La Tomatina Lahore: Imperialism Or Just Plain Old Ignorance?

on Thursday, September 19, 2013

La Tomatina is a food fight festival which is held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near to Valencia in Spain. In this festival, participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun.

After Halloween, looks like the youth of our country have found one more gimmick to copy. Calling it ‘an effect of the imperialism plague that has struck this country’ would not be wrong. Spain celebrates this festival in regard to its history and culture.

The question is why we are doing this! We aren’t even remotely connected to this festival. We try to defy our own rich culture and history, and we try to become like people who are not us. Our youth has been influenced by imperialism very much. Copying trends, clothing, food and much more is just their way for becoming ‘cool’ as they say it. Can we justify such extravagance, and justify the extent to which we are imitating foreign cultures rather than promoting ours?

Throwing food at each other just to have fun while half of the country’s population doesn’t have even one decent meal a day. Pakistan is a developing country with a very fragile economic structure while Spain has a much more stable economy. When more than 60 percent of the country’s population is below the poverty line, you just can’t simply afford such a waste of resources. Tomatoes are one of the priciest food amongst other items in the vegetable and fruit markets. Celebrating this festival gave out a message to the somewhat underprivileged people that we can afford this, and we can also waste the item that costs more than half of their daily wage.

Watching rich snobs wasting such precious food items raises frustration and disappointment in the minds of those who know they’re going to bed tonight having nothing in their stomach. After Lahore, now the city of lights Karachi is also  looking forward to celebrating this event. With tomato price over 75 RS. Per KG, people of Karachi should really think about donating food instead of flinging it.

The statistics show the severity of food scarcity in Pakistan, and the extent to which many of our fellow men are being affected by starvation and malnutrition. Holding this event on such a large scale needed a large consignment of tomatoes. The organizers assured that there would be no lack in the number of tomatoes so that the event could go on uninterrupted. This leads to a hike in the price all over the country, as well. Growing up, I’ve realized that if we don’t act fast, our upcoming generation would lose our cultural heritage and identity completely.

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