Темы (Шерстнева С.Ю.)

Темы для экзамена
1.FRIENDSFriendship is a very important thing in people’s life. It is nice to have a person you can rely on. I have many friends, but my best friend is Olga. She is my neighbor. From our appearance we are total opposites. She has dark curly hair and green eyes. I have fair straight hair and brown eyes. She is short and thin, I am also slim but of medium height. The way we dress is very different as well. She is one of the funky girls. I am just a little bit if everything. I just wear what I like.
Our characters also differ. She is more loud and outspoken, more outgoing. I think I am more reasonable than Olga because she is pretty stubborn. Olga is optimistic and I think that it’s her best quality.
Our hobbies aren’t even along the same lines. I love music and reading. She loves noisy discoes and parties. But I know that my best friend always helps me when I have problems. I understand, respect and trust my friend. Regardless of how different we are we still always have fun. We are two totally different people. But yet we are close friends.
2.Family relationship, helping about the house
Let me introduce myself. I am girl /boy of 15.My first name is Dima. I am from Slonim. (I was born in Minsk ./ I have been living in this town since my childhood.) Speaking about our family I should say that we are tight – knit and getting all right. We are a family of 4.
My parents are all I have and they both mean the world to me. I would do anything in the world for them. But my extended family is equally important for me, too.
My dad’s sometimes an angry, overworked man, but I still love him because he is a fantastic dad, a real bread – winner in the family. He is 45.He works as a surgeon in the hospital. He is neither old nor young, a good looking man with dark hair just beginning to gray. He is a very sociable person.
My mother is three years younger than he. She works as a teacher in the nursery school. My mother is rather pretty, she is always elegant and smart. She has got a great deal of work to do at home and at work. Sometimes it seems to me that it’s an endless business! But we are in a habit of giving her a helping hand about the house.
My family includes 2 siblings. I get on well with them. (They are all right, but annoying sometimes. Me and my sister really hated each other while growing up, but we are cool now.)
Another person I appreciate is my grandmother. She passed away a year ago. I know she may not be here anymore, but I know sometimes when I’m having a trouble, need help and all of a sudden the answer to my trouble somehow just pops up, it’s her looking down on me, helping me out.
I know lots of time I can seem pretty ungrateful to my family, but I appreciate everything they have done for me. They will always be there to help in hard times and you can always come to them for comfort, advice and help.
We have a couple of traditions in my family. It’s a custom for our family to discuss things during the meals. We usually show our interest in what others think and do. We are attentive and sincere to each other and all these things unite a family.
One of traditions is to have big meals on holidays at one of our extended families’ homes. Everyone in the family gets a turn at their home.
My family may not be perfect and neither am I , but you will never find a family quite like mine. As someone once said:” I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has a family, he is rich”.
3.Choosing a career
Getting a job in today's competitive world is not easy. Most jobs require qualification. They need university education or practical skill.
Some people have obvious abilities and since childhood they know that they are going to be musicians, painters, actors or ballet-dancers. Most .young people have to go into more common but no less necessary jobs in different spheres of life. No society can do without teachers, doctors, drivers, builders, plumbers, farmers, engineers, factory workers, cleaners.
Choosing the right job is important because I want to enjoy my work and get satisfaction from it. I also want to be successful at work. (+ о своей профессии)
4.Food.National cuisine
Modern Belarusian cookery is based on old national traditions which are carefully kept by the people.
Common in Belarusian cuisine were dishes from potato which is called among people "the second bread". There are special potato cafes in the country where you can try various potato dishes. Potato is included into many salads, it is served together with mushrooms, meat; different pirazhki and baked puddings, babka, are made from it. The most popular among the Belarusians are traditional draniki or potato pancakes.
A big place in the Belarusians cuisine belongs to meat and meat products. Dishes prepared from meat are usually served together with potatoes or vegetables. Many vegetable and meat dishes are prepared in special pots.
Among dishes from fish the Belarusians prefer yushka and also baked or boiled river-fish.
The Belarusians use fresh, dried, salted and pickled mushrooms, and also berries.
Of flour dishes the most popular is zacirka. In Belarusian cuisine milk is widely used for mixing in vegetable and flour dishes.
Myadukha, berezavik, kvas, beer are traditional Belarusian drinks.
British food
We know a lot of stereotypes concerning the British. But we shouldn’t forget that some of them aren't true.
A typical British should be a tea lover. What is more, the tea should be drunk in the exact time. Most of the British drink their tea at 5 o’clock.
They are also known to have a big traditional breakfast. The breakfast consists of many toasts covered with jam or marmalade which seem to be typical British. We couldn't even imagine how various can the British toasts be.
The other stereotype is connected with the traditional British cuisine and some cooking traditions. British meals are considered to be completely tasteless They are unlikely to be accepted by foreigners. The basic British dish is called ‘fish and chips’ but most of tourists don't like it.
It is disappointing, but true that, there is no tradition in England of eating in restaurants. English cooking is found at home. So it is difficult to find a good English restaurant with reasonable prices.
