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					                                      厦门大学 2003 年博士研究生入学考试试题
                                           Ⅰ. Reading Comprehension (30%)
                                                          Part A
Directions: There are two reading passages in this part. Each is followed by some questions or unfinished
statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A, B, C and D. You should decide on the best choice
and mark the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the center.
                                                        Passage 1
         Cities develop as a result of functions that they can perform, some functions result directly from the
   ingenuity of the citizenry, but most functions result from the needs of the local area and of the surrounding
   hinterland (the region that supplies goods to the city and to which the city furnishes services and other goods).
   Geographers often make a distinction between the situation and the site of a city. Situation refers to the general
   position in relation to the surrounding region, whereas site involves physical characteristics of the specific
   location. Situation is normally much more important to the continuing prosperity of a city. If a city is well
   situated in regard to its hinterland, its development is much more likely to continue. Chicago, for example,
   possesses an almost unparalleled situation: it is located at the southern end of a huge lake that forces east-west
   transportation lines to be compressed into its vicinity, and at a meeting of significant land and water transport
   routes. It also overlooks what is one of the world's finest large farming regions. These factors ensured that
   Chicago would become a great city regardless of the disadvantageous characteristics of the available site, such
   as being prone to flooding during thunderstorm activity.
         Similarly, it can be argued that much of New York City's importance stems from its early and continuing
   advantage of situation. Philadelphia and Boston both originated at about the same time as New York and shared
   New York's location at the western end of one of the world's most important oceanic trade mutes, but only New
   York possesses an easy-access functional connection (the Hudson-Mohawk lowland) to the vast Midwestern
   hinterland. This account does not alone explain New York's primacy, but it does include several important
   factors. Among the many aspects of Situation that help to explain why some cities grow and others do not,
   original location on a navigable waterway seems particularly applicable. Of course, such characteristic as slope,
   drainage, power resources, river crossings, coastal shapes, and other physical characteristics help to determine
   city location, but such factors am normally more significant in early stages of city development than later.
      1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
       A. The development of trade mutes through United States cities
       B. Contrasts in settlement patterns in United States
       C. Historical differences among three large United States cities
       D. The importance of geographical situation in the growth of United States cities
      2. The passage suggests that a geographer would consider a city's soil type part of its ______.
       A. hinterland
       B. situation
       C. site
       D. function
      3. According to the passage, a city's situation is more important than its site in regard to the city's ______.
       A. long-term growth and prosperity
       B. ability to protect its citizenry
       C. possession of favorable weather conditions
       D. need to import food supplies
      4. The author mentions each of the following as an advantage of Chicago's location EXCEPT its ______.
       A. hinterland
       B. nearness to a large lake
       C. position in regard to transport routes
       D. flat terrain
      5. The primary purpose of paragraph I is to ______.
       A. summarize past research and introduce a new study
       B. describe a historical period
       C. emphasize the advantages of one theory over another
       D. define a term and illustrate it with an example
                                                        Passage 2
      The two claws of the mature American lobster are decidedly different from each other. The crusher claw is
short and stout; the cutter claw is long and slender. Such bilateral asymmetry, in which the fight side of the body is,
in all other respects, a mirror image of the left side, is not unlike handedness in humans. But where the majority of
humans are right-handed, in lobsters the crusher claw appears with equal probability on either the right side or left
side of the body.
      Bilateral asymmetry of the claws comes about gradually. In the juvenile fourth and fifth stages of
development, the paired claws are symmetrical and cutter like. Asymmetry begins to appear in the juvenile sixth
stage of development, and the paired claws further diverge toward well-defined cutter and crasher claws during
succeeding stages. An intriguing aspect of this development was discovered by Victor Emmer. He found that if
one of the paired claws is removed during the fourth or fifth stage, the intact claw invariably becomes a crusher,
while the regenerated claw becomes a cutter. Removal of a claw during a later juvenile stage or during adulthood,
when asymmetry is present, does not alter the asymmetry; the intact and regenerate claws retain their original
      These observations indicate that the conditions that trigger differentiation must operate in a random manner
when the paired claws are intact, but in a nonrandom manner when one of claws is lost. One possible explanation
is that differential use of the claws determines their asymmetry. Perhaps the claw that is used more becomes the
crusher. This would explain why, when one of the claws is missing during the fourth or fifth stage, the intact claw
always becomes a crusher. With two intact claws, initial use of one claw might prompt the animal to use it more
than the other throughout the juvenile fourth and fifth stages, causing it to become a crusher.
