British Culture Quiz


With the Diamond Jubilee next weekend and the Olympics in the summer, the eyes of the world will be focused on the UK for a while. I thus suggest you test yourself and try to answer this quiz about British culture in 60 questions.

1. What are the nations that compose the UK?
2. What is England’s national flower?
3. How many inhabitants are there in England?
4. What is the most popular food in Britain?
5. What river flows in London?
6. What is the Tube?
7. What is a double-decker?
8. What is the name of the famous London clock?
9. Who is David Cameron?
10. Saint George is the patron saint of England. He was famous for killing something, what was it?

11. Where is the Rosetta Stone?
12. Where are the House of Lords and the House of Commons situated?
13. What is Madame Tussauds?
14. What is the British currency?
15. What is 221B Baker Street famous for?
16. Why is 10 Downing Street famous?
17. What is a bobby?
18. What village in Somerset is famous for its cheese?
19. What is the name of the British flag?
20. What is the town of Stratford upon Avon famous for?

21. What is Liverpool famous for?
22. What are the main two political parties? Are they right or left wing?
23. Which religious building did Christopher Wren build?
24. What is Hadrian’s Wall?
25. Who won the Battle of Trafalgar?
26. Who were Elizabeth the first’s parents?
27. Name Henry VIII’s six wives.
28. What is Harrods?
29. Name the four Beatles.
30. What did Forrest Mars invent in 1933?

31. Who is Nessie?
32. When is Poppy Day? What do the English celebrate?
33. When is Boxing Day? What do people do?
34. What do the letters BBC stand for?
35. What is a GP?
36. What is an MP?
37. What is the NHS?
38. What is the RSPCA?
39. What is the RAF?
40. In what book can you find the following quotation: “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

41. Who wrote Murder on the Orient Express?
42. Who wrote Robinson Crusoe?
43. Who wrote Pride and Prejudice?
44. Who wrote Oliver Twist?
45. Who wrote Animal Farm?
46. Who wrote Harry Potter?
47. Who wrote A Brave New World?
48. Who wrote The War of the Worlds?
49. Who wrote Frankenstein?
50. Who wrote Wuthering Heights?

51. When was the Queen born?
52. When was her coronation service held?
53. What is the name of the primary residence of the British monarch?
54. Name Queen Elizabeth’s four children.
55. Who was the Prime Minister when Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne?
56. What is the motto of the British monarch?
57. Who is the only British monarch who has reigned longer than Queen Elizabeth?
58. What was Prince Philip’s religion before he married the Queen?
59. What is Queen Elizabeth’s favourite breed of dog?
60. Concerning the line of succession, what is the main difference between the British monarchy and the Swedish monarchy?

Kosher Cooking Carnival – The Sivan Edition


This is the Sivan edition of KCC – the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Sivan is the ninth month of the Hebrew year. On the sixth day of Sivan we celebrate Shavuot which commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish People.


– Leora shares a Creamy Yellow Vegan Soup that is still nameless. soup.jpg

– Hannah presents an Italian bread soup with a difference: Ribollita Con Cecci

Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Eggplant, Eggplant, Eggplant………., a post by Miriam from Miriam’s Kitchen

– Hannah suggests Beet Tzatziki, a Geek recipe with a Twist

– Mimi cooks a Danish dish: Caramelized Cauliflower; perfect for Shavuot?

– Mimi inaugurates a new pot with Spicy Red Bean Stew Recipepot.jpg

– Liz offers a Pasta Salad

– Hannah Katsman shares a Spicy Green Schug with Chili Peppers and Coriander

Bread & Desserts:

– Yocheved shares a Spelt Bread Recipe

– Leora sugests a recipe for Pesach and after: Matza, Nuts and Chocolate for Passover or after

Chocolate Chip Cake – a family favorite shared by Mrs.S.

– Phyllis posts the recipe and photo for a Coca-Cola Cake

Photos of Food:

– Batya shares beautiful photos for a Segula, of a Meal in a Pot and of a Special Delicious Bonus

– Mottel shows Blue Cheese Nachos and details their contents.

Restaurant & Take-Away:

– Leora buys Sushi from Sushiana, the new sushi restaurant in Highland Park

Stories and Recipes:

Miriyummy presents: azrielicenter.jpg

Meat, Greet and Good Friends — Israel’s Independence Day 2012

Man Plans God Laughs

– Elisson writes about a Kosher BBQ Cook-Off


– Yosefa shares her love of goats in For the Love of Goats

– Batya writes about a Shopping Trip to A Giant Mall and about Combining Learning with Lunch

– Liz goes Treasure hunting in Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter


Participating in KCC

If you would like to host, contact Batya or join the KCC Facebook group

KCC Logo.jpg


Commonwealth War Cemeteries


If you have relatives who fought in World War 1 or if you are just interested in recent History, visiting Commonwealth War Cemeteries is something you might consider. Yesterday I visited two such cemeteries as there are lots of them in my area – French troops were stationed further east. The following explanations are based both on my own observations and on a Wikipedia article.

