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Shock of the Old? 9 June 2007

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings.
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Just a quick reflection. Here in MLPK there was a “Family Fun Day” today, an event organised by the Traders’/Tenants’ Association as a fund-raiser for the local hospice, and, incidentally to raise the profile (and hopefully the income of the traders, despite the presence of a small “market”).

I’m not one for fairs, fetes and markets, and yet here we have a re-invention of the community-building event, driven ultimately by free-market enterprise (the motive for profit) rather than “simple” community-mindedness. To build community is to implicitly raise the profile of traders within said community. The tradition of the church-run fete involves the creation of social capital, but with a subtly different objective.

As is often my way, however, that wasn’t the intention of this post. What I found most thought-provoking was how in this “rural-idyll” (acknowledged as an over-statement, but nevertheless containing a grain of truth about the precept ions of MLPK), how here we saw a further appropriation of “village tradition” in an attempt to create community. That is in having a group of children from one of the local schools dance around a May (or more specifically, June) Pole.

Here, in a new-build settlement where no house is older than 15 years in age, where the oldest building is an art deco Control Tower, we have nothing less than a reversion to the (allegedly Pre-Christian, pagan fertility) rites around the phallic totem. A point to provoke thought and reflection, perhaps?

I wonder if any other similar (unconscious?) reversions are to be found abroad? Comments and reflections, folks?

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