Saturday, October 8, 2011

When in Rome & Made of Honour: Traditions

We always talk about traditions in our classes. These funny scenes are wonderful to lead in the topic.

A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyer wigs or military officer spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Wikipedia 

  I. Read about some people talking about wedding traditions in their countries. Then make a guess to find out which country the traditions come from. Taken from Topic Online Magazine



1. Wearing White, Giving Flowers, and Throwing Rice In my country, the bride always, or almost always, wears a white dress. The man comes to the house of the bride and give her her bouquet of flowers (also in white or other light colors). They go to the church and the man is inside when the father of the bride brings her to her future husband. And at the end, when they come out, the family throws rice on them. Jolien Debonne

2. Important Details of the Wedding Ceremony The bridegroom can't see the bride wearing her wedding dress before the ceremony. The bride has to wear something old, something new, and something that is borrowed. One more detail is that the rings should be engraved: the name of the bridegroom on the bride's ring and vice-versa. María Celina Brandao

3. One of the Interesting Things in a Chinese Wedding Ceremony A couple always has jokes played on them by their friends or guests. For example, during the ceremony an apple is hung with a thread before the couple. Then people who attend their wedding ask the bride and groom to bite the apple at the same time in order to show they love each other. However, at the moment their lips touch it, one of their friends suddenly pulls it away and the couple's lips meet and they have a big kiss instead of biting the apple before them. Interestingly, this action or behavior always causes a loud laugh. Cheng Limin

4. The Candle Ceremony There is the "candle ceremony" after the ring ceremony where the groom has to light the candle on his left and the bride lights the candle on her right. When they both have their candles lit, they put them together and light the candle in the middle. Then they have to put out their own candles and this means they become just one body for the rest of their lives. Jimena Baquero

5. Seven When the wedding ceremony service starts, a group of seven men goes to the bride's home. The bride and her family are waiting for seven white cars which escort the bride's car until they arrive at the church. Finally, the bride enters the church and then the nuptial song starts playing. Walter E. Hernández

6. Tradition of the "Grinding Girl" On the night before the marriage ceremony, three or four unmarried girls hold a clean white cloth on the heads of the bride and bridegroom while they are sitting on a sofa or on the ground. Then one of the girls start to grind two big nuggets of sugar together. As she does that, she asks God to repel all evil spirits from the life of the newly married couple. Before this, the families of the girl and the boy should make sure that the "Grinding Girl" is very trustworthy and decent. This will also provides the young unmarried girls with the chance to get married in the coming years! Mahmood Azizi

7. Take Note if You're Getting Married - If a groom's friend cuts a piece of the groom's tie, he'll get married soon. - If the bride wears something blue, she'll have a happy marriage. - If the groom sees the bride's dress, she'll have bad luck during the ceremony. Carmen Caffarena

8. I Can't Read Your Name, So You're Next! When a girl gets married, all her female friends write their names inside her bridal shoes. After the wedding ceremony, if someone's name has been rubbed off and can not be read anymore, it means this person is going to get married next. Arzu Cimitay

Answer Key

1 Belgium 2 Brazil 3 China 4 Colombia 5 El Salvador 6 Iran 7 Spain 8 Turkey

II. Watch the movie segments from the movies When in Rome and Made of Honor and answer the questions about both of the segments.

1. Describe the scene.

2. Describe the tradition the segments show

3. What are the consequences of (not) following the tradition.

4. What went wrong? Did anything unexpected take place?

5.Do you have a similar tradition in your country? Talk about it if your answer is YES.

6. What's your opinion about this tradition?




Talk to a partner:

1. Do you have a family tradition ? Talk about it?

2. Are traditions important? Why (not)?

3. What are some strange traditions you can remember?

4. Would you rather live in a world without traditions or in one where traditions are followed very closely? Explain why.



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