IELTS Writing Task 2: Topic Cultural traditions

Some people say cultural traditions are destroyed when they are used as money-making attractions aimed at tourists. Others say this is the only way to save such traditions. 
Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some examples of ideas

Positive impactsNegative impacts
Money made from cultural traditions (selling souvenirs) could be invested in the preservation of such traditions. For example, people at Bat Trang selling ceramic products to continue this tradition.Government construct museums and galleries to display cultural traditions → preserve such traditions without destroying them.Many traditions are modified for commercialization → lose their authenticity and value.Traditional sites are ruined by irresponsible tourists.

Sample Answer

Some people feel that cultural traditions are ruined when people use them to make money from tourists. Others claim that using these traditions as money-making ventures is the only way to save them. In my opinion, both views are true to a certain extent.

To begin with, many traditional customs are modified for commercialization, and end up losing their originality and value. For example, Vietnamese traditional dances such as the lion dance, which were traditionally performed only by martial artists during special occasions, are now often poorly performed by amateurs at tourist sites across the country. Such changes not only give foreign visitors a false impression, but can also make the dance less meaningful to the local people. Also, many traditionally sacred sites are heavily damaged by the irresponsible behaviors of tourists. For instance, a well-known Youtuber named Logan Paul recently visited Japan and filmed himself dumping a bag of coins into a sacred well, where people often drop coins for luck, and did permanent damage to one of Japan’s most famous iconic traditions.

On the other hand, there are several reasons why monetizing from cultural traditions is the only way to protect them. First, the revenue could be used for the preservation of such traditions. For example, many people in Bat Trang village in Vietnam make their living from selling traditional ceramic products, and thus are able to continue one of the oldest traditions in Vietnam. Second, by putting cultural tradtions on public display,  the government could heighten people’s awareness of preserving these traditions. For instance, the Vietnamese government has built several museums around the country that solely exhibit examples of ethnic minority cultures in an attempt to protect cultural values without affecting the lives of these ethnic people, yet successfully gathering lots of public attention and support.

In conclusion, using cultural traditions as money-making attractions has both positive and negative impacts on the preservation of such traditions.

Highlight vocabulary

  • Commercialization
  • Give somebody a false impression
  • Do permanent damage
  • Heighten awareness
  • Gathering public attention and support