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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Folk-Fairs and Festivals: Cultural Conservation and National Identity Formation in Eritrea
Author:Kifleyesus, AbbebeISNI
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:traditional festivals
cultural policy
cultural pluralism
national identity
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.4000/etudesafricaines.6932
Abstract:The State of Eritrea promotes folk-fairs and festivals in order to facilitate its 'unity in diversity' policy, and create communal interaction and cohesion among its peoples. These regional and national folk-fairs and festivals provide a ground for interaction between local communities and the State in which local communities expect economic benefits from the State and, conversely, the State attempts to popularize its policies of cultural pluralism or tolerance to multiculturalism by encouraging the articulation of local cultural traditions in terms of national integration. The staging of local culture therefore always has a national dimension, even when the expressive and material culture is of local origin, and can be an important factor in cultural conservation and national identity formation. The article looks at how State policy fosters national unity while respecting cultural diversity using the annual Festival 'Éretra' as a case in point. Bibliogr, notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]