Dressed in the latest fashion trending in the market, eating out at korean restaurant or KFC while comfortably listening to the most popular billboard songs & conversing in a language we feel is way above our mother tongue with thankfully the last name intact to prove our identity, at least in vast number of the cases is the new breed of youngsters we are today.
We have embraced the culture of the west so passionately that our name & language are emerging as the only visible proof over our identity as Nyishi, Galo, Apatani, Adi, Wancho, Monpas, except for the few festivals which we still organise & celebrate in its due season where we get to wear our traditional dress & attires to remind ourselves about our identity.
We have given so much importance to western culture over our very own & have become so westernized in the process that, naming our children with English & Hindi names are encouraged and as a consequence, the only remnant of our identity has been reduced only to
Literally speaking, culture is defined as certain traits that are peculiar to a particular community or society like language, belief, values, norms, customs, dress, diet, knowledge and skill etc;. which is handed down from one generation to another and sadly we seem to have compromised on most of these traits.
There’s a popular saying “loss of culture leads to the loss of identity” in which the lost of “language” cannot be an exemption.
Preserving our mother tongue is one substantial weapon that we have to save ourselves from losing the grip of our culture. It is common these days for children & adults alike especially in towns conversing in Hindi or English with a lame excuse that they are unable to speak their mother tongue. So who is responsible for all this, is it parents, children’s ignorance or is it because of the society we live in?
Kindly be reminded, i do not wish that we wear our traditional attires everyday to show that we belong to this and that tribe; nor do i mean that we should listen to only local songs but what i pray and hope for is that everyone of us in our own circle and family should emphasis on the importance of giving utmost importance to conversing in our mother tongue with our siblings & friends without alienating those who do not speak the same tongue. Fortunately, home is the best base for preserving our culture. Lastly but certainly not the least, if only we could really emphasis the importance of naming our children & wards with our own local names, which might cause a temporary disappointment in the young minds but they will learn of its importance or significance in course of time.
Let us join our hands & hearts to curb this problem as this is not a single person’s fight or a few tribes battle but a common problem, which we need to recognise as a reality. Maybe its time we promote our culture so more vigorously that others will be genuinely compelled to learn more about our culture.
Biri Atum Taka, Itanagar