Earlier today, I had written an email to a friend (in response to his), regarding the importance of culture and knowing one's roots. Pretty ironic for one who doesn't really know which 'suku' she belongs to! After writing about 5-6 paragraphs long, I decided to delete everything for fear of sending the wrong idea across. Instead, I kept the introductory paragraph and hit the send button.
In my humble opinion, culture is important as it builds one's character. Nevertheless, holding on too much to one's own culture narrows down the possibility of personal development and general growth. But does it make culture altogether bad?
Sometimes when you get to pause long enough to take a glimpse around you, you're able to detect the irony of life. The westerns, who don't have much culture to hold on to, never fail to be amused by the colourful and exotic culture of others in developing or third world countries: the Bushmen stalking in the Kalahari Desert, the Thai performing dancing the Khon dance in unity, or the Orientals eating with chopsticks in street stalls. They get excited wearing batik sarongs along the sandy beaches we have, and have a taste of hot and spicy local cuisines. Despite all this, the developing nation work on becoming more 'developed' and modern.
I think culture is fine as long as one is willing to merge it into the evolving world. Culture can be retained while the mindset has to be set free: free within its limits. What's so important about a tree well rooted into the ground? Well, sometimes even trees can be uprooted when a hurricane hits, eh?
Care to pause and reflect??