Traditions vs. Growth
A couple of years ago I was walking in Montreal in the heat of the summer. Two men walked past me wearing thick black fur hats. The temperature is 32 degrees Celsius. My logical mind went berserk.
A house mate of mine smells really bad. When I asked him why he is always stinking up the place. He told me in his culture they don’t use soap and toilet paper, just straight water to clean. Whaaaaaat?
This is almost a daily encounter if you live near a multicultural metropolitan area like Toronto Canada. People wearing turbans instead of motorcycle helmets. People carrying daggers to school for religious reasons. People eat endangered animals to celebrate their wedding. People forcing their underage daughters to go into arranged marriage. All done in the name of Traditions.
Traditions should not be about antiquated customs that have expired. You do NOT need fur hats in hot summer. Mohammed did not grow up with soap and toilet paper therefore he did NOT instruct you to use them. Turbans does NOT protect your skull at 140km/hr, speeds unachievable by horses. Sharp blades are NOT needed to protect you from mountain bandits. Sharks are not infesting your waters so eating their fins do NOT proof that you are a big man. You do NOT have to sell off your young daughter for a goat so the rest of your family can live through winter. You are in 2018 Canada for crying out loud! Get with REALITY!
Did you know that every seven years we are reborn? Our cellular molecules continuously regenerate and replace the old with the new. Meaning if you did a molecular comparison with yourself from seven years ago you will find that every single molecule in your body is different. The point is we are a constantly changing organism. This may explain the “Seven Year Itch” because if we are different individuals in an old relationship, are we still compatible?
Traditions is a cultural and behavioural tool we use to hold on to our identity. Many of the traditions are great, many of the traditions does not make much sense and a handful of them are darn right stupid and horrible (female circumcision?). We, as intelligent humans have to constantly filter the gold from the muddy bottoms and keep what is the essence of our so called traditions.
Canada is an immigrant culture with Anglo Saxon dominance. A multitude of cultures and traditions came together to fuse into a new identity. This new identity has to work for everyone, has to be beneficial to our community and most importantly, has to be adaptable and forever changing.
In a hundred years will we still be playing the bagpipe at school assemblies? Will we still be singing God Save the Queen? Will we still be eating maple syrup toffees in sugar bushes? Maybe Maybe not. But I hope we CAN still welcome newcomers with warm open arms; We CAN still hold our heads up high in the face of adversities; We CAN still lend a helping hand to those in need; We CAN still strive to be the best we can be for our friends and neighbours. We CAN still know who we are and what we are about in life.
These are the golden nuggets of being a Canadian for me. As long as I can hold on to these values all other traditions are superficial. Canada is a microcosm of the World at large. If we can achieve prosperity, harmony, diversity by merging different people and culture together then the world has hope to achieve the same goal. If we let our grudges, stereotypes, racism, bickering, egotism, bigotry, smallness hijack our true potential then the world may also follow suit down the drain.
Canada! We are a beacon to the world. Let us shine brightly and proudly. Let us grow together so that in seven years we become new friend, all over again and closer than ever. BECAUSE WE CAN!!!
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