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Culture & Traditions - our heritage

"We are not responsible for our heritage, but responsible for our actions and what we beget into this world"
How often do we come across people raising hue and cry over "Culture" related issues ? Moral policing is another result of it and somehow i have never been able to figure out how correct the moral police itself is morally. If you come from a conservative family, talking at night over the phone with a person of the opposite gender is a moral issue, and often you are considered to be uncultured and a source of shame to the family name,Jeezus !
Anyways I am not here to talk about, whether a particular society's rules are rational or not,whether we should have the flexibility to make certain sacrifices for the sake of our elders or not,whether we should let other cultures dilute our culture or not,rather,I am here to talk about what really is culture, and as i see it why does one have to bother if someone else follows or upholds my/his culture or not.I should warn you that it's going to be a long and boring discourse..proceed at your own discretion..
Lets see.. How is culture defined ? As attitudes and behavior, tastes in art and manners characteristic of a particular social group.So lets be clear on this and keep other features like religion,ethics and morality out of it.The problem with most educated and cultured people is that they are incapable of distinguishing between them and thus when they make irrational demands ,in my court of law,they are fully culpable. I am an individual and i would like everyone I come in contact with to respect that about me and also consider me and my priorities,tastes,likes and dislikes as important and as significant as their own,and not being a hypocrite I will return the favor.
Now this is a very "Hard to digest" kind of a demand I know and that's why we have boundaries in this world, and that is why came into existence the phenomenon we have christened as CULTURE.I cannot stand the fact that you live your life so differently from my own,so I will work to create a conglomeration of "like minded people" rather people whose minds I like and make you the odd one out. I will do this and use the garb of Culture so that I may not be charged with discrimination,rather have you charged as a source of nuisance ! There however was one problem, the conglomerations were growing in size day by day and patterns were emerging,which were mostly similar and had some differences in them,so what did i do ? I made a society, decentralised MY culture. Brilliant ! No wonder man is the greatest creation of God.
Fine now I have my societies with their cultures and I am happy but thanks to my luck,I face another obstacle and what is it this time ??? Symbiosis.
I realise that I cannot have a life full of best available comforts until unless i associate with the very people i had initially seperated from.He he.So now my devious mind sets to work,but as they say,"No matter how strong you get,there will always be a harsher test",well I could not overcome it,so I concede and allow a few changes to creep into my culture.Further symbiosis finda an ally in scientific progress and later the very famous "Generation gap",which is basically a change in the socio-economic conditions of that area.
Through out my motivation has been purely my vanity and avarice, it has been ME all along.I remember this friend of mine,Neha,who once pointed out that when in school she was taught that we always write God with a capital 'g',and that after having been in this world she realises that there is one other word we always write/start with a capital letter- "I". How very true !Now am I saying that culture was a result of all negative attributes that Man has ?? No . who ever said desire was bad or for that matter greed or pride or ego ??? Excess of them is bad.Fanaticism is a result of excess of these attributes not culture.
The point or message that I want to convey here is that, phenomenon like culture and society originated because people are different and they chose to follow their different cultures and have a seperate identity for themselves.They have always changed and that change is sign of the fact that Man is still alive.While we talk of preserving our culture,I dont protest against it,Do that if you want to,but I protest when you expect others/preach others/compel others to do the same.Why ? Because it is not your f*&^in choice,nor do you have the right.(sry for the profanity)."Good fences make good neighbors",I think most of us would have read that poem.His neighbor always wanted a fence there ..? Why ? because he knows he cannot respect that individuality so he will keep himself away from it.The moment you try to do something to encroach that privacy, you are blowing the conch, and if that war starts, the price you will pay will be the same as during crusades or partition or civil war,though their causes were different.Let people have their boundaries.let them live life according to their tastes,their manners and their attitudes.If they get unreasonable and have a behaviour that is inhuman,they ought to be punished,but untill that line is not crossed I would rather you kept to preserving ypur own attitudes and tastes.
What I have said above is not a solution for the culture problem, rather it is a means of keeping your feet out of shit.It's a big big world and a very uncaring one too.No one cares,thats a fact(by no one I exclude your loved ones),so don't bother.As long as things are humane, be happy and you will be peaceful,else we will have shuddis ,reforms and jihads evrywhere...


Kartz said…
"Fine now I have my societies with their cultures and I am happy but thanks to my luck,I face another obstacle and what is it this time ??? Symbiosis."

Spot on...

As I had said, this reminds me of our Ahtenaeum meet- "Does Culture Matter?"

As I have observed in life... Most people think there is this book titled "Culture" where all the do's and dont's are written. I mean, they tell you, "This is not our culture" blah blah blah, when they see you doing something that is blasphemous...

The thing is, people should realize, 'Culture' is just a frame of mind. It depends on how an individual is brought up... Culture is not found in any book from where you read up and preach to people...

One certain need for the hour is rationalism. The clever crow of today will use a straw to drink water... Not use pebbles! And once people are rational, like you said, there wont be (or atleast there ll be a decline in) shuddis, jehadis, et cetra.


Ad majorem "Humanity" gloriam...
Si_Lee said…
@ kartz .. he he straws .. yeah .. ;)

well the prof. wud have busted me for something so preposterous .. he he
Tushar Mangl said…
I feel culture is a part of an individual's identity.
*Moral Policing is an absurd idea.
*I disagree at one point.Religion,ethics,culture,morality
all are linked to each other somewhere or the other.I believe it.
*I think cultures were made for distinction based on convictions.

Very thought provoking post.
Si_Lee said…
@ tushar
religion encompasses many culture and culture encompasses moralities and they are a set of ethics...
but then ethics again belong to an individual thats why i kept them distinct
If you want to talk about all of these then ... he he ... I will pin everything down to an "individual"..
thanx for the comment

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