      To test this hypothesis, researchers raised lobsters in the juvenile fourth and fifth stages of development in a
laboratory environment in which the lobsters could manipulate oyster chips. (Not coincidentally, at this stage of
development lobsters typically change from a habitat where they drift passively, to the ocean floor where they
have the opportunity to be more active by borrowing in the substrate.) Under these conditions, the lobsters
developed asymmetric claws, haft with crusher claws on the left, and half with crusher claws on the right. In
contrast, when juvenile lobsters were reared in a smooth tank without the oyster chips, the majority developed two
cutter claws. This unusual configuration of symmetrical cutter claws did not change when the lobsters were
subsequently placed in a manipulatable environment or when they lost and regenerated one or both claws.
      6. The passage is primarily concerned with ______.
       A. drawing an analogy between asymmetry in lobsters and handedness in humans
       B. developing a method for predicating whether crusher claws in lobster will appear on the left or right side
       C. explaining differences between lobsters' crusher claws and cutter claws
       D. discussing a possible explanation for the way bilateral asymmetry is determined in lobsters
      7. Which of the following experimental results, if observed, would most clearly contradict the findings of
Victor Emmet?
       A. A left cutter like claw is removed in the fifth stage and a crusher claw develops on the right side.
       B. A left cutter like claw is removed in the fourth stage and a crusher claw develops on the left side.
       C. A left cutter like claw is removed in the six stage and a crusher-claw develops on the fight side.
       D. A left cutter like claw is removed in the fourth stage and a crusher claw develops on the right side.
      8. It can be inferred from the passage that one difference between lobsters in the earlier stages of
development and those in the juvenile fourth and fifth stages is that lobsters in the early stages are ______.
        A. likely to be less active
        B. likely to be less symmetrical
        C. more likely to replace a crusher claw with a cutter claw
        D. more likely to regenerate a lost claw
      9. Which of the following conditions does the passage suggest is a possible cause for the failure of a lobster
to develop a crusher claw?
        A. The loss of a claw during the third or earlier stage of development
        B. The lose of claw during the fourth or fifth stage of development
        C. The loss of a claw during the sixth stage of development
        D. Development in an environment devoid of material that can be manipulated
      10. The author regards the idea that differentiation is triggered randomly when paired claws remain intact as
         A. irrefutable considering the authoritative nature of Emma's observations
         B. likely in view of present evidence
         C. contradictory to conventional thinking on lobster-claw differentiation
         D. purely speculative bemuse it is based on scattered research and experimentation
                                                   Part B (10 points)
      The earth is witnessing au urban revolution, as people worldwide crowd into towns and cities. In 1800 only
five per cent of the world's population were urban dwellers; now the proportion has risen to more than forth-five
percent, and by the year 2010 more people will live in towns and cities than in the countryside. Humanity will, for
the first time, have become a predominantly urban species.
      Though the world is getting more crowded by the day, absolute numbers of population are less important
than where people concentrate and whether these areas can cope with them. Even densities, however, tell us
nothing about the quality of the infrastructure——roads, housing and job creation, for example——or the
availability of crucial services.
      The main question, then, is not how many people there are in a given area, but how well their needs can be
met. Density figures have to be set beside measurements of wealth and employment, the quality of housing and
the availability of education, medical care, clean water, sanitation and other vital services. The urban revolution is
taking place mainly in the Third World, where it is hardest to accommodate.
      Between 1950 and 1985 the number of city dwellers grew more than twice as fast in the Third World as in
industrialized countries. During this period, the urban population of the developed world increased from 477
million to 838 million, less than double; but it quadrupled in developing countries, from 286 million to 1.14
billion. Africa's urban population is racing along at five percent a year on average, doubling city numbers every
fourteen years. By the turn of the century, three in every four Latin Americans will live in urban areas, as will two
in every five Asians and one in every three Africans. Developing countries will have to increase their urban
facilities by two thirds by then, if they are to maintain even their present inadequate levels of services and
      In 1940 only one out of every hundred of the world's people lived in a really big city, one with a population
of over a million. By 1980 this proportion had already risen to one in ten. Two of the world's biggest cities,
Mexico and Sao Paulo, are already bursting at the seams—and their populations are doubling in less than twenty
      About a third of the people of the Third World's cities now live in desperately overcrowded alums and
squatter settlements. Many are unemployed, uneducated, undernourished and chronically sick. Tens of millions of
new people arrive every year, flocking in from the countryside in what is the greatest mass migration in history.
