Task: Write a summary paragraph for the text I have provided below. Then, write a response paragraph giving your opinion about the efforts to preserve the world’s intangible cultural heritage.
Here is the full text to be summarized and responded to:
(Source: Unlock Reading & Writing and Critical Thinking 3, Unit 4)
Protecting Our Intangible Cultural Heritage
Introduction paragraph: In today’s ever-changing global landscape, most of us recognize the importance of preserving our own unique cultural heritage. But what do we save? A magnificent building which is under threat? A historical part of a city? An important work of art? All of these are significant, but what about our songs, stories, ceremonies, and traditional practices? These intangible aspects of our culture can be just as meaningful as anything we build or create. Shouldn’t they also be preserved for future generations to experience and enjoy?
Body paragraph 1: The answer, according to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), is yes. That is why in 2008 it published its first Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list. You may already know UNESCO’s famous list of World Heritage Sites, consisting of places selected for special protection because of their value to the world, such as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. However, the ICH list is different. Its purpose is to record living customs and traditions which are endangered by globalization. These include languages and spoken traditions (such as storytelling and poetry), performing arts, traditional crafts and local knowledge and beliefs.
Body paragraph 2: Today, there are more than 400 customs and traditions on the ICH list. Two recent entries show us just how rich and varied are the practices selected for protection. The culture of the Jeju Haenyeo, the women divers of Jeju Island in South Korea, was added to the list in 2016. These amazing women dive 10 m under the sea to get food- without the use of breathing equipment. They do this for up to seven hours a day, 90 days of the year, holding their breath for about one minute every time. Knowledge about diving practices is passed down from generation to generation within families. Yet today, most of the divers are in their 60s, 70s, or 80s. As they have become older, younger women have not stepped in to take their place, meaning the practice is in danger of disappearing.
Body paragraph 3: Another cultural practice added to the ICH list in the same year is falconry. This is the ancient custom of hunting with trained birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks. Regarded as both an art form and a sport, it requires years of training and discipline. Falconry is practised around the world from France to Mongolia to the United Arab Emirates, which is home to the world’s first falcon hospital and each year hosts a falcon ‘beauty contest’. Sadly, falconry is now threatened by the growth of cities and the loss of natural habitats. There are fears that the practice may disappear unless efforts to preserve it are successful.
Concluding Paragraph: Both Jeju Haenyeo and falconry illustrate the tremendous range of cultural practices which the ICH list was created to preserve. And yet, while most of us would agree that UNESCO’s efforts are valuable, I find myself questioning the fairness and usefulness of the ICH list. Why are some customs and practices included While others are not? Who decides this? Does inclusion on the list make a difference in the long term? In this age of rapid globalization, when fewer young people are interested in learning about the customs of their ancestors, it may already be too late to preserve much of our diverse and precious cultural heritage. But for the benefit of feature generations, I believe we must never stop trying.
Following are the main paragraphs with the main ideas and details about the text:
Paragraph 1: Introduction (main idea: Should we preserve our intangible culture for future generations? Details: Already protecting heritage sites; intangible aspects- songs, stories, traditional practices)
Paragraph 2: Main Idea: The ICH list was established to protect living customs and practices. Details: The list includes languages, spoken traditions, performing arts, craftsmanship, knowledge and beliefs.
Paragraph 3: Main Idea: First example: the culture of the Jeju Haenyeo-under threat as young women are not stepping in to carry on the tradition.
Paragraph 4. Main Idea: Second example: Falconry- practised in different countries around the world but is threatened by the growth of cities.
Paragraph 5. Conclusion: Main Idea: Trying to answer the question in the introduction and concluding we must never stop trying for the sake of future generations (Both examples illustrate the diversity of practices on the list. Is the list fair? Will it make a difference? Is it too late?)
Now, you are ready to write a summary and response to the author’s ideas:
- In your response paragraph address the author’s main ideas with your own point of view.
- Agree or disagree with the author’s points or ideas
- Give an example from your own experience or someone you know
- Connect the author’s ideas to something you read or heard from another source
- Provide a different opinion about the same issue
- Evaluate the point or idea. For example, say whether you think that it is positive or negative.
You may paraphrase the author’s sentences in three ways:
1- Replace words or phrases with synonyms. Change the order of some words or phrases.
2- Use indirect speech (According to X,…; X states/writes/believes/says (that)).
