24 Sep Do Traditions make life Meaningful or Hinder Progress?
Change is good. Traditions are not static; traditions also change from generation to generation. They are constantly evolving with time. New generations bring new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of doing things. However, we rarely recognize this as positive change within the context of culture and traditions.
We always talk about losing our traditions instead of what we have gained or ways that traditions have changed for the better. We seem to think that technological advances and new and innovated thinking as something that is separate from culture and tradition. However, is it because of culture and traditions that progress is possible. And also, if we look at it from the right perspective, tradition does not keep us from advancing.
Tradition is about how people in the past lived and using that as a guideline to our lives. I think if we keep trying to live in the past, we distance ourselves from the gradual change happening in society and the world as a whole. Tradition can often be perceived as good purely because of nostalgia. If it was so good, then why has society changed? It’s like saying, “I miss the days when we were just homo-erectus. We sure had it right back then!”
People often think that the familiar is better and that different is bad, we should change that perspective. Yes, I believe traditions are an obstacle to progress if they become hindrances. They become problems if we follow the traditions like girls after marriage must not go out the house. Right now, in the world at present women are the best home-makers and also the best business women. Women excel in every field they set foot into. If we go on following the old tradition of restricting women and not give them any freedom, then we fail badly. But if we use traditions to progress, to use it as an example to see what mistakes were made, how it was corrected, how we have grown and developed then it’s a good thing. For me traditions are just thoughts in my mind flashing all the time, thoughts guiding me, thoughts I follow because of our past and it feels familiar and also gives me strength, it helps me not hinder.
In the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) in my school, Sharanya Narayani International School (SNIS), which I believe is the best international school in Bangalore, we learn about cultures, traditions and about who we are, right from grade 1 onwards. In Grade 4, we learnt about different cultures, religious beliefs, how civilizations were born and grew, to what it is today. We not only learn and gain knowledge but it also helps us think differently, question and challenge assumptions and stereotypes. The teachers constantly challenge us to look at different perspectives and analyse and evaluate everything from different viewpoints. As I mentioned earlier, traditions help me, not hinder me. We just need to look at it from the correct perspective.
By –Srinath Reddy Karur
Grade 5 student