Culture and Traditions

by horngyih

Culture is a collective of sensibilities and ideas typically held in a community. The cultural elements are then transcribed into traditional practices that integrates into the community’s way of life. What we often see as an identity of a culture is often times an infusion of tradition and culture melded into one. Culture is an ever evolving element of the community as it changes and assimilates new cultures. Tradition on the other hand is often inherited with a far more resistance to change, and is often times the staying hand of cultural evolution; some even refuses to allow any change to come to traditions. The two combined becomes the cohesion of a community’s way of life, one ever changing and the other resisting change, a free spirited bird weighted down by a counterbalance, the balance of these two elements keeps the community in a stable state of evolution. Allow a community’s culture to constantly evolve without stop gates and brakes means the community spirals out of control losing a cohesion that keeps it together as each member of the community consumes and assimilates change at different measures. Strictly enforcing traditions means the community loses it’s ability to change and therefore adapt to the ever changing world we live in.

The preservation of pure traditions, without understanding the culture that is infused into its practices is to stop the evolution that is needed for the tradition to stay pertinent to the contemporary way of lives and hence loses meaning and connection to the younger generation. The lost of these traditional practices through non-preservation also means we lost a part of that cultural component that is infused into the practices and the contemporary generation loses the sensibilities and ideas along with it.

We should preserve tradition with an intellectual understanding of the values, sensibilities and ideas that comes with its practice, but on the other hand allow the preserved to be malleable and adapt itself to the current culture as well.