Wednesday, June 17, 2015
THE IMPORTANCE OF RETAINING AND PROMOTING THE TRADITIONS AND VALUES OF OUR INDENTURED FOREFATHERS AND MOTHERS
TRADITIONS, CULTURES, LANGUAGES, CUSTOMS AND MUSIC ARE VITAL IN THIS MODERN AND IMMORAL WORLD The age-old historical beauty and significance of south-Indian traditions, culture, customs, and music shone brightly for all at a wedding I attended at the Umhlatuzana Temple Hall, near Chatsworth in Durban, on Saturday, June 13 2015. The young couple, Dheevan Reddy and Miss Kinosha Pillay, looked splendid and magnificent in their traditional attire. They took part in the traditional rituals and ceremony with all the enthusiasm and zeal that goes with the occasion. Their parents went the extra mile to ensure that all the traditions and customs of the south Indian (Tamil) culture were fully observed without any inhibitions. The priest, who conducted the wedding, briefed the young couple about the importance of marriage in this modern world and even got them to take the marriage vows in the Tamil language. It was a real eye-opener to see the bride and bridegroom taking the marriage vows in the Tamil language. The traditions, customs, languages and music are the rich heritage that our forefathers and mothers brought with them to South Africa when they were recruited to work as indentured (slave) labourers on the sugar cane fields of the then Natal Colony nearly 155 years ago. Although we have over the decades become influenced by Western values, we still cherish the rich cultures, traditions, languages and music that our ancestors brought along with them. Another important feature of our rich heritage is that our parents, grand-parents, and great-great-grand-parents had sacrificed a great deal in order to build a better future for the generations that followed. In this regard, we must always remember the emphasis that was placed on education wherever indentured labourers and their descendants had settled. It's because of the sacrifices made to promote education that the young people today are making strides in all fields. Don't ever forget this rich legacy. It's said that we have to know our roots because those who neglect their roots or choose to become dominated by western values, tend to forget where they come from, don't understand their current situation and generally don't know where they are going to or what their future will be. This leads to all kinds of social problems - drugs, casinos, alcohol and other anti-social activities that are wreaking havoc in our communities. In our new non-racial and democratic South Africa, we must not only be full and productive citizens, but we must also be proud of our heritage and promote it without any inhibitions. We must not feel subservient to any one. We must always remember what our roots are. This will help us a great deal in this vicious and immoral modern world we are living in.