Here is the format that you can use in your summary and response essay:
Summary paragraph (Topic sentence-author’s main idea), supporting detail 1, Supporting detail 2, Supporting detail 3…)
Response paragraph (Topic sentence-your reaction to the author’s main idea), supporting detail 1, supporting detail 2, supporting detail 3-optional), concluding sentence which restates your opinion.
Please consider the following points in your response:
- Did you restate the author’s main idea in your own words?
- Did you summarize the important details which support the main idea?
- Did you give examples or other supporting details for your opinion in the response paragraph?
- Did you restate your opinion in the concluding sentence?
- Did you use quantifiers, verbs and modals to avoid generalizations?
- Did you use adverbs of frequency correctly?
- Did you replace adjectives with synonyms to avoid repetition?
- Did you use paraphrasing to rewrite someone else’s ideas?
SUMMARY AND RESPONSE PARAGRAPHS
Summary: It is important to preserve our intangible cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy. UNESCO created the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list to protect customs and practices that are endangered by globalization. Examples like the Jeju Haenyeo culture and falconry show the diversity of practices on the ICH list. While UNESCO’s efforts are valuable, the author raises concerns about the fairness and effectiveness of the list, especially in a world where fewer young people are interested in their ancestors’ customs.
Response: I completely agree with the author’s point about preserving our intangible cultural heritage. It is not just about saving buildings or artworks; our songs, stories, and traditions are also meaningful and should be kept for future generations. I have personally seen traditions fading away and young people losing interest in their cultural roots. In a rapidly changing world, our unique customs help us maintain our identity and understand our heritage. UNESCO’s ICH list is a good step to raise awareness about endangered practices. However, I understand the author’s concerns about fairness and effectiveness. It is important that the selection process is transparent and includes a variety of cultural practices from around the world. Listing these practices alone is not enough; we need everyone, including governments, communities, and individuals, to actively participate in preserving and passing down these traditions. Education is also crucial in nurturing an appreciation for intangible cultural heritage. If cultural education is included in schools and we create opportunities for older and younger generations to share knowledge, we can ensure that these traditions continue to thrive. In conclusion, preserving our intangible cultural heritage is crucial for the future. Although the ICH list is a positive step, it should be accompanied by comprehensive strategies that address the concerns raised by the author. By celebrating diversity, encouraging active participation, and promoting cultural appreciation, we can protect these valuable traditions and keep them alive in a changing world.
SAMPLE 2 (HIGHER LEVEL)
Summary: The text discusses the importance of preserving intangible cultural heritage for future generations. It introduces the concept of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list established by UNESCO, which aims to protect endangered living customs and practices. The essay highlights two examples from the list: the Jeju Haenyeo culture and falconry, illustrating the diversity of practices at risk. The author raises questions about the fairness and effectiveness of the ICH list and expresses concerns about the potential loss of cultural heritage in the face of globalization.
Response: I agree with the author’s viewpoint on the significance of preserving intangible cultural heritage. The ICH list serves as a valuable initiative by UNESCO to safeguard endangered practices and customs that hold deep cultural significance. It is commendable that efforts are being made to protect traditions like the Jeju Haenyeo culture and falconry, which face the threat of disappearing due to various factors. In my own experience, I have witnessed the erosion of cultural practices and traditions, especially among younger generations who seem less interested in learning about their heritage. This trend can be attributed to the impact of globalization and the allure of modernization. Therefore, the author’s concerns about the fairness and effectiveness of the ICH list are valid. Deciding which customs should be included on the list can be a complex task, and it is essential to ensure that diverse cultural practices from around the world receive equal recognition and protection. Moreover, the author raises thought-provoking questions about the long-term impact of inclusion on the ICH list. While it is crucial to document and raise awareness about endangered practices, it is equally important to implement measures that actively promote their continuation. Preservation efforts should involve fostering interest among younger generations, engaging local communities, and creating sustainable frameworks for transmitting knowledge and skills. Simply listing practices without effective conservation strategies may not be sufficient to safeguard intangible cultural heritage for the future. In conclusion, I strongly believe that preserving our intangible cultural heritage is vital. The ICH list serves as a valuable tool for highlighting endangered practices, but it should be accompanied by comprehensive efforts to actively engage communities and ensure the continuation of these traditions. By doing so, we can help future generations connect with their cultural roots and appreciate the rich diversity of human heritage.
