Human life, though limited, is still open to multiple possibilities. One might think that they want to restrict their life with a certain decision, however, in reality, even though you feel like everything is in your hand, it actually isn’t. What is in your hand is the will and maturity to react and respond to your surroundings
Mythology and history, both factual and fictional, have always focussed on a certain set of values. The values behind, the age old rituals and practices, the thoughts and perceptions of several scholars together make up for the philosophy of today.
We must not confuse ourselves with religion, philosophy, spirituality and rituals, they are all dependent on each other but they are different terms with different meanings and purposes. Hence, why should we look back into the philosophy and the culture from which we have originated and what exactly is philosophy?
Well, philosophy is the “Guiding principle for behaviour.” Even though philosophy is a discipline that delves deep into knowledge and existence, it still acts as a guiding principle even today.
Ritual is a ceremony or a symbolic act, usually pertaining to a certain faith or religion. However, culture is what has set practices in a society. The culture that existed at one point in time and the culture today is different.
Hence let’s look at some general practices of the past and how we can follow these cultural practices even today.
Washing your hands and legs when you return after a visit outside
This is such a culturally rooted practice, many indian households had a tap or a bucket of water outside their houses to clean your hands and feet and even though this was evidently done for hygiene purposes it became a part of the culture. Even though this habit hasn’t been passed on exactly, people still wash their hands and feet as soon as they reach home. Hence practices vary according to the comforts of time but what matters is that the essence remains the same.
Using turmeric on bride and groom before wedding
This too is a part of custom today but it has a lot of scientific logic behind it. Turmeric has medicinal properties that kill the germs that are invisible to the eye. The reason why turmeric is used on them is not only to glow on their wedding day but to ward off germs that might possibly cause a disease or an infection otherwise.
Eating with your hands.
Some think that eating with your hands might be unhygienic. However, eating with your hands has its own reasons. Firstly our cuisine encompasses a range of dishes in a single meal, unlike the west where the main dish and the side dishes to complement it are way lesser. Our hands, even though you wash them, carry some good bacteria which enters the body as it is known to boost your energy to fight the bad bacteria. Doctors have also gone on record and have testified to it.
Decorating the entrance of your home with a rangoli
Even though people appreciate the rangoli for its color and beauty. The primary purpose of putting a rangoli is to create a positive impact and vibration. Psychologically color and brightness regulates emotions and further the original rangoli is to be put with rice flour which is food for the insects and prevents them from entering the house.
Clothing too is an important aspect of our culture. When we look at the world around us, we see that each and every culture has a different set of clothing. Even within India from North to the South we all wear different clothes. Today, it has all become one but even a century earlier it wasn’t the same. The reason behind this is the geography of the place. It is humid in the coast and hence people in Kerala are seen mostly in a dhoti or sarees made of cotton. It is exceptionally cold in the north and hence people in Shimla have thick woolen outfits as a part of their transitional outfit.
We always feel that culture is imposed upon us. Culture is always on the basis of logic. Hence always look for the deeper meaning behind it. Yes, we must not accept a practice that harms you or the people around you. But we must look into how our cultural practices can bring a change in our life.