Last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Death of a traditional craft

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The ancient Afghan art of silk making.

The craft has been handed down through generations but is now under threat.

Demand for the delicate material has been falling for decades. Undercut by cheap imports, it's too expensive for ordinary Afghans. And the tourists haven't returned since the bloody civil war.

Silk producers want investment and regulations to cut smuggling, which they say is ruining the industry.

silk

soft cloth produced from the thread of a type of worm

handed down

passed from one generation to the next

under threat

in danger

undercut

negatively affected by a competitor selling the same product at a lower price

smuggling

taking a product from one place to another illegally

Exercise

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports.

Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

silk / handed down / under threat / undercut / smuggling

1.
Iraq has the world's third largest reserves of crude oil but attacks, corruption and _________ have crippled exports.

2.
More than 700 jobs are _________ in three tax offices in north-west England, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has said.

3.
Since a Chinese empress supposedly dropped a cocoon into her hot tea and started to tease out the single thread of _________ that came loose, the smoothest of luxury materials has provided a status symbol for the rich and powerful.

4.
The book has been _________ through his family over the generations.

5.
Companies that think they can _________ competitors by employing illegal workers should be warned that they will face heavy fines and possible prosecution.

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Exercise

Answers

How did you do?

1

smuggling

2

under threat

3

silk

4

handed down

5

undercut

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