengthened and enriched the country people character. However, the Aboriginal heritage and influence are also very great. The Australians feel pride of their country. They are known as the warm, broad-minded and laconic people. Their character may involve such words as: courage, compassion, determination and endurance.

Equality among people occurred particularly in the native-born Australians that are called "currency lads and lasses". As to various immigrants, they are known as "new chums".

The young are interested in their place in the world, their history and culture. And this shapes their ideals, their national identity and their future too. "His blood is worth bottling" is the highest praise with the Australians.

Almost all Australians enjoy picnics and barbecues all the year round. For many of them sport is one of the main things in their life. Fishing is an extremely popular pastime with them too.

New Zealand has a unique and dynamic culture. Due to large numbers of immigrants, the country population is very diverse. Being isolated from the rest of the world, New Zealanders have devised their own practical solutions to the problems that arise.

The country people have developed the feeling of their national identity as a Pacific nation of both British and Polynesian heritage. The influence of Maori and the North American cultures is also very great.

The isolated location and rugged landscapes made many of the country people brave and independent, resourceful and self-reliant. They also have a background of quiet but Rigged individualism and a genius for invention. All these uniting features greatly contributed to their national character.

New Zealanders are often called "Kiwis", because this unusual bird is the symbol of this country and its people. To many Kiwis or New Zealanders mateship (loyalty to friends and comrades) became a prized social value. They also pride themselves on their healthy way of life.

Most of their leisure time they spend outdoors, enjoying hiking, yachting, rowing, windsurfing, etc. Their famous "L @ P" (lemon with Paeroa — mineral water from the town of Paeroa) is a particularly refreshing drink.

Student life and traditions

Student life in ancient times was very rich in different customs and traditions. Many of them were brought into modern times not only in Europe but also in America.

Today in many countries dancing and choral singing, both during the term time and at vacations, still occupy a prominent place in student life. In Great Britain, as well as in America, there exists that great love of "the Alma Mater", which is not at all to be found on the continent of Europe.

Many British Universities still keep to the customs of the past, some of them being of particular interest. At Oxford, for example, all students wear long gowns and caps called "mortar boards", without them no student is allowed to call on a tutor or attend lectures.

According to another custom, kept up to now, every Christmas Day a roast bear head is carried with a great ceremony to the tutors' table. The story of this custom goes back to the XVI century. It dealt with celebrating the victory of one of the students over a wild bear near the college. The student killed the bear with a copy of Aristotle that he was reading at that time, saying: "That's a Greek!"

At some American colleges there are many unusual traditions. One of them is "an Apple Day". It was first organized in October 1940, to unite the sophomore class. The celebrations include a day — off from classes for a picnic and activities in the country.

"Victory Processions" are known to all as "VP". It is one of the most enjoyable events that students can take part in. When a hall wins a major social, cultural or sports event, the residents assemble to take out a procession. At its head there are the hall flag and a flame similar to the Olympic torch. Everybody has a firecracker for bomb fighting. This noisy procession goes from hall to hall, shouting their victory slogans. On their way they "are greeted" by a barrage of bombs and cold water. However, most students think this to be the best way to celebrate such an event.

Of course, there are many other interesting customs and traditions of the past, which are kept up to now in many foreign colleges and Universities. All of them help to build closer relationships between the faculties and students, to preserve the warm and friendly atmosphere of the campus.

Due to the popularization of higher education, there has appeared a great variety of new student activities and customs today. Numerous papers and periodicals published by the students of different countries reveal not only the existence of different sports and student clubs, self — governing youth organizations, etc.

They bring together the students who are very interested in arts, science, literature, music, travelling and sports. They greatly contribute to their successful training, help to enrich their knowledge and develop their intellect and culture.

The United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (the UNESCO — for short) was established as a specialized institution in 1946. At present the organization comprises over 200 states of the world. Its headquarters is situated in Paris, France.

According to the UNESCO Charter all the member-states have their own National Commissions on the Organization affairs. The main governing organ of the UNESCO is the General Conference involving all the member — states delegations.

The main mission of the UNESCO is to promote further development of international cooperation in the spheres of culture and public education, as well as in distributing any scientific-technological information. The organization also fights against any discrimination in the educational sphere and supports many young national cultures.

According to the UNESCO decisions people of the Globe celebrate different events: anniversaries of great people, main historic dates, etc.

The UNESCO has a lot of its own periodicals including the monthly "UNESCO EXPRESS" that is published in 32 languages of the world.

Not long ago the UNESCO adopted a number of very important documents on the most pressing problems that are facing mankind today, including the Declaration of the Basic Principles dealing with the mass media contribution to peace consolidation and better understanding between various nations of the Globe. It also greatly contributed to the protection of human rights, fighting against racism and apartheid.

Nowadays the UNESCO influence and importance are steadily growing. During the last few years the Organization showed its modern, constructive approach towards the cooperation between nations with different social and political systems.