Monday, January 30, 2012

Family and Heritage

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The value of extended family and the importance of the support structure that is inbuilt into the Indian family are invaluable.  For hundreds of years and generations after generations the traditions and values are continuously bestowed on the next generation and them respecting the past and continuing into the future is a part of the Indian psychology.

With technology, internet and a wide array of communications and television and other influences, there is a shift in the way people communicate and keep in touch with each other, but the influence of family continues to survive the test of time and advancements.  People do live farther away from their families and the families themselves are no longer with many brothers and sisters in each generation, but they still behold their love for who they are and where they come from.  

After the mobile phone and great expansion of telephone networks, people speak to each other often and keep current on what their respective routines.  In recent developments such as Skype allows people to use their internet existing services to even visibly communicate with each other, and perhaps get to do more together and also see how they look.  So much technology advancements in last 20 years from writing letters to call long distance to video and voice chat on demand.  I am not sure what else is there to develop or invent to bridge the distance from families and friends, but it is pretty close to quite invasive today as it can be as living together.

Marriages can be shared from one part of the world to the other and photos or video clips are as common as sending a text message.  It bring backs the days when people were together and participated in the family rituals, just that they could be thousands of miles away but not miss out on the family traditions and practices.  Technology has definitely helped in taking the distances away and allowing the families to become more involved with things they have been missing due to time and travel restrictions due to the distances they are away from their families.

We also continue to maintain our traditions and heritage that we have left behind in our homes, but not in spirit.  Even living as far as in America, Indians devote a great deal of time and effort in maintaining their identity as who they are where they come from.  Not just by donating or visiting their respective local shrines, Indians truly maintain their home life as Indians while engaging in their respective professional duties without deviating from their traditions.

Ms. Winfrey visiting India for a week and highlighting the way of Indian life and the tolerance built into the Indian society due to its family structure.  Although her trip is a recent event and she particularly highlighted the Indian family structure, there is a lot of press to our family and our heritage.  The value systems in Indian families have never been in question for hundreds of years, just been adapting to the changes in people’s migration and technology in being in communications with each other.

The respect that continues from generation to generation will continue to foster the relationships and respect within the families.  The friction within the systems and individuals is always overshadowed by the unity displayed by the families, and the communications of today are further cementing the relationships that are long in distance but not in heart.

While Ms. Winfrey’s trip to India and her observations highlight the family structure and its heritage within our society, it is something for us to take to heart as the charm of an Indian lies with the family and traditions that come with each person.  They will forever be built into our life and will continue to influence our lives wherever in the world we choose to live.

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A Child of India

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