In most cities in Britain you'll find Indian, Chinese, French and Italian restaurants. In London you'll also find Indonesian, Mexican, Greek... Cynics will say that this is because English have no "cuisine" themselves, but this is not quite the true.
5.Money Shopping
The History of Money
In early civilisations people did not have money. They traded objects. For example, the fisherman needed furs to protect himself from the cold and the hunter needed something to eat, so they exchanged their goods . This is called barter, but it had disadvantages. If there weren't any more people who needed the hunter's furs he couldn't trade them for the things he needed. As time went on, people used valuable things as a kind of money: cattle, grain and salt.
In the course of time people found out that metal, especially gold and silver, was very valuable and they had a fixed value .But it was not until the late Middle Ages that coins became common throughout Europe. Paper money came into use about 300 years ago. It was cheaper to make and easier to carry around.
In the second half of the 20th century people realized that they didn't have to carry money around to buy the things they needed. Today, more and more people use plastic cards to buy things. With its help the bank transfers its customer money to buy something.
Shopping.When we want to buy something we go to a shop. There are many kinds of shops in every town or city, but most of them have a food supermarket, a department store, men's and women's clothing stores, a grocery, a bakery and a butchery. I like to do my shopping at big department stores and supermarkets. They sell various goods under one roof and this is very convenient.
No one in our family goes shopping as often as my mother does. She keeps house, so she knows better than anyone of us what we are running short of.
From time to time my father goes and does some shopping too. Most often he goes for fruits, vegetables, fresh greens or fish to the market. Usually, he has a shopping list written by my mother with him.
My duty is to buy bread for the family. So each time we are running out of bread, I take a shopping bag and money and hurry to the nearest bakery.
Shopping is a part of our daily life. And we have to deal with it whether we like it or not. The method of shopping may vary. There are people who hate going shopping. So they make a list of what they need and run through stores buying the needed things. Others don't worry about the time they spend shopping.
There are a lot of shops in Belarus, especially in Minsk. One of the chief glories of Minsk is Trinity Suburb, a delight of every visitor of taste. It is a tangle of narrow streets lined with curious shops. Delightful small houses seem to whisper their secrets to each other across the cobbled way.
6.Hobbies/Free Time
Many people have hobbies. They make our life more interesting. A hobby is what people like to do when they have free time. Everyone chooses a hobby according to his character and taste. Some people like to collect stamps, coins or badges, others prefer gardening or hiking or taking photographs. Generally speaking, a hobby is a matter of taste.
I have many hobbies because there are many interesting things to do. Unfortunately I don't have much spare time as I'm going to be a student. That's why I have to study a lot. I like doing different things: Such as reading detective stories, listening to the music, playing tennis with my classmates.
I.But my favourite hobby is playing computer games. Both grown-ups and children are fond of it now. It has become one of the most popular hobbies nowadays. I think that playing computer games is very catching. It is not only "wasting time" as some people say.
Computer games make us think over things properly, they widen and develop our mind and imagination. I have a good collection of different games and when I have some free time I play them with great pleasure. My favourite game is...
Some of my friends have the same hobby and we like to play together.
II.But my favorite hobby is solving crossword puzzles. It's not only interesting, but also very useful. When you try to solve the puzzle you find out and learn a lot of different facts. Because in puzzles there are questions about famous people, geographical places, countries, scientific achievements and so on. You also train your brain. The crosswords are published in newspapers and magazines and there are special newspapers that contain only crosswords. I sometimes try to make up my own puzzle and I can say that it is not less interesting. All the members of our family like to take part in solving the puzzles and this unites us very much.
7.Mass Media
There are many different ways to get information about our world. But one of the best ways of getting new information is mass media. Mass media are the various ways by which information and news are given to large numbers of people, especially by television, Internet, newspapers and magazines.
The Internet informs us of what is going on in this world and gives us wonderful possibilities for education and entertainment.
I am sure it is also impossible to imagine our life without newspapers and magazines. They are oriented towards people of all ages and contain the experience of many generations.
Radio and television provide the public with information. Television helps us to learn more about life and traditions of people from different countries; have a chance to visit other countries without wasting money. Speaking of radio I would like to say that you can listen to your favourite songs and get useful information while doing something.
Like it or not the Internet and television are the most popular mass media nowadays. But people, who spend hours using computers, have a tendency to become anti-social, get lazy, they have no time to communicate with their relatives and friends, go in for sports and it is also bad for their eyes.
In conclusion I would add that everything has its dark and bright sides. We should not forget that even very necessary and important things sometimes can not be so useful. But let’s hope for the better.
8.Customs and traditions of Belarus and Great Britain
It is not a secret that every nation and every country has its own customs and traditions. There are many customs in Britain and some of them are very old.
There is, for example, the Boat Race, which takes place on the river Thames, often on Easter Sunday. It’s a competition between the team from Oxford University and the team from Cambridge University.
Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. In fact, this holiday has a Celtic origin. The day was originally called All Halloween's Eve, because it happens on October 31, the eve of all Saint's Day. The name was later shortened to Halloween. The Celts celebrated the coming of New Year on that day.
Another tradition is the holiday called Bonfire Night. On November 5, 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament where the king James 1st was to open Parliament on that day. But Guy Fawkes was unable to realize his plan and was caught and later, hanged.
The British still remember that Guy Fawkes' Night. It is another name for this holiday. On this day one can see children with figures, made of sacks and straw and dressed in old clothes. On November 5th, children put their figures on the bonfire, burn them, and light their fireworks.
In the end of the year, there is the most famous New Year celebration. In London, many people go to Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve. There is singing and dancing at 12 o'clock on December 31st.
A popular Scottish event is the Edinburgh Festival of music and drama, which takes place every year. A truly Welsh event is the Eisteddfod, a national festival of traditional poetry and music, with a competition for the best new poem in Welsh.
Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF BELARUSThroughout many centuries of history, the Belarusian people created its unique and original culture.
Christians make up the biggest part of the population of Belarus. According to the Christian doctrine, Christmas and Easter are the main religious holidays, celebrated every year by millions of believers all over the country. In Belarus, all the Christian holidays are celebrated twice: by the Catholic and Orthodox religious calendars.
Along with Christian holidays, such folk festivities of pagan origin as Kupalle (Midsummer Night) and Maslenitsa (Shrovetide) are widely celebrated in Belarus. One of the main traditions of Kupalle is search for the mythic paparats-kvetka (fern flower). Those, who find it, will enjoy good luck for the whole year; all their wishes will come true.
Maslenitsa is a ceremony at the junction of two seasons; it sees off winter and meets spring. Popular festivals of folk music, dancing and national costumes are organized at the time of Maslenitsa.
New Year is widely celebrated all over the country. Preparations to this holiday start a couple of weeks before. The towns and cities of Belarus put on holiday decorations, New Year trees in the squares add to the holiday mood. The culmination of the festivity is the December 31— January 1 night, when various concerts and open-air merrymaking take place. January 1 is an official holiday.
Every summer, in Belarusian castles (in Lida, Mir, Novogrudok, Nesvizh, etc.) knights' tournaments and international medieval festivals take place. They attract spectators and participants from many countries of the world.
The International Festival of Arts “Slavyansky Bazaar in Vitebsk” is an open mass event, which helps to revive and promote culture and arts.It is held every year. The goal of the festival is to support young talents and introduce innovations in culture and art.
9.Youth and society
I think that teenage years are the most wonderful years in our life. At this age we start a new adult life. We get more and more freedom. We can go to parties, discos, cafes. At this age we start dating. It is noticed everywhere that this age is full of problems. I mean bulling, disobedience, extreme self-confidence, taking drugs, self- harming.
Adults usually try to do their best to keep their children off the streets. They wish to prevent the teenagers from committing crimes, taking drugs. The best way is to involve young people into different types of activity. It's great when teenagers are involved in such activities as listening to music, dancing, doing sports, reading books, taking part in competitions. There are a lot of different subcultures, so young people can find a group or a movement that will suit their interests. Different subcultures have their own beliefs, values, fashion and favorite music.
The most popular youth organization in Belarus is Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM). It was founded on the 6th of September 2002. The aim of this organization is to promote patriotism, to create conditions for comprehensive development of youth, to fulfill its creative potential, to promote the development of the civil society in the Republic of Belarus based on patriotic and moral values.
The members of this organization are active participants in camping, sporting events and visiting memorials. They take an active part in outdoor activities and sports, including football, running, swimming and hockey; concerts and competitions, charity and volunteering, construction brigades. The emblem of the BRSM is modeled on the Belarusian national flag. The BRSM has more than 500.000 members. They are young people between 14 and 31 years old.
I am a member of this organization and I am proud of it.
10.ArtArt plays an important role in our life. It enriches our life emotionally and spiritually. The types of visual arts include architecture, animation, collage, comics, design, drawing, graffiti, illustration, installation art, photography, sculpture and so on.
According to Leo Tolstoy art must create an emotional link between artist and audience, one that “infects” the viewer. Art stimulates different parts of our brains to make us laugh or cry, calm down or start shouting. To cut a long story short, art is something that makes us more thoughtful and well-balanced humans.
As for me, I am fond of visual arts. I never miss a chance to visit a picture gallery or a museum of Fine Arts. I am keen on impressionists and abstract arts. Some people say that it is difficult to understand abstract art. I can't agree with them. All it requires is an open mind and a big imagination. Abstract art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it
Among my favourite artists are Mark Shagal, Kazimir Malevich, SalvatorDahlie, MichailShemyakin as well as classical realistic artists such as Rembrandt, Schemelev, Volkov, Savitsky. I admire the landscapes of the great English artists John Constable, Joseph Turner. While speaking about famous portrait painters I can't but mention the name of Joshua Reynolds. He was born in England but spent much time in Italy where he studied art He became the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts. He made a whole gallery of portraits of the famous people of his time—writers, scientists and actors. He lived and created his works in the 18th century.
