Thank you very much to Simone for sending this beautiful postcard from Thailand. Sawasdee is Thai for Hello.
Simone raises an important issue in her message:
Geography Cat agrees, but only up to a point. He thinks there are some traditional customs that would be better left in the past; those that infringe upon individuals’ human rights.
Women and girls have been especially vulnerable to subjugation through “traditional practices” across the globe and over time. Take a look at this excellent article by Shobha Rana Grover for some examples.
However, that doesn’t mean we should forget, nor that we shouldn’t preserve those ancient customs that differentiate our varied cultures, but what do you think?
2 Replies to “Sawasdee from Thailand (preserving culture)”
GC you are correct about certain traditional practices being left in the past, e.g. genital mutilation in some African countries and child marriage. That said, some customs which may seem unfair from a developed world perspective may still ‘work’ for women even today. A case in point is the Tanese tribe in Vanuatu where menstruating women or women who have given birth are separated from their families and live together communally. They only look after themselves, prepare their own food and do not have wifely duties to perform during this time. They rest! What is of critical importance is the fact that urbanisation of populations is resulting in the loss of tribal dialects and languages which are now in danger of disappearing. Traditional customs such as rain making in Africa and ancient rock art forms need to be preserved. See https://africanrockart.org/
Geography Cat completely agrees, it is always a question of context and consent. One shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water! 🐾
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