January 2010 Reading and Writing test: English 3 corso di laurea in lingue e cultura per l’impresa

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January 2010 Reading and Writing test: English 3


  • INSTRUCTIONS: Choose only ONE of the topics listed below. After reading the materials provided, you may wish to spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas and then make an outline before you begin writing. This is NOT required, but can be very helpful in organizing your thoughts and the information you have found in the texts.

  • TIME ALLOWED: 4 hours

  • LENGTH required: minimum 400-500 words

  • You MUST write on every other line to facilitate correction.

  • Write your first and last name and ‘numero di matricola’ at the top of your exam paper (‘foglio protocollo’)

If you choose to write a composition:

  • It is NOT necessary to provide a title

  • You MUST in some way use (cite or discuss) the information provided in both the English AND Italian texts: papers which do not use this information will be marked down considerably.

  • Feel free to use your own personal experiences, observations and opinions where appropriate and relevant, to strengthen your argumentation.

  • Remember to organise your essay clearly, with appropriate use of punctuation, paragraphs and a clear thesis statement.

  • Provide an adequate introduction and relevant conclusions.

If you choose to write a press release:

  • You MUST follow the directions given in ‘Behind Business’ for writing a press release

  • Content and form must be appropriate

Choice 1: Composition: After reading the information provided, write a composition discussing friendships today in the world of social networks.

Choice 2: Composition: As students of foreign languages and cultures, you should have many ideas about how to learn about other countries and cultures. After reading the article provided, write a composition in which you provide advice on the best ways to learn about a foreign culture. Discuss the pros and cons of AT LEAST four or five different strategies, including that proposed by ‘Hidden Jakarta”.

Choice 3: Press Release. Write a press release regarding the launching of the Hidden Jakarta association.

Source: Wikipedia

Friendship is the cooperative and supportive relationship between people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for some, the practical execution of friendship is little more than the trust that someone will not harm them.

Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:

  • the tendency to desire what is best for the other

  • sympathy and empathy

  • honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart

  • mutual understanding

Friendship in history

Friendship is considered one of the main human experiences, and has been sanctified by most major religions. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Babylonian poem that is among the earliest known literary works in history, chronicles in great depth the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The Greco-Roman had, as paramount examples, the friendship of Orestes and Pylades, and, in Virgil's Aeneid, the friendship of Euryalus and Nisus, and lastly Robert and Aimee. The Abrahamic faiths have the story of David and Jonathan. Friendship played an important role in German Romanticism. A good example for this is Schiller's Die Bürgschaft.

The Christian Gospels state that Jesus Christ declared, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."(John 15:13-14).

In philosophy, Aristotle is known for his discussion (in the Nicomachean Ethics) of philia, which is usually (somewhat misleadingly) translated as "friendship," and certainly includes friendship, though is a much broader concept. Aristotle's conception of friendship conceived of three distinct categories or 'tiers' thereof. As Professor Bill Mullen (of Bard College) lectured: "first, there are your 'business partners,' those who benefit financially from their 'friends' (contemporary theorists and poets reject this definition (c.f. Paul Shepard, who dismisses this relationship as "worship of Mammon.")) second, there are your 'drinking-buddies' – people you have fun with. And, third, people with whom you pursue virtue, or arete."

Friendship can be different depending on where the people come from, gender, and how strong the friendship is.

Types of friendships. Some examples are as follows:

Best friend (or close friend): a person(s) with whom someone shares extremely strong interpersonal ties with as a friend.

Acquaintance: a friend, but sharing of emotional ties isn't present. An example would be a coworker with whom you enjoy eating lunch, but would not look to for emotional support.

Soulmate: the name given to someone who is considered the ultimate, true, and eternal half of the other's soul, in which the two are now and forever meant to be together.

Pen pal: people who have a relationship via postal correspondence. They may or may not have met each other in person and may share either love, friendship, or simply an acquaintance between each other.

Internet friendship: a form of friendship or romance which takes place over the Internet.

Comrade: means "ally", "friend", or "colleague" in a military or (usually) political connotation. This is the feeling of affinity that draws people together in time of war or when people have a mutual enemy or even a common goal. Friendship can be mistaken for comradeship. As a war ends, or a common enemy recedes, many comrades return to being strangers, who lack friendship and have little in common.

