Traditional v/s Modern

A few days ago, me along with another female colleague were discussing about the idea of picking a life partner. The debate was started because of my other team mate's skepticism about the marriage process. Further into the debate, the guy passed a veiled compliment to the other lady, coupled with a beaming smile, how he liked it that she was traditional. ( No flirting involved - the lady in question was happily married and the mother of a rather nasty 3 yr old. ). I dont recollect the exact words, but the words traditional struck me. I wondered if this was because i was in jeans, and she was in salwaar kameez. We tottered back to our stuffy cubicles, while this thought triggered a question in my head. What was the difference between traditional and modern ? The first thing that hit me, was how wrongly these words are associated with attire, rather than thought.

Lets look at what the words traditional and modern mean.

Traditional, means something that is conventional, orthodox, routine. An ancient idea which is still used as a mould. If i do something that has been unquestionably followed for ages, then i'm being stereotypical.
Modern, means something that is ahead of its times. Innovative, unsual. Anything 'modern' has its seeds of origin with the 'traditional'. You cannot be modern, if you havent encountered or experienced the traditional. When you are fed up of the dull and mundane things, you look for a new course. The very basis of human civilization is the need to evolve beyond the barriers. That has always been the cornerstone of every revolution through history.

The thinking process of an individual oscillates between traditional and modern, striving to arrive at an equation that would be convenient. When you have a well set opinion about a thing/person, you tend to base all your judgements on the previous assumptions. You generalize. And in doing so, you narrow down your options. Your brain is trying to simplify the thinking process for you. Lesser options just makes it easier. So when youre sticking to a traditional thinking, its more because its easy. Less effort, and sure results.
Of course, its impossible to not draw conclusions about the nature of a thing/person. But how willing are you to change it ? It just struck me that most conflicts arise because we refuse to accept the changes around us. How open are you, to the other facets ? Once you have the answers figured, you will realise the difference between traditional and modern.

P. S - Credits to Megha, Sanjeeva, Vikas and Maitreya for all the discussions. 


Iceman said…
Saree clad women ROCK! \m/ Wohooooooooo!! *Lub-dub-lub-dub*

Anyway :P,
did he actually mention that he called her traditional just because of her attire?
If he called a woman traditional just because she wore a salwar, then I guess he needs a big can of "WTF".

Also, I haven't ever met anyone who stereotypes a person for being upholding traditions. Never. Being orthodox to a point where there is no sense is not the same as being traditional, you must be mixing the two up.
anusha said…

Yes - Saree clad women rock :P
And no, he wasnt calling her traditional because of her attire. Although i did not prod further as to what he meant by complimenting her on being traditional.

There is of course, a difference between following traditions and upholding traditions. Its the same as following a crowd, blindfolded and following the same crowd knowing very well where you're heading to. I'm not mixing them up. The sense of 'awareness' in what youre thinking/doing is what sets the two apart.

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