Why we should not give up on traditionMarriages are occasions where a lot of happiness, is there for all to see. Marriages are also occasions where the traditional beliefs and practices need to be followed, rather religiously.
Yet, there are occasions when the bride or bridegroom, these days, demand that marriages should not take up according to the age old customs. This has its own limits.
Years ago, there used to be this Janavasam, in some communities, like the Tamil Brahmins, where the bridegroom is made to sit in a beautifully decorated chariot, and then paraded to a nearby temple for certain rituals at that temple. And then he would be back in the same chariot. This custom is now being given a decent break, and this is very much rightly so. The wasteful expenditure can be avoided and the boy can also feel free, in an informal atmosphere.
But refusing to say the mantras, or not cooperating in terms of the traditional practices is not justified. Each of the mantras has a huge meaning, and have been put in place, only because of the fact that traditions have to be followed. In fact, even foreigners are attracted by such rich traditions and are even asking about the various mantras.
Similarly, in the eighth or ninth month of pregnancy, the girl, in many communities in Tamil Nadu, and most of South India, is obliged to go through what is called the "seemandam" or the bangle function, when the girl is decorated with a huge variety of glass bangles. This is being done, as the sweet sounds of these bangles will help the child in the womb to be happy and be receptive to the sounds. It has been proved scientifically that this is a sound practice.
However, some girls bluntly refuse to even go through this function. They do not allow the elders to place the glass bangles and, even if this is done, get them removed the very next day.
A whole lot of traditional practices need to be followed, very strictly. The family as a unit has survived in India, for several generations, and if we do not follow our own traditions, who else will?
Traditions of each community have a great meaning. Let us not be taken away by the so-called modern or "liberal" thoughts, that can ruin our culture, like never before.