This is a topic that I hear very often, not just in the Indian-American context, but also in the general media. And, usually, it is associated with watching a bunch of people who still wear very “traditional” clothes and singing “traditional” songs. One definition of Culture is as follows: “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations”. It is a very good definition in my view. And, I understand why our ancestors persisted in following the older generation. Fundamentally, there was no documentation on each and every situations and how to handle them..;).. In the modern age, when information is just a click away, or rather, a google away, what value addition does culture really provide?
I understand that history is a reminder and reflection of how we got to where we are. But, should we live history in order to appreciate it? If we look at every aspect of culture in great detail, we will find that they were formed based on the socio-economic framework that existed at that time. A lot of them do have some sound reasoning. But, on the other hand, the concept of dowry, living in a single big-family etc., are examples where the reasoning is highly debatable for current situations. Given the global outlook on ideas and thoughts, I am not sure if there is any meaning in boasting about individual culture and tradition. Though it may have some aesthetic historical value, I am not sure if it has any real value. I am not proposing a global culture, but at the same time, I think the idea of global culture will soon evolve over the next few generations. What do u folks think?