By Herman M. Lagon
THE RECENT issue surrounding the invitation of a controversial vlogger to the Dinagyang Festival 2024 countdown in Iloilo City has ignited discussions about the role of cursing in our society and its place in cultural and religious events. The organizers, led by Mayor Jerry Treñas and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, have apologized for the unintended sensitivities that arose during the event, signaling a commitment to rectify the situation and ensure such incidents are avoided.
In the Hiligaynon language, the word “linti” is rooted in “lightning,” but it takes on a coarser connotation when used in the context of mockery or anger. While some may view it as a mere expression, many consider it a curse word. The controversy arose when the vlogger, known as Kalinti by TBON, misused this word during his performance, causing discomfort among many Ilonggos who deemed it disrespectful to the religious and cultural significance of the Dinagyang Festival.
The Dinagyang Festival is an annual celebration that honors the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) and holds great importance for the people of Iloilo. Therefore, the event must uphold the values and sentiments of the community.
Amidst this controversy, it is essential to delve first into the psychology of cursing. Swearing, often perceived as a sign of limited vocabulary or lack of intelligence, can also be seen as a tool for effective communication. Research suggests that individuals with higher verbal fluency, who can articulate their thoughts more effectively, tend to have a broader repertoire of swear words. This implies that swearing is not necessarily an indicator of ignorance but can be a means to convey emotions and emphasis.
Moreover, swearing has been shown to have a pain-relieving effect and can trigger the body’s natural defense mechanisms, such as the release of adrenaline. In some cases, it can even facilitate stress relief. However, it is crucial to recognize that context matters when deciding whether swearing is appropriate, especially in the workplace, where it can affect professionalism and interpersonal relationships.
Returning to the Dinagyang tension, it is commendable that the organizers have apologized for any unintended offense caused and expressed their commitment to better coordination with stakeholders in future preparations for the festival. This incident serves as a valuable lesson in ensuring that cultural and religious events like Dinagyang are conducted with the utmost respect and sensitivity to the community’s sentiments.
Nonetheless, let us move forward and fully support the organizers in their selfless and dedicated efforts to make Dinagyang even more fantastic and celebrative, ensuring that such incidents do not happen again.
Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.
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