      Pushed out of the countryside by rural poverty and drawn to the cities in the hope of a better life, they find no
houses waiting for them, no water supplies, no sewerage, no schools. They throw up makeshift hovels, built of
whatever they can find: sticks, fronds, cardboard, tar-paper, straw, petrol tins and, if they are lucky, corrugated
iron. They have to take the land noone else wants; land that is too wet, too dry, too steep or too polluted for
normal habitation.
      Yet all over the world the inhabitants of these apparently hopeless slums show extraordinary enterprise in
improving their lives. While many settlements remain stuck in apathy, many others are gradually improved
through the vigour and co-operation of their people, who turn flimsy shacks into solid buildings, build school, lay
out streets and put in electricity and water supplies.
      Governments can help by giving the squatters the right to the land that they have usually occupied illegally,
giving them the incentive to improve their homes and neighborhoods. The most important way to ameliorate the
effects of the Third World's exploding cities, however, is to slow down the migration. This involves correcting the
bias most governments show towards cities towns and against the countryside. With few sources of hard currency,
though, many governments in developing countries continue to concentrate their limited development efforts in
cities and towns, rather than rural areas, where many of the most destitute live. As a result, food production falls
as the countryside slides ever deeper into depression.
      Since the process of urbanization concentrates people, the demand for basic necessities, like food, energy,
drinking water and shelter, is also increased, which can exact a heavy toll on the surrounding countryside.
High-quality agricultural land is shrinking in many regions, taken out of production because of over-use and
mismanagement. Creeping urbanization could aggravate this situation, further constricting economic
      The most effective way of tackling poverty, and of stemming urbanization, is to reverse national priorities in
many countries, concentrating more resources in rural areas where most poor people still live. This would boost
food production and help to build national economies more securely.
      Ultimately, though, the choice of priorities comes down to a question of power. The people of the countryside
are powerless beside those of the towns; the destitute of the countryside many starve in their scattered millions,
whereas the poor concentrated in urban slums pose a constant threat of disorder. In all but a few developing
countries the bias towards the cities will therefore continue, as will the migrations that are swelling their numbers
beyond control.
      1. The purpose of the passage is ______.
       A. to warn about the dangers of revolutions in towns
       B. to warn abort the possibility of a population explosion
       C. to suggest governments should change their priorities
       D. to suggest governments invest in more housing in cities
      2. The urban population of the world ______.
       A. has risen to around forty percent in the last 200 years
       B. will have risen to more than fifty percent by the year 2010
       C. has risen by forty-five percent since 1800
       D. will live in cities for the first time
      3. The most important factor is ______.
       A. the quality of the infrastructure and services
       B. where people are concentrated
       C. wealth and employment
       D. density figures and measurements
      4. A third of the people in Third World cities ______.
       A. live in Mexico and Sac Paulo
     B. are undernourished and ill
     C. live in inadequate housing
     D. arrived last year
    5. Many Third World city dwellers ______.
     A. start their own business enterprises
     B. create their own infrastructure and services
     C. sleep in the streets
     D. form people's co-operatives
    6. Governments give ______.
     A. incentives to improve the slums
     B. land to squatters
     C. Preference to urban areas
     D. hard currency to cities and towns
                                                      Part C
Directions: Below is a summary of some of the main points of the passage. Read the summary and then select the
best word or phrase from the box below, according to the passage. You should decide on the best choice and mark
the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the center.
                      A             dreadful             H               authority
                      B            hardest to            I           previous century
                      C              elated              J                market
                      D            slow down             K             were reversed
                      E              boost               L            were abandoned
                      F       last two centuries         M              concentrate
                      G         mass migration           N                 power
     Increasing numbers of people have migrated from the countryside and moved into towns and cites over
(7) . Most are in the Third World, where they are         (8) accommodate because facilities are at their most
inadequate and meager resources are most stretched. In spite of      (9) living conditions, the vast numbers of
people moving into cities constitute the biggest (10) ever. While governments can take action to improve the
conditions of squatters, the real solution is to    (11) the process of urbanization. But to do this governments
need to change the ways in which they (12) their development funds on the urban areas. If their priorities
(13) rural productivity could be increased and this would help develop the national economy. In the end,
however, the mini population also lacks the (14) that their urban countrymen can exert on governments.