Outstanding People
 In the history of humanity there have always been people whose actions and ideas produced a great impact on the lives of other people. Who have made a great contribution to the science, culture, social life of this or that country. That’s why they are called outstanding. Every country is proud of its outstanding people. (Great Britain, Belarus) can be really proud of its great people too. Their names are world-known. Almost in every field of human activity they achieved great results. 
The names of prominent(Belarusians, Englishmen ) won universal recognition. There’s hardly a country in the world which doesn’t have (Baradulin, Karatkevich, Yanishchyts; Lawrence, Wordsworth, Milton)…’s poems translated into its language. Gentle melodies and deep emotions of (Kolas, Kupala; Byron, Shakespeare)….verses are dear to poetry-lovers throughout the world. (Belarus, Great Britain)…has also given the world many outstanding scientists. Such names as (Borys Kit, Ivan Chersky, Zhores Alferov; Charles Darwin, Alexander Fleming, Isaac Newton)….are well- known all over the world. Nowadays modern (Belarusian, English) scientists achieved great successes in the field of mathematics, physics, biology and medicine.
    Great contribution to the world’s history was made by such prominent man as (Ignat Domeiko; Captain James Cook). The national music school is connected with the names of such group bands as (the Pesnyary, the Syabry; the Beatles, the Amateurs).
11.ScienceFire was the first discovery and wheel was the first invention. Since that time we have travelled far. Science has taken us to the territories we could not have imagined some centuries ago. 20th century was when science really came into its own.
Science has brought great laurels in every field and now we have access to some of the most advanced technical inventions: Space Shuttle provide us with news and data. Vehicles which run on land are packed with newer inventions by the day.
We have come into a digital age. Computers have given way to laptops and then to notebooks and palmtops. Picture tube televisions turned into LCDs and Plasma. The mobiles have turned into the island of entertainment and communication. Internet has made online education possible.
Science has really beautified life. Today you can visit your distant relative on the other side of the globe within a day.
The borders of time and space are certainly shrinking.
12.Education. School
I am absolutely sure that school plays an important role in every pupil's life.I think that the most important role of school is giving knowledge. I can say that my school gives such knowledge, and that’s why I’m happy at school. Most of my teachers have a lot of teaching experience; they understand very well the difficulties of the learning process. They help us to learn all subjects well. They also guide us and advise us on all aspects of our study and life. They share their knowledge and experience with us, and we respond with love.
Each school has, of course, its own face, traditions and activities. Speaking about our lyceum, I'd say that it differs greatly from other schools of our town. First of all, only pupils of the 10th and 11th form study there. To become a student of our lyceum you should take the exams in the subjects you have chosen to study on an extensive level.
Our lyceum isn't large, about 180 students attend it. We don't only study different subjects, our Lyceum is a place where we develop our relationships. Everyone has an opportunity to take part in different performances at a school or class parties, or to take part in different sport competitions. These activities help us with our education and are really enjoyable.
The building of our Lyceum is quite unique. It's the building of the former monastery. I can't say that the classrooms are light and spacious, but everything was done to make it cosy and convenient for studies.
When you enter the lyceum you can see our headmaster's and vice- headmaster's offices, doctor's room, a canteen, chemistry laboratory and some classrooms where we study Russian, Belorussian, and Foreign Languages. The teacher's room, the assembly hall, Physics laboratory, a library and studies for History, Biology and Geography are on the first floor.
Our classes begin at 8. 05 and are over at 2 o'clock. As a rule we have six or seven lessons a day. We all attend optional courses in different subjects. I enjoy my school years and I shall remember them for the rest of my life.
School year in Belarus
The school year in Belarus runs from the first of September to late May. Students attend classes from 8:00a.m. to 3 p.m. No uniforms are required. Students remain together in the same class from grades 1 to 11. Each classroom has about 25 students.
9th grade is the last year of compulsory education. 10th and 11th grades offer optional paths, either to vocational schools to learn trade skills or to continue to study for university entrance exams. Students in grades 1 to 10 study Russian, Maths, Reading, Natural sciences, Music, Art, and Physical education.
School year in Great Britain
Children's education in England is normally divided into two separate stages. They begin with primary education at the age of five and this usually lasts until they are eleven. Then they move to secondary school, where they stay until they reach sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years of age.
The main categories of school are state schools, free to all children between the ages of 5-16 and independent schools (private / public schools) where parents pay for their children's education.
13.Living in the country/ city. Types of houses
First of all I'd like to say that for all people home is not just a place to live in. Home is a little world where you live according to your own rules and interests. It's a place where you feel comfort, warmth and reliability, that's why we say "East or West, home is best" and the English say "My home is my castle".
It goes without saying that nowadays there are a lot of types of dwellings, that's why everyone can choose a house he or she likes.
