There can be no better introduction to the local atmosphere of Sheffield, it's people, humour and language than getting hold a copy of the dark British comedy 'The Full Monty'.
The film begins (ironically enough) with an old promotional film of the city, and then proceeds to follow the fortunes of half-a-dozen unemployed steelworkers. They take the rather drastic step of becoming a troupe of male strippers, a-la the 'Chippendales'.
(Indeed the working title was ; Eggs, beans and Chippendales)
Faithfully using a number of locations around the city, the film climaxes with their first sell-out performance. Movie legend has it that the scene was filmed a number of times in the club, as the men stripped down to their undies. Only in the final take did they go for the 'Full Monty' (total nudity) and the camera, trained on the audience this time took in their genuine stunned amazement.
A great film, and very, very funny. Watch it.
A few miles out of the city centre, and you'll see fields surrounded by dry stone walls. This centuries old craft is still in use to define boundaries, and confine cattle etc.
A common site in the Peak District, Yorks Dales etc.
If you're out walking, please don't damage these walls, by climbing over them..theres usually a style nearby to climb through.
There are courses to learn the art of dry stone walling, think one is at Birchover in Derbys, but I'll check it out (very soon!)
Manners are the main cultural tip here.....some thing that is slowly dying. It will be much appreciated to stand up on a bus and let the old or women sit down...open the doors for the person following you..not speaking with your mouth full etc etc.
Starring at someone can be seen as aggresive behaviour and can provoke allsorts of reactions and get you into a huge amount of trouble if you are staring at the wrong person.
Just because some one calls you a mate it doesnt mean they like you.....if they cal you mucker you know you are the good friends and you can stare all you want.
Another custom that is worth remembering is "mashing" english like to drink their tea, so if they tell you they are going to get mashed and would you like to join them, it doesnt mean they are going on an orgy of druggs....just making a simple cup of tea.
It is custom to pay your way if you go out with any locals to a resturaunt or bar.....they will try to not let you pay, but if you dont you will be classed as a "cheap skate" or "tight fisted" and you will loose any respect you had. If you are invited to some ones house and offered biscuits with your tea feel free to accept them, if you are offered for a second time and take more biscuits, your host will keep smiling but will class you as a "greedy git" in their heads. After all outings or visits and the guests have left, it is traditional for the hosts to discuss if their guests fall into theses catogeries. If they do it will be discussed at great lengths and any observations will be in minute detail.
For the guys out there if you want to follow English traditions and customs, when you go to the pubs dont buy half pints, go for the full pint. It feels much better drinking a pint and looks a lot less effeminate.
For God's sake don't mentio either of the two Sheffield Football teams, they're up and down the division tables like yo-yos but the fans for both teams stick by the team and don't like criticism much.
Sheffield has a parculiar dialect but people are warm and friendly. Head for student or upmarket bars for best welcolm. Frog and Parrot, forum and Halcion bars on Division Street. Cavendish and Flares on West Street. Henrys on Cambridge Street and All bar one. If you tip 10% they will be very pleased as yorkshire people can be particularly tight(mean). Try and speak the diallecn 'a thu all rite lad' or 'alright' for hello and 'see you' for good bye.
Don't even think about coming to the North without sampling Yorkshire pudding! Another sophistocated delicacy(!!!) is 'Toad in the hole' (we have a way with words)..which is the glamourous articles pictured, but a bigger version with sausages burrowing through the batter, don't fret if you are vegetarian, just throw in a couple of quorn or other vegetable protein pseudo sausages....you know it makes sense;-)swill it down with a pint and a pound 'a' black puddin' and you're officially a local (Only joking......half a pound will do lol)
English in the street is different from the english I learnt from courses in Turkey, totally different accent. It took me some months to understand the local people. I can say that they speak something new to me. They call it SouthYorkshire English.
Some words also mean something different from American English.
When they say 'Haya' it means 'Hi'. Always say 'Thank you' and 'please' otherwise they may be angry with you. It is not a kindness, it is the way everybody speak in their normal life. Honey and sweet is also very common.
To be honest, I dont use the word 'please' all the time in my life in Turkey, was strange to me at first, but liked it afterwards.