“The future belongs to those who give the next generation, a reason for hope.“
Earlier times, people mostly lived in joint families. The enthusiasm of celebrating the festivals with family and friends was completely different than it is now.
In olden days, a festival meant to be a joyous celebration. As an example, let us consider Diwali – the most awaited and celebrated Indian festival. Gearing up weeks before the festival, buying new clothes, buying precious metals, making huge rangoli’s, lighting lanterns and lamps, firing crackers, taking time and visiting relatives were few of the significant tasks. Grandmothers and mothers used to put all their love and energy into making tasty delicacies like besan/rawa ladoos, chaklis, gulab jamuns, karanjis, etc.
Cleaning the house, painting the walls and decorating the doors with mango leaves, neem barks and flowers which emit a special aroma that wards off evil (a traditional belief, but scientifically, it actually wards off mosquitoes, flies and other insects ) were a part of the preparations. Those long walks, sweaty efforts and rush during the commutation to buy essential home necessities and gifts have materialized into a click of the mouse on online shopping portals.
Now-a-days, festivals have lost their charm as people enjoy delicacies throughout the year, having made them readily available everywhere. And they no longer need to wait for special festivals to put on new clothes and enjoy lavish dinners. The festivals now symbolize the era of clicking pictures and posting them on social networking sites, going digital and public than having a personal touch. Earning maximum likes on Facebook is more valuable than earning blessings from elders. Buying sweets from the shop has relieved the mothers from preparing traditional homemade delicacies. Rangoli in the form of stickers have hijacked the contemporary showcase of creativity which were depicted in handmade rangolis.
Earlier times, the priest’s played an essential role in cultivating religious beliefs among the youth. The power of chanting mantras and aarti, reading out religious books in front of the deity during the pooja has been taken over by recorded MP3’s and MP4’s sung by famous singers. Bursting fire crackers with cousins and friends was the most exhilarating moment during childhood. Four hours of bursting crackers during diwali never harmonized the perpetual adulteration of environment caused by smoke and pollution. But now, we live in the era where the environmentalists persuade us to avoid crackers and celebrate a noise free and smoke free Diwali. The age old practices followed by our ancestors is no longer adhered.
Our work life now has become more demanding and global. Office hours have become an enforced slavery. Thus, losing the true flavor of Indian culture and rituals, has become inevitable. Time is of utmost importance according to today’s generation. Though we celebrate festivals, but more often, it is more of a family get-together rather than following the tradition itself. All of the festivals now, have become more of coming together for an hour or two, throwing a lavish party, sharing them on social networks and then going back to your separate individual existence. People aren’t patient enough to go through all the procedures due to lack of time and more than that, lack of interest.
“Patience is not the ability to wait, it is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting” – Joyce Meyer.
Life in 21st century has accelerated and we are always in race against time. People don’t have enough patience to sit and talk to each other. Instead, they prefer to spend their life virtually chatting with strangers than spending quality time with family and friends. Greeting people, spreading wishes and blessings, distributing sweets to friends and relatives have adopted the channel of whatsapp/skype/facebook – the latest trend among today’s generation.
Having said that, and witnessing the lack of interest in youth towards our beliefs and traditions, parents from nuclear families are trying to instill the roots and bestow upon the traditional culture to their children. Resolving the changing face of festivals is the matter of utmost importance. The younger generation seems to be more “self focused” than focusing on others. More and more parents are coming up with an idea of uniting the youth and the aged to keep the flavor of our festivals intact.
To stop losing our roots, age old practices, traditional morals and to build ethical society for future to come, lies on us and parents-to-be people.
We live in a generation where
houses are big, but families small;
degrees are more, but common sense less;
medicines are advanced, but poor health;
touched planets, but unknown neighbors;
income is high, but peace of mind is low;
high IQ, but less emotions;
good knowledge, but poor wisdom;
numbers of affairs, but no true love;
lots of virtual friends on facebook, but no real ones to stand by us;
many humans, but less humanity;
costly and branded watches, but no time for ourselves.
Let us not be an answer to the question – “Who raised this generation?”
Instead, let’s “Be the change you wish to see in this world. “- Mahatma Gandhi