Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Changing Traditions

I was trying to think of any traditions that I have known which have been heavily impacted by something to the point where they have changed. I can't really think of anything. I'm not really sure what that means, especially considering my view of traditions is a fairly limited scope due to my youth, my perspective and my limited knowledge of some traditions.

I thought about Chinese New Year, since I'm fairly knowledable about Chinese cultures based on personal experience. I have been to many Chinese New Year festivals, and they all seem to have the same key elements, a dancing dragon eating an orange, fireworks, dragon boat racing, drums, traditional music and garb, the same food etc. At this point I've witnessed the Chinese New Year festivals in New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts and they all seem to be quite the same.

Not that I expected to see, say, Cheese curds at a Wisconsin Chinese New Year festival but I would have thought it would be different being impacted by Wisconsin culture. But no, not particularly.

I guess, with that in mind, can there be cultural purity? I can't fully answer that question since I do not know how the festivals were carried out in China, but it seems as if there is enough shared memory by the Asian (American) community to hold onto the traditions of the past.

No comments: