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Predicting the Future

Read the text carefully. The extracts come from two different sources: one is a science fiction book, the other is from the notes on a CD of Bangladeshi music. Then decide which points come from which source: the book or the music notes.

Fact or Fiction?

  1. By law only women possess wealth. Men are allowed to administer the property but traditionally it cannot change hands without the consent of women.
  2. People’s names give no indication of whether they are a man or women.
  3. Learning centres taught all the skills that prepare for the practice of art: training in singing, dance, the use of the brush, chisel, knife, lathe and so on. It was all pragmatic: the children learned to see, speak, hear, move, handle. No distinction was drawn between the arts and the crafts: art was not considered as having a place in life, but as being a basic technique of life, like speech. Painting and sculpture served largely as elements of architecture and town planning.
  4. People are divided into exogenous clans, i.e. they can only marry someone from another tribe, and marriage proposals come from the woman who may elope with her chosen man or send her relatives to capture him.
  5. There are no locks on the doors of houses. No one has to do anything that they don’t want to. ‘Work’ and ‘play’ are virtually synonyms.
  6. Their language has no swear words or blasphemous expressions.
  7. When somebody dies the body is washed, laid out in the house and kept there for two days before being burnt. During this period women keep watch over the body wailing unceasingly. These lamentations consist of recitations of the qualities and good deeds of the deceased.
  8. Sacrifices are performed as a means of placating spirits that are supposed to be the cause of the disease.
  9. Their culture and ideas are based on the writings and sayings of a woman who escaped with her followers from an oppressive materialistic society.
  10. Possessive pronouns are rarely used – instead of referring to ‘my mother’ most children say ‘the mother’, and rather than saying ‘This one is mine and that’s yours’, they say ‘I use this one and you use that’.