Topic - Culture


In many countries, traditional dress and costumes are considered effective ways of maintaining links with the past. How effective can traditional costumes be, in this sense? What other ways exist to help citizens connect with a country’s past?

đăng 23:22, 9 thg 8, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng

Most people would agree that preserving connections with our past is an admirable objective, especially as the world evolves so rapidly. I feel that traditional costumes are one part of doing this, but they are by no means the most important, as we shall see.

Admittedly, historic dress plays a key role in social events such as religious rituals or military parades, and these events are helpful in transmitting social memes such as public duty and self-sacrifice. Traditional costumes also remind us of the origins of cultural traditions and mythologies, for instance, the historic Swiss national dress which evokes their medieval independence.

However, it must be said that costumes are an accessory in these situations, and do not appear to constitute the central message. It is the ceremonies themselves which convey the cultural norms that help to maintain the fabric of society. In this sense, the costumes are of secondary importance. Furthermore, it seems that there are in fact much more powerful ways in which culture is conserved and handed down between the generations. Most countries have a rich heritage of legends and folklore about the birth and development of their nation, some of which are mythological and some being grounded in truth (as we see in the English stories about Robin Hood or George and the Dragon, for example.) These stories are a cultural inheritance which embodies important symbols and concepts far more effectively than dress. Similarly, we must remember the significance of art and music in passing on our traditions, in forms ranging from fine art to handicrafts, and from opera to traditional shanties and dirges. The presence ofvisual or linguistic messages in these media make them more effective than costumes, which convey no language.

Overall, we must recognise and welcome the use oftraditional dress in helping to maintain our cultures. However, the forms ofstory, art and music would appear to be the driving forces in this invaluable process.

In some societies, fashion is becoming more and more important in choosing clothes. Why is this case? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

đăng 23:12, 9 thg 8, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng

It is true that a number of people place a great deal of importance on fashion when deciding on which clothes to buy. This results from several reasons, and I consider it as both positive and negative. 

There are various reasons why people concern much about fashion. Firstly, fashionable people are often considered to have a modern lifestyle. By contrast, if their style is out of fashion, they are afraid that they will be made fun of by others. Therefore, people tend to wear trendy clothes in order to feel more confident when travelling on the street. Secondly, famous people usually appear on both TV and the Internet, and they are often known as glamourous individuals with a fashionable lifestyle. This leads to people basing their choices of clothes on the fashion style of their favourite celebrities. In my opinion, this development has both positive and negative impacts. 

On the one hand, I believe that clothing is a vital part of human life, as it can significantly improve our appearance. Wearing trendy clothes is therefore positive as long as we consider whether the clothes are suitable for us. On the other hand, it seems to me that people could lose their national traditions if they kept pursuing fashion trends which constantly change. For instance, in Vietnam the traditional clothes are ao dai. If the Vietnamese completely stopped wearing this kind of clothing, they might lose their national culture

In conclusion, there are some reasons why in some societies people base their choice of clothing on fashion trends, and I believe that this development is positive as well as negative. (269 words, band 8.0)

Some people think that it is good for a country's culture to import foreign movies and TV programmes. Others think that it is better to produce these locally. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

đăng 07:17, 22 thg 3, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng   [ đã cập nhật 07:17, 22 thg 3, 2017 ]

People have different views about whether it is better for a country to purchase foreign movies or to create domestic ones. While importing movies from other countries can have some advantages, I would argue that producing local movies is a much better option.

On the one hand, there are some clear benefits of buying movies from other countries. Firstly, when a country imports movies that are produced overseas, it can help its people learn about other cultures in a much easier and more effective way. This would help its citizens to be more knowledgeable. Secondly, individuals can learn the good things of other more civilised societies and alter the way they behave. For example, the habit of queuing is a nice thing in many Western countries, and people from Vietnam can learn and copy this action when watching foreign movies.

On the other hand, I believe it is better for countries to produce movies domestically because of some reasons. The first one is that movies made by local people would help to preserve the traditions and customs of their own cultures. For instance, many Vietnamese TV programmes remind young generations of how people celebrate Lunar New Year, which is the most important public holiday in some Asian countries. If young people only watch foreign movies, the traditional values might be gradually forgotten. Another reason is that the film industry often create jobs such as actors, directors or cameramen. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in producing movies in order to provide more employment opportunities for local people.

In conclusion, while purchasing foreign movies is beneficial for a nation's culture to some extent, it seems to me that making local ones is a much better choice.