A typical cemetery is surrounded by a masonry wall with an entrance through wrought iron gates. In larger sites a stainless steel notice gives details of the respective military campaign – in the first cemetery I visited the notice explained that it contained the graves of 65 British, 1 Australian and 41 South African soldiers and when they fell in action. There were also a map and some explanations about the battles fought by these soldiers.

In most cemeteries, you’ll find a bronze register box – in the wall – containing an inventory of the burials and a plan of the plots and rows as well as a visitor’s book.



Typically, cemeteries of more than 40 graves have a Cross of Sacrifice designed by architect Reginald Blomfield.


Individual graves are arranged, where possible, in straight rows and marked by uniform headstones, the vast majority of which are made of Portland stone.


Most headstones are inscribed with a cross, except for when the deceased was not a Christian or was known to be an Atheist.


Many gravestones are for unidentified casualties; they consequently bear only what could be discovered from the body.


The land on which the Commonwealth cemeteries and official memorials are situated was given by the French government and are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

My Week in England


The title of this post is no reference to a recent trip but to the title I gave to my first visit to England in the 1970s.

When I was 11, my parents took me on a journey to England. We spent three days in London (I remember that the hotel was near Piccadilly Circus). Then my parents drove to York where my father had a business meeting and I spent a week in the Midlands with the Brown family: my mother’s pen friend, her husband and their two sons – Alan and Steven.

I was in the first year of middle school but Alan, who was a little younger than me, was in primary school. I went to school with him for a week and more generally shared their family life.

Mrs Brown was a French teacher and she made sure I learnt new things every day. At the end of my stay, she made me write a short diary of my time with them. I had only learnt the present tenses and she had to teach me the past so I could write the following lines.

I had enjoyed this trip so much that I kept this little booklet which I found again a few days ago at the bottom of a drawer. Apart from a short daily account of my week, there are also photos and postcards and a few lines about English meals. Can’t you just tell that even then I liked writing better than art?

It was a fantastic idea and I am glad I still have it after so many years.


Sunday: We went to Coombe Abbey. We played on the swings and slides. We went on the nature trail.

Monday: I went to school with Alan. I went swimming.

Tuesday: It was Alan’s barbecue. We put up his tent in the garden. For tea we had hot-dogs and beef-burgers. We made a trail to the woods and we played hide and seek.

Wednesday: I went to Kenilworth Castle and Coventry Cathedral in a coach. I had a picnic. After school I went swimming. I visited a big school.

Thursday: At school I drew a Kenilworth Castle. We talked about Coventry Cathedral. We did athletics. I ran and I did long jump and threw a cricket ball.

Friday: I went to school and won a badge for athletics.

Saturday: We went to the Battlefield of Bosworth. We saw the film Richard III.


Fear vs Autonomous Choice


My frequent visits to Swedish schools with our language exchange have allowed to glimpse into the Nordic school system and to observe how different it is from the Latin approach.

In short it seems that the Nordic approach trusts the students to make responsible choices while the Latin method instills fear in the students hoping that this will prevent them from making wrong choices.

Let me illuminate you with a few examples:

Time: When we visit places with the exchange I have noticed that our attitude towards schedules and times vary. Fo instance my French colleagues announce meeting times and try to frighten the students with all the things that will happen to them (things that sometimes happen) while our Swedish counterparts will just explain the daily schedule.

Computers: My school has computers of course but in rooms that are locked unless a teacher is present. If our students use computers during a lesson, we are supposed to make sure they don’t listen to music or visit websites that will distract them from their work.

In addition a lot of my colleagues are still wary of computers and wish they did not have to use them every day. I even know a few who refuse to have a computer at home.

When we first visited Sweden, computers were at the students’ disposal in open spaces. In the school we now have the exchange with, each new comer is given a Macbook Pro for the length of her/his/ stay in the school by the local authorities. When their students are on their computers Swedish teachers trust that they are working and will rather discuss what they are doing and how than behave like policemen.

I have never heard a teacher moan about having to use the computer.

Internet access: My school has no wifi connection and a lot of websites are banned (YouTube, Facebook, email providers, etc). It seems our local authorities fear the students will either access inappropriate sites or not use the Internet wisely. Similarly I have heard colleagues say the weirdest and silliest things about Facebook, to the extent that I wonder if some of them even know what it is.

In most Swedish school, students can access the Internet via wifi from their computers or smart phones. Sure enough I have seen students on Facebook in class but it usually took place before the lessons got started. Once the students were made to work actively they forgot about Facebook.

While neither approach is perfect – and I hope I am not too naive as regards the Nordic system – I tend to believe that fear is likely to produce immature and neurotic grown-ups rather than healthy, well-adjusted adults.

For those interested in education in general – and you don’t need to be a teacher to appreciate this – I recommend Seth Godin’s latest book Stop Stealing Dreams. It is free for everybody to download.