Home ARTS & CULTURE Role Of Government, Traditional Rulers In Promoting Cultural Events – By Kehinde Aderemi

Role Of Government, Traditional Rulers In Promoting Cultural Events – By Kehinde Aderemi

by InlandTown Editor
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There are over 1001 cultural events and festivals that are being celebrated all over the world.

In today’s world, cultural tourism has added a new vista of hope and development to the world.

These cultural fiestas serve useful purposes to the world and encourage tourists and travellers to explore the entire world.

Tourism has also helped in building strong ties and business networks that have really helped people to appreciate global growth and development and even enhanced human capacity and growth.

Meanwhile, cultural events and festivals are major platforms that can also help in sustaining the cultural identity of the people.

One of the best ways to define a people is to know and understand their culture and tradition.

For instance, it is said that one of the biggest festivals in the world is the Kumbh Mela festival in India.

It is a gathering that attracts more than 130 million people at a time.

You know what that means in terms of tourism, foreign exchange and the economic impact such a big festival will have on the economy of the country whenever the festival is held.

Apart from this, there are other top 10 festivals in the world that usually celebrate the culture, art and tradition of the various people and races in the world.

These include Carnival, Rio De- Janeiro, in Brazil, Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany; Diwali, in India, Mardi Gras, in New Orleans, La Tomatina, Buñol, in Spain and the Chinese New Year, China.

Rio De Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival, samba, bossa nova, and balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.

Several cultural events festivals and carnivals draw global attention to Brazil. And the South American country will continue to cherish the gathering that celebrates its culture and tradition

More importantly, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is an important and specialized agency that aims to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

The United Nations agency has succeeded in projecting the cultural identity of the people using the platform to enhance cultural tourism.

For instance, in Nigeria, we have many cultural festivals that reflect the cultural identity of the Nigerian people.

But it is very sad that Nigeria has lost a lot to insecurity, making it difficult for us to explore the tourism potential of the country.

This ugly trend has affected the Nigerian economy as well as the image of the country in the global community

Stakeholders in the culture and traditional institutions are most hit by this sad narrative and I think it is now time for us to proffer a lasting solution to this problem.

For instance, in the South West, the traditional rulers, the Obas are the custodians of culture and tradition.

Their roles are numerous. Part of their roles is to sustain the culture and tradition of their respective domains and kingdoms.

In Yoruba land, the Obas are most revered because they are the representatives of God on earth.

It is their responsibility to preserve the sanctity of the stool and make sure that they sustain the culture and the core values of the traditional institution.

More importantly, the government is also responsible. The responsibility of the government(at all levels) is to create an enabling environment for the citizens to live and fulfil their dreams of life.

And in doing this, the government must ensure that there is effective security for the people.

It is also the responsibility of the government to create a serene environment and ambience for cultural promotion.

This is possible by using festivals and cultural events to drive tourism and enhance development in their respective states.

For instance, in the South West, Osun Osogbo festival is a major festival in the South West. There are many others like Ojude Oba in Ogun state, Oranmiyan and Okebadan festivals in Oyo state, Olumo and Lisabi festivals, in Abeokuta, Ogun state and Okota festival in Arigidi Akoko, Ondo state and Olokun/ Olosa festival in Badagry as well as wealth festival and Eledumare festival in Lagos state.

However, the grand finale of the just concluded Olokun/ Olosa festival held in Badagry was an eye-opener.

The festival showcased the best of Yoruba culture and tradition, even as it exposed the huge gap between the government and the people at the grassroots.

A major cultural fiesta like the Olokun/Olosa festival is supposed to be a big project of the Lagos state government that can be used to turn the state around.

In developed countries, cultural events are usually avenues for the government to get the best from the people at the grassroots.

The cultural festival is the best platform to sell the government’s creative ideas and bring about possible synergy between the government and the people at the grassroots.

Cultural events and festivals can be transformed, explored, harvested, and positioned to become one of the best tourism products in Nigeria.

For instance, during the 10- day- programme that culminated in the grand finale of the Olokun/Olosa festival, officials of the Lagos state government from the state Council of Arts and Culture were present in three of the events, including the public lecture, quiz competition, Olosa gala night.

That is the best that could happen to a government that is ready to explore the tourism potential of the state.

The takeaway here is that the Lagos state government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu assured promoters of culture and tradition that the government is ready to support cultural promotion initiatives and find a way of driving the lofty ideas of the government through cultural promotion activities.

At the grand finale of the Olokun/Olosa festival, the Director General of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Idowu Johnson, who stood in for the Lagos state governor, restated the need to explore the tourism sector by using cultural events as a template for cultural promotion.

He assured culture promoters that the state government will partner with them in driving the cultural promotion initiatives of the state, adding that the state government is ready to support any initiative that is geared towards driving cultural activities in the state.

Johnson, however, applauded Iba Gani Adams’ zeal at sustaining the cultural promotion activities in the state and beyond.

He said:” What the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams is doing with Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) is exactly what is needed at this time when Yoruba culture and tradition are dwindling.

“But I want to assure you all that the state will do everything to support this lofty initiative”.

Interestingly, cultural festivals and events are key instruments for promoting the core values, culture, tradition, ethos and heritage of the people. It is also a big platform to explore the tourism potential of a country.

Events that are ingrained in cultural activities showcase the rich culture and abundant wealth of the people as well as their traditions.

Festivals and cultural activities are one of the best means through which the government can impact the people positively.

When people gather during cultural events and festivals, they rejoice, they show love, they show joy, they show happiness, they show support and they show comradeship by coming together at the gathering.

That is why it is very important for the government to tap into this great platform to enhance tourism, and also bridge the gap between the government and the people.

All over the world, festivals are a great providers of peaceful ambiences where people celebrate, rejoice and share a common heritage.

Therefore, government should be involved. The traditional rulers should be involved, the culture enthusiasts and stakeholders in the culture and traditional institutions should be involved in promoting cultural activities.

And finally, cultural tourism is a big business in the world and it is in the interest of the Lagos state government and other governments in the South West to use festivals and cultural events and tourism to drive the economy of their states.

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