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Describe a foreign culture that you like

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 232 with Model Answer:

Describe a foreign culture that you like.

You should say:
  • what culture it is
  • how you know about it
  • what differences there are between that culture and your own
and explain why you like that foreign culture.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
My father is a businessman and he owns some of the reputed clothing stores in India. Recently I went to China with him to open a branch there. The traditional Lion Dance attracted me most in my short visit to China.

Every nation has their respective cultures and traditions. Similarly, Chinese people also have their respective norms and rules, and they follow the rules strictly. In fact, China is enriched with cultures and rituals and the citizens of the country are busy round the year to celebrate those. Lion Dance is one of the traditional Chinese dance and a part of Chinese cultural traditions. The dances are mostly during different festivals. Most of the Chinese citizens are of the view that the dance helps to bring good luck for those who arrange it and eliminates the impacts of evil powers from those specific organisers. So, they also organise the dance during different events like opening a new business or company or starting any activities that need the backings from the luck. However, the dance is enjoyable all of the times regardless of its arrangement either for a business opening or marking any local festival.

Before visiting China, I was not familiar with the culture. In fact, I had no idea about this. In my land, people usually break coconuts before doing something good. The events may vary but the activity is always the same. A coconut will be broken by the owner or any important individual so that all the barriers go away or get broken by the coconut. But when I came to China with my father, I was surprised about the Lion Dance. I had seen such types of dances on television and thought that the dance was something to be performed during the festivals. But when the dance took place before our branch in China, I was amazed by the dance. The dancing moves were also attractive and the performers maintained the perfect balance of their moves which made it enjoyable. The performers of the dance have displayed a varied range of dances with the large lion mask on them and they did it cheerfully so that the dance could be effective in eliminating the evil powers.

In India, typically some religious activities are done during the opening of any business or something new. Even when people make a new house for them, they follow some religious norms. Almost all of the people from different religions follow their respective norms directed from the religious leaders. Breaking a hard piece of coconut is one of the most popular norms when people start something new for them. If the coconut is not broken in a single strike, it is considered that the initiative will not be fruitful for them who have organised the event. So, they try to leave the project or the initiative. But in China, the rituals are a bit different. The Lion Dance is organised on a large scale and a team of participants perform here. They are hired to perform the dance perfectly so that there are no chances of evil forces to come back there again.

I think the Lion Dance is powerful as it does not require breaking coconuts in single strikes which often becomes risky. The people in India firmly believe that the first time failure to break the coconut will invite negative forces but in China, there are no such issues. Due to the performance of the Lion Dance, there are no such scopes for the evils to penetrate in the project.

I like the Lion Dance for some specific reasons. In India, the religious activities or breaking the coconut occurs on a small scale. Only a few people who are intimately related to the project are invited to the event. This is not an attractive event at all. But the Lion Dance is entirely opposite to my culture. It begins with the walking of the lion before the business, company or the project. The lion opens its eyes on the doors of the project where some traditional fruits and food crops are hanged. The dance is performed by some professional service providers and thus the chances for mistakes are less. Besides, a couple of lions are used in the dance and each of the lions contains two men to perform it. The performers imitate the moves of the lions and take different shapes with the mask that a real lion makes. The dresses and the masks used in the dance are colourful and the performances are really wonderful. So, I like this culture in China.

Sample Answer 2:
The celebration of Christmas is almost the same everywhere. But I did not have the idea how it was celebrated. So, when I went to the USA last year, I had to take part in a Christmas celebration. It appeared different to me. In fact, I was amazed by the activities. Thank you for the nice cue card topic. I will describe the event in brief here.

Christmas is the biggest festival for the Christian community across the world and it is celebrated on December 25 each year. Marking the day, the people start taking preparations from one or two weeks ago. They decorate the houses, get gifts for their near and dear ones and plan more other activities. The scenarios were similar but planting a tree inside the house was something new that I have never seen before.

I know about the traditions as I had to stay in the country for some time. I had to attend a conference in Colorado, one of the USA states. So, I left the country before the last week of December last year from Jakarta. Reaching in the country, I had to stay for around 20 days for the conference purposes. By this time, I got the chances to know about the local cultures. I was invited to the residence of one of the conference participants and then he showed me the Christmas tree. It looked really nice and attractive.

The cultures of the USA and Indonesia is remarkably different. In my country, I have not seen any Christian community people decorate the home so nicely. They perform the ritual as it should be performed. On the other sides, the people in the USA take this as the largest religious festival for them. So, they try to celebrate the day amid great festivity. In Indonesia, people take leave for one or two days to celebrate the Christmas day while the people in the USA take a long leave to celebrate the day. Offices, schools, business organizations remain closed marking the event for around a week. People need to shop their necessaries before the closure. Snowfall is another interesting event at that time.

I liked the Christmas celebration in the USA. They made the event more attractive than it was in my country. So, I was amazed. The things that attracted my attention were the decoration of the houses, selection of precious and nice gifts for the people, the Christmas tree and many more issues. It was the moment for them to enjoy themselves. They also sing the Christmas carols while some of the houses organize for storytelling competition marking the day. I also like the sending and exchanging of the Christmas greeting. For all the reasons, I like this foreign culture much.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a foreign culture that you like." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue cards topics as well:
  • Describe a cultural aspect you have recently learned about. 
  • Describe a foreign culture you know about. 
  • Describe a culture of custom that seems strange to you. 
  • Describe a foreign custom or culture you do not like. 
  • Describe a unique culture or tradition in your country.  

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