Traditional Vs. Modern Society.
One day, my grandmother and I were arguing over what I should wear to a function. She wanted me to wear a traditional salwar kameez. I wanted to wear a comfortable kurti over a pair of jeans, and so I refused to don the traditional clothing. My grandmother gave up, sighed, and said that the youngsters of the twenty first century were idolizing the westerners and that human race was already half dead when we spend hours on the computer. I immediately got defensive, and I deliberately looked at the cell phone in her hand and retorted, “I doubt you had a cell phone in your days grandma,” and left the room. But when I found myself pondering over what my grandmother said, I began to realize the adverse effects of modern lifestyle.
We blindly imitate the Western people just because we think it is more “cool”. And for this reason, things which reflect our heritage and customs like religious practices, clothing, beliefs, and languages are gradually fading away. Sometimes, I feel shameful not knowing my own mother tongue properly. At some point, these things will completely vanish and future generations will not even know traditional practices, let alone experiencing them.
It is true that gadgets and technologies introduced in recent times have made our life much easier and they have certainly made our world a “smaller place”, but we can’t ignore their drawbacks. Now a days, we spend way too much time on the computer and spoil our health. When I visited my cousins in the countryside, I marveled at how close and intimate they seemed to be, and regretted that I could not share the same lifestyle. In the cities, where we are engrossed in our own hectic schedules, we hardly find time for our own family members, let alone friends and neighbors.
Our ideal way of spending free time in the city is to watch a movie, or play a video game on the computer. But when these technologies were not available in the past, our ancestors used to spend their time playing games and chatting with people, face to face. We feel proud to be communicating with so may people around the world at the same time through social networking websites, but what we don’t realize is that we are creating false friendships and wasting valuable time.
I am not saying that you should completely leave modern lifestyle, and live like how people used to in the 1970s, but respect your heritage. Don’t drown yourself in fresh gadgets. Spend time with your family and friends. In Walt Disney’s words, “We shall remember that our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.”