What identifies you? What sets you apart from another? What makes you as one with the people who you live amongst. The chances are it’s something to do with your shared heritage and traditions. The way you do things, the way you cook and eat, the clothes you are comfortable in. The stories you tell your children.
The concept of strength in numbers is nothing new. The ancient theory of banding together, to bolster your numbers and create a better position endures, in fact drives much of our lives today. We are less identified by countries, than by regions…The EU, Oceania, etc. It has its advantages and its drawbacks, as anyone mixed up in the Brexit debate will attest.
One major disadvantage is the homogenization of cultures, with a steady dilution – thanks in no small part to media – of the things that make us different. The erosion of the traditions that are familiar and comforting, that define our identity. Shopping in any city? You could be anywhere, and it’s all a bit depressing… Effort and mindfulness is actually required to seek out the unique and genuine items.
But wait…hope is not lost.. A groundswell of regional pride is emerging.
People are reclaiming their heritage and presenting it to the world, pushing back against the same-ness. Gathering the confidence to value themselves and where they came from. Cherishing their grandmother’s recipes and the stories that gave rise to them. Travelers want to see and experience the differences, and are seeking to be informed about the places they visit. What is the point of travel if not to learn?
I will be doing a little series on observed traditions… so watch this space…
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