                                     Ⅱ. Vocabulary and Structure (10 points)
Directions: There are 20 incomplete sentences in this part. For each sentence there are four choices marked A, B,
C and D. Choose the ONE that best completes the sentence. Then mark the corresponding letter on the Answer
Sheet with a single line through the center.
     1. A Monitor/TIPP poll last month found that young people and seniors held similar views when asked to
______ the importance of US military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in the next months.
      A. advocate                    B. foresee                 C. supervise             D. gauge
     2. The newspaper reported on the initiative of the organization to establish a private company to
professionally ______ prisoners due to be released from prison.
      A. habilitate                 B. rehabilitate          C. preclude             D. prelude
     3. If all the viruses on the planet were to disappear, a global catastrophe would ______, and the natural
ecosystems of the earth would collapse in a spectacular crash under burgeoning populations of insects.
      A. varnish                    B. disperse                 C. contaminate           D. ensue
     4. The solution was simple: gas the building with a hallucinogen and put the terrorists to sleep before they
could ______ the bombs in the building. And it worked.
       A. detonate                     B. dismantle                C. demolish              D. desert
      5. Ms. Rice, with customary class, simply expressed hope that this episode wouldn't ______ the charity in
spite of the previous scandals.
       A. taint                        B. enhance                   C. sprain                 D. sponsor
      6. These examples show that openness and the ability to change brings couples a giant step closer to the
marital harmony they ______.
       A. request                       B. negotiate                   C. crave                  D. detest
      7. First launched in April this year, Net My Singapore also includes efforts that ______ training, development,
and the exploration of new technologies based on.
       A. obliterate                    B. sequester                 C. encompass              D. terminate
      8. Anxiety is believed to diabetes by raising levels of the stress hormone cortisol which regulates insulin and
blood-sugar levels.
       A. impede                      B. exacerbate               C. inherit               D. facilitate
      9. Last week, the Us bishops adopted rules to take priests who minors out of any ministerial activities.
       A. administer                  B. generate                  C. implicate             D. molest
      10. There is little reason to believe that the United States will ______ from its stated goal of regime change in
       A. back down                    B. blow off                  C. pop up                 D. step up
      11. Cox Radio, one of the nation's largest radio chains, plans to ______ its ties with independent record
promoters to distance itself from a payola-like practice that runs rampant in the music business.
         A. consolidate                  B. tout                      C. sever                  D. splash
      12. The European Commission issued a ______ decision on Oct. 29 permitting an alliance between United
Airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines System that allows them to coordinate prices, schedules
and routes in the transatlantic market. It turned out to be well received.
       A. automatic                     B. landmark                   C. obsolete                D. outgrown
      13. Now illegal copies of music CDs ______ losses of about $300 million in sales annually and $ 65 million
lost government tax revenue.
       A. conflict                     B. inflict                   C. compromise            D. defer
      14. It is the first of several agreements United States hopes to reach as it attempts to reduce, labor costs by
$5.8 billion and ______ bankruptcy.
       A. dispel                       B. revert                    C. transfer                D. avert
      15. The United Nations Security Council established the ICTR in 1995 to try the alleged perpetrators of the
1994 ______ in Rwanda that claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people.
       A. genocide                      B. immigration              C. discrimination        D. election
      16. If you work for a major corporation, or are contracted at one, sooner or later, you may be called upon to
create or maintain an internal website. Here are the ______ of intranets.
       A. ins and outs                 B. in a pinch               C. in a cleft stick      D. in a breeze
      17. You are exposed to obtrusive ads that ______ seemingly from nowhere even when you are disconnected
from the Net, and your personal information gathered and sent off without you being aware of it.
       A. size up                       B. dwindle away               C. conjure up             D. pop up
      18. As a psychotherapist with many patients in their 20's, I can ______ the fact that not only do most of them
not have any health insurance, but they also do not expect it as a condition of living in this country.
       A. attest to                   B. contribute to            C. modify                 D. interdict
      19. If you develop a reputation for being able to keep secrets others will ______ towards you with useful
news and gossip.
       A. feel constrained           B. feel excluded            C. propel                  D. gravitate
      20. Early signs of ______ seen in the herbal medicine study are extremely encouraging and based upon these
data, we are now planning a registration program.
       A. faculty                     B. reception                C. deterioration          D. efficacy
                                              Ⅲ. Translation (15 points)
Directions: Read the following passage carefully and then translate the underlined sentences into Chinese.
