Category Archives: United Nations

‘I am on annual leave’: Why being on holiday is taboo.

'Going anywhere nice?'The use of the  word ‘holiday’ in any work related electronic communication appears to have become taboo. Why might this have occurred?

From our reading of Freud we know that a taboo signifies something sacred and yet at the same time something dangerous’ and ‘uncanny’ – reflecting the exhilaration, giddiness of speed of fairground circularity – the childish joy in the visceral irrational but inevitable motion of the wheel.

In Totem and Taboo Freud wrote that “For us the meaning of taboo branches off into two opposite directions. On the one hand it means to us sacred, consecrated: but on the other hand it means, uncanny, dangerous, forbidden, and unclean. The opposite for taboo is designated in Polynesian by the word noa and signifies something ordinary and generally accessible. Thus something like the concept of reserve inheres in taboo; taboo expresses itself essentially in prohibitions and restrictions. Our combination of ‘holy dread’ would often express the meaning of taboo.” [1].

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Filed under Human Rights Council, Totem and Taboo, Uncategorized, United Nations