1.Which do you think are better, old things or new things?
2.As well as family photographs, what are some other things that people keep in their family for a long time?
3.In your culture, what sorts of things do people often pass down from generation to generation? (Why?)
4.Why do you think people keep these things?
5.What are the benefits (= what is the value/what is the importance) of keeping some old things in the family?
6.Do you think it's good to recall the past?
1.As far as I am concerned, I prefer novel to obsolete things due to the reason that the former are usually the updated version of the latter. For example, iPhone 6 is more advanced than iPhone 5 in terms of size, shape, screen, and background light. More importantly, abstractly speaking, new ideas are closer to facts than outdated thoughts. As long ago as the 6th century, the geocentric theory proposed by Aristotle reigned until one thousand years later, when the new theory, the heliocentric theory put forward by Copernicus revealed the truth.
2.Beyond family photographs, a wide range of certificates and precious jewelries are well kept in families for a long period. Significant certificates, including identification cards, college diplomas, and job qualifications, as well as marriage and house property ownership certificates, are necessities for one’s survival in society. Also, valuable jewelries will be well preserved. My friend, Vivian recently has inherited a diamond ring from her mother-in-law. It has a setting of 18 carat white gold and 14 small diamonds surrounding a 3 carat sapphire. She said that in the future she would pass down the ring to her child.
3.In China, apart from diamond rings, pocket watches are the typical family heirlooms. Luckily, I received a pocket watch from my aunt, and it belonged to my great grandfather who I knew little about. It is a Ball Watch Co Cleveland RR standard pocket watch, model 999, whose back case cover has the following information: Keystone Watch Case, Ball model, 5283943. They are passed down from generation to generation thanks to the feature that they won’t wither or fade throughout ages and their proven ability to not only hold value in times of crisis but also increase.
4.People preserve these things for a variety of reasons. One most practical and pragmatic reason is that those certificates are necessary for one to go abroad, find a new job, and buy residential or commercial real estates. But for the value-preserving jewelries and watches, it is more about identity. Few people will trade these family heirlooms for money unless there is a war, from which we can tell that a sense of belonging is put much more weight to. Although one may never know his or her great grand-mother, love and care can be felt.
5.There are several advantages of preserving old things in the family. One obvious profit is a spiritual importation from generation to generation. In the family of a Japanese shampoo business giant, an original soap is well kept in the most conspicuous position. The soap serves to remind the giant that in spite of all the package alterations and beautifications to draw the attention of customers and meet the needs of the market, the nature of purification should never be lost. Another function of old things such as antiques, in extreme cases such as wars, is to get money from pawnshops for meals.
6.Generally speaking, I don’t think it is a good habit to always reminisce about the past. Usually, the aged tend to tell their heroic deeds their grandchildren because those glorious days are gone forever and they cannot create new stories any more. So, if a young person about twenty or thirty something constantly indulges in the past, they stand a good chance as being a loser accomplishing nothing. If there has to be an advantage of casting one’s mind back, one might be more appreciative of the current prosperous life in comparison with the previous ears of material shortages.