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A street party at a primary school in Lancashire, England, on the occasion of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

The culture of the United Kingdom is the pattern of human activity and symbolism associated with the United Kingdom and its people. It is influenced by the UK's history as a developed island country, a liberal democracy and a major power, its predominantly Christian religious life, and its composition of four countriesEngland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales—each of which has distinct customs, cultures and symbolism. The wider culture of Europe has also influenced British culture, and Humanism, Protestantism and representative democracy developed from broader Western culture.

British literature, music, cinema, art, theatre, comedy, media, television, philosophy, architecture and education are influential and respected across the world. The United Kingdom is also prominent in science and technology, producing world-leading scientists (e.g. Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin) and inventions. Sport is an important part of British culture; numerous sports originated in the country, including football. The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower",<ref>"The cultural superpower: British cultural projection abroad". Journal of the British Politics Society, Norway. Volume 6. No. 1. Winter 2011</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and London has been described as a world cultural capital.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The Industrial Revolution, which started in the UK, had a profound effect on the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the world. As a result of the British Empire, significant British influence can be observed in the language, culture and institutions of a geographically wide assortment of countries, including Australia, Canada, India, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, the United States and English speaking Caribbean nations. These states are sometimes collectively known as the Anglosphere, and are among Britain's closest allies.<ref>Swaine, Jon (13 January 2009) Barack Obama presidency will strengthen special reŶlationship, says Gordon Brown The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2010.</ref><ref>E. J. Kirchner and J. Sperling, Global Security Governance: Competing Perceptions of Security in the 21st Century (London: Taylor & Francis, 2007), p. 100.</ref> In turn the empire also influenced British culture, particularly British cuisine.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

The cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are diverse and have varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness.


Culture of the United Kingdom sections
Intro  Language  The Arts  Folklore  National parks, museums, libraries, and galleries  Science and technology  Religion  Politics  Cuisine  Sport  Education  Sociological issues  Pets  National costume and dress  Symbols, flags, and emblems  Traditional communication and greeting cards  Anglophilia  Naming conventions  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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