Some historians and social scientist have contrasting perceptions regarding festivals; that they are complex events encompassing various types of cultural entertainment showcase that occurs in a limited time and space with specified audience (Sacco and Vigano 2005). In the beginning of the primitive communal period, the indigenous inhabitants gather together as they dances and chants giving homage to their gods for the good harvest and abundant wildlife. This first gathering of people in festive mood celebrates with the pristine nature that nourishes and sustains their living.The evolutions from the early inhabitants’ generation to civilization of societies were a momentous phenomenon that has modified the ceremony or rituals. This said interaction assimilates to global cultural groups and the norms and traditions of events and festivals. Today, a new twist of typologies occurred in celebrating events and festivities—from religious to classical occasions of heritage and ethnicity which has commercial value relating to social and cultural transformation.
The Transformational Process There are numerous forms of events and festivals that represent various cultural heritage and religious beliefs, like the Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday in France) which has spread from Western Europe and America to the rest of the continents of Eurasia and Africa (Religion Facts 2004). Events and festivals represent diversity of cultures, religion and beliefs. The phenomenon of separation in the social hierarchy or status of people symbolizes the theme and being highlighted or depicted by the occasion. The modern day convergence of cultural reaches out and crosses boarders.Social Integration Some contributing factors to social integration are immigration of families, interracial or inter-religious-cultural marriages and birthright.
However, the social integration does not alter ethnicity and ingenuity of people's way of celebration, but to harness and rekindle collectiveness and solidarity. The social integration influences the spectator to an event. Having basically considered two-types of spectators; (1) curious and amazed, and (2) interested and innovative, these are both influenced by a showcase.The effects of influence take part the so-called internalization (feeling of interest and belongingness) and the internationalization (feeling of reaching out and adoption) to the spectator.
An example of attributed influence may be cited from the works of Dragan Klaic (1950) who narrated that festival growth depend on the necessity of audience (spectator) in which Natalya Kasparova (a world renowned ballet dancer) was inspired by the showcase of the Kannon Dance Company in a festival at St.Petersburg, who then pursued a ballet education in contemporary dance courses in Austria and further acquired skills in America (Culture 2000). Spectator to an event accounts the details, concept and depictions of the thematic celebration. The social integration captures the mode of information that the spectator may apply the details of ideas to the cultural group it belong, in which internalization becomes international or being pass on from place to place. This transformational process would be then an innovative idea that could be adopted to enrich or modify a certain cultural event.
As to the saying goes, to cite, “this world of spectacle is one in which there is nothing which is original, no real meaning, everything is a copy, or text upon a text. It is a depthless world of networks of information and communication in which information has no end purpose in meaning. ” (Urry: 1988: 39; in Carnegie and McCabe 2006). The social integration, therefore, is greatly influenced by the societal nature of showcases of event and festivity. Cultural Exchange The promotional activities relating to tourism is one of the converging points to highlight an event or festival in a country.In South East Asia, the Philippines massively promote its cultural heritage through tourism.
In addition, the culture and the arts (to cover the sports and recreation) largely contribute to holding the events and festivals (Philippines Department of Tourism 2007). Relating tourism (through the promotion of events and festivals) to socio-cultural perspective, the transformation process would provide an emerging culture that promotes racial identity and relevance of ethnicity to national and international cultures. The importance of events and festival to the transformation of society depicts the cultural heritage.At hindsight, the positive participation of people to events and festival is correlated with common understanding or knowledge that prosperity, goodwill and collectiveness impart to the occasion. Events and festival likewise serve as a pipeline of opportunity for the segments of society and communities to participate in the exhibit and promotion of their products reflective of ingenuity from indigenous base skills or craftsmanship and talents.
On similar event, the showcasing of products is one of the highlighted activity in the trade exposition and exhibits that would create cultural exchange or linkages with interrelated global cultures.Although festival is a seasonal and scheduled activity, it adheres to wholly promote the socio-cultural life of people, community and race. Events and festival could always be found with a wide array of socio-cultural opportunities, wherein various talents and skills in the music and the arts would be exhibited to the occasion. In which, events and festival discovers emerging cultural talents varying from ethnicity, religious and social affiliations.In Western Sydney (Australia), the once dubbed wasteland area has benefited from the promotions of arts and culture, and related festival of events, in which the inauguration of ‘Western Front’ exhibitions and activities in 2005 has enable collaborative visual arts program, convened network of partners across multiple venues to showcase contemporary artists and integrate Western Sydney’s ethnic identity to the national culture of Australia to respond to the demands of a dispersed population of approximately 1. 7 million across 14 Local Government jurisdictions land areas of 8,840 square kilometers (Lally and Lee-Shoy 2006).
The holding of seasonal events and festival may become a regular activity, and ongoing exhibition to generate socio-cultural activities. Like in US, the local government of Broadway has created an action plan for the conduct of regular events (depictive of festival) of exposition. The Broadway Vitality Action Plan of 2007-2008 is a strategic guideline in convening various types of community activities that would create a district of emerging cultural arts. One of the programs highlighted is the adoption of cultural arts and institutionalization of talents.The event exposition in Broadway envisions establishing an international cultural arts sanctuary (Broadway Economic Vitality Action Agenda 2006). In similar development, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have launched an observatory program to support the African Union.
The program will monitor cultural trends and national cultural policies in Africa to enhance cultural integration in human development and strategies through advocacy, information, research, capacity building, networking at international levels (UNESCO 2003).With the program, UNESCO believes that economic and cultural transformation would bring a vital change to African communities and alleviate the poverty incidence. Sustainability It may be said that events and festival is a profitable element and artistic industry. The tourism industry could be the sustainable framework to the transformational process.
Another crucial consideration to maintain the transformation is the joint or composite undertaking of governmental programs and policy environment, together with the private sector, that would create the synergy of tangible transformation.In undeveloped countries, tourism could be profitable ever since it consist of untapped reforestation areas and being seek to retain from urbanization. This ecological aspect is rich with natural heritage and events wherein early festivities could be traceable from its geographical site. Sustainability may not only be referred as the promotional ventures, aside from over commercialized celebration, but more so the preservation of geophysical antiquities, cultural heritage and ethnicity, parenthood and family value formation, ecological protection and generation of more jobs.
This socio-cultural transformation would bring the perspective of national patrimony, racial identity and greater social understanding, and reaching out of international cultural unity. Conclusion The tangible achievement of the transformational process to social and cultural events and festival would harness the people and communities. Contributing to that is the modern day technologies and advanced multi-media facilities that would bring progress to cultural exchange, as well as the insatiable migration or immigration of families from domestic to foreign abode.Looking beyond the overall perspective of cultural exchange would create more promising internal and external relations (from the point of view of nationalization of culture to international assimilation). The festival, as an avenue of depicting the cultural heritage and national or racial identity remains a valuable antiquity of the modern day civilization.
As to the saying, history traces the threshold of the future. Then history can tell of what you are.