What society should stop doing with immediate effect
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It was one Saturday, in November 2023. Around 9:30 pm, I sipped upon my glass of beer when this blog post idea hit me. What society should stop doing with immediate effect? I will answer, “Why”?
This blog idea was long incubating in my mind when I finally took over a month to complete it. The problem was I ran out of thoughts. Creativity – as they say, you cannot rush it. You cannot push thoughts towards the edge. Anyway, I digress.
Some cultures define societal norms and vice versa. An excellent example is marriage. In a country like India, you will rarely find single unwed mothers. Most of the time, children are born within wedlock. We give prime importance to family over individualism.. Although some individuals may exhibit such traits, it is not prevalent in most family-oriented cultures like India.
That’s how society perceives and governs. While some traits may be good, others go the way of the dinosaurs, while a few exist.
Let me first elaborate for the uninitiated – what is society?
According to the Oxford Dictionary: Society is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. It is similar to community, people, etc.
A secondary meaning states a community living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations or a specified section of society.
Does culture define a society, or is it the other way around? Society may or may not fix a subjective cultural representation to a particular area or region. For example, two communities separated by region may not follow the same thing. A case in point – Mangalorean Catholic weddings inclined more culturally in Mangalore than in cities like Mumbai or Delhi. (I haven’t seen Mangalorean Catholic weddings in Delhi as I have no relatives or friends living there, so I cannot elaborate on that).
Catholic weddings are straightforward in Mumbai. For Mangaloreans like me, the Sado- is a traditional-oriented custom where the groom ties the Mangal Sutra around the neck of the bride. Mangal Sutra is more of a Hindu tradition graciously adopted by some Catholics.
Goan and Anglo-Indians do not follow this tradition. Their weddings follow the Western style.
In Mangalore, it entails having a more elaborate tradition involving grandeur and splendour and of course people. The groom invites the fiance and her family over to his place where they have a get-together, the traditional roce, and food and drinks.
All Catholics follow the traditional ceremony. I can’t say for Anglo-Indians since I have hardly any friends, so I cannot elaborate.
This difference is varied across communities where culture has a strong representation. Society determines what is acceptable and what is not. Live-in relationships are a Western idea catching up in a country like India. I don’t approve of that idea because, in a culturally appropriate country like India, we can do better. Not all societies are accepting of this fact.
When I say culture, it means how the person behaves in a society. Society shapes how cultured a person is. For example, respect for elders is paramount. The idea of respect is well-accepted fact. You give respect – you take respect. You earn respect. It is a gradual process under constant observation by the self.
Take the same example as highlighted above. Society is accepting of a single parent, a single unwed mother adopting a girl as her daughter but not accepting of an unwed mother with a child? The answer to that is – family. India bonds strongly when it comes to family and less individualistic. If you look at our films, it is a representation of the strong culture we possess. That’s me speaking (generally) as we are less individualistic and more family-oriented.
Let me take this a little further. The older generations of parents, some of them tend to remain unchanged. When a son or daughter of another parent comes of eligible age, the question is asked – when will he or she get married? When they are successfully married, when will they have kids? When one kid is born, when is the second one expected?
I would say none of your effing business!
Poking nose in other people’s matter just because it’s rumour worthy makes little to no sense at all. It is where maturity comes in.
The prior generation to which our parents and grandparents belong would get married around the age of 25 or below. Now, however, Catholics tend to get married much later in life – particularly after the age of 25. There are tremendous benefits to this. One reason is the maturity one gains in making the right decisions with time. Although, you should never take it as a guarantee. Mistakes occur and you cannot blame maturity for it.
Once most of the older generation of parents and grandparents pass away, things will look brighter. Societal norms will change. Some good things may crop up, while others may no longer exist.
However, what may remain is poking noses into other people’s affairs! This unfortunate habit exists across boundaries. People tend to grow their noses longer than Pinocchio’s except that the size remains invisible to others and unknown to the one who belongs.