A: Personally I live in a semi-detached house. I think that such houses attract people because they are less expensive than mansions or bungalows, for example. We have neighbours we can always turn to if we need something, but at the same time our neighbours sometimes disturb us while repairing their part of the house or when they listen to music too loudly or have a party. But still all types of dwelling have their advantages and disadvantages. And my family and I find it quite pleasant to live in a semi-detached house.
B: My family and I live in a cottage. We are fond of nature, fresh air and we lead calm and measured rhythm of life. In my opinion one of advantages of living in such a house is that you have your own land where you can grow fruit and vegetables, make flowerbeds and plant various beautiful flowers that will warm your heart, lay out an orchard, etc. You can also build some outhouses like a green-house and a garage. The most important disadvantage of living in a cottage, to my mind, is that it takes a lot of time to get to the nearest town, but we have a car it isn't a problem for us.
C: I live in a block of flats. It seems to me that it's the cheapest type of dwelling in a town. There are 4 rooms in our flat. Besides, among advantages of living in a block of flats some people name that it takes less time to tidy up a flat than a house. But as any type of dwelling a flat has its disadvantages. Take noise, for example, that our neighbours make when they drill or hammer or when they organize a party. Sometimes we depend on our neighbours – when they block water supply to repair their dripping tap and we have to wait for hours till we can do the washing-up or take a shower. It isn't convenient, but in spite of it I can say that all these disadvantages don't bother us a lot, and in general it's a nice type of dwelling.
D: I live in a detached house with all modern conveniences. It gives me the sense of safety. Our home is very cosy. It is warm in winter, because the insulation is very good. No doubt that this type of dwelling has a lot of advantages. First of all our neighbours can never disturb us by hammering a nail into the wall. But at the same time if we want to ask our neighbours for something or just have a talk we can visit them. We have some land around the house, so we’ve built an outhouse, a garage, a summer house, and I have arranged some flowerbeds as I have a green thumb.
14.BelarusThe Republic of Belarus is situated in the centre of Europe. It borders on Poland in the west, the Baltic states - Lithuania and Latvia - in the north-west, on the Russian Federation in the east and on the Ukraine in the south. Belarus is situated at the crossroads of trade routes from west to east and from north to south.
Belarus occupies the territory of 207,6 thousand square kilometres. By the size of its territory, Belarus is the 13th among the European countries and the 6th among the CIS countries. Its population is about 10,3 million people. Representatives of more than 100 ethnic groups live in Belarus.
Belarus is situated on a plain rising to hills, the highest of which is Dzierzhinsky Hill in Minsk region.
There are about twenty thousand rivers in the country. They flow into the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea. The longest rivers are the Dnieper, the Neman, the Western Dvina, the Pripyat, the Berezina, the Sozh and the Vilia.
Belarus is a lake country. The lakes are numerous in the north. The largest is Lake Naroch. Its surface stretches for 80 square kilometres.
The swamps of Belarus take up nearly a quarter of the country. In scale and diversity of life there are no equal places to them in Europe.
The forests cover a third of the country. In our national parks and reserves - Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Braslavsky and Narochansky National Parks, Berezinsky one can enjoy a great diversity of flora and fauna, some of which have survived only in Belarus.
The climate of Belarus is moderate continental. It is strongly influenced by the Baltic Sea. The average temperature in January is minus 5-8 degrees Celsius and that in July is plus 20 °C.
Belarus has wonderful sceneries. I am very proud of my country.
The History of Belarus
Belarus is a unique country. Its history is a little-known page in the world history. But the Belarusians can be proud of their past, culture and art.
East-Slav tribes of Krivichi, Dregovichi and Radimichi were the Belarusian people's ancestors. They settled around the Polota and were later named Polotchane. They had formed local principalities, such as those of Pinsk, Turov, Polotsk, Slutsk and Minsk by the 8th to 9th century. These all were included into Kievan Rus, the first East Slavic State, beginning in the mid-9th century.
Trading settlements multiplied and many towns of the present-day Belarus were founded by the end of the 12th century. The geographical position of the country, the development of trade attracted foreigners with foreign goods.
The advantageous geographical position — on the crossroads from east to west and from north to south — more than once turned into disadvantage.
Belarus was the arena of many wars, invasions and aggressions. In the 11th century the Tatar-Mongols attacked Polotsk and Turov principalities. In the 13th century the Crusaders invaded Belarus from the west. Sweden conquered the north of Belarus. Belarus was devastated by Russian-Polish wars (16—18th centuries), the Napoleon invasion (1812), World War I (1914—1918), the Soviet-Polish war and the World War II and Nazi occupation (1941— 1944), the longest and the greatest fighting for freedom and independence during which Belarus lost every fourth citizen. All these tragic events slowed down but didn't stop the development of the nation.
Belarus was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (14th century), Poland and the Russian Empire (18th century). It was a backward province where 80% of the population were illiterate.
