Flicking through the channels on a wonderful Sunday summer afternoon I caught Britney Spears giving an interview. On being asked for a message for all her Indian fans, she said “yeah, I love my Indian fans, I love India, always wanted to come there, the tradition, culture, so amazing, awesome…” Britney Spears is just one of the several celebrities who have made such futile comments on our culture and tradition. I often wonder what is it about our culture that they perceive to love so much when they know so little.
The Indian culture has been very misunderstood not only by a vast majority around the world but to an extent, even by our very countrymen. Today’s Indian youth have taken a stand towards western style of living which, as understandable as it is, with the globalizing trend, is at the cost of eradicating a culture that has been followed in our country almost since the beginning of time. More than the principle adaptation of western culture, it’s the perception of our‘s as a culture of old practices that has developed amongst the Indian youth today.
For at least a thousand years, a number of religions have thrived in India, each with wide gulf of social and cultural diversities. Each religion has its own philosophy, theology, mythology, ceremonies and rituals. Despite these outward diversities of religious beliefs and practices, the vast bulk of the people of India had developed certain common fundamental values of life based on the precept of human dignity which sustain and develop into a great catholic society.
Exhibiting one of the highest forms of human values, the Indian culture allowed people to live and develop their personality according to their own belief. Indian culture teaches that everyone must assimilate the spirit of the other and yet preserve one’s individuality and grow according to one’s own law of growth.
What the Indian youth need to observe is the fact that our culture offers every one of us the option to set our own boundaries. We don’t have any regulations that bind our activities; we don’t have definite rules that raise questions on the commitment involved. That liberty which our Indian culture offers is the reason why even as of today our homes still follow the traditions that have been imparted from one generation to another. The sincerity with which one has to follow principles of our culture is not definite, hence even for the Indian youth today, it acts as a source of discipline and guidance, which has been so ethically proven for over hundreds of years.
The Indian culture cannot be defined as a specific code and in that lies our greatest strength. I believe it’s time that we, as the country’s youth, acknowledge the freedom, disciple and integrity it offers each one of us as individuals and to our country as a whole.
In today’s modernized world, sustaining a culture as intricate and significant as ours might seem like a challenging task. But, if the youth of the country learn to “love” and not “live” with the culture it shall trickle down to a task for once, easier done than said.
We are brought up in this very same culture, we have lived with it all our lives, and these cultures are what define our nation to the outside world. If we stand today as the patriotic youth of this country we shall find taking pride in our culture a choice. This is the only definite thing that binds us; to love the country is to love its culture. So, the question now is, Do You love your culture?
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The writer is a Raipur based correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz.
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