Nigerianess versus Foreigness in the Calabar Festival and Carnival Calabar ( Vol-2,Issue-3,May - June 2017 )
Author: Endong, Floribert Patrick C.
Keyword: Cultural Synchronisation, Culture Commoditisation, Glocalisation, Calabar Carnival, Calabar Festival.
Abstract: The forces of culture commodification, cultural synchronisation and modernisation have been shaping, nay, disfiguring traditional cultural events staged in Africa. In a bid to modernise and render local cultures more appealing to a western/westernised public of tourists, many African states – particularly their tourism planners – have developed the tendency of copying and superimposing foreign/western concepts to local cultural displays. This paper illustrates this phenomenon using the Calabar Festival and Calabar Carnival (two popular cultural events staged in the Nigeria’s South-eastern city of Calabar) as a case study. Using critical observations and secondary sources, this paper argues that for some years now, “controversial” and immodest forms of foreign cultures (particularly, nudity, pornography and lack of morality among others) have progressively disfigured the Calabar Festival and Carnival Calabar. The traditional conservative touch which used to characterise various aspects of these events has progressively been jettisoned in favour of westernisation (masked with modernisation or glamorisation of culture). While modernist Nigerians view such a growing influence of western/foreign cultures on the Calabar Festival and Carnival Calabar as an index of the inevitable dynamism of local cultures; conservative Nigerians uncompromisingly sound alarmist and rightly interpret such a phenomenon as a subtle disfiguration, erosion nay, disappearance of local cultures.
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