I’ve been thinking a lot about days carved out to appreciate this, that, or the other. Some things are deemed important enough to get whole months in their honor. I wonder if this phenomenon has come about as a response to the need for tradition. Western culture, or lack thereof, is very limited in its traditions. They have some religious holidays, some pagan ones (which they have claimed for themselves as religious), and then everything else is just randomly assigned lets-remember-this-important -person day.
Cultures that are still close to their roots tend to have a strong sense of family and community. No made-up holidays for them. In the Indian daily life, religious activities are interwoven with days that honor the changing of the seasons, and at any given time, there is a immediate knowledge of where one is within the context of our relationship to the earth, our gods, our family.
That sense of connectedness is not automatically present in western life. So I feel, days honoring the Mother, Father, Grandparent, Secretary, Boss, Black History, Native American History, Columbus, Veterans, etc. have been created to attempt to form connections with each other. Except, for the most part, it has all become commercialized into one big shopping expedition. Anticipation of the various days are mostly related to the sales where you can score that big plasma tv! Even India has not been spared in this. Along with the continued assimilation of western ideas and clothing and toys, these fake-o days have been adopted, and the ensuing sales. “Two-for-one!” and “Best deal” and Cent-percent-discount!”
Where am I going with this? I don’t quite know. It’s just a stream-of-conciousness post, I guess.
In this post, I had talked about how my desires for the perfect birthday had changed. I guess that’s a form a maturity?
I guess I would like to see that maturity become permanent. Don’t get me wrong…I love a good sale. But I don’t need to wrap it up in a fake appreciation to enjoy it.
And I’m afraid that I’ve assimilated into the western world too well in that I have lost that sense of community and relatedness to family. Moments like this where I can part the veil and see with clarity are few and far between. Because, frankly, it is easier to just live day by day in a blur of rote activity.
Living each day with purpose is hard.
Happy Mother’s Day.