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Group Discussion: Taboos and traditions are nothing but a cultural baggage

Aug 4, 2014 16:20 IST

    Culture is the asset that we people get in heredity and it rationally defines the ideas, the beliefs, the traditions and the customs that one inculcates.

    Taboos refers to a vehement restriction of such actions which are considered to be too sacred for people of a group or community to be followed but are accustomed by threats of punishment by God. Traditions on the contrary may be defined as the customs and rituals that are followed by people of a particular community or group that has been a part of that community or group since ages and were followed by their ancestors as well.

    Taboos and Traditions are considered to be nothing more than just a cultural baggage that one needs to carry either with or without consent. And this is true to much extent as:

    1. Don’t play any role in development: The taboos and traditions don’t play any significant role in the growth and development of either the society or an individual on a whole which is the need and demand of the society today.

    2. Don’t relate to practicality of life: The taboos and traditions hardly relate individuals or groups to the real world or what we say the practicality of life. And being practical is somewhat much more important than being tabooed or traditional.

    3. Adverse effects: In many social groups like the ones in the tribes of Brazil, South Africa and even in some remote areas of Jharkhand, taboos and traditions compel individuals to go for dangerous tasks and skills like forehead piercing, full body piercing, living in caves and deadly jungles to prove that they belong to the tribe and only then they are taken as a member of the tribe. But examples as such are just the causes of adversities and ill-effects to life and people and nothing else.

    On the other hand, if we look on the other side of the coin it is much more than just a cultural baggage. It is something that one needs to know and learn while being a member of a particular group or society.

    1). Relates us to the ancestral being: These taboos and traditions relate us to our ancestral being from where we perpetuated. They infuse in us the sense of becoming humble and loyal to such customs which led to our emergence as a part of a group/community/society.

    2). Distinct Identity: Taboos and traditions makes an individual carry a unique and distinct identity..

    3). Cultural heritage: Taboos and traditions are not a traditional baggage rather they are the cultural heritage of a group and society that keeps the living principles and lifestyles of the group alive with those who are their members so that the history can look back of their sheer existence and glorious identity.

    So, in nut-shell, taboos and traditions are something that are both opposed as well as supported. But obviously those who treat themselves as the modern people of today adopting multi-cultural lives don’t believe in these and treat these taboos and traditions just as a Cultural baggage there are people who also support and believe in these customs and culture laid down by taboos and traditions just because they feel to be associated with their origin and evolution.

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