Roommate or flatmate : a person who shares a room or apartment (flat) with another person and do not share a familial or romantic relationship.

Imaginary friend: a non-physical friend created by a child, most commonly regarded as harmless, typical childhood behavior. The friend may or may not be human, and commonly serves a protective purpose.

Spiritual friendship: the Buddhist ideal of kalyana-mitra, that is a relationship between friends with a common interest, though one person may have more knowledge and experience than the other. The relationship is the responsibility of both friends and both bring something to it.

Frenemy: a blend of the words fr(iend) and enemy, the term frenemy refers to someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy---a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing in the world of friendships. Most people have encountered a frenemy at one time of another, either at school, at work, or lurking in their neighborhood. The term frenemy was reportedly coined by a sister of author and journalist Jessica Mitford in 1977, and popularized more than twenty years later on the third season of Sex and the City. While most research on friendship and health has focused on the positive relationship between the two, a frenemy is a potential source of irritation and stress.
Choices 2/3: “Hidden Jakarta”

Proponents say it's eye-opening, opponents call it voyeurism. As the debate continues, one man is already taking the global trend of poverty tourism - or "poorism" - to Jakarta's kampungs. "Please wear sturdy shoes or sandals and not your best clothes," runs the advice from Jakarta Hidden Tour, a program offered to those who would like to get a closer look at poverty in the capital. "You may find conditions in the communities less pleasant and comfortable than what is usual for you. Gentlemen, please refrain from wearing shorts and singlets. Ladies, please dress modestly."

This is not a regular tourist's cup of tea. Two Australian participants readied themselves to roam the alleys of slums along the Ciliwung River for the morning tour. Dressed in casual clothes and sandals, they take nothing but a camera when they hop into a Kopaja - a public minibus - heading for Kampung Pulo. "We will first meet the district head, visit some schools and then have a chat with the community," said Ronny Poluan, the tour guide of the day who also happens to be the founder of the program. As they entered the narrow alleys of Kampung Pulo, the clich* greetings started to pop here and there. "Hey, Mister!" "Mampir sebentar *drop by a minute*, Mister!"

Friendly smiles are exchanged with welcoming grins as two distant worlds meet. But is it all sugary and sweet? Ronny took the participants to meet and discuss the problems of poverty with the local subdistrict head, elementary school principals in the area and head of the community health center. "Around 30 percent of about 22,000 people here are poor. We would be very grateful if anyone can help in any way," said the vice subdistrict head to the expatriate guests while trying to silence his two cell phones on the desk.

The two guests eagerly asked for more details on the problems the poor community is facing, problems as basic as the need for clean water, ones they had never encountered in their own country. At the Sanggar Ciliwung, hearing stories about how members of the local community organize themselves to compost waste and provide nonformal education for the children, the two tour participants appeared even more amazed.

In another tour through the kampungs of Luar Batang, three Australian women spent an hour as guests in the house of a family of four who have lived in the often-flooded area for 22 years. "One highlight for me was seeing the young girls behaving just the same as my daughter who is the same age - handbags and high shoes ready to go shopping!" said Lani, one of the tour participants.

This is the kind of story you'd never get from regular tourism. After each visit, Ronny's wife hands an envelope containing Rp 150,000 to all the "sources", the vice subdistrict head, the school principals, and the community health center doctor. "A contribution from the tour to the community," Ronny's wife said. The amount for the contribution is set aside from the money participants are charged. The price for an adventure tour where one pays for one's own transportation and meals begins at US$56 for two people to visit one of the sites: South Jakarta's Ciliwung, Central Jakarta's Galur or North Jakarta's Luar Batang. It can go as high as $330 for a full day tour for four people, visiting all three sites. A third of the fee goes to paying the guides, 17 percent goes to Ronny's NGO the Interkultur Foundation, 15 percent is given as donations to the families and community organizations they visit and the rest is used to cover tour participants' expenses. "I was broke and had to find a way to make a living, one which could hopefully help others," the former documentary filmmaker said of why he started his rather unusual business earlier this year. He actually started years ago by taking people, mostly foreign artists, to Jakarta's kampungs - for free, as a friend. One of the results of his tours was Leonard Helmrich's award-winning documentaries Eye of the Day and Shape of the Moon, Ronny said. "Then I figured, if I can connect the poor with those who might be able to help them, why not be a professional at it?" he said.

