Culture and Traditions

Culture, in Latin is “cultivare”, to plant , to grow.

One of the things that makes us human is that we have a spoken language and we can share information with each other.

With that capability we can also share customs and traditions, from one generation to the next, on how to do things. That’s what having a culture is about. Sharing common ways of living. Plant and grow things. From parent to child. From grand – parents to grand – children. Personally, being an ex-pat, this is something that is very present in my every day life. I am the only  Swedish “cultural bearer” for my children on a day-to-day basis. I choose books , films, traditions, food, and taking a conscious choice using my language with kids, which is their mother tongue. No-one else will do it for them, I am their path into their Swedish culture.

If I look around the world now it is moving in a fast pace and it’s easy to  forget about traditions and to “cultivate” them. We forget about “real” things because we want things to happen fast. Time is short and we want quick fixes. Sorry, quick fixes won’t last long. Take anything. Cars, telephones, clothes, fast food. Things are produced not to last long, but to last short so we can buy new soon. Food, normal, natural food  these days is called organic. Hm. It’s how food should be , natural. It has a name now. Sign of our time.

In this context of culture and traditions, I’m thinking about Romania.

Romania, seems, with my foreign perspective,  to be quite pure:  there are many traditions that are so far being kept, there are so many places unspoiled, there are still craftsmen and enthusiasts who keep the spirit alive.  I’m curious : how many places in Romania has some sort of UNESCO Heritage protection ? There also seem to be an interest in history. Different generation, different interests ?

I also see, when visiting Romania, that mainstream culture overwhelm the country. Many seem to go to “the Mall” just as an entertainment, for example.  I stop and think when I see this. I wonder how far it will go ?

It’s a fine line between modernization and not forgetting about ones history and traditions.  I believe one has to have feet planted in ones’ history in order to understand the present. I believe one has to have feet planted in the soil to be able to make the real, good choices. The ones that last and build some kind of character. I had to remind myself lots of times recently.

I so hope Romanians keep being proud and don’t forget about their traditions as the western world is creeping in. There are so many resources in Romania, keep them alive.

I am thinking of food, of crafts, of language, of ways of doing things, of traditions, of cultural identity in general as I ‘m wondering how the cultural identity has changed in a country only 23 years post-communistic.

– What is cultural identity in Romania all about 2012 ?


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