The more I live in the U.S. the more I am reminded of the fact that the residents here were dealt a poor hand when it comes to self-grown culture. Belonging to a relatively new country, the residents of the U.S. have always been at a loss of rich culture of their own. However, they filled the vacuum by incorporating eclectic cultures in their celebrations as they did with their people. Be it St Patrick’s Day for the Irish, Holi and Diwali for the Indians or Lunar New Year for the Chinese, the diverse people of this country make sure they don’t lose a grip on their roots that are still embedded in their homeland. Some might have a stronger grip than others based on whether they were born here or how long it has been since they left their birthplace.
But is culture something we should hold on to? Or is it another bygone that should and will eventually dissolve with the modernization of our existence. Indians for one have done a tremendous job to hold on to their culture, not one but various diverse cultures that thrive on its holy land. We might have forgotten why certain celebrations came into existence and the meaning of these festivals might have morphed over decades, however, the essence truly remains in the feeling of belonging. The feeling that we are part of a whole. And that feeling is far greater than what history taught us about these festivals.
Final verdict – culture is much more than holding onto antiquated ways, it is more about the feeling of belonging which essentially acts like a glue for the residents of any country. So, pass it down with pride. There is a fine line between letting go off ancient ways that pull us down and embracing the ones that bring us together.