SAMPLE 3 (HIGHER LEVEL)
Summary: The author highlights the importance of preserving intangible cultural heritage for future generations. The establishment of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list by UNESCO aims to safeguard endangered living customs and practices. The essay provides examples of the Jeju Haenyeo culture and falconry as practices facing the risk of disappearance. While acknowledging the value of UNESCO’s efforts, the author questions the fairness and effectiveness of the ICH list, raising concerns about the decline of interest in ancestral customs and the potential loss of cultural heritage in the face of globalization.
Response: I strongly agree with the author’s viewpoint on the significance of preserving the world’s intangible cultural heritage. It is crucial to recognize that cultural practices, traditions, and knowledge passed down through generations hold immense value and contributes to the richness of human heritage. The establishment of the ICH list by UNESCO serves as an essential step towards raising awareness about endangered practices and promoting their protection. Personally, I have observed the erosion of cultural traditions, particularly among younger generations, who often prioritize contemporary lifestyles and neglect the teachings and customs of their ancestors. This shift can be attributed to the influence of globalization, which emphasizes uniformity and modernization, sometimes at the expense of cultural diversity. Therefore, the author’s concerns regarding the fairness and effectiveness of the ICH list are valid and warrant further exploration. While UNESCO’s efforts to compile the ICH list are commendable, it is important to consider the inherent challenges in determining which customs and practices should be included. The process of selection and evaluation raises questions about subjectivity and the potential exclusion of equally valuable cultural elements. To ensure a comprehensive representation of intangible cultural heritage, it is vital to incorporate diverse perspectives and engage with local communities who hold invaluable knowledge and insights about their own cultural practices. Moreover, listing practices on the ICH alone may not be sufficient to guarantee their long-term preservation. It is essential to implement practical strategies and initiatives that actively involve younger generations in learning and practising these traditions. Education programs, cultural exchange platforms, and community engagement efforts can play a pivotal role in cultivating a sense of pride and interest in intangible cultural heritage among the youth. In conclusion, the efforts to preserve the world’s intangible cultural heritage are of utmost importance for the enrichment of future generations. While acknowledging the value of the ICH list as a tool for recognition and documentation, it is essential to address the concerns raised by the author regarding fairness, effectiveness, and the need for proactive measures. By actively involving communities, fostering intergenerational knowledge transfer, and promoting cultural appreciation, we can strive to safeguard and celebrate the diverse tapestry of human cultural heritage for years to come.
Summary: Preserving intangible cultural heritage is essential for future generations to experience and enjoy. UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list was established to safeguard endangered living customs and practices threatened by globalization. Examples such as the Jeju Haenyeo culture and falconry demonstrate the diversity of practices included in the ICH list. While UNESCO’s efforts are valuable, the author questions the fairness and effectiveness of the list, raising concerns about the decline of interest in ancestral customs and the potential loss of cultural heritage in the face of globalization.
Response: I strongly agree with the author’s perspective on the significance of preserving intangible cultural heritage. Our cultural identity is not solely defined by physical landmarks or artefacts but also by the intangible aspects that hold deep meaning and reflect the traditions and values of our communities. These intangible elements, such as songs, stories, and traditional practices, contribute to the richness and diversity of our cultural heritage. Today, we experience the erosion of cultural practices and the fading interest among younger generations. In a rapidly changing world where globalization often promotes uniformity and homogeneity, the preservation of intangible cultural heritage becomes crucial in maintaining our unique identities. These practices provide a sense of continuity, connection to our roots, and a deeper understanding of our heritage. While UNESCO’s ICH list is commendable in raising awareness and recognition of endangered customs, it is important to address the author’s concerns about fairness and effectiveness. The selection process and criteria for inclusion should be transparent, inclusive, and representative of diverse cultural practices worldwide. Furthermore, listing practices on the ICH alone is not enough to ensure their long-term survival. It requires collective efforts from governments, communities, and individuals to actively engage and participate in the transmission and revival of these traditions. Additionally, education plays a vital role in instilling pride and interest in intangible cultural heritage among younger generations. By incorporating cultural education into school curricula and providing platforms for intergenerational knowledge transfer, we can foster a sense of appreciation and ensure the continuity of these practices. In conclusion, preserving the world’s intangible cultural heritage is imperative for the enrichment of future generations. While the ICH list is a commendable step, it should be accompanied by comprehensive strategies that address the concerns raised by the author. By embracing cultural diversity, promoting active participation, and nurturing an appreciation for intangible cultural heritage, we can safeguard these invaluable traditions and ensure their continued vitality in a rapidly changing world.