(285 words, by Quang Thắng)

Many museums and historical sites are mainly visited by tourists but not local people. Why is this the case and what can be done to attract more local people to visit these places?

đăng 07:12, 22 thg 3, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng   [ đã cập nhật 07:12, 22 thg 3, 2017 ]

There are a number of factors that explain why many museums and historical sites fail to attract the attention of the locals. However, this issue can be resolved by adopting a number of solutions, as will now be discussed.

Perhaps the primary reason is that local inhabitants often do not have interest in visiting these places as they tend not to be attracted by places and objects that are familiar to their cultural backgrounds. For example, many museums in Ho Chi Minh City welcome thousands of travelers from Hanoi annually, in contrast to the number of local residents who visit the museums and historical sites here in my home city of Hanoi.

Another reason stems from historical attractions themselves. They are often poorly conserved due to a low budget for operation while the authority does not make an attempt to improve the situation. Take the Air Defense museum in Hanoi as an example. For years, there has been no change for the better, at least visually, to attract the locals, and this is the reason why most of its visitors are tourists.

However, a range of available options can be taken to tackle the problem. The simplest one is that the authority should continue campaigns aiming at encouraging local people to visit these attractions. They could also consider rearranging and redecorating historical places to make them more interesting and attractive for all visitors. To achieve this, the government ought to allocate more public money to the conservation of these places.

In conclusion, various measures need to be taken to gain back local residents’ interest in museums and historical sites.

(269 words – written by ielts.vinh@gmail.com)

When people live in a foreign country, they should follow local traditions and customs. Do you agree or not?

đăng 20:52, 20 thg 3, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng   [ đã cập nhật 20:52, 20 thg 3, 2017 ]

As the immigrants in many countries are rising in number, an opinion emerges that it is necessary for these outsiders to embrace the culture of the natives. In my personal view, suc h assimilation is completely justifiable for certain reasons.

In the first place, non-native residents should consider adopting the cultural changes for the sake of their easy immigration. It can be universally acknowledged that the people of a nation takepride in their own cultural features such as beliefs, lifestyle and cuisine which greatly influence their life. Therefore, any slight sign showing the lack of respect for the native culture is likely to result in the unfriendliness or even isolation from the local community. To facilitate the integration process and prevent any potential trouble, it is highly advisable that the settlers conform to the standards of behaviour expected by the foreign society.

In addition, it is beneficial for emigrants to accept new traditions and customs as such an action boosts mutual understanding between cultures and alleviates the conflicts. If foreign people are willing to change themselves a little to blend in, for example, avoiding the consumption of beef in India or joining the traditional celebration of Tet in Vietnam with the natives, the local people will definitely  exhibit  a  very  amiable  attitude  towards  the  foreigners.  As  a  result  of  strengthened understanding  and  friendship,  it  is  reasonable  to  say  that  there  will  be  almost  no  room  for discrimination or conflicts.

In conclusion, I entirely support the view of encouraging immigrants to accept the culture of their new homelands, as there will be significant benefits for them eventually.

(266 words - by Bảo Nguyễn)

Many museums and historical sites are mainly visited by tourists but not local people. Why is this the case and what can be done to attract more local people to visit these places?

đăng 01:37, 20 thg 3, 2017 bởi Nam Đỗ Hoàng   [ đã cập nhật 02:07, 20 thg 3, 2017 ]

There are a number of factors that explain why many museums and historical sites fail to attract the attention of the locals. However, this issue can be resolved by adopting a number of solutions, as will now be discussed.

Perhaps the primary reason is that local inhabitants often do not have interest in visiting these places as they tend not to be attracted by places and objects that are familiar to their cultural backgrounds. For example, many museums in Ho Chi Minh City welcome thousands of travelers from Hanoi annually, in contrast to the number of local residents who visit the museums and historical sites here in my home city of Hanoi.

Another reason stems from historical attractions themselves. They are often poorly conserved due to a low budget for operation while the authority does not make an attempt to improve the situation. Take the Air Defense museum in Hanoi as an example. For years, there has been no change for the better, at least visually, to attract the locals, and this is the reason why most of its visitors are tourists.

However, a range of available options can be taken to tackle the problem. The simplest one is that the authority should continue campaigns aiming at encouraging local people to visit these attractions. They could also consider rearranging and redecorating historical places to make them more interesting and attractive for all visitors. To achieve this, the government ought to allocate more public money to the conservation of these places.

In conclusion, various measures need to be taken to gain back local residents’ interest in museums and historical sites.

(269 words – written by ielts.vinh)

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