Santa Claus was born in US in the 1860's he was named this as he had a white beard and a belly,so he was named Santa Claus as this was the Dutch word for St Nicholas,Sintaklaas.Although the Dutch had bought him with them in the 17th century,he did not become an important person at Christmas until the Novelist Washington Irving put him in a novel that he wrote in 1809.This first Santa Claus was still known as St.Nicholas,he did smoke a pipe,and fly around in a wagon without any reindeer,but he did not have his red suit or live at the North Pole,he did however bring presents to children every year.
In 1863 He was given the name Santa Claus and bore the red suit,pipe,and his reindeer and sleigh.
Now Christmas celebrations vary greatly between regions of the United States,because of the variety of nationalities which have settled in it.
In Pennsylvania,the Moravians build a landscape,called a putz - under the Christmas tree,while in the same state the Germans are given gifts by Belsnickle,who taps them with his switch if they have misbehaved.
Early European settlers brought many traditions to the United States.Many settled in the early days in the South,these settlers would send Christmas greetings to their distant neighbors by shooting firearms and letting off fireworks.In Hawaii this practice is still in use as under the sunny skies,Santa Claus arrives by boat and Christmas dinner is eaten outdoors.
In Alaska,a star on a pole is taken from door to door,followed by Herod's Men,who try to capture the star.Colonial doorways are often decorated with pineapple,a symbol of hospitality.
In Alaska,boys and girls with lanterns on poles carry a large figure of a star from door to door.They sing carols and are invited in for supper.
Cars are an important part of life in the United States. Cars have made the United Slates a nation on wheels.
There are 3 main reasons why the car has become so popular in this country. First of all, Americans like to travel. The car provides the most comfortable and cheapest form of transportation. With a car people can go any place without spending a lot of moncy.
The second reason that cars are popular is the fact that the United States never really developed an efficient and inexpensive form of public transportation. Long-distance trains have never been as common in the United States as they are in other parts of the world. Air-service provides a comfortable travel system. But it is too expensive to be used frequently.
The third reason is the most important one, though. The American spirit of inde pendence is what really made cars popular. Americans do not like to wait for a bus, or a train or even a plane. They do not like to have to follow an exact schedule. A car gives them the frecdom to schedule their own time, and this is the freedom that Americans want most to have.
I'm traveling to America and would like to go on some tours.
To which cities will you be traveling?
New York City and Philadelphia.
Great! May I suggest the Statue of Liberty tour in NYC and the Liberty Bell tour in Philadelphia?
That sounds good. Thank you. Please book those tours for me.
OK, no problem. And for which dates should I book them?
Please book the Statue of Liberty tour for next Thursday and the Liberty Bell tour for next Sunday.
Sure thing. I will do that right now.
Different social attitudes: The british are, in some ways, less conservative than Americans - the drinking age is 18, not 21, homosexual civil unions are legal, and abortion hasn't been a serious political issue in years. Mixing religion and politics is extremely rare in the UK. On the other hand, there are stricter controls on some things - it's much harder to get a driving licence, and the age requirement is higher than in most states, there are speed cameras everwhere, CCTV cameras in many public places (although they may or may not be working), and carrying weapons or other objects for "self defence" is illegal (in particular, note that pepper spray is illegal).
Getting into a debate about the right to bear arms will be very time consuming, and may also lead people to think that you're a gun-nut before they've got to know you properly.
Smoking in enclosed public places is illegal - that includes pubs, the underground, train stations... more or less any non-residential building actually... (similar to New York, so not so much of a cultural difference there).
(American Students in Countryside )
eleven students from world college, west of the united states, kissed their newly-made chinese fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters “zaijian”(goodbye), tears in eyes, when leaving jiangwan township, in shanghai suburbs. these students, who are studying on a program of international relations, are believed to be the first hatch① of foreign students to live with chinese village families.
the students stayed in the village for two months. at daytime, they were given chinese language and history courses in the village classroom and took part in agricultural practice in the fields. they spent the rest of their time with the peasants, carrying water from wells, making a fire for cooking, even feeding babies.mr. carlos liked to take little children for a ride in bicycle whereas mr. david often played cards with his young chinese friends. miss tracy, a pretty l9-year-old girl, concentrated her enthusiasm on giving english lessons to pupils at jiangwan primary school. mr. richard with his video camera② finished a tv documentary③ about chinese village life.“we like the life here. its so quiet, so plain, yet so interesting,”said miss sandra, one of the students.
lunch time was the most enjoyable for both guest and host. they talked about everything that interested them. the villagers regarded these students as their own sons, daughters, brothers, or sisters.“this new form is also beneficial④ to ourselves,”said u hongming, deputy director ⑤ of jiangwan township. “we are looking forward to welcoming more foreign students to come here.”
indeed, the students not only learned chinese, but also knew more deeply about china within the two months. “weve learned a lot which we couldnt just at chinese colleges,” said miss nona from canada. when asked about the purpose of going to china and staying with chinese villagers, tracy showed her several articles published in an american newspaper:“living, studying and learning to accept and work within another entirely different culture is an important aspect⑥ of every society. communication, understanding, and above all, love are imperative⑦ for world peace.”
①hatch [h$tm] n. (小鸡等)一窝;(喻)一群，一组(年轻人)
②video camera [vidi u k$m r ] n. 电视摄像机
③documentary[?d&kjument ri] n. 纪录影片
④beneficial [benifim l] a. 有利的;有益的
⑤deputy director[depjuti direkt ] 副乡(镇)长
⑥aspect[$spekt] n. (问题、事物的)方面
⑦ imperative [imper tiv] a. 绝对必要的
Last year, I went to Guilin for travel, it was a great trip for me. I not only had a look at the beautiful scenery, but also made friends. I knew a lovely girl from America, we met each other on the train. As we were almost at the same age, we communicated a lot. We shared our opinion about the culture and learned a lot. When our train reached the destination, we needed to separate, we promised to keep in touch by the Internet. Now a year has passed, we make our promise and keep in touch all the time. I have improved my English and she is so interested in China. It seems that we can never finish our topic, because we always have so much to share with each other. I am so lucky to make a good friend.