How do people in different countries spend their leisure time?
Read the text and do the exercise that follows.
The Chinese put a lot of emphasis on the unity of the family. In the cities, the parks are often crowded with families spending their time together. There are lots of nice, clean parks for people to spend their time in. Sometimes musicians and acrobats perform in the open air to entertain people who are present there. In the evening many families spend their free time watching television.
The Japanese love to take part in sports in their free time. Baseball, golf and martial arts such as judo and karate are especially popular with men. Most students do not have much free time but during their holidays they join English clubs or art clubs. They also love skate boarding which involves riding on a flat piece of wood that has wheels under it. A lot of practice is needed to keep your balance on the board as it moves.
In Canada recreational activities can be divided into two types, summer and winter activities. Canada is a very cold country with snow everywhere in winter. Skiing is therefore a popular sport at that time and involves going down mountain slopes on a pair of skis. Snowboarding, which is very much like skateboarding, is also a favourite sport. The only difference between the two is that snowboarding is done on snow while skateboarding is done on concrete. In summer people love to go fishing, boating or swimming in places where there are large lakes or sea beaches. In other places, golf and tennis are quite popular. Many people also go hunting, hiking, camping or bird watching. Hiking involves going for very long walks in the mountains or in the countryside. For camping people go, sometimes with their families, to spend a few days in the mountains or open spaces away from the city. Camping sites usually provide facilities for food, sanitation and emergency medical services.
For the Germans leisure has become a major pursuit [ занятие]. Formerly, Germans used to work ten hours a day and six days a week and had very little time to relax. But in modern times working hours in Germany have become shorter stretching over five days. People therefore have more time to spare now. They are so interested in spending their free time effectively that there is even a German Leisure Association that conducts research on leisure activities. The Germans love to travel and almost half of all adults in Germany have made a trip outside the country just for pleasure and relaxation. There are also many sports centers where young people go for physical exercise. Going to dance clubs or for long drives are other popular pastimes. Hiking, walking or visiting family and friends are also some of the most common leisure activities there.
Whatever, the country, one activity that is common to all is watching television!