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It is not enough to produce culture; modern society requires that the process should be recorded. People have always been concerned with the writing down of traditions, prior to Modernity, but reminding people of collective traditions became particularly important with the emergence of the nation-state. The political scientist Benedict Anderson suggests that ‘nation-ness’ is the most universally legitimate value in the political life of our time, hence the importance of deploying strategies to construct such an artefact.

Candomblé is the term that is probably most widely used in Brazil to refer to the religious practices whose origins lie in the slave trade and which combine elements of West African and Catholic belief.

 

In 2003, the UNESCO celebrated a convention that reflected a new understanding of cultural heritage.  It didn’t only considered material objects as part of the common heritage but “living expressions and the traditions that countless groups and communities worldwide have inherited from their ancestors and transmit to their descendants, in most cases orally.” (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2007). 

 

Laughing in the face of death

Sunday, 07 November 2010 16:35 Published in Popular culture

The Mexican love of fiesta is well known. There is always a Saint’s Day to commemorate or a national holiday to observe. Even death is celebrated as an extension of life and part of its immutable cycle. In order to defy death, Mexicans laugh at it. The preparation for El Día de Muertos is truly phenomenal.