Good Morning everyone,
I’m excited to be your guide for this journey. We will be walking through this typical area and you will have the opportunity to see the native people as they live their everyday lives. Please feel free to take as many pictures as you would like. I will talk about the history of the area and its people and you will have the chance to interact with them, attempt to speak their language and purchase any souvenirs that you find interesting. We will make a stop at the most famous landmark of this great people and chat about it’s significance and how it came to be here.
Please note that we will be breaking for lunch around 12:00 pm, where we will be tasting this region’s most typical dishes and meeting the people who have prepared the food for us. There will be time for bathroom breaks but we ask that you keep up with the group as much as possible.
Allright, let’s get started then, first stop: Tour Eiffel
Wednesday Nov. 25th, the discussion surrounding Comaroff and Comaroff sparked a debate about the implications of cultural, or Ethnicity inc.. Our discussion centered around tribes and people of the global south using their cultural heritage and artifacts to attract or capitalize on a growing tourist interest in authentic cultural experiences. We discussed the potential for this to stunt or disrupt cultural values and understandings of a people as well as a concern for the exploitativeness of selling one’s culture. Though I cannot discount that there is an exploitive element, and that there is always a cost for exploitation, I cannot help but to defend a people’s right to engage in selling their curated culture. I would also like to draw similarities, much like Hailey did in her discussion of the Canadian Heritage Museum, to how the global north, and I use Paris here as an example, has for decades exploited and promoted their culture for tourism. This sort of tourist industry is not questioned nor denounced. People constantly travel to Europe to experience the different cultural elements: food, people, cities, language, dress, atmosphere etc. in search of the authentic experience. Should not the people of the global south be permitted to engage in this same trade of cultural exploitation for financial gain? Why should their motives and goals be questioned and northern cultural tourism be accepted and celebrated?