It would not be fair to say there is no tradition in my culture… none whatsoever! Because every culture has a tradition, the problem is whether we try to maintain it or not.
I find, there is a little bit of contradiction in everything I face. Perhaps because I am not an agreeable person… maybe I’m just throwing things out there! Who knows? Truth is, our traditions are dying very slowly. And to find the cause of this would be hard since its not one thing, but it varies within culture, families, and ultimately, it varies within the individual. For example, in Cuba my mother’s generation and generations before my mother’s were able to enjoy of the holiday religious traditions; Christmas, The Three Wise Men (as it was our Spanish heritage), Easter… after Castro went into power, he started getting rid of all of those things. My generation grew up without Santa Claus, and I didn’t even know there were three wise men until I was able to understand what that meant. My mom tried to keep a little mystery in my life, there was at least the tooth fairy, only that for a Cuban child the fairy was more in the form of a mice and it would pay me 25 cents for my tooth, I liked that part. It’s not that I am a religious person, and that I spend my hours at church, but keeping those traditions would have made me appreciate them more now. I live in this country, where we still cultivate those particular holiday traditions and I really could care less. Now, don’t get me wrong! My mother makes sure I go to her house for Thanksgiving, and that I do something for Christmas, at least that. New Years is for parties and couples she says, and if I wish to stay home and cry buckets because I miss the good old times -and what better time to remember than the last day of the year- she will call me at midnight and wish me good year!
I think about this, and maybe it might not seem like a big deal at this moment, but when you start incorporating small details into a bigger picture you will find that it plays a big role in the making of an individual. It has a lot to do with how we see the world and how we treat it, and how we treat others around us, ultimately these things will make us who we are. Keeping tradition is important, this I have learned. But making new traditions is also a good way of passing down good morals and values, perhaps a smarter way of teaching the new generation since the world changes and we can’t stay in one place in time forever, but we have to accept that we most go on with the world until it is our time to pass down what we have learned from it. So I say that for today, I have learned I must accept changes and try to cope with them while keeping my old ways, somehow incorporate the old with the new. I will search for my lost traditions,and I believe I will definitely find most of them, if not all. But I will also make new ones, together with friends and family.
And at the risk of sounding cheesy -I’m afraid I already have- I will start by bringing back the essence of a friendship in the form of a tradition, or a new tradition just formed right now, as it has been our sort of ritual -my friend’s and mine- to express our feelings through drawings or writing as a way of communicating to one another instead of talking… perhaps a little far-fetch for the start of a “new” tradition. But I cannot change the world, I can only change myself and those around me.