When I think of Modern and Traditional Indian culture, I actually had this thought of Vivekananda in mind –
Once a foreigner asked him “Can’t you wear proper clothes to be gentleman ?” Swami Vivekananda Replied, “In your culture dress makes gentleman but in our culture character makes gentleman”
I actually read most of the posts written on this topic and what I found amusing was that people actually comparing tradition and modern. Some posts were actually Tradition vs Modern post which is actually a reflection of the general public sentiment.
Interestingly, traditions are not opposite for modern and what most of the bloggers write is a comparison between Indian culture and the western culture. My question to all the readers is that why are you thinking that modern = western. This is the basic mentality which is wrong. I will give the examples of modern Indian traditions ahead. First let me counter these western snobs who think they are modern just because they are wearing a pair of jeans. If this shallow is your modern thinking then keep it with yourself.
I feel a person is modern with their thoughts. If a person has a balanced head, can accept facts and arguments, who is not bound with stubborn thought process and is ready to accept change is actually a modern person.
I think this generation has forgotten the line of “Simple living and high thinking”.
Negatives aspects of Indian culture and traditions
There are some traditions which are wrong in our country and I think most of the people accept that fact. We are still not able to give equal rights to women and minorities. While talking about minorities let me tell you that I’m a probasi Bengali, a person who origin is from Bengal but who is born outside. While growing up in Delhi, I question continuously troubled me. Whenever someone came to know that I’m Bengali, their first question was, “So, where in Kolkata do you stay?” let me answer to all those morons who keep asking this question that I’m was born here, I have my home here and I have never been to Kolkata.” I’m writing this because there is a huge amount of biased against about lingual minorities which is mostly ignored.
The regional divide can also be seen in many parts of the country like what people from northeastern states face in rest of India specially in Delhi and what people from Bihar face in Maharashtra.The biased and the crimes against women is also one of the major threat to our culture.
I think we all should condemn it and work towards removing it from our culture. My problem is that some people ignorantly wrote that this is Indian culture ? That blogger goes on to say that Divorced women not getting respect is a part of our culture. Though I agree that this is prevalent in our society these days but our culture is what we do and nobody else is responsible for it.
I feel sorry for them because they have actually forgotten the contributions of Raja Rammohan Roy towards social reforms and upliftment of women. If you haven’t read about him then do read, it will be an eye opener for you. My point is that the work done by people like Rammohan Roy is also a part of our tradition and shouldn’t we take them as role models and work towards empowering women in our society.
Positive aspects of Indian culture and traditions
Today the whole world is learning spirituality from India. Ramakrishna Paramhansa and his disciples have spread spirituality and values throughout the world. I feel many new generation of bloggers should devote some time to reading because if you are not well read then it shows in your writing. It actually lacks “substance”. I like discussions when there is valid points to back your argument. Argument for the sake of argument is useless.
Another important part of our tradition is Yoga which is forgotten by almost everyone in India till Hollywood celebrities started telling about the yoga regime. Interestingly, some “Babas” teaching Yoga in TV have made a fortune out of something which we should have been a part of our life. I feel if we don’t value our heritage it will be again like the colonial days when clothes made from our cloth was sold to us at exorbitant price. In future, people from US will come to India to teach us Yoga. Don’t get surprise ? In Delhi, Mumbai and top cities this is already trend.
Non-violence, respecting our guests and respecting our parents weren’t these part of our tradition. Where it has gone ? Were they not good traditions ? but surprisingly Old age homes in India is increasing every passing day. In metros people hardly welcome there relatives to their houses. The hospitality, love and respect for others have gone. Try to inculcate the positive values and you will find the negative values disappearing from the society. “What goes around, comes around”.Not the Justin Timberlake song 😛
Our traditions have somehow managed to get inside our modern life as well.
#Choora – A choora is a set of bangles worn by married women after marriage. I have seen many women wearing it over their jeans as well. In Delhi all the women flaunt their choora after marriage. I asked one of the women who used to wear this to our office everyday, “Is this even part of your tradition ?” She said ” No, it’s not but I saw all the women in Delhi wear it and I really liked this tradition.”
#Durga Puja – I think festivals are the best examples of modern tradition. The inerest in buying new clothes during Durga Puja has remained the same though the type of clothes may have changed. Still traditional clothes scores over anything during pujas.
#Holi – Holi is another festival that has seen many transformations like use of organic colors to limited use of water for water conservation. With time people have changed and so have the festivals.
#Marriages – Though we still want the big wedding but the way we organize it have changed a lot. From theme based marriage celebrations to celebrity performances. These days every marriage ceremony has something unique to offer.
#Connections – With the new age people have learned to stay connected with each other as well. The whole family having the same mobile company’s connection so that they could stay connected with each other all the time. Parents have new methods to track their children these days from mobiles to facebook they are trying to track everything.
So, the gist to the whole discussion is that stop judging people and start accepting and understanding others. A person is modern with their thoughts and not with their clothes. So, be open and embrace the change as this is the only way forward, change is the only constant. Modern is not an opposite for tradition and they could actually go hand in hand with each other. Modern doesn’t mean western and before passing a judgement on people and your own culture please read something about your own culture. 😀