(This question taken from http://www.IELTS-blog.com.)
Cultural traditions today are often used for money making purposes, especially in the tourism industry. Do you feel this development is more positive or negative?
Today, the traditional cultural practices of many societies have become monetized. Although many may argue this is a negative phenomenon, it is believed that overall this trend tends to be positive in nature. This will be proven by looking at how monetizing cultural traditions helps to both create jobs and bring new audiences to old art forms and ancestral practices.
Firstly, the use of cultural traditions provides many of the world’s unskilled people with a means to support their families. For example, in Kenya tourists often pay to experience Kenyan safaris and traditional fireside dinners and dancing. For the people who organize these tourist attractions, the exploitation of their cultural heritage provides them with honest work and a livelihood they can be proud of. As this example shows, the using of cultural traditions for money making purposes is more of a positive than negative thing.
In addition to this, the rejuvenation of old traditions for the purpose of making money brings new life and audiences to cultural practices that may have otherwise been forgotten. For instance, in China many tourists are willing to pay money to take part in the process of tea making. This ancient art form has thus garnered broader interest and a much wider audience. As this makes clear, the reawakening of a tradition is a positive thing and demonstrates why the idea of making money through the use of one’s culture should be supported.
After looking at how the monetizing of ancestral practices both provides jobs and popularizes old art forms, it is felt this trend is much more positive than negative. Thus, it is hoped this phenomenon continues to grow in practice the world over.
- I am unsure how true my Kenyan example is (my apologies if this is indeed inaccurate). I drew this example from a story a friend of mine told me about a vacation he took in Kenya. As you can see, examples don’t have to be spot on. Of course, try to make them as accurate as you can but equally important is your ability to choose examples that support your points well.