      1. The onrush of cheap communications, powerful computers and the Internet all explain why many people
feel that, nowadays, change is happening ever more rapidly as technological progress accelerates. Moore's law,
that the power of microchips doubles every 18 months, has been tested and found correct. This is what gives
people the sense of a world shifting beneath their feet.
      2. Yet the implication that rapid change is a new phenomenon is again misleading. If you measure the time it
takes for a technology to become widely diffused, today's experience does not seem unusual. Take the car. The
basic patent for an internal-combustion engine capable of powering a car was fried in 1877. By the late 1920s—50
years later—over half of all American households owned a car.
      3. The comparable dates for the computer axe harder to tie down, but the first big computer, based on
vacuum valves, was built in 1946. The transistor—the first semiconductor device—was invented at Bell
Laboratories in 1948. The first patent for an integrated circuit was filed in 1959. Now, in 1999-50 years after the
first one was built—around half of American households own a computer. The pace of introduction has been
similar to that of the car.
      4. You have to cheat, choosing only the date for the personal computer, say(mid-1970s), or the internet (ditto)
to make it seem much more rapid.
      Comparing its diffusion among private users is, you might say, unfair to the computer, for that machine's
main use is in businesses. On that measure, the best historical analogy is with electrification, and the spread of the
electric dynamo into factories.
      5. According to Paul David, a historian at Stanford University in California, the first electricity-generating
stations had been installed in New York and London in 1881, but it was well into the 1920s before the dynamo
became widely used and started to raise productivity. The adoption of the computer in business has also been slow,
and failed to have any measurable impact on productivity until very recently.
                                                  Ⅳ. Writing (15%)
      Write an essay of at least 250 words based on the following passage. Your writing should include the author's
idea, your argument and supporting details.
      My View of Lunar New Year

                                  Ⅰ.Reading Comprehension (30%)
                                                    Part A
     1.D 很显然,文章主要讲述的是地理位置对美国城市发展的重要性。
     2.C “Situation refers to...characteristics of the specific location.”这句话就是对 situation 和 site 的定
义和区别,显而易见,situation 指的是一个地区相对于周边地区来说的位置特点,而 site 指的是这个地区
具体的自然条件。所以 soil type 是属于 site 的一部分。
     3.A 作者在文中第 7 行已经指出:                   “Situation is normally much more important to the continuing
prosperity of a city.”意思是:对城市的持续发展来说,地理位置更加重要。所以 A 是正确答案。
     4.D flat terrain 并不是芝加哥的优势。相反由第 14 行的后半句话可以知道,这也许正是它的劣势所
    5.D 第一段的主要内容就是提出观点,给出定义,然后举例加以证明。
    6.D 文章围绕龙虾不对称角的形成原因展开讨论,科学家们试图通过试验向人们解释这一现象。
    7.B Victor Emmerg 的发现是:如果在龙虾生长的第四或第五期弄掉它一只角的话,那么完好的那
一只角就会成为 crusher claw,而再生的就会成为 cutter claw。但如果这发生在这一生长期之后,那么龙虾
的已有结构就不会改变了。而 B 是与这一发现相违背的。所以正确答案为 B。
    8.A 由最后一段的内容可知,龙虾触角不对称的形成是在第四和第五期,因为这一时期龙虾的生活
    9.D 由文章最好两句话可以知道,在没有可以操作的对象的环境中长大的龙虾是不会长出 crusher
claw 的。
    10.B 第三段的第一句话已经说明:这个观点是有证据支持的,但这些证据只能说明它的可能性,
                                        Part B (10 points)
    1.C 文章分析了城市人口激增以及由此带来的一系列问题,目的是建议政府转移重点,优先发展广
    2.B 由文中第一段第三句话“and by the year 2010 more people will live in towns and cities than in the
    3.B 由第三段可以得到答案。
    4.C 由第六段第一句话可以得到答案。
    5.B 由第七段内容可以知道,很多从农村来到城市的居民没有房子,他们就用他们能找到的一切东
    6.C “This involves correcting the bias most governments show towards cities towns and against the
                                             Part C
    7.F 从 1800 到现在,应该是近两个世纪。
    8.B 由 accommodate 的动词原形形式以及后文中出现的两个 most 可以确定 B 为正确选择。
