Sunday Morning Sermon - Jan 5 2014
A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down the line within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with events of the past. Common examples that are visible include celebrations, holidays, dress codes (some, even like lawyer wigs or military officer spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether they are political, religious or cultural, over short periods of time.
The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, the political traditions of the carrying mace in a parliament, religious festivals based on various anecdotes tat have come down through generations, and social events in sports and other forms of human activity and behavior.
A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity which attempts to try and make people think out of the box and step out of their traditions that their ancestors have given them.
While some traditions are certainly a lot of fun, frolic, amusement, and goodness, many others do cause quite a lot of hardship on people, who simply spare no pains in trying to maintain these traditions at a huge cost of time, money and effort, which they can ill afford.
Take the case of ostentatious wedding ceremonies that the middle class family want to emulate purely to keep up with the Jones'. The many rituals and acts that are painfully delivered by poor families during ceremonies and events, even extending to funerals. The dowry systems of give and take, between bride and groom, that still prevails in many communities when marriages are arranged and executed.
Many, are the families who fall into great debt and difficulty in trying to maintain some of these expensive traditions purely to maintain their self respect within the community or village.
All human activity somehow have their own traditional beginnings, be it a simple birthday party of a child or even the launch of a massive business corporation.
Of course we do have the tradition of the cycle parade before the Roy-Tho, the Stag Party, the ragging in Universities, Hen Parties, Xmas, New Year, Eid, Deepavali, Vesak, and so many other events that do consume quite an effort, cost, and time in preparation and execution.
There would certainly be some added value if people started to take a deeper look into some of these traditions and start dismantling them or even fine tuning them to make their life much more easier and pleasant to live.