Is It Culture or Is It Tradition?
First of all I will like to put a disclaimer out to say i have not done any research on this, it is all coming straight from the heart and what has been in my mind for a long time, i stand corrected any day but Is it time to shelve tradition and keep culture?
I have a definition for both:
Culture is what defines or identify who you are. For example if
when an attire (sari) ‘says’ to me that you are a man or woman from India or when I hear the surname Patel, the Hindi language or the meal chicken Biryani and I mean this with no pun intended just for illustration purposes, these examples only say one thing that the person in question is most probably from Indian region.
Tradition on the other hand is the way people from different culture live and go on about their day to day lives. For example in the black communities in America, when getting married the bride and groom jumps a broom, in Africa or certain parts when you see your elders on someone older than you, tradition permits you either genuflect as a woman and as a man you prostrate.
I have also seen first hand in a family when the father of the house dies, tradition permits the first boy assume the position and in total charge of the full inheritance of what was left regardless of how many female children are older. He (the first boy) shares if he feels the like.
Tradition in most case is intricately intertwined with religion hence these days people can’t tell the difference anymore. Religion has become a common traditional practice where it is seen as a taboo if you don’t go to church or pray in some families that I know or worse in Islamic some household.
I am a strong advocate for culture based on my definition but tradition is questionable to me sometimes and here’s why.
It is a common tradition that Christmas day is December 25th, I have searched and asked scholars of the religion but nobody can say for sure if Jesus Christ was born on this day, even if there were proof that indeed he is born on Christmas Day, are we really celebrating the birth of Christ or is it a business outlet for the system to milk cash out of hard working people?
Another example- I asked an African family whom after the birth of their baby waited 7 days before naming the child, this family was so protective of the name going out before the seventh day that I found it funny and I asked why the cloak and dagger, their answer was simply it is the Yoruba tradition to wait 7 days.
Okay I respect that but what is the real reason behind the wait and I tell you to this day no one has an answer for it.
I have so many examples way more than this blog can take and my views on it is, I can happily do away with tradition because I think prostrating and jumping a broom are things that were in place hundreds of years ago and times have changed.
However I respect those who still practice their tradition and I am certain some of them still carry indelible value but for the most part I find it crazy like in certain African culture before the wedding day, part of the traditional arrangement stipulates that the bigger the Yam the groom provides as part of the ‘dowry’ positively indicates how properly you will take care of your bride.
Please leave a comment and give us your thought.
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