    9.A 由上下文知,这里应该选用一个表示糟糕的形容词。
    10.G 整句话的意思是“大量人口涌入城市形成了有史以来最大规模的移民。                                       ”
    11.D slow down 减缓,使慢下来,这句话的意思是,有效的办法是减缓城市化进程。
    12.M concentrate......on 集中
    13.K 虚拟语气,这句话的意思是“如果把优先权颠倒过来”                             。
    14.N 农村人缺少城里人所拥有的操纵政府的权力。
                              Ⅱ.Vocabulary and Structure (10 points)
    1.D gauge 评价;advocate 提倡,鼓吹;foresee 预见,预知;supervise 监督,管理。
    2.A habilitate 提高周转资金,予以穿着;rehabilitate 使复原;preclude 排除;prelude 为…做序,以…
    3.D varnish 修饰,掩饰;disperse 分散;contaminate 污染;ensue 跟着发生,继起。
    4.A detonate 引爆;dismantle 拆除;demolish 破坏;desert 放弃,逃跑。
    5.A taint 使腐败,使污染,弄脏;enhance 提高;sprain 扭伤;sponsor 发起,主办。
    6.C request 请求,要求;negotiate 协商;crave 渴望;detest 厌恶。
    7.C obliterate 删除;sequester 扣压,没收,使隐退;encompass 包围;terminate 终结,结束。
    8.B impede 阻止;exacerbate 恶化;inherit 继承;facilitate 帮助,推动。
    9.A administer 管理;generate 产生;implicate 暗示;molest 骚扰,困扰。
    10.A back down 放弃,让步;blow off 吹掉,放出;pop up 突然出现;step up 提升。
    11.C consolidate 巩固;tout 吹捧;sever 切断;splash 飞溅。
     12.B      automatic 自动的;landmark 地标,里程碑;obsolete 过时的;outgrown 结果。
     13.B      conflict 冲突;inflict 造成;compromise 妥协,折衷;defer 推迟,延期。
     14.D      dispel 驱逐,驱散;revert 恢复;transfer 转移;avert 避免。
     15.A      genocide 有计划的灭种和屠杀;immigration 移民;discrimination 歧视;election 选举。
     16.A      ins and outs 细节;in a pinch 在紧要关头;in a cleft stick 进退两难;in a breeze 不费力的。
     17.D      size up 评估…的大小;dwindle away 减少,缩小;conjare up 用魔法召;pop up 突然出现。
     18.A      attest to 证实,证明;contribute to 捐献;modify 修改;interdict 阻断。
     19.D      feel constrained 感觉拘束的;feel excluded 感觉被排斥的;propel 推进;gravitate (to)被吸引。
     20.D      faculty 才能,技能;reception 接待,接收;deterioration 变坏,堕落;efficacy 功效。
                                             Ⅲ.Translation (15 points)
      3.计算机究竟诞生于何时,我们已经很难弄清楚了。但第一台大型真空电子管计算机管是在 1946 年
特网的诞生算起,也就是从 20 世纪 70 年代中期算起。
      5.根据斯坦福大学历史学家保罗·大卫的介绍,1881 年,第一批发电机被安装在纽约和伦敦,但直
到 20 世纪 20 年代发电机才得到广泛的应用并提高了社会生产力。
                                                 Ⅳ. Writing (15%)
                                             My View of Lunar New Year
      To Chinese people, the Lunar New Year is undoubtedly the most important festival of tile year. Dating back
3000 years, it celebrates the passing of a peaceful year and to welcome a new one.
      The reunion dinner, eaten on New Year's Eve, was derigueur, with members of the extended family gathering
for the most significant meal of the year. Even the absentee members would endeavor to return home in time for
      It underscores the supreme importance of the family in Chinese culture, and aimed at strengthening the sense
of togetherness and cohesion.
      However, with rapid economic expansion and growing westernization, over time, there has been a noticeable
erosion, if not abandonment, of the New Year traditions and customs, which are perceived to be out of step with
modem lifestyle.
      Increasingly, more Chinese would hold their reunion dinner in posh restaurants, despite the exorbitant costs.
They find it more enjoyable and physically less demanding.
      Going away during the New Year is now commonplace, sometimes involving whole families or extended
families. In extreme cases, some would even seek temporary refuge in a local hotel so as to avoid being visited by
relatives and friends, or having to visit them.
      What's more, most of the cities celebrate it quietly without fireworks and firecrackers, which used to be part
of the celebration.
      Will the Lunar New Year survive modem living? I do not doubt that it would gradually lose its significance.
In a few or more years the Chinese New Year will be taken as a common holiday and fewer people celebrate it.
Modem Chinese do not need it any more.

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