When we travel we like to immerse ourselves in the life & culture of the people & places we visit - one of the reasons that we prefer independent travel. I was saddened to read in an article by Ben Groundwater in Traveller, that there are many at risk practices & traditions impacted by globalisation & modernisation. We visited Penang several years ago & went to a Batik block print enterprise. The art of Batik is labour intensive with stunning results but the younger generations are not interested in learning how to do it Among others mentioned in The Traveller article are

  • 'Real' soy sauce produced in aged wooden barrels (kiokes) in Japan - replaced by stainless steel or concrete barrels

  • Stilt fishing in Sri Lanka - often used to pose for tourist photos rather than fishing

  • Porrons in Catalunia (don't know what they are? Google it)Panama hats in Ecuador - once hand made now replaced by mass produced cheap imitations

  • Diners in the USA - once independently owned - unable to compete with fast food chains

Do you know any others ?

As the artisans age & cheap alternatives surface traditions are at risk of disappearing Maybe our contributions as tourists / travellers can assist in some way with preventing this from happening? Food for thought

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