Examiner: We have been talking about a special event or festival that you liked. And now I’d like to talk about celebrations in more general terms. Why do you think celebrations are important in society?
Test taker: That’s a bit difficult. Mmm something like Las Fallas in Valencia it seemed to pull all the communities together. And so I think that maybe that’s the whole point of celebrations. It’s sort of ... it is literally celebrating something that we have in common and it could be with our families or it could be our friends or our area, or even our country.
Examiner: And apart from this benefit that you’ve talked about, you know, that festivals bringing people together, are there any other benefits to them do you think, or any drawbacks.
Test taker: Well in terms of another benefit I think these sorts of festivals probably encourage people to spend more money so I think there must be an economic benefit because I’ve noticed in these things, not just in Spain but in France and other places, that people when they go to these public festivals, they sort of, they’re eating and drinking, or perhaps they’re wearing special clothes or they’ve bought fireworks or something like that. So there must be quite a big economic impact locally. Drawbacks is more difficult. I suppose I mean, you know, possibly with so many people gathered in one place you could have some aggression, perhaps people behaving badly, perhaps even drunkenness, I don’t know
Examiner: Do you think celebrations are experienced differently by the different generations? By younger and older people? Do you think they experience these events differently?
Test taker: Well, I’m sort of in between the two really so...I can’t speak for either. Generally speaking though, I would imagine that older people might appreciate these celebrations because it’s like a continuation of something they are familiar with. It’s something that’s part of their culture, part of their local communities so they might be really appreciative of that side of it whereas I imagine younger people probably just enjoy them for the fun of being outside, being with their friends, something new, something different, something lively.
Examiner: Do you think in the future these types of event will become more or less common?
Test taker: Again, that’s quite difficult. I don’t think it’s a matter of more or less common really because I mean they are there. I suppose it’s more a matter of whether people will continue to support them or not. I think, my own feeling is that generally people do benefit from these things and will continue to support these local initiatives, these community actions in the future. So I think they probably get stronger rather than weaker in the future
Examiner: Let’s talk now about international events. Do you think International events help to promote cooperation and collaboration between countries?
Test taker: Well, errr, it depends. Yes and no. Ummmm. I mean some international events, I mean, yes in the sense that you know for something like the World Cup or the Olympics where you know that millions of people around the world are watching the same event as you. I think that that can set up a sense of all of us being in it together in some way. But does it help promote cooperation? I don’t really see how it does because by their very nature most of them are competitive. Perhaps cultural events are a little bit different because then you would actually have to collaborate and cooperate. Certainly international sporting events, I think no, probably not.
Examiner: And do you think international sporting events are more popular with the older or younger generation?
Test taker: Again, that’s that’s difficult. My feeling is that generally they are probably more popular with sort of middle-aged and older people. The younger people, I think, with the whole social media thing, I think younger people possibly sort of create their own events in a way and are less likely to sort of have that wholesale enthusiasm for an orchestrated international event.
Examiner: And do you think we will see changes in the future to international events? And if so, what sort of changes might we see?
Test taker: Well, I don’t know what we would see but I would like to see is there being less competitiveness. I mean it would be nice to have international events like sporting events where people weren’t competing under a national flag. That we just had people competing and who was the fastest, the highest, the quickest whatever rather than this idea that you’re doing it for your country. But I can’t see that happening. I I suspect that they will become much more orchestrated, much more organised. They will become more expensive, I think, also and much more commercialised is my feeling, actually.
Examiner: Thank you. That’s the end of the test.
Test taker: Thank you.