Change is a constant. Nothing ever stays the same. These two statements carry a lot of weight, especially in our day and age, when technological transformations are changing the ways we interact, do business, and live - on a seemingly constant basis. There are a lot of worries that come from this degree of change and some people feel anxious because everything seems to be happening too fast and on too great a scale. One thing we can do to stay grounded is to honour family traditions.
When thinking about traditions, be they marriage, annual celebrations, or funerals, there are a lot of scenarios that come to mind that revolve around family, community, and coming together. You may also think of the history of those traditions, rituals and moments that, over time, have become an important part of your own personal history. You might think about how traditions vary between families in some ways but stay the same in others. You might ask yourself - what are the values of these traditions?
Tradition serves as a balm for many of the worries caused by rapid change. Our traditions are, in a sense, the roots from which the tree of our civilization has grown. No matter how different you are from your grandparents, you can still celebrate your family’s traditions with them - traditions that you can then pass down to your children. Traditions are bound to change over time but those changes are often gradual and almost always incorporate elements from the old traditions.
Traditions are almost always community-oriented. Whether you’re welcoming the birth of a baby or celebrating one of the holidays, there are probably going to be a lot of people celebrating with you. This helps build ties between people who may not know each other well at all because tradition acts as a touchstone, as a common reference point. Strangers who share similar traditions can use them to relate to each other better. Even if you travel to far and distant lands, when you meet people who share your traditions, you may just find another place to call home.
Traditions also help us remember loved ones who have passed away, by repeating a ritual they created or by cooking a special recipe of theirs. In some sense, this keeps loved ones with our family even after we ourselves have long since passed - therein lies the appeal of "secret family recipes".
There’s no doubt that, as our society begins to change more rapidly, our traditions will begin to shift as well. It’s important, then, to find the ways in which traditions can continue to change while maintaining their roots.
The value of tradition is keenly felt in the smaller communities in Manitoba. One of the most valuable traditions any culture has is the funeral, a form of respect for the deceased. We offer funeral services in Dauphin and a few other towns in Manitoba. Get in touch with us at Sneath Strilchuk and let us help you honour and respect your family traditions.
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