||The preservation and revitalization of cultural heritage is becoming emerging issues around the world. Communities can generate economic benefits by blending precious cultures into daily lives through the reexamination and reutilization of cultural heritage. In Taiwan, trends of the collaboration of cultures, industries and local communities are growing. Community residents are encouraged to gather community resources in an effort to preserve and regenerate their unique cultures. In order to revitalize communities and improve cultural and economic developments of the whole nation, local cultural characteristics can be used of providing a positive influence on local industries. Contrariwise, the industrial strategies and marketing methods can also be applied to build local culture into industries. Through in-depth interviews, this study aims to investigate the values for communities which created by revitalizing and preserving cultural heritages and discussing current issues in Soulangh Festival. |
A case study has been used as major research methodology. The case is the intangible cultural heritage ”Soulangh Festival” which is a folklore religious festival held by the faith center of “Jin-Tang Temple” in Jiali District, Tainan City every three years. Document analysis, observation and in-depth interviews with one of the major organizer, representative of local industries, an official of Cultural Affairs Bureau in Tainan City Government, a scholar, and community residents are interviewed to collect data. The main research questions are: (1) What kind of role does Soulangh Festival play in residents’ minds in Jiali District? (2) What symbolic value and economic value does Soulange Festival create? This study is conducted through three dimensions: the establishment of local culture and the formation of identification, the regeneration of local economies, and the counterbalance toward globalization.
The major conclusions of the study can be summarized as follows: (1) The aesthetic characteristics and spiritual symbols of Soulangh Festival include orthodox rituals, parade formations, and religious beliefs; (2) Soulangh Festival is considered by most residents as a unique culture in Jiali District and deserves the succession of generations. Nevertheless, its functions of gathering community awareness seem to be challenged at present; (3) The current preserving measures are operative, while the current revitalizing methods are comparatively conservative and still have room for improvement. The attitudes of Jin-Tang Temple’s authorities play a key role in the preservation and revitalization of Soulangh Festival; (4) The organization mainly consists of volunteers and local gentry at the present stage. The sources of young member recruitment are still limited and most of the members are from acquaintances; (5) After quantifying the aesthetic, spiritual and heritable values of Soulangh Festival by the amount which the organizers and the respondent residents are willing to pay, it shows that the spiritual values are more than aesthetic values but less than heritable values; (6) The organizers and academic circles hold positive attitudes toward the economic benefits of Soulangh Festival, while local industries and residents deem that the connection between Soulangh Festival and local cultural industries should be enhanced more; (7) Due to the triennial of Soulangh Festival and current development, Soulangh Festival still cannot become the inducement for local young people to stay and for outward migrants to return to their hometown; (8) The promotion of Soulangh Festival is just in its infancy. Except to see more logo and cultural commodity developments of Soulangh Festival, the interviewees also look forward to seeing the cooperation with media or collaborators in other areas, but the cooperation should be under the hypothesis of not destroying the traditional core values; (9) The interviewees are pleased to see Jin-Tang Temple’s interactions with industries, the government, scholars and the community.
Recommendations for Jin-Tang Temple are given as follows: (1) Make good use of current internal resources and strengthen the promotion; (2) Recruit youth volunteers to develop the brand and cultural commodities; (3) Take the initiative in contacting relative government sectors for proposing demands and strive for chances; (4) Build an active two-way cooperation with scholars and schools; (5) Establishing cooperation mechanisms with local industries; (6) Build good relationships with community associations through multipartite participation of community activities. It is also suggested that the government can conduct relative surveys of the output value and tourist number in Soulangh Festival for follow-up development and authorize Soulangh Cultural Park as an intermediary institute. Combine current resources of Soulangh Cultural Park for providing Jin-Tang Temple managing, technical, marketing, and financial guidance. Suggestions for future researchers are as follow. In addition to the cooperation, tightness, and diversity of different local industries, the questionnaire survey and quantitative research of community inhabitants can also be researched in follow-up studies.