Reading

Reading Unit 9
Reading Comprehension
(1) The enormous and fascinating variety of clothing may express a person's status or social position. Several hundred years ago in Europe, Japan, and China, there were many highly detailed sumptuary laws – that is, strict regulations concerning how each social class could dress. In Europe, for example, only royal families could wear fur, purple silk or gold cloth. In Japan, a farmer could breed silkworms, but he couldn't wear silk. In many societies, a lack of clothing indicated an absence of status. In ancient Egypt, for instance, children—who had no social status—wore no clothes until they were about twelve. These days, in most societies (especially in the West), rank or status is exhibited through regulation of dress only in the military, where the appearance or absence of certain metal buttons or stars signifies the dividing line between ranks. With this exception of the military, the divisions between different classes of society are becoming less clear. The clientele of a Paris café, for example, might include both working-class people and members of the highest society, but how can one tell the difference when everyone is wearing denim jeans?

(2) Two common types of body decoration in tribal societies are tattooing and scarification. A tattoo is a design or mark made by putting a kind of dye (usually dark blue) into a cut in the skin. In scarification, dirt or ashes are put into the cuts instead of dye. In both of these cases, the result is a design that is unique to the person's tribe. Three lines on each side of a man's face identify him as a member of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. A complex geometric design on a woman's back identifies her as Nuba—and also makes her more beautiful in the eyes of her people.

(3) In some societies, women overeat to become plump because large women are considered beautiful, while skinny ones are regarded as ugly. A woman's plumpness is also an indication of her family's wealth. In other societies, by contrast, a fat person is considered unattractive, so men and women eat little and try to remain slim. In many parts of the world, people lie in the sun for hours to darken their skin, while in other places, light and soft skin is seen as attractive. People with gray hair often dye it black, whereas those with naturally dark hair often change its color to blond or green or purple.

(4) In the West, most people visit a dentist regularly for both hygiene and beauty. They use toothpaste and dental floss daily to keep their teeth clean. They have their teeth straightened, whitened, and crowned to make them more attractive to others in their culture. However, "attractive" has quite a different meaning in other cultures. In the past, in Japan, white teeth were not considered attractive so it was the custom for women to blacken them. People in some areas of Africa and central Australia have the custom of filing the teeth to sharp points. And among the Makololo people of Malawi, the women wear a very large ring—a pelele—in their upper lip. As their chief once explained about peleles: "They are the only beautiful things women have. Men have beards. Women have none. What kind of person would she be without the pelele? She would not be a woman at all."

(5) Body paint or face paint is used mostly by men in pre-literate societies in order to attract good health or to ward off disease. It is a form of magic protection against the dangers of the world outside the village, where men have to go for the hunt or for war. When it is used as war paint, it also serves to frighten the enemy, distinguish members of one's own group from the enemy, and give the men a sense of identity, of belonging to the group. Women have less need of body or face paint because they usually stay in the safety of the village. In modern societies, though, cosmetics are used mostly by women, who often feel naked, unclothed, without makeup when out in public—like a tribal hunter without his war paint. One exception to this rule is Victorian society in England and the United States, when women could not take part in public life. In this period, women wore little or no makeup.
Practice :

Read the passage carefully and decide whether the following statements are True (T) or False (F).

1
Strict laws in some countries used to regulate what people of each social class could wear. 
2
Scarification is a design made by putting dirt, ash and dye into the cuts in the skin. 
3
According to paragraph 2, people decorate their bodies for the purposes of identification and beauty. 
4
Some children in ancient Egypt didn't wear any clothes until they were about twelve because they don’t have money. 
5
Many years ago, Japanese women straightened, whitened, and crowned their teeth in order to look pretty. 
6
During the Victorian Age women wore little or no makeup because they could not take part in public life. 

From question number 7 to question number 13, choose the best answer for the questions.


