Listening task 1: Information

A Listen. People are talking about India. What are the topics? Check (✓) the correct answers.

1  languages

the location

the weather

2  restaurants

food and drinks


3  a scientist and inventor

a movie star

a teacher

4  music



Answer & Audioscripts

1 languages

2 food and drinks

3 a scientist at1d inventor

4 movies

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Circle the correct answers.

 India has

      a. two national languages.

      b. twenty-two national languages.

 Many Indians don’t eat

      a. beef.

      b. mangoes.

 Aryabhatta invented

      a. the number zero.

      b. the soccer ball.

 Indian movies often show

      a. special effects and good jokes.

      b. fighting and dancing.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 b   2 a   3 a   4 b



Woman:   India is the sixth largest country in the world. It is located in South Asia. India is home to many people from different cultures, and they speak many languages. In fact, India has twenty-two different national languages in addition to the official language, Hindi. English is also used for official purposes.


Man:   India is famous for its food, especially its spicy dishes. Curry dishes with chicken, lamb, or vegetables are very popular. Beef is not served often because many Indians don’t eat beef for religious reasons. India is also known for tropical fruits. There is even a national fruit – the mango. Indians drink many fruit juices, and Indian tea is famous all over the world.


Woman:   It was an Indian scientist named Aryabhatta who invented the number zero more than two thousand years ago. Aryabhatta may also have been the first person to say that the earth is round, like a ball. His work helped Indians invent some of their first calendars. Today, math and science, and especially computer science, are popular subjects for Indian students.


Man:   India is well known for its movie industry. Unlike Western movies, Indian movies with action, fighting, and violence may also include romantic scenes with music, singing, and dancing. Indian films are known for their beautiful colors and clothing. People around the world are watching more and more Indian movies in theaters and at home.

Listening task 2: A festival

A Listen. A woman is telling the story of the Indian festival Diwali.
Number the sentences in the correct order from 1 to 7.

___ She kept him awake all night.

___ She lit many candles and lights.

___ Her husband was saved.

___ There was a woman who tried to save her husband’s life by keeping away the lord of death.

___ When the lord of death came to take her

___ husband, the lord was blinded by the lights.

___ She put her jewelry all over the house.

___ The story explains the significance of the lights and why Diwali is celebrated.

Answer & Audioscripts

1   There was a woman who tried to save her husband’s life by keeping away the lord of death.

2   She kept him awake all night.

3   She put her jewelry all over the house.

4   She lit many candles and lights.

5   When the lord of death came to take her husband, the lord was blinded by the lights.

6   Her husband was saved.

7   The story explains the significance of the lights and why Diwali is celebrated.


Interviewer:   Can you tell me about one of your favorite Indian festivals?

Woman:   Sure. One of my favorite Indian festivals is called Diwali. It is the festival of lights, celebrated all over India. It’s something that l used to look forward to very much as a child. There are a lot of legends about this festival. My favorite one tells how the lights of Diwali became so important.

Interviewer:   Oh, I’d love to hear it.

Woman: All right. I’ll tell you the seven parts of the story.


Woman:   Once there was a woman who tried to save her husband’s life by keeping away the lord of death.


Woman:   One night, the wife didn’t let her husband go to sleep. She kept him awake all night.


Woman:   The woman did something very clever. She put her jewelry all over the house, along with her gold money and any other shiny things she could find.


Woman:   She went around the whole house, and she lit many candles and lights. You see, the lights were reflected in the woman’s jewelry and all the shiny objects, and the whole house became very, very bright.


Woman:   When the lord of death came to take the woman’s husband, the lord was blinded by all of the lights. It was too bright, and he couldn’t see.


Woman:   The woman’s husband was saved. The lord of death gave up and went away.


Woman:   The story explains the significance of the lights and the reason why this festival is celebrated.

B Listen. How do people celebrate Diwali today? Check (✓) five things they do.

buy new clothes


eat special food

give presents

go to a parade

meet relatives

ring bells

set off fireworks

visit graves

Answer & Audioscripts

buy new clothes, eat special food, give presents, meet relatives, set off fireworks


Interviewer:   So, what are some of the things that people do today to celebrate Diwali?

Woman:   Well, today for Diwali people use many different kinds of lights in their homes. The most traditional ones are oil lamps made of brass. And outside they set off lots and lots of fireworks.

Interviewer:   Sounds beautiful.

Woman:   Yes, it is. Diwali starts with a lot of joy, a lot of happiness in everybody’s life. There’s a school vacation for kids. People buy new clothes and cook a lot of special foods and eat them. Basically it’s a time for family togetherness – to meet relatives and enjoy spending time together.

Interviewer:   You mentioned special clothes. Can you tell me about some of the clothes chat people wear?

Woman:   Oh, Diwali is one of the times when you buy new clothes and wear them, so kids look forward to this. Usually, adults wear traditional Indian clothes, whereas kids mostly wear whatever is popular, what is fashionable.

Interviewer:   And what kinds of special foods do you eat?

Woman:   Oh, there are all kinds of things. There are many sweets; there are many different dishes for lunch and dinner. Special foods, which last for longer than a day, are made and exchanged between friends and relatives.

Interviewer:   Do people also exchange other kinds of gifts or presents?

Woman:   Yeah, sure. In fact, one of the special days of Diwali is to welcome the goddess of wealth. This day, we display our important or expensive items like gold, jewelry, diamonds, and money. Anything precious we have in the house, we put out and show. Gifts are also exchanged; we give presents to kids especially.

Interviewer:   OK, well, thank you very much. It sounds like a great festival. I hope I can see it someday.

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