Picture, “'Scape”, by Azellica
Now more than ever there is a need to harness the weight and power of the customs and traditions that have been passed down to us from our parents, grandparents and other family members. As we embark on the beginning of an entirely new decade embedded in the technological, social, and political progression of the 21st century, the depletion of traditional ways of life is becoming increasingly apparent. It can be said that traditional ways of life have suffered such deleterious effects that, respect for the culture of another, empathy for individual and communal ways of life, and willingness to understand why some people do the things they do have been lost.
As far back as I can remember, senior citizens have always reminisced about the “times when things were good,” and “when children respected their elders.” Such nostalgic fervor is not limited to those over the age of sixty, though. My parents both reminisce about times when politics and war hadn’t torn the world into two opposing, vigilante sides. My professors still reminisce about the days when grade thirteen existed in high schools across Canada and students didn’t have to pay their own tuition to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a Canadian University. My neighbour reminisces about the days when she was young and the Beatles had just landed in America. My little brother reminisces about last week’s dinner and how savoury it tasted. And I reminisce about being a kid and having nothing to worry about except whether I would make it home in time to watch my favourite television show, Arthur.
It can rightly be deemed that, at least once in our lifetimes, we will all reminisce about a time that was better than the one in which we are. We will all think about the times when we were young and things were not as bad as they currently are. While this tendency to reminisce is common for most individuals, each succeeding generation brings with it its own arsenal of thoughts and consciousness, proving that it is different from the next.
Though much can be said about the demeanor and attitude of the generations before us, the character of our generation (generation “X,” as social scientists like to call us) is unlike anything ever recorded in the history of human observation. Youth today can be characterized as wholly independent, free-thinking and more mobile than previous generations of young people. Technological advances have enabled contemporary youth culture to reach its frivolous maxim, but current youth culture still depends on the customs and traditions received from our parents and grandparents.
I believe this is because the character of this past decade has drawn heavily from a need to go back to “our roots” to find inspiration. Whether the hype was in literature, film, music, fashion or social theory, one’s roots were deemed essential to constructing an image of the present. It is now common knowledge that, whenever we feel stressed and exhausted from the hustle and bustle of modern life, psychologists recommend that we return to “our roots” to find ourselves again. I take it that “roots” here allude to the culture we were nurtured in and the customs and traditions that we draw to comprehend ourselves and apprehend our ever-changing surroundings.
Our culture, whatever it may be, is our safety net. Our culture is our past, present and evident future. This writer insists that we must do whatever we can to ensure that our cultures do not disappear like the buffalo or the dodo bird. After all, what would we be without a culture to define us?
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I became familiar with TakingItGlobal from a summer internship that I took on in early June of 2009. Being a undergraduate student who is very interested in global issues, the internship allowed me to learn and experience a great breadth of knowledge about online collaboration and social networking.
Im an avid reader of old english literature, and love writing short stories of the humourous variety in my spare time.
I can only hope that my panorama submissions measure up to the great works of my fellow writers.
Second hand or second thoughts? Meeckel B Beecher
| Oct 6th, 2010
Hey, I found the article very interesing and I wanted to share my views.
I believe culture is not stagnant but is an ever revolving concept. Whenever I hear people say " oh when I was young we did this, and these young people..." I generally say "Im sure your parents/grandparents said the same about you".
Change is constant and culture evolves, especially in a period where you are exposed to such immense innovation in computer technologies and everything is now literally at ur fingertips (well maybe not literally)
I have always wondered why people think that culture meant " archaic" but forget that the present shapes the evolution of culture as well.
I am from Jamaica, and my situtation for example is that long ago ska, rocksteady(music genre) became a part of my culture, fast forward to 2010 and dancehall has become a part of my culture, does this mean I have lost my culture, no it has simply been augmented. :) Now ska, rocksteady and dancehall are a part of my culture, the more the merrier right.
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