Exercise 1

Listen to these comments about special days of the year. Match them to the correct pictures.

Answers & Audioscripts

1   Mother’s Day – have breakfast in bed

2   Valentine’s Day – give cards and presents

3   New Year’s Eve – have a big party

1 b   2 c   3 a


1   “My favorite celebration is Mother’s Day.  It’s a day when my husband and my kids make pancakes for me – just like I used to make for my mom – and I get to have breakfast in bed.”

2   “February 14th is the day when people give cards and presents to the ones they love. I’m really looking forward to Valentine’s Day! I already have a gift for my boyfriend.”

3   “New Year’s Eve is a night when I have fun with my friends. We usually have a big party. We stay up all night and then go out for breakfast in the morning.”

Exercise 2

Listen to the conversation. What does Anusha say about her wedding reception?

Answers & Audioscripts

There were two receptions. One was right after the wedding ceremony, which was organized by the bride’s family. The other party took place the day after the wedding and was organized by the groom’s family who hired a band and dance performers.


Julia:   And was this picture from your wedding reception?

Anusha:   Yes, sort of. This is actually from the second reception. After the wedding ceremony, my parents had a small celebration for family and close friends. Then, the next day, my husband’s family hosted this huge party for all our friends and relatives.

Julia:   Another party, the day after the wedding?

Anusha:   Yes, it’s an Indian tradition.

Julia:   And what was it like?

Anusha:   It was fantastic. They hired a band and some dance performers. And there was lots of excellent food. We had a great time.

Julia:   It sounds like your wedding was a lot of fun.

Anusha:   It really was!

Exercise 3

A. Listen to two people discuss a book about marriage customs. Match each country to the title that describes its marriage custom.

 Sweden ___

 China ___

 Paraguay ___


 Fighting for Love

 Dishes for Good Luck

 Kisses for Guests

 Tears of Happiness

B. Listen again. Complete the sentences to describe the custom.

1   When the groom leaves the table, ……………………………………. .

2   One month before the wedding, ……………………………………. .

3   When they want to marry the same man, ……………………………………. .

4   After the guests bring the dishes to the couple, ……………………………………. .

Answers & Audioscripts


1 c   2 d   3 a   4 b


 When the groom leaves the table, the male wedding guests take turns kissing the bride.

 One month before the wedding, the bride starts crying every day.

 When they want to marry the same man, the women have a boxing match.

 After the guests bring the dishes to the couple, they break all of them.



Man:   You know, this book about marriage customs is really interesting.

Woman:   Oh yeah?

Man:   Listen to this. In Sweden, at a wedding reception, when the groom leaves the table, all the male wedding guests take turns kissing the bride at her table.

Woman:   So if you and I are getting married and you go to the bathroom, all the men at the wedding will come kiss me?

Man:   Yeah, that’s right. And if you leave the room, all the women will kiss me.

Woman:   How funny! I would love to see that!


Woman:   Hmm. What about China?

Man:   Uh, I haven’t read anything about China.

Woman:   Well, I have heard that in one region, before the wedding, the bride starts crying every day for one month.

Man:   Crying? I thought weddings were a good thing.

Woman:   They say they are tears of happiness. Then the mother joins in and the grandmother, too. At the end of the month, every woman in the family is crying with the bride. They say all the crying together sounds like a song.

Man:   Hmm. That’s different.


Man:   Oh, here’s another one. This one is really interesting.

Woman:   Oh, yeah?

Man:   Yeah. Listen to this. It talks about this native tribe in Paraguay.

Woman:   Uh-huh.

Man:   When two women in the tribe want to marry the same man, guess what they do.

Woman:   I have no idea. What?

Man:   They have a boxing match and fight until one of them wins.

Woman:   And the prize is the husband?

Man:   Of course!


Man:   And here’s an interesting custom from Germany.

Woman:   Let’s hear it.

Man:   The wedding guests bring dishes to the wedding as gifts for the couple.

Woman:   That doesn’t sound that different.

Man:   Well, then the same guests that brought the dishes break all of them.

Woman:   Why do they do that?

Man:   They say that the loud noise from the dishes breaking scares away evil spirits. So the wedding guests are helping protect the couple and wishing them good luck.

Woman:   Interesting.

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