You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
People should follow the customs and traditions when people start to live in a new country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Many people argue that foreigners should adapt to the local customs and traditions when they come to reside in a new country. I completely agree with this view.
Newcomers will certainly face difficulties if they do not conform to the norms of social behaviour in the host country. Firstly, it will become almost impossible for them to blend into their new environment. For example, an entrepreneur who comes to live in a new country and starts up a business must be aware of the business practices of that country. There are bound to be many pitfalls, not only legal ones but also simply in terms of winning and keeping customers. Secondly, recent immigrants might fall foul of the law if they do not respect the behaviour and customs of locals. In Singapore, for instance, residents will consider newcomers dirty and ill- mannered if they litter the street or spit gum in public places.
There are also many benefits for foreigners when they do adopt the customs and traditions of their new country of residence. One advantage is that local people will be more welcoming when they feel that the newcomers are showing respect for the local way of life. The establishment of closer links with the host community might lead to greater integration and mutual understanding. Another benefit is the richness of the experience which newcomers will gain from enjoying aspects of local customs and traditions, enabling them to participate in community life and avoid social isolation. During festivals and national holidays, especially, they will feel like they ‘belong’ in their new country.
In conclusion, I would argue that it is essential for new residents to follow the traditions and habits of locals in the host community in order to integrate fully into society.
the norms of social behavior: standards of behaviour that are typical of and accepted within society.
host country: a country which receives visitors or new residents.
blend into: to look very similar to the surrounding people or things, so that it is difficult to distinguish what is new.
an entrepreneur:a person who makes money by starting or running a business.
bound to (be): certain, or likely, to be.
pitfalls: a hidden danger or difficulty, which it is not easy or possible to see at first.
fall foul of the law: to get into trouble with the police because you are doing something illegal.
newcomers: a person who has only recently arrived in a place.
integration: the process of mixing people who have previously been separated.
mutual understanding: the feelings which two or more people share equally.
social isolation: the state of being alone in society.
‘belong’: to feel comfortable and happy in a particular situation or with a particular group of people.