Cue Card # 3: Describe an interesting tradition in your country

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 3

Describe an interesting tradition in your country.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how old this tradition is
  • whether the people in your country follow this tradition

and explain how you personally feel about this tradition.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]


Model Answer 1:

Thank you sir/madam, for this nice candidate task card topic. Though I am originally from China, I currently live in the UK. Having lived in China for more than 18 years, I have had great exposure to various Chinese traditions and among them, some are quite interesting and unique. China, as a large country with a huge population, has some really unusual traditions that people in other countries would think distinctive, and sometimes strange.

One such tradition is that ’Chinese men carry handbags’, and China has the highest percentage of male handbag careers in the world. I am sure people who are not accustomed to seeing men carrying handbags of various colours and designs, would find it really peculiar.

Traditionally men have to carry a large amount of money, and cheques are not widely used in China. This is why men need to carry handbags in our country. The highest denomination of Chinese yen is hundred and that is why business people need to carry such bags to take large wads of cash. Also, Chinese men cheerfully carry their wife’s handbags and purses.

I am not sure exactly how old this custom is but I believe this must be at least several hundred years old. I often wondered what western tourists think when they see that Chinese men carry colourful handbags as Western women do! Top brands like Gucci and Prada should target these Chinese men and expand their business market in China, and who knows maybe they have already targeted them!

Yes, most of the Chinese men follow this tradition and it has a practical purpose than its fashion value.

As a Chinese, I find it quite natural. In fact, before I left China, I thought men in other countries also carry handbags but after I reached the United Kingdom, I realised that this is not the case. I personally believe that there is nothing wrong in carrying a handbag when it has many practical utilisations. However, men in most of the countries find it hilarious and funny. As a Chinese, I respect this tradition, nevertheless.


Model Answer 2:

India, my native land, has so many diverse traditions that it will probably take a whole year to talk about them. But, thankfully, I have been asked to talk about only one of those traditions. This is indeed an intriguing topic to talk about, and I would like to thank you for that.

Anyway, this interesting tradition, I am talking about, is popularly known as “Holi” or the “festival of colours” in just plain English. It is a popular ancient “Indian” tradition (many prefer to call it a festival also) which heralds the arrival of the spring season after the winter.

Even though it is a predominantly Hindu tradition, it is being celebrated by non-Hindu communities of my country as well for centuries, dating back from as early as 4th century CE. Celebrated in the month of March every year, it signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated as a day of spreading happiness and love.

The festival is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.
So, no wonder that people in my country like to follow this tradition like a “religion” because it very much defines who we are as people – people that value their religious traditions from their heart. Anyway, even though, this tradition is very much about smearing each other with “colours” (mostly “red”), different people from different parts of India observe this tradition by trying significantly different things or customs. For example, while women beat up their men with sticks in “Uttar Pradesh”, the men in “Maharashtra” get busy in breaking the “clay made pot by climbing on top of each other.

Anyway, I would like to say that I feel really good about this tradition that creates a sense of solidarity among many different groups of people in my country who are otherwise divided into many different customs and cultures. Besides, this tradition also offers our people an opportunity to enjoy their life a little.

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