On Traditions, and Why We Still Need Them

So, tonight, after what seemed to be a long week, I attended an event that I can honestly say I’ve never witnessed anything similar to in my life. I’m not sure how many details I can share, but suffice it to say that it was the sorority initiation ritual for a good friend of mine.

Even though it started at 7:30, I got there around 8:10 because I couldn’t find parking. It was in a lecture hall in Humanities, and when I came in, not much was happening; people were milling around and talking. I thought I’d missed something, but at 8:30 the lights dimmed and the ceremony began. Again, I probably shouldn’t share too many details, but there was some great singing, stepping, strolling, and chanting. While my friend was performing, it made me think about all the things I like about her; her commitment, her perseverance, and her willingness to take on tough challenges. Even though I didn’t really know what was going on around me, I was enjoying it. It was loud and unfamiliar, but it meant something to somebody, actually to a lot of people since the room was about three-quarters full.

After the dramatic ceremony, the lights came up and there were a lot of hugs and kisses all around. I went up front and managed to find my friend and give her a huge hug, and congratulate her and her new sisterhood. I didn’t know what to expect, but I honestly left feeling like I was part of a new group too.

I feel like it’s things like this that we need more of in this world. I’m not talking about sorority initiation ceremonies, but things that are positive, life-affirming, and, again, mean something to someone. Rituals and traditions like these celebrate progress and look to the future while simultaneously embracing the past. They celebrate hard work and determination, both in performing and in keeping a tradition alive. It wasn’t “my” ceremony, but it was exciting and fun to witness and it really made me think. Which is why I’m writing this. Overall, though, it let me spend an hour not thinking about myself, how much I have to do, the current state of our country, and all that, and for that I am appreciative.

Advertisements

One thought on “On Traditions, and Why We Still Need Them

  1. I was talking about death/grief with a non-religious friend and she observed that because we’ve lost traditions like wearing black for a year or other visible mourning signs, we now have to go through the awkward and painful processes of explaining the tragedy to those around us (or telling someone to tell everyone else for us so we don’t have to relive the pain). Anyway, I thought that was insightful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s