The life changed for the better at the beginning of the 20th century. On January 1, 1919 the Declaration on the formation of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was adopted. In December 1922 it joined the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). On the disintegration of the USSR, Belarus proclaimed its independence on July 27, 1990.
Nowadays Belarus is a country of developed industry, agriculture, science and culture. Belarusian industry produces tractors, trucks, refrigerators, TV sets, fertilisers, meat and dairy products. Furniture making, match and paper making, textile and clothing manufacture, food processing are the main industries of Belarus.
The long history has taught Belarusians to overcome difficulties. Today they are optimistic because their historical experience makes them sure they will do their best to preserve their unique culture, language and revive industry and agriculture.
Sightseeing in Belarus
You can start your Sightseeing in Belarus right from the capital city Minsk. It is a beautiful city, which has been restored after the World War II. It is one of the most frequented Tourist Destinations in Belarus. Visit the Botanical Garden in Minsk. A cultural tour of Minsk will take you to various museums of the city. The National Arts Museum, the National Museum of Belarusian History and Culture, the Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War and the Museum of Old Belarusian Culture are worth a visit while Sightseeing in Belarus. The country also has several medieval castles and churches that are real treat for the eyes.
While talking about Belarus Sightseeing the name that comes first on mind is the Mir Castle. This medieval castle, known to every Belarusian, is one of the most popular Tourist Attractions in Belarus. This outstanding example of the 16th century fortification architecture is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Brest Fortress .This magnificent citadel is one of the Belarus Attractions, which is visited by large number of foreign tourists. The fortresses encompass the old town of Brest. The design of the fortress is a masterpiece of military engineering and architecture. The fortress had served as a shelter for the Russian army during the Great Patriotic War.
Lida Castle .A unique medieval fortress, Lida Castle is a great work of architecture built on sand. It is said that a castle, even a house cannot be built over an unsteady base like sand. Surprisingly, despite its unstable foundation the castle has been standing for seven centuries. The castle has been protecting the old city from the invasion of Tartars and several enemy attacks over the centuries.
While sightseeing in Belarus, you must visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in Brest. This place is a typical countryside, where you can find trees that are 500 years old. You can also see rare species of wild European bison and different varieties of animals and plants. 
Braslav Lakes or Braslav Lake district, as it is popularly known as, is one of the places for sightseeing in Belarus. It is located in the north and north east of the country, near the borders of Lithuania and Lativia. This place is ideal for boating, as there are more than 30 lakes. One can enjoy boating leisurely in the crystal clear lakes, surrounded by forests. You can stay at small cottages that are available on rent, near the lake shores. The place is ideal for weekend holidays. 
These are not all. Belarus has several other Places of Interest. You should not miss historic places like Vitebsk, Nesvizh and cities of Grodno, Homel or Gomel and Polotsk while Sightseeing in Belarus.
15.Great Britain
Episodes from British History
The first 10 centuries AD were most important in British history. During this period of time the British Isles were invaded more than once.
The first invaders on the territory of Britain were the Romans. The Romans stayed in England for 4 hundred years. They were great builders, who built beautiful stone buildings and roads within England. They built a wall across the country to defend it against the Picts.
When the Romans left the country, the Britons were not able to defend themselves. New invaders came to England. The Anglo- Saxons destroyed Roman cities. They organized several kingdoms on the territory of Britain and built forts against new invaders. One of the kings, Alfred the Great, developed the English navy. The Anglo-Saxon invaders were farmers and developed agriculture. They brought the German language with them.
In the 10th century England became one country with 1 king. But there were more invaders in the 11th century.
William the Conqueror tried to invade the country and succeeded, because the Normans had better weapons. William was the 1st Norman king on the English throne. He was crowned in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. The Normans brought the French language and brought peace at last.
The UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the official name of the country which comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It lies off the north-west coast of the European continent and consists of more than 5,500 islands which are called the British Isles. The biggest island is Great Britain. There are also smaller islands. Among them are the Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man and many others.
Great Britain stretches for 1000 kilometres from the south to the extreme north, and for 500 kilometres in the widest part.
The country occupies the area of 242,500 square kilometres. The territory of Great Britain is not large, yet the country has a wide variety of scenery. England, which is the richest, the most fertile and the most populated part of the country, is a vast plain. It is separated from Scotland by the Cheviot Hills. Wales and Scotland are mountainous areas. The highest mountain in Wales is Snowdon. Their highest peak of Scotland is Ben Nevis. Scotland is a land of famous lakes as well. Great Britain is separated from the European continent by the North Sea, the Strait of Dover and the English Channel.
The rivers are not long in Britain. The longest of them are the Severn (350 km), the Clyde and the Mersey. The Thames is the busiest and the most important river in Great Britain. The capital of Great Britain, London, stands on the Thames.
The climate of Great Britain is moderate and mild due to the influence of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Great Britain is a damp country. The weather is very changeable and it is the most favourite topic of conversation with the British.
