Every country, every region is recognised by some particular features of their culture. It may be some food, attire, language or tradition. Like Chow Mein is eaten by people around the world, but it always reminds about Mainland China. Reiki, a healing and medication technique, always reminds about Japan. Just in the same way India is linked with Yoga, Ayurveda or Sari. But, do these really describe the original culture of a region? In the recent Commonwealth Games, which held in New Delhi, the programmes performed by different artistes were focused to demonstrate varieties in Indian culture. A lot of space in its programmes was occupied by performances showing various tribal groups. But, do they really represent us. I was amazed to see that something which even new to me, an Indian, was shown to the world representing us. India has come a long way ahead of the label given to India as A state of snake charmers. But, still the programme which was intended to show the power of India was showing pasts of India. Is it really our culture?
Culture is not something which is a fixed for any region. The nature of Indian culture before Aryans came here was different than after that. Even when Moghuls conquered India, Islamic influence changed the culture a bit. Every old people feel that culture of their time was real culture of India, and now, it has distorted. Strange to know that even their fathers used to think the same when our elders were young. So, what is really the culture of India? What we are following right now or what they used to follow 25 years back or what was used to be before Moghuls came to India. Hard to tell, isn’t it?
Culture is something which changes a bit every year, every time. We always accept amendments to the culture when required. Not just a single person, but whole society. But, it is a slow process, which could be only seen by viewing in large frame of time. Currently we see reception parties organised after marriage. It is a very common practice. But, it was not part of Indian culture few decades back. When the practice started, elder ones used to comment, is bride a show piece that you want to show the society. But, how many of you can say now that it is not part of Indian wedding ceremonies. This was just an example to show how culture changes with time.
Either we talk about fashion shows or New Year parties, both in itself are not really a part of our culture, if we see twenty or thirty years back. Fashion shows are still not regarded as but New Year is in many ways something which everyone is celebrating. It is a way to find time to enjoy with friends and family. We now follow Gregorian calendar, by which 1st January is New Year day. So, we enjoy this day with family and friends. Don’t we still enjoy our earlier form of calendar as the festival of Holi?
Now, let’s talk about fashion shows. Fashion shows are something which creates interest among apparel or fashion world. It is truly concentrated towards showing dresses by fashion house and designers. It is totally a form of advertisement business. So, are they investing their money on something in which Indians are not interested? No, they are certainly not. It is totally based on likes and dislikes of their customers. The mentality of their consumers has changed a lot. Fashion shows are just going in the same flow. Yes, it is changing our culture. But, change is culture is inevitable.
Hindi was once hated in India. It was just a slang language. But, now, none of us could say it is not part of Indian culture. We should not try to bound culture or give it a direction or block its direction. If it interests the citizens of India, why should they be banned? Banning fashion shows and New Year parties are not going to save our culture. As it is improving the culture our India which is the demand of time, not corrupting it.