Asian Traditions

Every custom, folklore, tradition and value system across Eastern cultures is heavily influenced by religion. Secularisation of society and mass tourism pose real threats to these shared beliefs and traditional ways of life. Traditional dress is already on its way out and language, customs and value systems are constantly under assault from global media.

Imagine a homogenous world without cultural variations. That would be a tragedy of huge proportions. 

“Every view of the world that becomes extinct,
every culture that disappears,
diminishes a possibility of life.”
~ Octavio Paz

Culture - Alms giving

Portray the importance of language.

Hindu temple in Bangkok

Until next time…happy travels no matter where life takes you.

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Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

106 thoughts on “Asian Traditions

  1. Wonderful pictures :)It made me to smile when I read “spending half one’s daily wages on flowers to adorn a lady’s hair”.BTW,I am from Tamilnadu 🙂

    1. Not talking about you of course 😀
      Just can’t help wondering how the average daily wage earner can afford them everyday! But if the husband can waste it on hooch, she is fully justified 🙂 Appreciate the visit and comment Praveena.

  2. Religion has two sides – a good side where everything is nice and peaceful and people worship in nice buildings with their unique customs. But religion also has an ugly side which can cause tensions and wars.

    I once spoke to two brother who had been brought up in a high caste Hindu family in India. They had disappointed their parents by converting to Christianity. Their parents never spoke to them after this as they had been destined for high office in the Hindu religion. They converted to Christianity because it promised salvation and everlasting life through Jesus Christ which was something they could not achieve being Hindus.

    Religion can also cause conflicts in families and in nations and is the cause of many wars. The Crusades in the 11th to 13 centuries between Christians and Muslims, British Civil Wars in the 17th century and the tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India.

    But, where would we be without religion?

    1. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts on the subject Jane 🙂
      I am not a religious person. I do believe though that ALL religions basically preach the same truth. It is the interpretation of those truths that are good or bad depending on individual perspective. And the cause of all strife on this earth, when used by vested interests to manipulate the masses.
      Hindus and Muslims in India co-existed peacefully until our colonial masters decided to use the ‘divide and rule’ policy. Today our politicians use it with equal efficiency. Nothing to do with religion at all, it is politics and powerplay and subsequently, revenge for lives lost and insult perceived. Every single time.
      I read an interesting article recently about whether changing ones religion equals loss of cultural identity. The conclusion was that it doesn’t necessarily.
      This post is about that cultural identity. A Christian in India follows several of the same customs Hindus do, along with language and dress. Adopting an essentially Western religion does not make him a Westerner. The differences in our multicultural, multilingual society – in my opinion – are enriching rather than divisive, when our politicians let us be 🙂

  3. I am inured to laments over the deaths of species, and how it impoverishes our world. But nowhere before have I seen suggested that the same phenomenon can occur with increasing globalization and homogenization of culture. The instant I read your blog, with its opening quote by Paz, it made total sense. Is there an antidote for this? I can’t think of any —
    You are recording these cultures with your words and photographs. That is already something.

    1. Wish that were enough 🙂
      Language is the first to go actually. According to this of the more than 6,700 languages spoken in the world, half are in danger of disappearing before the century ends! Our mother tongue – Tulu – is slowly but surely headed in the same direction.
      Can’t think of an antidote either 🙂

  4. Madhu, we would indeed lose a lot if we were all one homogenous group. I love what each culture brings to our lives – especially the food, music and clothing. I heard of a Native American community that’s donated money to a university to teach its language which is nearly lost.

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