7
According to the text, today especially in the West, the differences between rank or status can be seen only in:
8
What makes a Nuba more beautiful in the eyes of her people?
9
What is the main idea of paragraph 3?
10
Who have the custom of filing the teeth to sharp points?
11
In paragraph 2, the word "these cases" refers to...
12
Which of the following is NOT TRUE according to the text?
New words :
Scarification:
/,skeərifi'keiʃn/
(n.)
vết rạch, vết khía dưới da
Two common types of body decoration in tribal societies are tattooing and scarification.
He had had his own scarification when he was eleven years old.
Plump:
/plʌmp/
(adj.)
bụ bẫm, phúng phính
In some societies, women overeat to become plump because large women are considered beautiful.
My little cousin is a short plump girl with a curly hair.
Dye:
/daɪ/
(v. n.)
nhuộm, thuốc nhuộm
A tattoo is a design or mark made by putting a kind of dye (usually dark blue) into a cut in the skin.
It's never been easy to dye your hair and get gorgeous color at home.
Hygiene:
/ˈhaɪdʒiːn/
(n.)
vệ sinh
In the West, most people visit a dentist regularly for both hygiene and beauty.
Good personal hygiene is one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves, and others, from illness.
Dental floss:
/ˈdentl flɔːs/
(n.)
chỉ nha khoa
Western people use toothpaste and dental floss daily to keep their teeth clean.
Even if you brush regularly, you should use dental floss to clean between teeth and remove harmful bacteria.
Ward off:
/wɔːrd ɔːf/
tránh khỏi, ngăn ngừa khỏi
The biggest health benefit of this exercise is to ward off certain diseases.
Being happy and positive may help ward off heart disease.
Sense of identity:
/sens əv aɪˈdentəti/
bản sắc
Once we lose our own sense of identity, we lose our own authentic self.
Body paint or face paint give the men a sense of identity, of belonging to the group.
Practice:
Translation
(1) The enormous and fascinating variety of clothing may express a person's status or social position. Several hundred years ago in Europe, Japan, and China, there were many highly detailed sumptuary laws – that is, strict regulations concerning how each social class could dress. In Europe, for example, only royal families could wear fur, purple silk or gold cloth. In Japan, a farmer could breed silkworms, but he couldn't wear silk. In many societies, a lack of clothing indicated an absence of status. In ancient Egypt, for instance, children—who had no social status—wore no clothes until they were about twelve. These days, in most societies (especially in the West), rank or status is exhibited through regulation of dress only in the military, where the appearance or absence of certain metal buttons or stars signifies the dividing line between ranks. With this exception of the military, the divisions between different classes of society are becoming less clear. The clientele of a Paris café, for example, might include both working-class people and members of the highest society, but how can one tell the difference when everyone is wearing denim jeans?

(2) Two common types of body decoration in tribal societies are tattooing and scarification. A tattoo is a design or mark made by putting a kind of dye (usually dark blue) into a cut in the skin. In scarification, dirt or ashes are put into the cuts instead of dye. In both of these cases, the result is a design that is unique to the person's tribe. Three lines on each side of a man's face identify him as a member of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. A complex geometric design on a woman's back identifies her as Nuba—and also makes her more beautiful in the eyes of her people.

(3) In some societies, women overeat to become plump because large women are considered beautiful, while skinny ones are regarded as ugly. A woman's plumpness is also an indication of her family's wealth. In other societies, by contrast, a fat person is considered unattractive, so men and women eat little and try to remain slim. In many parts of the world, people lie in the sun for hours to darken their skin, while in other places, light and soft skin is seen as attractive. People with gray hair often dye it black, whereas those with naturally dark hair often change its color to blond or green or purple.

(4) In the West, most people visit a dentist regularly for both hygiene and beauty. They use toothpaste and dental floss daily to keep their teeth clean. They have their teeth straightened, whitened, and crowned to make them more attractive to others in their culture. However, "attractive" has quite a different meaning in other cultures. In the past, in Japan, white teeth were not considered attractive so it was the custom for women to blacken them. People in some areas of Africa and central Australia have the custom of filing the teeth to sharp points. And among the Makololo people of Malawi, the women wear a very large ring—a pelele—in their upper lip. As their chief once explained about peleles: "They are the only beautiful things women have. Men have beards. Women have none. What kind of person would she be without the pelele? She would not be a woman at all."

(5) Body paint or face paint is used mostly by men in pre-literate societies in order to attract good health or to ward off disease. It is a form of magic protection against the dangers of the world outside the village, where men have to go for the hunt or for war. When it is used as war paint, it also serves to frighten the enemy, distinguish members of one's own group from the enemy, and give the men a sense of identity, of belonging to the group. Women have less need of body or face paint because they usually stay in the safety of the village. In modern societies, cosmetics are used mostly by women, who often feel naked, unclothed, without makeup when out in public—like a tribal hunter without his war paint. One exception to this rule is Victorian society in England and the United States, when women could not take part in public life. In this period, women wore little or no makeup.
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