Monday, November 1, 2010


Lucy extended her hand and waited…Mr Tumnus simply looked at her extended hand, not knowing what to do. Lucy says, ‘you shake it’, Mr Tumnus replies, “Why”…

When we meet….we greet and shake hands….no questions asked. Why do we do that? Because that’s how it is done…that’s how we’ve been greeting for as far back as we can remember…that’s how others expect it to be.
A birthday cake is mandatory today…even if you don’t spend a lot on arranging a big birthday party, a simple cake cutting makes up for a lot. A birthday wouldn’t be complete without one.

That’s the power of Traditions. Of Social norms. You don’t question them. You accept them without a hitch. Even the usually unacceptable becomes acceptable.

This is ofcourse, festival time in India, and you can see traditions being literally ‘played’ out all across the country. Gambling or Jua is considered a social evil…but it’s ok to Gamble when it’s Diwali. Even people who would not enter a casino usually…plan and host gambling get togethers.

Although we see traditions as something that has a history…and has been handed down for sometime…perhaps, religious…however, all traditions don’t exactly have a big history.

New traditions can be created. You can create one.

A tradition of writing a song for every product release that you make.
A tradition to cook as a family on Saturday.
A tradition to volunteer, as a team or a family.
A tradition to celebrate and recount all the deliverables made by the team last month.

I lived in Hyderabad once, and noticed that our neighbors always bought some gold or made some financial investment on their kids birthday. It’s a tradition for them, their parents did the same. A great way to ensure some financial security for the kids education!

Is it possible that many of the traditions that we follow today, have some good logic behind them, besides the religious reason? Cleaning up the house and decorating on Diwali, after the rainy season in India…buying gold on Akshaythritiya…donating to temples on special occasions (remember Temples were the center of social activities in the past including development of art and knowledge).

The world around us is changing, and changing drastically…and we need newer traditions to keep some of the good things around. We also need to be open to accept newer traditions and norms…

What are you going to start this festival season? Think...and wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali.


  1. Won't call it a tradition, but close, mine is to read your post as soon as it is posted!

    Happy and Prosperous Diwali to you and your family.

  2. Change is good but not at the cost of old traditions.
    I think, it would be better if we all add up new to the old ones.
    But do we follow and respect our ancient customs and traditions.

  3. "Is it possible that many of the traditions that we follow today, have some good logic behind them, besides the religious reason?" ->yes they did I believe. Once I asked my dad why we wore new clothes for a prayer in a festival and he told me "Because the usual clothes we wear tend to get dirty and new clothes signifies some respect". It had some element of truth. As long as traditions are explained with a "why" and a "why not", people would be more ready to accept it than do it blindly just because some who's who started it.