The weather is still Britain's favourite topic of
conversation with three quarters of us
discussing it more than anything else,
according to research.

The study of 3000 people was carried out by British
butter brand Country Life to celebrate the start
of British Food Fortnight 2009.

It is so popular that even after England's football
team beat Croatia to qualify for the World Cup,
more men were talking about whethe
it would rain or shine.

Our day to day lives are still characterised by traditional
British activities like discussing the weather,
enjoying fish and chips and
drinking cups of tea.

More than eight in ten believe tea is the ultimate
traditional British drink, with everyone from
the under 18s to the over 55s enjoying a cuppa.

When it comes to food, fish and chips is still seen
as the ultimate in traditional food. However
one in five of us think curry has become a
modern culinary classic.

Dr David Lewis, a psychologist and Director of Research
at Mindlab International, said we cling to traditions
because they are comforting.

He said: "These cultural symbols serve as the unshakeable
foundation on which the British way of life is built.
Social and technological change makes many of us
feel anxious and stressed because, by challenging
accustomed ways of thinking and doing things,
it undermines our sense of competence and
self-belief. Traditions offer a psychological
'comfort blanket' by appearing
permanent and unchanging."

"By providing this sense of stability and predictability
they help reassure us everything will turn out for the best,
so encouraging a more positive and optimistic view
of the future. Traditions are also a source of
tremendous pride. By differentiating us from other
nations they help create a unique identity,
reinforcing our confidence in the attitudes
and beliefs that make us typically British."

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