TRADITIONS are not to Preserve the ASHES, but to PASS on the FLAME.Gustav 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.‘ The importance of family 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 the older and younger generations strengthens too. It also gives a sense of belonging to the community, family, society, and your own origin.
Are Traditions in the Family really needed?
A family is the most important part of our life, friends, relations, society, etc so why not traditions! People have different views on the word – TRADITION. Some call it regressive, mandate, or forced down. But for me, traditions are just about passing the baton to the next in the LINE.
Making beautiful rangolis on Diwali, preparing particular dishes for special occasions. Playing with colors on Holi, praying, etc. are all part of the family’s tradition. Our few ‘guidelines’ keep the love, happiness, respect intact between relations. With our busy lives today; we all are preoccupied with our own goals & aims. Tradition is something that gives us happy memories for a 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 the grandparent’s regime. When I transformed into ‘Ghar ki bahu’ (daughter in law). This is not a regression, nor a bondage but LOVE. The family tradition gives immense pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.
Recently we celebrated ‘Karwa-Chauth’ where Indian ladies observe a whole day fasting (no water or food) for the long life of their partners. We had a huge war of words on social media channels about this ‘ritual’. Many women groups called this tradition regressive, illogical, and many other adjectives. But I am sure if you ask the ladies who observe this fast, why they really fast, for the long age of their spouses or following just a ritual blindly? The answer would be – ‘I like doing it!’.
We can have our own views of looking at a ritual, age-old traditions, culture, but in the end, we do what makes us happy.
Traditions keep the family together
Don’t’ you agree? Traditions and family rituals keep the family together. Each and every country in the world have their own traditions, like my friends in Western and European countries have Sunday family luncheons. The whole family gathers on a weekend over family lunch spread and spend healthy family time together. Isn’t this amazing!
I have also seen the preparation of special delicacies during festivals since childhood. On Diwali, we visit family, friends and give them a box of sweets (usually handmade) mixed with 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 the fun part of having family traditions.
With the changing times, traditions evolve too, a little tweak here and there to adjust with the new generation. Old traditions compromise from their original shape to fit in today’s fast pacing time, which is wise too, or else they will seem like a burden. We all know what happens when you make something to be enjoyed a compulsion, a burden, and push it down the ladder. You will end up robbing the joy from family traditions, no one would like to follow a hollow ritual. Family traditions mean finding happiness in smaller things.
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 is something that I have witnessed and felt when was on foreign soil far away from home. During weekends when professional life quits, and you are on your own for those two idle days, your community becomes family. I visited a few places of my tradition & cultural importance, and suddenly weekends were something – I would look up-to in the entire week. That’s how traditions unite us. Be it family or a community.
Our Family traditions which we follow and are proud of –
Everyone has their own family traditions list, these are few of our own family traditions that we follow regularly.
- Having one meal in a day with family, it could be breakfast or dinner. But the deal is to sit, eat, and enjoy time together. Oh! yes, without any gadgets.
- A quintessential visit to the temples (places of worship) on all the special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Again this has nothing to do with religion, but a reason to find peace and pay gratitude for everything we have in life.
- Weekend role reversal – the man of the house will either cook or do household chores in the kitchen, like chopping, washing dishes, cleaning the stove, etc. This is sheer joy, and of course, the best way to follow gender-neutral parenting with my child.
- Family gathering – at least once in the whole year. We try to make it twice but when time and work commitments don’t permit, once a year also do good. Try to utilize that one crucial holiday ONLY with your family. Create memories for life.
- Morning prayers – I am not too much into religion, but I do believe in the supreme force. Hence, every morning, we join hands and pay our respects to the almighty for the blessed life. Gratitude!
This is our humble list of family traditions, hope you enjoyed the read. Do share with us your most favorite tradition in the comments below.
Also written for the challenge – Nostalgia
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