Global Test Mourning Rituals

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Mourning Rituals

Mourning Rituals

Many cultures and religions have distinct traditional mourning* rituals* which help them deal with death. Mourning traditions often include common themes like observing a certain period of mourning before entering society, wearing modest or dark clothing, and saying prayers for the dead. If you are visiting a family in mourning that is from a different culture, you may want to look up their specific mourning rituals so that you won’t inadvertently cause offense during a difficult time.

The first set of mourning rituals in many societies involves dealing with the body of the deceased. Many cultures encourage family members to wash the body and dress or shroud it for burial, although in some regions this task is delegated to a funeral director. For people who do deal with their dead directly, the act of bathing and dressing the body can be a very important act of mourning. Depending on cultural values, the body may be buried or cremated immediately after it is prepared, or the deceased may be put on display so that visitors can say their goodbyes. In some cultures, the deceased must be buried before sundown on the day that he or she died, and ideally the deceased should be buried close to home. Many cultures also prescribe simple coffins and shrouds for their dead. Mourners who attend the burial typically wear dark, somber clothing, and they may bring gifts for the dead like flowers, artwork, letters, and so forth. Prayers for the dead are usually said while he or she is buried or cremated. A set period of mourning is common to many mourning rituals. For example, people of the Jewish faith sit shiva* for a week as part of their mourning process, and they traditionally tear or rip their clothing to symbolize their grief.
People who do not sit in vigils may still observe a period of mourning in which they wear dark clothing or perform specific prayers for the dead; Buddhists, for example, have a set of prayers for the dead which are said at varying intervals after the deceased is cremated.

Because death is unavoidable, every culture has developed specific ways of dealing with death. Many mourning rituals have a religious basis, but some are also practical; many desert cultures, for example, require bodies to be buried immediately, as high temperatures can trigger rapid decomposition. Other cultures require widows* to
remain in mourning for nine months to ensure that when they remarry, paternity of any children will be clear. Most mourning rituals are intended to celebrate the life of the deceased while also expressing sorrow at his or her passing. You are unlikely to offend mourners if you are respectful, but be aware that some cultures have very specific taboos surrounding certain flowers or funeral gifts; for example, flowers are not traditionally brought to people sitting shiva. Mourning rituals are so complex that it would take several volumes to describe them all, but a quick search in your favorite search engine can give you a quick course on mourning etiquette for a wide range of cultures and situations.

* Mourning: الحداد
* Rituals: طقوس
* Shiva: a period of seven days’ formal mourning for the dead, beginning immediately after the funeral.
* Widows: الأرامل

I. Comprehension: 15 points

A. Choose the right answer from the list given: 1 point

1. The text is probably taken from (0.5 points)

a. an interview.
b. a play.
c. the internet.

2. The text is about: 0.5 point

a. marriage rituals in some countries.
b. burying the dead in the desert.
c. mourning rituals according to some cultures.

B. Say whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F) Justify: 3 points (1 point each)

1. In all cultures, the dead person must be buried before sunset on the day that he or she died.
……………………………………………………………………………………………
2. Flowers mustn’t be brought to people of the Jewish faith sit shiva* for a week.
…………………………………………………………………………………………
3. Widows must remain in mourning for nine months to be able to marry again.
……………………………………………………………………………………………

C. Answer the following questions from the text: 3 points (1 point each)

1. What must families do before the burial of their dead?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
2. Why did some cultures allow weeping and tearing clothes in mourning period?
………………………………………………………………………………………………
3. How can you get a quick course on mourning etiquette for a wide range of cultures and situations?
…………………………………………………………………………………………

D. Find in the text words that mean almost the same as: 4 points (1 point each)

1. burned:…………………………….
2. inevitable:…………………………
3. activate:..………………………….
4. prohibition:………………………..

E. What do the underlined words in the text refer to? 1 point (0.5 points each)

1. it: (paragraph 2)……………………………….
2. they: (paragraph 4) ……………………………

F. Complete the following sentences: 3 points (1 point each)

1. Dealing with the body of the deceased is…………………………………………….
2. Some mourning rituals are practical whereas………………………………………
3. Every culture has developed specific ways of dealing with death as……………………………

II. Language: 15 points

A. Rewrite these sentences beginning with the words given: 3 points (1 point each)

1. He couldn’t go to the USA because he didn’t get a green card visa.
If……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
2. The World Health Organization expects that many children will suffer from AIDS in Africa in the next decade.
Many children…………………………………………………
3. “Why don’t we set up an environmental organization in our city?” said Ted to his neighbor.
Ted suggested……………………………………………………

B. Put the verbs between brackets in the correct tense: 2 points (1 point each)

1. By the time they finish their study, some students (do)……… ……….some voluntary work in holidays.
2. Parents must avoid (interfere)…………… ….in their gifted children’s personal choices.

C. Fill in the blanks with an appropriate phrasal verb: 3 points (1 point each)

fill in – put off – check in – put out – let in – cross out – broke out – find out

1. When Malaria epidemic _______ ______ in some African countries, “Medecins sans frontier” organization provide medical health to millions of infected people.
2. If you want to join our association, please _______ ______ this form.
3. The student doesn’t have an eraser, so he has to _______ ______ his mistakes.

D. Put the words between brackets in the correct form: 3 points (1 point each

1. Jonathan was fired from our association because ________(used) the fund of the association extravagantly.
2. Our school has signed some partnership with some associations to ______(new) its equipment.
3. Our youths should be involved in (volunteer)________ work, so that they can be active citizens.

E. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word or expression from the list below: 2 points (1 point each)

because of – however – thanks to – so as to – moreover

1. The status of Moroccan women has remarkably improved so far……………………the Moroccan family code.
2. The internet is responsible for the wide supply of information………………….., it gives its users great power

F. Match the sentences with the appropriate functions: 2 points (1 point each)

Statement Function
1. I have been patient long enough but you keep on throwing rubbish into my garden.
2. To my mind, globalization is a real threat to the third world countries.
A. apology
B. request
C. complaint
D. giving opinion

 

III. Writing: 10 points
Technology has improved our lives in many ways: in transport, medicine, industry…However, technological progress can have negative points.
Write an article for your school magazine giving your opinion about technological progress and its advantages and disadvantages.

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