Tradition in a Modern world

Customs and beliefs become traditional when they get passed down from generation to generation. Its 2018, does one really need tradition? In a world surrounded by smart TVs and handheld devices that connect us all, is there space left for what at times may seem like dictatorial rulings?

The tradition, that speaks more than it listens. The uncompromising, do as you’re told military set up. The last attempts at being a “perfect bride” type of traditional institutions.

Tradition is the dark horse in a society dominated by free speech. Alot of what we have come to deem as tradition is laced with unfavorable experiences. If we shun all our traditions, it would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Like our legally binding Constitution, tradition has its own flaws and an attempt to cover up the wrongs will not benefit a soul. If we are to progress into a beneficial future for all of Zambia, we will have to cut out the cancerous parts of our tradition. Early marriages, traditional rites of passage before marriage and marriage rituals practiced after the husband has passed away. Backward thinking in an age where Google can probably speed dial the local cops in our areas, has to be stopped.

I don’t know how to stop it. I doubt there is a grand gesture to have the negatives stop. Social media was in a frenzy as negative traditions were brought to the surface. Most, if not all the negative traditions brought out of the closet were against women. We have a widespread cancer that has traditionally been accepted into our homes.

How do we stop the growth of this cancer? We must all act as sharp scapels, opening up the body and cutting the cancer where it stands. Yes, its basically surgery by unlicensed doctors, yes its absolutely going to hurt. Most likely leave a bloody mess on all our counter tops. This is how I think the clinical incisions should be made;

Step 1

Using a marker, mark all the places you want to open up with your scapel. Which means, do some research, write your questions down, prepare your mind for somewhat unpleasant but necessary conversations.

Step 2

Hold scapel over markings. If however, this is your first time ask somebody you trust to help hold the handle as you cut up the patient. Talk about it, ask alot of, why and what questions. Like what traditionally will be expected of you, be it for marriage or otherwise. Ask someone you trust to be with you and hold your hand, if necessary, as we question society.

Step 3

“Its just how things are done” can no longer be accepted as an excuse. Especially when we factor in, that this is 2018 and these are things that are occuring on a daily. This is not the sleeping dog we tip toe around in fear of waking. This could easily be us in a few short years. Suffocating chickens with our bums, having to sleep with our deceased husband’s brother because “his spirit won’t rest”.

I have learnt alot from tradition but I will not place it on a pedestal. This is not a tradition thing, its a thinking thing. We can’t accept the sort of thinking that brings us down. We can’t accept anything less than the ideal, the ideal is a dream, but we must work towards our dreams.

Tradition is beautiful, lets express the beauty in all the right ways.

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