Discussion Topic - Festivals

Discussion Topic - Festivals.

Part 1: Introduction & Interview

Q. 1. Tell me about the most important festival in your country.
Answer: My country, where I live, is a predominantly Muslim country, and therefore, the most important festivals in my country are “Eid ul Fitr” and “Eid ul Adha”.  “Eid ul Fitr” is celebrated after a whole month of fasting from dawn to dusk each day while “Eid ul Azha” is celebrated during the month of “pilgrimage” called “The Hajj” when people gather in two cities called “Makkah” and “Medina” of Saudi Arabia.

Q. 2. What special food and activities are connected with this festival?
Answer: One of the main ingredients of any kind of celebration is food – many savoury food items that are – with beef, mutton, or chicken, depending on what kinds of animals are slaughtered by different households, and, of course, many different kinds of palatable sweet dishes. During these festivals, we try to visit our friends and families and spend some quality times together with them. People wear their best dresses and enjoy the festivals with great fervour and enthusiasm.

Q. 3. What do you most enjoy about it?
Answer: I like everything about these celebrations, including the food, offering prayers and visiting friends and families, but the thing, which I really enjoy the most, during these celebrations is the “spirit” of sharing with the poor and disenfranchised segment of the population, without which, the celebration would remain incomplete.

Q. 4. Do you think festivals are important for a country? [Why?]
Answer: Yes, I do think that festivals are essential for a country as it helps build a strong social bond among its population from different backgrounds, cultures, colours and creeds which, in turn, offers the nation a strong sense of identity. Besides, festivals allow people to have fun and relax and thus help them recuperate from work fatigue.


Part 3: Details Discussion. 

Q. 1. How important are festivals in your country?
Answer: Festivals – especially, if they are religious – are very important for a predominantly Muslim country like mine, primarily because they are an expressive way to celebrate our glorious religious heritage, culture and traditions. They are meant to rejoice the special moments and emotions in our lives with our loved ones. These religious festivals play an important role in adding better social structure to our social lives while connecting us with our families and cultural heritage in a more meaningful way in the spirit of the universal Muslim brotherhood.

Q. 2. Do you think the way we celebrate different festivals is changing?
Answer: Yes, I do think that the way we celebrate different festivals is changing. In fact, the advent of globalization and a booming economy has had an impact on the way we celebrate our festivals today. Today people have better pay scales and can afford to enjoy the luxury of buying new clothes, shoes, gadgets and so on throughout the entire year rather than waiting for the festivals to make such purchases, as used to be the case before. Festivals today have also become a time and opportunity to flaunt our riches to others. Besides, the simple things that would give us pleasure in celebrating festivals in the past no longer enthuses us now.

Q. 3. Do festivals bring people from different cultures together?
Answer: Nothing brings people together as festivals do. They play a pivotal role in nation-building by bringing people from every religious, economic and social background together in a common cause and that is, of course, to celebrate life. So, festivals indeed bring people from different cultures together. As Muslims, we have Eid celebrations every year in our community where everyone is invited. Even during the month of “Ramadan”(or fasting), we invite locals to community events to break the fasts with us, and when we do that, they learn about our religion and culture. Similarly, we, Muslims, also participate in others’ festivals to learn about their cultures.

Q. 4. How some festivals are more important in our life than others?
Answer: Festivals are celebrations to remember the events occurred on that particular day. Different people of different religion and community have different festivals and the associated reasons to celebrate them. So, it is only natural that some festivals are more important in our life than others. For example, a festival like “Eid-ul-Fitr”, a religious festival for the whole world’s Muslims after fasting for a whole month from dawn to dusk, is not the same as a harvesting festival of a given region since the former festival brings entire Muslim populations of the whole world together while the latter unites only the population of a particular region.

Q. 5. Do you think we will have more festivals and occasions to celebrate in the future? Why?
Answer: We are “social beings”, and as such, it is only natural that we like to socialise with others at every opportunity. So, we look forward to birthdays, and other milestones and festivals, for they always offer us a reason to be happy and merry. But, if there aren’t, we create one. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to think that we will have more festivals and occasions to celebrate in the future because, as I have just mentioned above, we always try to have a reason to be happy as often as we can, just like we try to have happiness from a “house-warming” party and from a cat’s birthday party.

Q. 6. Do national festivals help us practice patriotism? How?
Answer: Yes, I do think that the national festivals help us practice patriotism and thus also help us become more patriotic in the process as they remind us the sacrifices of our great leaders and freedom fighters who laid down their lives in the foundation of our countries. Besides, they help us become more patriotic by uniting the citizens in a stronger bond in order to overcome the challenges that a country faces from time to time. In fact, these national festivals are what bind us in a stronger emotional bond to our countries for the supports and comforts, they always provide us.

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