The population of Great Britain is about 60 million people.The population density is the highest in England and the lowest in Scotland. The largest cities are London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh (the capital of Scotland), Cardiff (the capital of Wales) and Belfast (the capital of Northern Ireland).
London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. It is one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Europe. Its population is about 8 million.
London is situated -on the river Thames. Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It was named in the memory of Admiral Nelson's victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The tall Nelson's Column stands in the middle of the square. The square is full of visitors and pigeons crowding around Nelson's Column and four stone lions symbolizing the strength of the former British Empire.
The City is the oldest part of London, its financial and business centre. Two masterpieces are situated within the City: St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London. St. Paul's Cathedral was built in the 17th century by Christopher Wren. The Tower of London was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror who invaded Britain in the year 1066. At first it was used as a prison, then as a royal palace, and now it is a museum, with traditional change of guards, ravens walking on the grass and the beefeater allowing them to take pictures with him.
Westminster is the aristocratic official part of London. It includes Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives as well as the Prime Minister's residence at No. 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament with a famous bell Big Ben.
Westminster Abbey is the place where coronation of nearly all kings and queens has taken place. It is also the place known for the so called Poets' Corner where such famous authors as Byron, Thackeray, Kipling and a number of others are buried.
The West End is the richest and most beautiful part of London. A true magnet for tourists, especially young, is Piccadilly Circus with a statue of Eros in the centre.
They say "He who is tired of London is tired of life." I'm looking forward to visiting London on my own and hope I won't be disappointed.
Learning foreign languages
Learning a foreign language is not easy. It is a long and a slow process which takes a lot of time and efforts. But if you know a foreign language it gives you advantages over those, who don’t know any.
People have long been interested in having one language that could be spoken by all of them. English is close to being an international language. It is spoken by approximately 750 million people. It is becoming the language of foreign trade, international contacts in sphere of political, social, business and cultural relations. It also offers good job opportunities and it enables you to find work almost anywhere in the world. English is the major language of communication in such areas as science, computer technology, mass entertainment and international tourism.
There are a lot of languages on our planet and it is impossible to know all of them. But as someone once said, every intelligent person should know at least one foreign language. And I fully support this idea.
16.Healthy way of life. Sport
People nowadays are more health-conscious than they used to be. They understand that good health is above wealth. To be healthy we should avoid different bad habits that can affect our health. In my opinion, smoking and drinking too much alcohol, are the worst ones. It's common knowledge that smoking and drinking can shorten our lives dramatically.
They are joined by less dangerous habits, such as skipping meals, eating unhealthy food, or even overeating, but still they also affect our health.
I'm absolutely sure that doing sports is the best way to keep fit. Sport makes us healthy, more organized and better disciplined. Besides, sport makes us think quicker, it sharpens our reaction. To have a healthy mind you must have a healthy body. Sport influences our character too, it develops our willpower, makes us more determined. It teaches us how to find strength if we want to achieve our goal in life .If we play team games, we learn to understand what real friendship and support mean.
Personally I can't imagine my life without sport. In summer I go jogging every morning, when I have free time I attend a swimming pool and sometimes I play badminton with my best friend.
I'm sure you don't need to be good at sports to enjoy them - according to the Olympic motto it is the participation and not winning, that matters.
17.Appearance and character, national character
Although everyone wants to be good-looking, we can’t say that beautiful people are always happy. From my point of view, being attractive is like being rich — it can help you find happiness, but it doesn't always make you happy. So may be the best thing is to try to be an interesting person. For interesting people have interesting faces, and interesting faces are almost always attractive.
The Description of a relative
I'd like to tell you about my mother. She is 35. She is not tall and rather slim. She always manages to be cheerful, energetic and full of life. My mother is also reliable and hard-working. She is helpful and honest.
Her eyes are grey with a green colour, they can lead you to her soul and to the inner world of emotions. And I can read any feeling that she has in the eyes. Sometimes it is easy to speak without the words just looking into the eyes of each other and read any thought. Her smile is always charming and it can even cheer you up.
She wears a quiet and serious look, usually she is down-to-earth. Her voice varies depending on the subject of the talk or a person she talks to and sometimes it depends on the emotional state or mood.  When she explains something, she likes to gesticulate. She does not like boasting and quarreling.
And the last thing is the following: when you talk to her or when you are next to her in the room, you feel as if energy flows to you. She likes joking and telling funny stories. She is easy-going and there is no problem to deal with her. She is like a rainbow in the sky, and like a «Cristal» wine.
People in Belarus
Well, generally speaking they are like most other people in the world, but of course they have some distinctive features of their own. I think the best feature of their character is hospitality. Belarusians like and are able to receive guests and to help people in need.
The second trait of their character is tolerance to other cultures and religions. On the other hand Belarusians are often called stubborn, which is perhaps due to their hard life in the past that made them patient and hardworking.
Of course there is a striking difference between city dwellers and villagers. Most villagers are said to be calm, conservative and stable in their lifestyles, especially older people. On the other hand they like a good joke and a good song and dance especially at weddings or celebrations.
