Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Spotlight on Tradition or Culture

Nigerian Annang Ekpo Masquerades
A Spotlight on Tradition or Culture 

Written by: Tom U. Okure, PhD

Preface

Who am I or you to judge what is right or wrong in other people’s tradition or culture. You may not like other people’s tradition, but just have an open mind and you may learn something from the experience. 

But What Exactly Is Tradition? 

It is a complicated concept. Nevertheless, it essentially refers to the time-honored practice of passing on or passing down cultural elements such as social norms of a people from one generation to another generation, especially through oral communication. 

African Traditional Hairstyles

It can take the form of ideas, rituals or customs, behavioral patterns, dressing styles and even a mode of thought carried on by a people (family, tribe, nations, race etc.) on an ongoing basis across generations. The term "invention of tradition" originally credited to one E. J. Hobsbawm refers to a situation where a new practice or object is presented in a way that suggests a link to the past which may not necessarily exist. Traditions have been known to be created deliberately and publicized for political, personal, national or commercial purposes. 
   
Wodaabe Tribesmen
A highly publicized event can be adopted and routinized into a tradition instead of gradually developing and spreading organically among a people or population. To illustrate the pont, it is alleged that the traditional white wedding dress, was popularized and became a western and now global tradition simply because Queen Victoria during her wedding to Albert of Saxe-Coburg wore a white wedding gown.




African traditional chiefs in a ceremony

 
 Did You Know That: 

A tradition can be adapted and modernized to conform to current and global trends while maintaining key aspects of its cultural elements. ~ Dr. Tom Okure 

Now You Know !!