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Short reading comprehension passages with questions and answers- 4


(Brief-answer Questions)

Reading – I

4. Read the following composition attentively and answer any five of the questions:

Culture shock can be an excellent lesson in relative values and in understanding human differences.  The reason culture shock occurs is that we are not prepared for these differences.  Because of the way we are taught our culture, we are all ethnocentric.  This term comes from the Greek root ethnos, meaning a people or group.  Thus, it refers to the fact that our outlook or world view is centered on our own way of life.  Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own patterns of behavior are the best:  the most nature, beautiful, right, or important.  Therefore, other people, to the extent that they live differently, live by standards that are inhuman, irrational, unnatural, or wrong.

Ethnocentrism is the view that one’s own culture is better than all others; it is the way all people feel about themselves as compared to outsiders.  There is no one in our society who is not ethnocentric to some degree, no matter how liberal ad open-minded he or she is. People always find some aspect of another culture distasteful, be it sexual practices, a way of  treating friends or relatives, or simply a food that they cannot manage to get down with a smile.  This is not something we should be ashamed of, because it is a natural outcome of growing up in any society. 

Ethnocentrism can be found in many aspects of culture-myths, folktales, proverbs and even language. For example, in language the English term barbarian was used to refer to tribes that lived around the edge of ancient Greek society. The Greeks referred to these people as barbars because they could not understand their speech.  Bar-bar was the Greek word for the sound a dog makes, like our word bow-wow.  The Greeks, in a classic example of ethnocentrism, considered those whose speech they could not understand to be on the same level as dogs, which also could not be understood. [NU 2011]

a.   What is culture shock?
      Ans : Culture shock is the shock that a person of a particular culture gets when he comes in contact with person(s) of different cultural heritage.
b.   How does culture shock happen?
      Ans : Culture shock happens because of the lack of orientation about the differences between different cultures.
c.   Give a brief definition of ethnocentrism.
      Ans : Ethnocentrism is the belief or attitude that one’s own group or culture is superior to anyone else’s culture.
d.   Where can ethnocentrism be seen?
      Ans : Ethnocentrism can be seen in many aspects of culture-myths, folktales, proverbs and even language.
e.   What does the word barbarian mean in Greek?
      Ans : In Greek, the word barbarian means those people who could not understand their speech.

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