TRADITIONS are not to Preserve the ASHES; but to PASS on the FLAME. – Gaustav Mahler
Why Traditions –
What does the Dictionary say? ‘The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.‘ Traditions is all about sharing the beliefs & ideologies from one generation to another. These beliefs are formed with experience, knowledge & responsibilities. Also when this transition takes place the bond between older & younger generation strengthens too. It also gives a sense of belonging to the community, family, society & your own origin.
Are Traditions in Family really needed?
Family is the most important part in our life, friends, relations, society, etc so why not traditions! People have different views for the word – TRADITION. Some call it regressive, mandate, or forced down. But for me traditions are just about passing the baton to next in the LINE.
Making beautiful rangolis on Diwali, preparing particular dishes for special occasions. Playing with colors on Holi, praying, etc.. these are all part of family’s tradition. Our few ‘guidelines’ which keep the love, happiness, respect intact between relations. With our busy lives today; we all are pre-occupied with own goals & aims. Tradition is something which gives us happy memories for lifetime.
Traditions keep us together
Holidays, Festivals are the times when we unite and celebrate happiness together. I love when we all ladies of the house come together and discuss food. When Dad brings gifts for everyone, without even asking the sizes and favorite colors :D. And trust me it always fit perfectly well. When kids get the liberty to play & enjoy freely under grandparent’s regime. When I transform into ‘ghar ki bahu’ (daughter in law). This is not regression; nor a bondage but LOVE. Family tradition which gives immense pleasure & sense of satisfaction.
Recently we celebrated ‘Karwa-Chauth’ were Indian ladies observe a whole day fasting (no water or food) for long life of their partners. We had huge war of words on social media channels about this ‘ritual’. Gave it many names; but I am sure if you ask the ladies who observe this fast – ‘Why do you observe this fast?’ Answer would be – ‘I like doing it!’. We can have our own views of looking a ritual, tradition, culture, but in the end we do what makes us happy.
Traditions keep family together
I have seen preparation of special delicacies during festivals since childhood. On Diwali we visit family, friends and give them box of sweets & some mixed salted snacks. The reason is simple – strengthening the bond of love. Today, passing on the same to my child by including her from the preparation to execution. It helps them in understanding it better.
With the changing times, traditions too evolve. With a little tweak here n there, traditions compromise from their original shape to fit in today’s fast pacing time. Else the same family tradition looks like a burden and pushes you away instead of bringing in happiness.
This time on Diwali; instead of the traditional attire for special occasions – A Saree, I wore an Indian Ethnic dress – Anarkali suit. It’s just a small change, but for many families these small tweaks become reasons of feuds. Hence, it’s important that we keep the traditions alive and not the other way around.
Traditions expand cultural belonging
This I have witnessed and felt when was in an alien land away from home. During weekends when professional life quits; and you are on your own for 2 days – community becomes family. I visited few places of my tradition & cultural importance; and suddenly weekends were something – I would look up-to in entire week. That’s how traditions unites us. Be it family or Community.
There are few family traditions which we follow & try to adhere – always. Like –
- Having one meal in a day with family; could be breakfast or dinner. But sit, eat together & yes without gadgets.
- A must visit to temple on all birthday’s, anniversary’s. Again this is nothing to do with religion; but a reason to spend quality time together.
- Weekend role reversal – man of the house will either cook or prepare one dish. This is sheer JOY 😉 & of-course a way to cut the gender discrimination to NIL.
- Family gathering – at least ONE in 365 days. We try to make it twice but when time & office doesn’t permit. Try to utilize that one crucial holiday ONLY with family. Making Memories.
- Morning prayers – I am not too much of a religious person, but I do believe in supreme force. Hence, every morning, join your hands & say THANKS for giving us what we have.
This is our household list of family traditions, hope you enjoyed the read. Do share with us the your most favorite tradition in the comments below.
© Dipika Singh