The British, like other people tend to be attributed with certain characteristics, which are supposedly typical. These characteristics are called stereotypes.
The first and the main stereotype about Britain is that it is considered to be the land of tradition. Actually, that is partly true, because British traditions are carefully kept within the country, but on the public level. For instance, the annual ceremony of state opening of Parliament carefully follows customs, which are centuries old. So does the military ceremony of “trooping the colour”.
However, in their private everyday lives, the British are less inclined to follow traditions. The countryhas fewer local parades or processions with folk roots than most other countries have. The English language has fewer proverbs and sayings that are common in everyday use. The British are too individualistic for this. Moreover, the British are the most enthusiastic video-watching people – very opposite to a traditional pastime!
There are many examples of typical British habits, which are not typical nowadays or even out of date. One of them is an image of “city gent” wearing bowler hats. Actually, this type of hat has not been worn for a long time. Food is another example. The British are believed to eat the traditional “British” (or “English”) breakfast which consists of fry-up, cereals, toast with jam or marmalade, and lots of tea. However, the majority of people prefer to have a “continental” one. The image of the British as a nation of tea-drinkers is another stereotype. Nowadays, more coffee is consumed during the day and “5 o`clock tea” is not widely spread these days.
Sometimes, wrong conclusions can be drawn from British habits which are considered to be stereotypes. For instance, it is believed that the British love queuing. The British do form the queues when they wait for something, thus it doesn`t mean that they are keen on it. It just a reflection of natural politeness.
So, to conclude I can say that though Britain is believed to be a land of traditions, the British don`t follow them in day-to-day lifes.