We Are All Cut From the Same Cloth
Geographical regions and climate have played a major part in creating the diversity of cultural traditions in all the nations of the world. When it comes to most basic human rituals however, the similarities are universal. For one thing most of us work diligently to improve our circumstances and those of our children but we also reserve a small portion of our time for fun. Of course, there is a small affluent, privileged segment of humanity that does not need to fully participate with us in these forays into the realms of the gods. For them it can be attained anytime on demand. They are the leaders, the shapers and the helmsmen of our society. But we are not here to mention them; it is the ordinary folk that warrant our attention here; and the hard working majority does need its well earned respite now and then. Never underestimate the importance of rest and fun, for it is as essential to each human being’s survival as air, water, food and shelter. It is what releases the ordinary folk from their mundane existence and allows them to live for a spell in that exalted regions where they may crawl with the beasts, soar with the angels, or turn against each other in mock battles over tribal properties.
Aside from the routine fun there are those special times that are eagerly sought. These are the holidays, the special days of the year when the ordinary is put aside and we indulge in the gift of our own humanity. Sometimes we celebrate just what it is to be a human being, have the love and comfort of our family and the closeness that gives a higher meaning to our lives. We come together at Weddings, Funerals, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter to reminisce, establish new bonds or strengthen and retie the old ones.
Then there are those times marking the end of an episode in time or season, when we break free of the constraints we are forced to live with and allow ourselves a well earned reprieve by loosening our inhibitions and reveling wildly in our uniqueness. Whether we call it Halloween, Carnival, or Saturnalia the mask is donned and the societal strictures are dropped. Collectively at times all non essential activity ceases and every iota of our attention is riveted to the ritual warfare represented by our sports teams. During the playoffs we are the willing recruits to particular totem groups that cheer or jeer, egging on the chosen team to its inevitable victory or defeat.
The types of break we take explore the full spectrum of our identity as human beings. As family members, as uncontrolled beasts and as members of warring social groups, every one of these activities expresses that which is uniquely human in all of us.
Fortuitously, there are countless events and concerts around the Toronto area that mark the end of summer. Some of them being: Busker Fest, the Chinatown festival, the FanExpo SciFi convention and, of course, the CNE. The latter is an old tradition that has existed in Toronto since 1879 and therefore merits special attention. It was established back then to encourage the development of agriculture, manufacturing, industry, commerce and, of course, the arts. Today varied entertainment and fun are the chief requisites. This is where families and couples young and old go to celebrate end of summer in the plethora of colour, sounds, games and the ingesting of delectable and unusual food in vast quantities….Everyone enjoys a last hurrah!