Festivals such as the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland, the Nottinghill Carnival in London or the Music Festival in Salzburg are viewed as important sources of urban development, tourism and local cultural economies. In addition, festivals enrich cultures through the establishment of cultural identity, the production and consumption of cultural activities, the promotion of cultural capital, the representation of symbol and discourse, and the maintenance of cultural diversity. Therefore, there is a growing interest in researching festivals and their impact.
In Taiwan, the government has established various councils to support ethnic cultural development through ethnic festivals called “Multicultural Taiwan.” Many ethnic arts festivals, such the Tung Blossom of the Hakka Festival, ‘A-ha’, and the Festival of Austronesian Cultures, are becoming the main cultural and arts activities in Taiwan.
This paper focuses on the relationship between festivals and ethnic development, considering various perspectives. From the view of policy, this paper analyzes how the national Hakka policy has influenced the development of festivals. From the view of cultural production, this paper discusses how the festivals represent the identity and the self- concept of the Hakkas, and how the festivals combine the Hakka’s experience. With respect to audience, this paper explores how the festivals influence the participants’ identity, and how a cultural legacy is formed by the festivals. Finally, this paper intends to consider the general meaning and functions of ethnic arts festivals in contemporary Taiwan, and argues that the Hakka culture is moving toward the concept of cultural diversity.
|Keywords:||Ethnic Spectacle, Identity, Festival, Cultural Policy, Cultural Diversity|
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
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