SONGSOPTOK:  Festivals have always existed in human society. We all agree that festivity plays an important role in our lives. What would be your personal definition of festival and festivity in the context of today’s society?

ANCA M. BRUMA: In time of resilience and pragmatic approaches, festivals bring the feeling of togetherness, belongingness, connectedness. Our “victories” are tied less to the “tangibles” but more to the intangibles IMF (in the moment feeling). These festivals infuse sacredness, what is missing in our modern pragmatic life. We may wear different clothes, have different gods in different part of the world but Unity is what really the humankind is craving for, because together we are able to create the Future!

SONGSOPTOK: Throughout the ages, one of the underlying objectives of festivals was to bring people closer together and create a link. In the context of today’s competitive and egocentric society, do you think that this objective is actually achieved by festivals?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Lately some festival became a global economic phenomena an important part of industry, it offers possibilities to expand horizons through an intense process of rituality and performances. It creates a great publicity and feeds the image and identity of the community. Nowadays there is a higher demand for cultural production and the mediating of culture. Most of the festivities are joyful communal gatherings, like vital hubs, celebrating diversity, vibrancy, traditions versus modern innovations, engaging communities in meaningful and even memorable experiences in order to strengthen the ties, underlying our sense of Self as well the connection with the community itself. If those festivals remain true to their own goal, to be also a keeper of its own identity, it enables future development for the future. Most of the festivals help us to discover WHO we are, remember from where we have come from and anticipate just where we want to go.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that the form and content of festivals have evolved over time? What is your own experience? In what way would you qualify the evolution?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Yes, for sure, evolution and evolving in life is everything, therefore, even the some Ancient festival expressions have been challenged. However, there is a remarkable phenomena evolving in these modern days, where we still keep strongly the need and want for contributing creatively, positively to the community, we become co-creators inside these artistic expressions, in these festival experiences. The phenomena I am talking about is called transformational festivals, with high convergence points for cultural creators in which the main aim is to achieve transformation through inspiration. New healing and sanctuary type of festivals have been created lately, where the reconnection with the mankind as well with the Universe became the core of these transformational festivals. Ancient myths, time, space are explored, where primordial experiences are also revived, and all these became seen as future culture. We become the co-creators, the World makers, creating a “gate” to escape from all types of hierarchies and hidden agenda embedded in this very pragmatic world. In those moments we are freed to co-create and share the realization of a liberated world from fears, laws, customs, a World we mostly wish to live. The festivals are like “spaces” created to allow our own selves to get in touch with our own humanness, no more walls imposed by our routine life, which creates the idea of separateness, becoming defensive against each other. Instead, these new created models through these transformational and highly creative festivities, we share idea of living in a compatible diversity.

The emergence of these transformational festivals “impose” a new spiritual culture, one long forgotten, the one in which none is interested anymore in charismatic leaders but just in honoring the sacredness of our human being, the celebration of our togetherness, experiencing the ecstatic expressions of mankind, it is a rejoining of secular values, where unconditional love is magnified and the core belief system.

Transformational festivals also embrace feel-good values like ecological sustainability, organic food, community building and wisdom sharing and a language of neo-spirituality and personal growth is common there.

SONGSOPTOK:  Since antiquity, festivals have served to bring people together and hence closer to each other. To what extent are festivals relevant in the context of today’s intensely competitive society?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  In nowadays we became more reliant on iPhones, more connected via social media, we, in fact became more disconnected from each other! A real connection is what we crave! We need IRL (In Real Life) experiences rather than diving deeply in URL’s deep “ocean”. In many parts of the words cells or internet are almost inexistent, therefore the sense of community is much stronger. Our breaks from daily routine should be transformational. Deep down we are inter-related and connected, and most of the people taste happiness in the collective experiential context. We are all stimulated by this collective effervescence, a communal joy. We are living during very competitive times, and cultural curiosity will create a predisposition, a window into the “other” and of course into our own selves, because festivals are natural barrier disintegrators. Festivals bring you face-to-face with the highest expression of the human spirit!

SONGSOPTOK:  Broadly speaking, there are two sides to all types of festivals – preparation which is essentially materialistic and the celebration. Which aspect is more important for you and why?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  It is proven that local festivals have beneficial effects on the community, as it enhances the feeling of identity, besides the animated cultural life, especially if locals are involved in organizing the event, not just simply being the consumer of it. Both sides are very important for me!

SONGSOPTOK:  The essence of festivals lies in the connection between the individual and the collective. To what extent do our individual and family oriented lives helps or hinders this connection?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  This depends very much from which part of the world you come. Some societies are more open to various types of festivals, where others are more traditionally oriented. For some cultures it is a must to participate at such events, as part of their culture, belief system and philosophy of life.

SONGSOPTOK:  The origin of most of the festivals seems to be religious; to that extent, almost all festivals are essentially communal since it is the built around the religious sentiments and beliefs of specific communities. Would you say then that such festivals are actually detrimental to world peace and unity?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Festivals by their own nature mean celebration. I have not heard of any festivities detrimental to world peace or unity as it will go against the very core of what means to celebrate. In fact there are many of them with this very goal.

SONGSOPTOK:  All religious festivals are social but not all social festivals are religious. Do you think that social festivals should be more important today than religious festivals? Why?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Nowadays, the festivals scenes are more inclusive than before, more open to ideas and thematic stimulus. They bring something vital, which is breaking down the barriers between low and high, classical and modern, old and new. All these social festivities have something in common, despite their difference, they provide a communal experience, one which can have only in the crowd. These festivals equate, as the collective experience eradicate the social differences that we hold it on daily basis. It creates a platform for various cultures, people, or art to be combined, promoting liberality and strengthening tolerance.

SONGSOPTOK:  For countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel, Palestine and all other countries that share borders with different religious majority, would you say that religious festivals play a negative role for peace and unity? Please let us have your thoughts on this issue which seem very important to us.

ANCA M. BRUMA:  No, it will not have such influence.

SONGSOPTOK:  Irrespective of the origin of festivals, whether religious or social, the form and content often varies from one region to another. In fact, regional culture has always been an intrinsic quality of festivals in different parts of the world, often in the case of same festivals. Do you think that today’s globalization could actually wipe out these culturally rich regional influences? Do you think that this is a loss for the human society in general?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Modern day festivals link culture with entertainment, trade and economic growth, and this has a social impact as it strengthens the local community and identity, thus enhancing national solidarity. Local festival may fight against the effect of globalization, therefore they present their own regional, local values, the uniqueness of their own locality and identity.

SONGSOPTOK:  If we look closely, we can often find a close relationship between different types of festivals and nature. Would you agree? What is your personal experience?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Nature is the key stone of an understanding of the seasonal rites, which are times of joy and celebration and deep communion with the powers of Nature forces. Each aspect of seasonal change is understood as a mystery of the Divine. Most of the festivals have their roots in Ancient practices, refigured in modern times, where Nature was and still is venerated. For so long various parts of the world had and have a pantheistic view about Life, identifying the deity with the various forces and workings of Nature.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that festivals and celebrations in their present forms can play a role for world peace and unity? If not, how should they evolve to become a message of world peace?

ANCA M. BRUMA:  Spreading Love is already spreading Peace and Unity!



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