Culture

Customs should be custom made.

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Being a part of this generation means that you are a part of a global village, meaning there’s more variety in the community we are exposed to. Our norms and values change with trends thus creating a culture that evolves. Which brings me to the matter at hand; regardless of how diverse of a generation and community we are,  we each have a certain culture with customs that we were born into. If you Xhosa being Xhosa may mean that you are introduced to your ancestors through Imbeleko (a custom that is usually by some Nguni cultures to introduce a child to his/ her ancestors) if you are Zulu uMemulo that is most commonly known by the virginity testing aspect of it etc. 

As an ever-evolving generation, there are customs that seem quite irrelevant or either taboo to what we believe in now and this is caused by lack of understanding, different times, different opinions. To mention a few uMkhosi womhlanga is a ceremony that is a custom where young virgins perform a reed dance for the king, in most cases, in hopes of being chosen to be the King’s next wife. Such things have raised questions especially amongst those who are feminists their arguments would be that a women’s worth is measured by more than just her physical attributes. How different are these reed dances to strip shows? It might be considered as just culture and promoting good behavior but why is such only emphasized in women also why are such measures taken? 

Another custom that is quite questionable within our nation is Lobola. It is a common assumption amongst our generation that Lobola is a way saying that a woman’s worth can be stored in a bank and that parents should be reimbursed for raising their own children that they chose to bring into this world. Although some people argue that it is a way of saying thank you to the bride’s parents. So if this is really the case why does the amount have to be ridiculous and if it is a thank you gift why is it determined by the family of the bride? I mean if one is buying a gift for someone, that person has no power whatsoever to decide except for the value they possess in one’s life. 

Like I said we are generation Z, we know everything is done and happens for a reason but reasons aren’t always reasonable which makes way for them to be questionable. Reasonableness is one aspect that maintains the livelihood of a certain culture, it’s authenticity as well as it’s reliability. Lastly, relevance is the main idea behind a custom it ought to be custom made in order to lead a culture that will influence its people to excel in all avenues of life

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