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Topic 3: There is a disagreement on the impact of increased business and culture contact between countries on a country's identity. What is your opinion?

One of the most conspicuous trends in the 21st century is a closer connection between countries, in both economic and cultural aspects. There is a widespread worry that this will lead to the gradual demise of countries' identities. This issue should be viewed and analysed from multiple perspectives.

When a country tends to develop a closer relationship with the rest of the world, it does not necessarily give up its culture. Culture is not a disgrace to but an asset of a country. An indigenous culture can distinguish one country from others, attracting foreign visitors and yielding high income. As most tourists travel abroad for learning different cultures and sampling different ways of life, such as Beijing opera in China. Japanese tea culture and Thai temples, many countries have responded with protecting and preserving their cultural identities, in an effort to keep themselves in the list of the most popular destinations. Increased tourism instils fresh life force into these countries, aiding the conservation of their features.

While tourism provides a driving force for cultural conversation, some components of a culture, such as traditions, customs or taboos might die out over time. It seems that in some countries, the locals have become more accustomed to exotic cultures. It reflects the combined effects of the invasion of foreign cultures, either through media or through direct business interaction. For example, two decades ago, sex was a taboo subject in China and most Chinese people felt embarrassed to talk openly about it. Over time the Western culture has permeated into the Chinese lifestyle, and the Chinese people have broken many of their time-honoured traditions. It occurs in the rest of the world as well.

As outlined above, increased interaction between countries in the domains of business and culture can either strengthen or undermine the identities of countries involved. To date there is no definite answer to this question.

1. conspicuous = noticeable = prominent = striking

2. connection = linkage = relation = relationship

3. demise = disappearance = vanishing = fading

4. multiple = manifold = numerous = various = many

5. disgrace = dishonour = shame = humiliation

6. life force = soul = essence

7. conservation = protection = preservation

8. exotic = bizarre = outlandish = from afar = mysteriously unusual

9. taboo = offensive = embarrassing = unacceptable = disgraceful = dishonourable = humiliating

10. permeate = seep into = pervade = leak into

11. time-honoured = age-old = long-established

12. interaction = interplay = communication = relationship

Topic 4: Some people believe that culture will be ruined if it is used to earn tourism revenue, but others consider that tourism is the only way of protecting a culture. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

There is little room for doubt that tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. However, its impact on culture remains a source of constant debate. This essay will elaborate on both positive and negative effects of tourism from a cultural perspective.

Providing economic incentives for cultural preservation is unarguably one of the main contributions of tourism. To many tourists, culture and history are what they first consider when choosing a destination. Their mindset has been recognised by many tourism sites and money has been subsequently directed toward cultural protection, including the maintenance of key historical sites. Tourism is therefore one of the primary forces contributing to the preservation of a culture.

In addition to raising financing, tourism can make an indigenous culture known to the world and rally support worldwide to protect it. When a historic site or a site that shows a country's cultural heritage is made accessible to the public, visitors from all over the world will soon flock there. They will share their experience in the local culture with their friends and families once they return home, assisting this site to gain international fame. Both financial and technological support will flood in for the conservation of natural and cultural resources.

On the negative side, tourism develops sometimes at the expense of part of culture. Food, festivals, costumes and other stimulating elements of a culture tire highlighted to entertain tourists, constituting an insult to the locals and causing damage to the unique nature of a culture. Moreover, cultural commercialisation has made the sacred elements of a culture commonplace and tourists are encouraged to attach little importance to a unique tradition, which cannot be found elsewhere.

In the light of these facts, one can conclude that tourism is neither a boon nor a bane to cultural preservation. While its endeavour to protect an indigenous culture should be recognised, it has put the integrity of a culture at risk.

1. unarguably = unquestionably = indisputably = undeniably

2. destination = site = place

3. maintenance = preservation = upholding = protection

4. indigenous = original = aboriginal

5. fame = reputation = recognition = eminence

6. at the expense of = at the cost of

7. entertain = amuse = keep somebody amused

8. insult = offence

9. commonplace = ordinary

10. in the light of = in view of = considering = taking into account

11. endeavour = effort = attempt

12. integrity = entirely = unity

13. put at risk = endanger = jeopardise

Topic 5: Some people argue that immigrants should adopt the local culture when immigrating to a new country. An alternative view is that they can adapt to a new environment by establishing a minority community. Discuss these two views and give your opinion.

The world in the 21st century is marked by high population mobility. When an increasing number of people have chosen to leave their motherlands and resettle in a new country, they are at crossroads whether to blend in with the local culture or to cherish their own cultural heritages by establishing a minority community. In my opinion, the convergence of different cultures does not require one culture to yield to another. Instead, it can be achieved by building minority communities.

Most immigrants, at the first stage of their life in a new country, are faced with merging into the new culture and integrating into the new society. Accepting the local culture by observing the local traditions is a good starting point. Doing so enables immigrants to interact with locals, especially in the workplace, where locals predominantly work. For example, in Western culture, people customarily keep a certain distance from each other when having a conversation, whereas in some other cultures, the closeness of physical distance is taken as a sign of mutual trust. Examples of this kind are many. A migrant to a new country should recognise the differences and observe local conventions. It will help avoid embarrassment and bring a sense of comfort.

While adopting local customs and blending into the local culture, migrants can follow their individual cultural traditions. The coexistence of different minority communities in a country benefits both immigrants and locals. On the one hand, it enables immigrants to counteract the stress that results from culture shock and to increase confidence in their residence in a new country. On the other, the flourishing of different cultures contributes to the establishment of a multi-cultural environment, a prerequisite for attracting skilled workforce from all over the world to settle.

By comparing the immigration options above, one can conclude that immigrants can adopt local conventions and cherish their own cultures simultaneously. This allows both locals and immigrants to co-build a harmonious multi-cultural community.

1. motherland = native country

2. resettle = relocate

3. convergence = union = junction = meeting

4. merge into = blend into = integrate into

5. starting point = basis

6. customarily = routinely = habitually = regularly = usually

7. closeness = nearness = proximity

8. counteract = offset = neutralise = counter

9. flourishing = blooming = budding

10. prerequisite = requirement = condition = must = precondition

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1682

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Topic 1: Increasing travels between countries enable people to learn different cultures or to increase tension between people from different countries? | Topic 6: The advantages of the spread of English as a global language will continue to outweigh its disadvantages. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
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