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TRADITIONS

Dialogue:______read aloud in pairs

A: Do you think we should maintain our traditions or make way for change?

 

B: In country's like Japan, people have done both, though it's usually older

people who pass on the traditions. The young are often embarrassed by them. This is a

shame.

 

A: Why do you say that?

 

B: Let me explain. Take a traditional Japanese song, for example. Perhaps

children are taught to sing this song by their grandmother when they are five years old.

Well, when they reach the age of fifteen, they reject the songs of their childhood.

Instead, they are into pop or rock songs which will be forgotten within weeks.

 

A: But, that's quite natural. Teenagers have always had an appetite for fast

food.

 

B: It would be O.K. if they recognised the quality of the songs that their

grandmother had taught them and went on to sing them to their own grandchildren.

 

A: Why shouldn't they? After all, these songs have been handed down for

generations. If they're any good, then surely they'll survive.

 

B: I'm not so sure about that.

 

A: Why not?

 

B: Because traditions are now under attack from mass production and mass

marketing.

 

A: What do you mean?

 

B: Music today is owned by large multinational recording companies, many of

which are based in the United States. The same applies to soft drinks.

 

A: I don't understand. What's the connection between a folk song and a soft

drink?

 

B: Well, take the Spanish drink "horchata". This is a very nice, traditional,

vegetable based drink for people who don't want to drink alcohol. However, try to

order it in a number of Spanish bars and you'll find that it has almost become extinct.

 

A: Come on! I bet that you can get traditional Spanish wines and beers!

 

B: That isn't the point. I'm talking about soft drinks and few Spanish bars will

serve you with "horchata", their own traditional soft drink. However, they'll be

delighted to serve you with American soft drinks which will be advertised all over

the walls of the bar and on the sign outside. It's the same with music. The oral

traditions of small countries are being submerged by inferior American imports.