Is it necessary to keep cultures alive?

2,070 Views Updated: 05 Jul 2018
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Is it necessary to keep cultures alive?

Upholding cultures is a must because it defines us. Otherwise, we’ll be in limbo like Hamlet saying, “To be or not to be is the question.”  Culture is the foundation on which a nation is built. It is ingrained in the veins of the people. Segregation from culture is not possible unless another ideology is forced into it. Culture is passed on from generation to generation orally or through literature. Indians cannot be Indians without their culture or Americans cannot be Americans without their culture.

Every culture is diverse. In this diversity, everything unites. Every people, race, color, all is part of the culture. No one can move away from it. Either the color will show who you are or your accent will prove it. Language, literature, festivals, music, movies, dress code, food, religion, all integrates into what the culture of the country is. The culture is what makes the country and so it can never be detached and thus it must be kept alive.

Marcus Garvey says, “People without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots”. A tree sans its roots withers, in the same way, a nation without its culture will deteriorate. Culture needs to be passed from one generation to the other and that’s how it can sustain. Culture resides in the hearts of the people and they show it through their actions. After colonization lot was lost as people were inspired by the Western culture. But much of it survived through literature. The people read and traced their culture back to its roots. Now in the postcolonial era, the people are adept in both cultures.

Language and literature are the main sources through which culture blossoms. The regional languages are of most importance. Everyone should learn it. Without learning the history, the origins, and the literature, one cannot learn about the customs and traditions of the nation. Literature is the major source through which people learn about their culture.

Indian literature talks about our past and those who read it gain more understanding of their past. One needs to keep this entire literature safe so that even if people are no more, books will speak out. The past things cannot be seen; it can only be read. And so it can be learned only through books.

Culture is transferred orally too. In many houses, the grandparents would tell their kids about their past. And that will be engraved in their hearts. The recorded history of a nation is taught in schools where the kids learn about their ancestors and comprehend about their culture. When people know of their origins they feel that they are part of something. Otherwise, they will feel lonely and detached.

Many people struggle when they do not know their roots. They are in a double-bind and are caught in a dilemma. When culture is steeped in people, the wonderful feeling of belongingness is felt. And when belongingness is felt, there is happiness around.

Culture shapes a person into who he/she is. One’s character is molded by the culture of the nation. If a person is brought up in a Christian family, the way he/she moves in society will reveal who they are. Their dress code, talk, gait…all will show from where they are. Same applies if one is brought up in a Hindu family. The festivals which one celebrates are a part of the culture. This encourages oneness and unity. India is one country where many cultures live together in harmony. One should be proud of one’s own culture rather being swayed by other cultures. Unity in diversity is amazing to see and it arouses togetherness.        

Culture binds people and its distinctiveness is divulged. Every culture has its own uniqueness. Mahatma Gandhi said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and the soul of its people”. Something that makes a person is a culture and it needs to be kept active. Thus, it becomes our duty to uphold our culture in any situation. When a culture is lost, everyone in the nation will separate and there will be nothing much left to comprehend the identity of it.

A person needs to have an identity of his own and culture determines it. Otherwise, everyone would be in an indeterminate state with no base. To have the feeling of belongingness and have an identity, one needs to uphold culture. Without a base, the building won’t stay strong, so keep your cultures booming.

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