My stay in Vadodara in Gujarat state, India, did not only introduce me to spicy foods…but festivals. It was Navaratri,
Diwali, among others. The just ended one was amazingly called the Kite Festival – A platform for all and sundry to throw kites to exhibit one’s ability to reach the highest height; an opportunity for that child who would not dare to climb the highest building in India even if his fearsome Dad gave him the permission to do so, would now do it freely in his father’s presence in the name of kite festival. This festival is celebrated on the 14th and 15th of January each year.
About two weeks prior to the festival, new businesses were quickly set up; mostly on the open areas along the streets. Remember that these were mostly set up by the ordinary person on the streets, just to produce kites and decorated threads for the poor, rich, the PHD Holder, the farmer, the minister of state, the young, adult, male, female and the rickshaw driver to buy and show his/her throwing skills
According to my interaction with some of the kite sellers and a closer look at some news items, kites become one of the most selling products on the market during the festival period. You could see several scores of buyers even waiting by as the threads are being decorated.
Because of how fast the kites sell, many jobless and small scale business operators starts trading kites; just to earn income to support themselves and their families. In fact, I do not think they only gain as manufacturers (large companies) of the threads and even some of the kites get larger market to produce more and government subsequently gains from taxes payed.
I seriously think that developing countries do not necessarily have to follow their normal trends of trying to solve unemployment issues but ending up doing nothing, but can adopt some of these kinds of celebrations. These festivals could be a deliberate action to promote national products, created short term jobs (better than promising what you can’t do) and help foster national unity.
For example, during India’s Diwali festival, sweets become highly demanded. It is a precious gift to give at this moment; hence more sweets joints set up along streets for at least a week (meet the one week millionaire).
Ghana announced some few years ago that the 14th February Valentine’s Day would be called National Chocolate’s day; a cause I seriously thought was good because the intention was to promote Ghana’s renowned ‘Cocoa’ Chocolate. Again, Fridays in Ghana, were set aside by government for workers to wear made in Ghana clothes, popularly known as African Wear. An opportunity for the local textiles industry to grow; but do government officials or the initiators of the campaign even wear them?
There are lots of ways for developing countries to bring their people together to help improve living conditions while promoting a peaceful co-existence; there is no need to always wanting to follow a certain trend.
What do you think? Do you have similar cases in your country/city or any thoughts on this topic? Please share with us by clicking on ‘comment’ below