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1. Living through ages
A. Ireland is situated on the western edge of Europe. It is an island of great beauty with rugged mountains, blue lakes, ancient castles, long sandy beaches and picturesque harbors. The climate is mild and temperate throughout the year. Ireland enjoys one of the cleanest environments in Europe. Its unspoilt countryside provides such leisure activities as hiking, cycling, golfing and horse-riding.
B. Over the past two decades, Ireland has become one of the top destinations for English language learning — more than 100,000 visitors come to Ireland every year to study English. One quarter of Ireland’s population is under 25 years of age and Dublin acts as a magnet for young peoplelooking for quality education. The Irish are relaxed, friendly, spontaneous, hospitable people and have a great love of conversation. So, there is no better way of learning a language than to learn it in the country where it is spoken.
C. Dublin sits in a vast natural harbor. Such a protected harbor appealed to the first settlers 5,000 years ago and traces of their culture have been found around Dublin and its coast. But it was not until the Vikings came sailing down the coast in the mid 9th century that Dublin became an important town. Next to arrive were the Anglo-Norman adventurers. This was the beginning of the long process of colonization that dictated Ireland’s development over the next seven hundred years.
D. Now Dublin is changing fast and partly it’s thanks to its youthful population — over 50 percent are under the age of twenty-five and that makes the city come alive. Today Dublin is a city full of charm with a dynamic cultural life, small enough to be friendly, yet cosmopolitan in outlook. This is the culture where the heritage of ancient days brings past and present together.
E. In general, cultural life of Dublin is very rich and you can enjoy visiting different museums, art galleries and exhibitions. But for those looking for peace and quiet there are two public parks in the centre of the city: St. Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square. The city centre has several great shopping areas depending on your budget as well as numerous parks and green areas for relaxing in. Dublin is also a sports-mad city and whether you are playing or watching, it has everything for the sports enthusiast.
F. Step dances are the creation of Irish dancing masters of the late 18th century. Dancing masters would often travel from town to town, teaching basic dancing steps to those interested and able to pay for them. Their appearance was motivated by a desire to learn the ‘fashionable’ dance styles which were coming from France. The dance masters often changed these dances to fit the traditional music and, in doing so, laid the basis for much of today’s traditional Irish dance — ceili, step, and set.
G. St Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland. True, he was not a born Irish. But he has become an integral part of the Irish heritage, mostly through his service across Ireland of the 5th century. Patrick was born in the second half of the 4th century AD. There are different views about the exact year and place of his birth. According to one school of opinion, he was born about 390 A.D., while the other school says it is about 373 AD. Again, his birth place is said to be in either Scotland or Roman England. So, though Patricius was his Romanicized name, he became later known as Patrick.
A – 8
B – 7
C – 1
D – 3
E – 6
F – 2
G – 5