Traditions and Generations

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Merriam Webster defines traditions as ‘the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction”. Traditions serve as a very crucial structure of culture which helps to organize and to build a foundation to shape our families and our society. Traditions gives each individual a sense of belonging by defining our past, which then leads to shape who we are and who we strive to become. Tradition adds a sense of security and the feeling of being in the right place. Traditions are the reason for many families to come together to facilitate people to reconnect, rewire with their old friends and distant relatives.

Traditions remind individuals of their history, their cultures, their ancestors and how traditions have time and again proved to have made a good impact in their life. There are some traditions which might have needed some change to understand today’s generation and to bring change for the greater good. But that doesn’t change the fact that traditions that are carried from generations to generations always had a huge role to play for family gathering, forgiving, sacrificing for your loved ones, everything which makes an individual stronger and living in unity. Traditions vary from place to place, family to family; it can vary because of the religion one follows. No matter what traditions one follows it helps to make stronger bonds and connect with people from not only your own culture but also people from other cultures.

India being a land of diversity has tried to accept and adapt all the traditions which are valued by people of different parts of the country. One of the oldest and commonly known traditions is of greeting people by saying “Namaste” followed by a joint hand gesture which means “I bow to the divine in you”. India is widely known as the land of many Gods and Goddesses, so festivals are very common and celebrated even by the people of other religions who might not believe in the same God. This, celebration of all the festivals has been a tradition since a long time, and this is what makes the people of India come together, bond and connect and form unity in diversity.

Today’s generation are growing distant from the traditions which connected people. The young generation is trying to adapt more to the western traditions and cultures, as Indian traditions and cultures are gradually losing its appeal. Today’s generation are celebrating festivals without knowing its history and customs which are to be followed to maintain the bond with others. They celebrate without spreading the joy, which is not the actual definition of festivals. Being distant from our Indian traditions, and because of the growing technology, today’s generation feel lonelier even when they have all the gadgets to connect easily. What these young minds have forgotten is that traditions help you to form a base in your life; traditions define your base and a person’s identity. Traditions that are carried from generations to generations from folding hand in a particular way to wearing traditional beautiful gold rings and diamond rings passed from one family generation to another; specifically to bring meaning to the celebrations and help bond with those whom we love, it also helps in building closer connections and to make and maintain new relations.

Change does not change tradition. It strengthens it!