As for city dwellers, there are different types of people, both good and bad, and everything depends on their upbringing and education.
The British
One of the most striking features of British life is self-discipline and courtesy of people of all classes. There is little noisy behavior and practically no loud disputing in the street. People do not rush for seats in the buses or trains, but take their seats in queues at bus stops in a quiet and orderly manner. Many foreigners have commented on the remarkable politeness of the British people.
They do not like displaying their emotions. The British do not like any boasting or showing off in manners, dress and speech. One more trait of the British is law obedience. They are orderly by nature.
They prefer their own houses to flats, because they do not want their actions to be overlooked by their neighbours.One of their passions is belonging to clubs. Membership in a club is thought as carrying a certain social prestige.
British and BelarussiansBetween Belarusian and British I found some common characteristics, many Belarusian people as well as many British people think of their land as great and strong and the best on the whole world. But the British can be particularly and stubbornly conservative about anything British. They are rather proud of being different. It is, for example, difficult to imagine that they will ever agree to change from driving on the left-hand side of the road to driving on the right. It doesn’t matter that nobody can think of any advantage in driving on the left. British people are obliged by society stereotyping to be polite. British do not as a rule express their real feeling. And Belarusian people are free to express their attitude, they are more sincere. But anyway, there are plenty of things that I like about British: their humour whatever it hides, I like the British breakfast, English tea, gardens, romantism and English language.
18.Clothes, fashion
Fashions and clothing are constantly changing and may differ from country to country, depending on various factors including age, geography, and climate. Fashion is something we deal with everyday. Even people who say they don't care what they wear choose clothes every morning that say a lot about them and how they feel that day. Musicians and other cultural icons have always influenced what we're wearing.
Being in style with the latest fashions is important for some people, but it is not always true for me. After I wake up and drag myself out of bed, I change into my clothes for the day. I usually wear a formal costume to school. If it's a little cool outside, I might wear a sweater. Then, I put on my shoes, and I'm out the door. Of course, if I go out with my friends, I try to put on my best clothes. Young people of my age tend to follow the latest fashions because they want to fit in.
As Mark Twain once said “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Fashion will always be relevant, right down to the vest, hairstyle, belt, shoes, handbags, and even tattoos.
19.Weather and climate
Environmental problems have become exceptionally acute in the modern world, and environmental protection has become a vital necessity for all people. 
Our planet is in serious danger. Large cities with thousands of smoky industrial enterprises appear all over the world today. The by-products of their activity pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we grow grain and vegetables on. Pollution from factories and cars is the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rain. 
Vast forests are cut and burn in fire. Their disappearance upsets the oxygen balance. As a result some rare species of animals, birds, fish and plants disappear forever, a number of rivers and lakes dry up.
One of the most essential environmental problems is depletion of the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun. Because of the ozone holes, the dangerous rays get through the atmosphere, causing skin cancer and other serious diseases.
The most horrible ecological disaster was the Chernobyl tragedy in April 1986. About 18 percent of the territory of Belarus was also polluted with radioactive substances. A great damage has been done to the agriculture, forests and people's health.
Environmental protection is of a universal concern. There are a lot of environmental groups and international organizations, whose main goal is to create a system of ecological security. The most famous of them are Greenpeace, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF). An international environmental research centre has been set up on Lake Baikal.
However, there are a lot of simple things we should all do to protect the environment. First of all, we mustn’t drop or leave litter in public places and on the banks of the rivers and in the lakes. Almost everything can be recycled. We should take care of birds and animals. We can help to plant trees. If we take action now, there might be some hope for the future. If we do nothing, we are heading for disaster!
20.TravellingModern life is impossible without travelling. Thousands of people travel every day either on business or for pleasure. They can travel by air, by rail, by see or by road.
Travelling by air is the fastest and the most convenient way, but it is the most expensive too. To my mind travelling by train is more interesting. You can see interesting places of the country you are travelling through. Modern trains have very comfortable seats, which make even the longest journey enjoyable.
Travelling by sea is very popular. On board of ship you can enjoy your trip.
Some people prefer travelling by car. If you have your own car you may go to the Black Sea, where there are a lot of rest-houses, sanatoriums and tourist camps. In the daytime you can have a nice opportunity to play volleyball, swim in the warm water of the sea and sunbathe. In the evening you like to sit on the beach watching the sea and enjoying the sunset.
As for me I'm a hiker. My friends and I like to go on a hike to the forest. It is pleasant to gather mushrooms and berries in the forest, swim in the river, make a fire and prepare meals on it. On our summer holidays we take tents, rucksacks and go to the railway station to take the train. In an hour we find ourselves out of noisy city. The air is fresh, birds sing their merry songs.
To make my long story short I'd like to say that travelling is one of my hobbies. Travelling helps me to see to countryside better, to know about customs and traditions of the Republic, to meet people and make friends with them.

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