You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some people think that cultural traditions will be destroyed if they are used as money-making attractions aimed at tourists. Others, however, believe that is the only way to save these traditions. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that many people argue that cultural traditions will only survive if they are commercially packaged for the tourist market. While this may be the case, I agree with the opposing view that such packaging inevitably leads to the death of those traditions.
On the one hand, globalisation is resulting in socio-economic changes which are destroying traditional ways of life. It is not always possible to preserve cultural traditions in the face of these changes. The changes affect traditional cultures in many ways. For example, folk songs and other genres of music such as American blues reflect a way of life which is disappearing, based on agricultural work in the fields. Without the organisation of music concerts aimed at tourists, this artistic musical heritage will almost certainly be lost, and there will be nobody to perform the traditional music and dances associated with it.
On the other hand, I agree with those who believe that the commercialisation of traditional cultures aimed at tourists will not save those cultures. Firstly, culture becomes meaningless when it is something which is presented to visitors simply to make money. Tourists, for instance, may want to try local cuisine in a restaurant which follows a traditional recipe, but it will not be eaten in the authentic surroundings of the home or served to accompany a traditional ceremony. Secondly, many traditional cultures retain their vitality despite globalisation. Carnival in Brazil, for instance, is performed and watched mainly by local people, even though television and the tourist industry exploit it as a source of revenue.
In conclusion, I agree with the view that when a culture can only survive by turning itself into a money-making attraction, then that culture is already destroyed. All that remains is spectacle for tourists.
socio-economic changes: changes relating to the society and economy of a country
in the face of: despite problems, difficulties
folk songs: songs in the traditional style of a country or community
genres of music: particular types or styles of music
literary and artistic heritage: the traditon of writing or painting that a country, city or town has had for many years, distinguishing it as an important part of its character
meaningless: without any reason or purpose, and therefore not worth doing
Chinese cuisine: A type of food that is traditional in China – you can write ‘Italian cuisine/Vietnamese cuisine’ in the same way
to follow a recipe: to cook a meal using instructions
authentic: known to be real and genuine
vitality: energy and enthusiasm
revenue: the money that a government receives from taxes or which a company receives from its business
spectacle: a performance or event that is impressive to look at