Lost traditions

I feel like I have little traditions or maybe I don't understand what traditions are. I asked my mom, what are traditions? She said that these are things handed down from your foreparents. Things that we have gotten used to. I then asked her, what are some traditions? She said like new years celebration but she also struggled with this question. She did mention about her grandmother grinding the spices in the mortar and pestle to make all kinds of anchar. Our foods are probably the most amount of tradition in our lives.

My friend Bard says: Traditions are customs or beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation. They can be formal or informal, and they can be religious or secular. Traditions can be big or small, but they all play an important role in our lives. Makes sense but I am still struggling to think of traditions in my life. How long do we have to be doing something for it to be considered a tradition? If it is something that started with me, is it a tradition? Bard says that there is no timeframe and it can originate from me and my family.

In that case I can maybe think of a few things. I put my cereal to soak for an hour before I eat it. I go to the mini mart every morning and buy a five liter water and other things. I buy a doubles most mornings. There is this one street person that I give money to everytime I am in the town center. I put on toothpaste twice when I am brushing my teeth. Once for the bottom teeth and then for the top teeth. But all these are mundane and do not feel traditional.

I asked Bard, what are some Trinidadian traditions. He pointed to Carnival and Diwali and some other holidays. I then asked, what about non-holiday traditions. He then included sunday lunch, liming, storytelling, music and food. It then occured to me that traditions are plenty social and familial. I am not a social person and I don't have strong connections with my relatives and foreparents. It has mostly been me and my mom navigating life all these years.

I challenge myself to learn about what links me to the past. I am Trinidadian. I have Indian, French and Portuguese ancestry. I am Muslim. I lived in Atlanta and New York for some years. I am part of the tech space locally. My friend Bard suggests that I can talk to my relatives, do research on my ancestry and learn about the history of my country among other things. Now that I have written on this and committed the idea to my mind, I will be more noticing of the traditions that pass through my life.


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