Tradition,Tradition

shouts Tevye, my favourite character in my favourite movie ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. According to him, the only reason the fiddler on the roof does not fall off and break his head is…you got it…Tradition.

    Now this may seem a bit old fashioned but i am actually longing for a little display of some sort of  tradition. I know many people laugh at old customs and sit through them only to humour their loved ones.They dont see the relevance or even understand the significance of them.To them it’s often mumbo jumbo and they are willing to endur a small ceremony only to get at the good parts afterwards – the food and the drink.

  I have often felt the same way. The family i was born into is very big on tradition. I dont mean big religious ceremonies just something to mark every event. Houses must be blessed, new cars must be blessed even new jewellery must be blessed. No birthday or anniversary is left unnoticed and unfeted even if the only celebration is opening a bottle of champagne. My mum always lit a candle in front of the Sacred Heart when we had our exams on. We had to kiss the picture of Jesus or touch the crucifix before leaving the house. I often felt a bit embarrassed at this overt display of every emotion and thought that as long as you acknowledged it in your heart, there was really no need to put on a performance.

    It is good advice to be careful what you wish for because then i got married into a family that mostly goes about its everyday business without feeling the need to mark every milestone and i hate the ordinariness of my days. We lived for a little while with the inlaws before we bought our own house and i longed for the tradition of eating together every night and discussing our day. All i got was a whole lot of coming and going and eating in front of the telly. Birthdays went by and i longed for a little bit of fuss and all i got was a buffet meal. When i was expecting, from all sides my pregnant friends reported  having seven month ceremonies and being given saris: I had nothing of the sort. And that’s when it hit me….i was a tradition junkie after all. I wanted to publicly acknowlege all the big and not so big milestones in life. I didnt want every day to be just another one with nothing to look forward to. I didnt want my children to feel that achieving something, however small, was not worth celebrating.Most of all i wanted the joy that  fills your heart when you know you are not alone; that you are a not an island; that something that matters to you, matters enough to someone else that they make an effort to celebrate with you.

  That is when i decided that i would have to make more of an effort with my own family. Make sure that i didnt let anything pass by unnoticed and unrecorded. For all of us are like that fiddler on the roof,maintaining a fine balance against all odds and a little display of love and support everyday keeps us sane and happy. And so i join in with Tevye  ‘Tradition Tradition’ or as he sings it ..’Tradishun!’

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