Yet a lot still needs to be done if Ronny wants to ensure that what he does is more helpful than harmful. What Ronny is doing is actually nothing new. More than a decade ago, Marcelo Armstrong founded Favela Tour, a company that takes tourists into Rio de Janeiro's favelas or slums. Tourists pay around $35 to take a close look at poverty and learn something about the South American community.

With favelas now as much a tourist commodity as the Brazilian samba, live-in services are sprouting there, offering more than just a couple of hours peeking at poverty. The same can be seen in the Soweto of Johannesburg or Cape Town, along the meandering maze of Mumbai's Dharavi and even in the ghettos in New York City. "Reality Tour", which visits Mumbai's largest slum, claims to be a unique tour and travel agency that tries to help "dispel the negative image that many people have about Dharavi".

What makes Ronny's work different from these others is the end effect it has for the poor. While critics may lambast the concept of commodifying poverty for tourism, Favela Tour and the tour in Dharavi put the funds toward community activities. The tour companies in Brazil and India manage a community school from the funds they raise from the tours, one thing that the Jakarta Hidden Tour is still far from achieving. "It is something that does more harm to the poor if one is simply handing out envelopes," urban poor activist Sandyawan Sumardi said.

Sandyawan, who has worked for years with poor families in Ciliwung, argued that it was not a constructive way of helping the poor. "This kind of activity needs to be managed more professionally and to be done very carefully so as not to end up harming the community mentally," he added.

But others believe the tour actually has the potential to become a bridge between two worlds. "Many people have never seen what being poor is all about. And this is a way to introduce them to the real world," said Robert Finlayson, an adviser provided by the Volunteering for International Development from Australia (VIDA) to assist the Jakarta Hidden Tour.

VIDA is part of the Australian government's volunteer program. Despite the debates, the participants, whose normal lives are worlds away from life in the slum, said that they enjoyed it. And perhaps they are the ones who will feel the benefit long term, even though the objects of their tourist activity feel it only for as long as the money in Ronny's envelopes lasts. "It was very interesting. There are many ways to see Jakarta, but this tour allows you to go below the surface and meet with people on an equal level that you would not otherwise get to meet as a tourist," Lani said. "It was refreshing to escape from all the shopping malls."

Source URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/06/09/taking-a-tour-poor-side.html

Giacarta (in indonesiano Jakarta o Djakarta o DKI Jakarta, già Batavia o Jayakarta) è la capitale e la principale città dell'indonesia. Situata sulla costa nordoccidentale dell'isola di Giava, ha una superficie di 661.52 km². Al pari di molte metropoli di Paesi in via di sviluppo, Giacarta ha il problema del sovraffollamento urbano. La sua popolazione è accresciuta rapidamente da 1,2 milioni nel 1960 ai 5,8 milioni del 2000 fino agli 8,5 milioni del 2005, contando solo i residenti ufficiali.

La crescita troppo rapida ha superato le capacità del governo di poter fornire le necessità di base a tutti i residenti. Giakarta attrae un gran numero di visitatori tanto che la popolazione durante i week-end è circa il doppio rispetto a quella dei giorni infrasettimanali, soprattutto per effetto dei residenti della grande periferia (Jabotabek). A causa dell'incapacità del governo di allestire una rete di trasporti adeguata alle dimensioni demografiche raggiunte, Giakarta deve sopportare grandi ingorghi del traffico quasi ogni giorno. Anche l'inquinamento dell'aria e lo smaltimento dei rifiuti sono due grandissimi problemi.

Durante la stagione delle piogge, Giacarta viene spesso allagata a causa dell'intasamento di fogne, tubazioni e canali di scarico. La continua riduzione della foresta pluviale, a causa dell'avanzamento urbano, nelle zone più elevate a sud di Giacarta presso Bogor e Depok contribuisce all'aumento degli eventi alluvionali.

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