Tradition, A Double-Edge Sword

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When we come to tradition, we always associate it with culture. To many people, disobeying tradition is disrespect the corresponding culture; However, tradition shouldn’t be followed every time. First, let’s try to define the word “tradition”. It is the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. There aren’t any rules that keep people following the tradition; instead, there are public opinion pushing and urging you to believe it.

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In my hometown, the superstitious villagers believed in Taoism so much that they relate everything with supernatural and spiritual power. For example, my grandma always put some charms with mysterious spell in the corners of the house at the beginning of a new year. I still remember that my grandma was upset after I refused to put one of the charms in my bedroom since she believed my disrespectful act offense the god. To my grandma, following the tradition could be totally positive. By showing her piousness towards the god, she could receive the luck granted by god and the respect from the fellow villagers.

Even though the tradition might sometimes include unreasonable beliefs like keeping giving birth until you get a son, she still gets happiness from it. These traditions that have passed down for centuries serve as the psychological suggestion to people’s life. When they spent plenty of money on sacrificial offerings to ask for a blessing from their god, they receive the mental consolation. The tradition was like a spiritual pillar that fulfilled the old people’s void life. In a macroscopic perspective, the tradition somehow leveled up the people’s happiness index. As for some tradition that shed light on the memorial instance in the history and culture that could be dated thousands of years, it benefits people in a larger scale. For example, people would place poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Remembrance Day in Canada. This tradition was aimed to remember the men and women who have served the country during times of war, conflict, and peace. This tradition successfully shows the respect and miss towards the martyr. It was important and beneficial for us to follow such tradition. For me, I could resonate with the people during the ceremony and feel the cruelty of war. This tradition helps me to understand the Canadian culture and history more. Also, it told me respect the people who sacrifice for the country and peace.

However, the traditions like gender bias and burning papers for the dead could definitely have a negative impact. In my hometown, the belief that men were superior had lasted for hundreds of years. The villagers will ignore the policy and keep giving birth until they got a son. For many cases, there might be four to five children in family. However, the undeveloped villager was poor and lack of healthcare. Many of the children passed away since their father could not earn enough money to feed their family. Family and visit the hospital when the family members get sick. For me, the situation was much better, but I could still sense the inequality between the genders. Since I was a child, I was always neglected in my hometown. Even though my parents love me so much, my relatives don’t. What they preferred to do was to play with the young boys and convinced the mothers to send their daughters to work as soon as possible. The young boys always get the most attention and praise even they just watched the television. Being as a girl, I could be criticized because of the tuition fee my parents pay for school since they believe parents shouldn’t spend so much many on their daughters.

To me, the tradition could be both positive and negative in many cases. Before I decide to whether follow it or not, I will try to understand it and question it first.

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