READING. Nearly all religions include the belief that human beings survive death in some


Nearly all religions include the belief that human beings survive death in some

form. For many people, such as the Balinese, a funeral symbolizes the passage

from one life to another, rather than the end of a person's existence. In Bali, a

cremation is therefore a time of joy and celebration. On the morning of the

cremation, friends and relatives gather to pay their last respects and to eat and drink §

with the family. There is then a procession to the cremation ground, some men

carrying the corpse in a tower built of bamboo and paper, and other men carrying a

special container called a sarcophagus, which may be in the shape of a cow or a

bull. At the cremation ground the body is transferred to the sarcophagus and when it

has been reduced to ashes and the soul released, there is a happy noisy procession

to the sea, where the ashes are scattered. This last section of the ceremony

represents cleansing and purification.

EXERCISE 1: Find words or phrases in the passage which mean the same as:


a) ceremony held when somebody has died

b) journey; transition

c) ceremony during which a dead body is burnt

d) great happiness

e) occasion when people get together to enjoy

themselves because something special has


f) come together in a group

g) show one's good opinion of someone who has

died, e.g., by attending a funeral (phrase)

h) line of people who are going somewhere

together for a special reason

i) dead body

j) something which you can put things in, e.g., a


k) move to a different place

I) the part of a person which is not physical and

therefore it's commonly held that it does not die

when the body dies

m) throw things so that they spread over a large


n) freeing from anything unpleasant or evil

o) removal of sins in a religious ceremony

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EXERCISE 2: Choose the correct answer according to the passage.

1. It's clear from the passage that

A) in Bali, the closest relatives carry the corpse to the cremation ground

B) Balinese people burn dead bodies and scatter the ashes into the sea

C) Balinese people put the ashes of the dead person in a special container called a


D) in Bali, the family of the dead person has to sacrifice a cow or a bull before the cremation

E) in Bali, dead bodies are burnt in a tower built of bamboo and paper

2. For Balinese people, funerals are not sad occasions because

A) for them, death means the end of a sorrowful life on earth

B) all the members of a family come together on the morning of the funeral

C) they believe that the dead continue to live in another life

D) they think funerals enable them to show their respect for the dead

E) the existence of a person, according to their beliefs, should be celebrated

3. The writer states that, according to the beliefs of almost all religions

A) people continue to exist in some form after death

B) cremation is essential for cleansing and purification

C) funerals are celebrated with joy and happiness

D) relatives gather on the morning of the funeral to pay their last respects to the dead person

E) the container in which the corpse is placed is made in the shape of a cow or a bull

EXERCISE 3: Complete the sentences by selecting words from Column B in EXERCISE 1.

1. If you can't find a big enough to hold all of this stuff, we'll have to use

two smaller ones.

2. The footballer was unhappy at his club, so the manager decided to

him to another club.

3. Everybody around the ambulance to see what was happening.

4. I have an enormous family, but I don't know most of my relatives as they are

all over the world.

5. The carnival was a noisy, colourful of adults and children, all wearing

costumes and dancing and singing.