african tradition culture modernisation innovation versus

Tradition Versus Innovation

Tradition Versus Innovation, modernization, reasoning etc

I struggled with the title because many people don’t like the word modernization, they believe it means western values. Definitely not in this context, instead i opted for innovation.

Tradition is the customs beliefs and cultural practices that are past down from one generation to the next. While Modernity refers to the present time or the recent past.
There are daily clashes between both. Often you hear people say I am a traditionalist when it comes to e.g relationship or family life. When it comes to education, it is the other way round. People pick and choose the ones which are  convenient to their needs.

In some community, tribes,  culture and tradition still plays a big part in how people live their lives.  We will look into some of this areas and contrast it with today society.

Family life

The traditional family usually comprises of the nuclear family, not just the mother, father and lot of kids. But grandparents and other extend member of the family.

The modern family are usually father, mother and one 1 or 2 kids. Leaving far away from their parent or other extended family members

In traditionally families, children grow up more happier, more people to play with and many role models.

Relationship/Marriages

Traditionally men control the women and they are made to feel beneath. Not equal to the man. The women are meant to clean, cook and do all the domestic chores, while the man goes out to work. In some asian cultures, the woman have to walk behind the man, even in the car. The ladies must sit at the back seat, leaving the front passenger seat empty.

Despite modernisation, some people still choose to leave this way. It is not even practical in today urban society, Where everyone works. In my opinion, man should be the head but couples are equal and should share the domestic chores.

Ceremony – Wedding, funerals

In many African culture, the wedding ceremony and the dressing attire is rooted in many years of cultural history.
In the Asian contintent, many india ceremony,is still deep rooted in their culture. The clothing etc

In some tradition, wedding ceremony are usually massive.  Sometimes it last for days. My niece just got married and the tradition in the groom place. Every body must wear same attire,  you can imagine the hassle. In india, some weddings last up to 7 days.  Same with funerals, it last for days in most african culture and  in some cases everybody have to wear a matching attire.

Most modern weddings is one day. Court/church and reception.  Same with modern funerals, just one day.

Both events are huge, but with reasoning. One must come to the conclusion of the purpose of these event and a 1 day event is most appropriate.

Religion

This can be very controversial, but sometimes people seems to drop their sense of reasoning and go with how their parents use to worship or not.

Traditional Chiefs or Rulers

Are these rulers still relevant in today society. We have the courts for mediation or arbitration. The elected council, state legislature and governors that runs state affairs.  Struggling to find their relevance.

Fashion

You have to love the different traditional attire, from east to west, north to south. The African continent to asia.

Lots of colourful traditional attire with lots of stories behind each.

In contrast to innovation in fashion, there have been good and bad. With knowledge of fabrics and colour, we have many practical and convenient clothing.

With fashion a mix of both tradition and  the new works well. It is all about timing, practicality and convenience.

Wearing agbada or suit in the sun is very inconvenient.

Cars/building/Technollogy

There is no contest, everyone usually opt for modern.

Conclusion

More often than not, there are many cultural practises that are no longer relevant. Without naming a particular thing in our culture or tradition, I think is time we do away those practises that does not add value or that were used as a form of control mechanism or oppression.

Whilst doing this, we should not blindly embrace modernism or innovation. It is has many pitfalls, the pursuit or love of money. The unlimited hours of work at the detriment of family life.

We do need to be a bit more objective when looking at our traditions and cultures and be willing to disregard things that do not benefit us. We should cultivate the creativity within ourselves to help our land and take ideas from cultures all over the world and not just the west.

 

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Posted by: | August 17, 2016

Posted on: 2016 August 17