Monday, 8 August 2016

DAILY SPRINGS: Traditions: Why They Are Important

By Emmanuel Chiedu SB

Since as early as I can remember, Nigerians have always grumbled about the many traditions that exist and the difficulty in knowing or keeping all of it.

Traditions are what people of these days love to hate. We've replaced them with holidays and other flamboyant foreign ceremonies. The truth however is, many holidays are becoming so commercialized that our proud traditions are in danger of becoming trivialized.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a national holiday during which families gather together to share a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Similarly, the Christmas holiday is usually a time when families spend time together. These cultural traditions, along with other factors, help to reinforce and maintain what it means to be American. 

In Nigeria, with each passing day, we shred what is left of our tradition. We prefer to copy that of those who started before us. That's why we read about a prominent Oba in Lagos being kidnapped recently, whereas in the past such would be deemed a sacrilege and unthinkable.

Traditions are important because they help us to connect with our past, they tell us where we are coming from, thereby helping us understand our roots. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity.

Traditionally speaking, Nigeria is blessed with rich and diverse kinds of food, rich music and many more, why should we pushed all that aside bit by bit? 

Here are a few of the importance of our traditions as listed by Frank Sonnenberg..:
* Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.

* Tradition reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the value of being selfless.

* Tradition provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life.

* Tradition offers a chance to say “thank you” for the contribution that someone has made.

* Tradition enables us to showcase the principles of our Founding Fathers, celebrate diversity, and unite as a country.

* Tradition serves as an avenue for creating lasting memories for our families and friends.

*Tradition offers an excellent context for meaningful pause and reflection.

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