Traditions that need to be discouraged Essay

 

 

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Traditions that need to be discouraged

Tradition refers to a mode of thought or behavior within a particular group of people .It has played a major role in the perpetuation of customs and beliefs from generation to generation - Traditions that need to be discouraged Essay introduction. Tradition varies amongst various communities around the world. This paper seeks to describe some of the traditions that need to be discouraged around the world.

According to the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, certain traditional practices are harmful particularly women and children. For instance, the various forms of female genital mutilation have been perpetuated for generations around the world. Various reasons based on religion and customs have been the basis upon which the practice has been perpetuated. The main objective of female genital mutilation is to ensure chastity in marriage and controlling sexuality of women. Despite this, the call for discouraging this tradition is mainly on the basis of the resultant health complication and the psychological trauma that women and girls undergo (Fact Sheet No.23, Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, 1979).

In other communities, there has been a preference children based on gender where the males have been preferred over the female. The male gender is believed to be the one responsible for propagating the family lineage. This has resulted into increased discrimination of the girl child with regard to certain issues such as education, economic development and the right to make independent decision on issues such as marriage which is an extreme violation of human rights. This makes the girl child to be discriminated right from birth which can be a course for increased female infanticide especially in Asia. Child preference has been cited as one of the main reason for the prevalence of gender based discrimination in most of the communities.

According to Eldar, in Tibet, some of the communities especially in Litang practice ‘the sky burial.’ This is where the dead human bodies are left in the open for the vultures to eat. The next phase of the sky burial involves crushing the bones of the deceased skeleton that is left after being devoured by the vultures using an axe. The crushed bones are mixed with other additives such as sugar, flour and butter and left for the vultures (2005).This traditional method of conducting burial for the deceased is backward and it depicts the highest level of lack of respect for the dead.

In china, there is the prevalence of the traditional culture of foot bidding. This culture involves binding the foot of young girls with a bandage so that they would not develop normally. The feet were bided for a long period of time from the age of three to eleven years. The result is the deformation of the feet .This was a custom that controlled the custom of women and girls in that they would remain confined in their homes .In some of today’s culture, women subject themselves voluntarily  to pain in order to attract men, this is common in America in the form of breast implants (Sherie ,1998).

In the 20th century, traditions such as dueling were common. This involved two people engaging themselves in a fight where they would use dangerous weapons. Such culture need to be discouraged within the 21st century due to security implication. The objective of the duel was to restore honor to the person who perceived that his honor has been disregarded. Dueling is still being practiced in most of the universities in Germany where the participants use swords in spite of the insistence on non-violence by most of the German citizens. Though the intention of the duel was not to kill, it presented a risky situation to both the challenger and his opponent (Thane, 1996)..

Early marriages are still practiced especially amongst the poor communities where girls marry before they are 18 years of age. The main reason for these marriages is that the parents believe that the parents will be relieved of financial strain through the payment of the dowary.It is also linked to the social reason such as the strengthening of ties amongst various families.

Early marriages compromise the rights of the girl child in that it leads to social isolation at an early age since the girl is faced with responsibilities that she was not prepared. It also perpetuates poverty since the child does not have any vocational or educational training (Pan 2007).

Other cultures have been advocating the tradition of wife inheritance for a long time. In this traditional practice, if a husband dies the widow is forced to remarry another husband basically from the same clan as that of the husband. If it is the wife who has died, the clan members arrange on behalf of the man to get another wife for him from his in-laws. The traditional approach that gave way to increased wife inheritance is based on the need to care for the window economically. This has been a major reason for prevalence in the Aids pandemic amongst certain communities around the world.

In conclusion, analysis of traditional practices enables the identification of divergence in tradition amongst various traditions around the world. Some of these traditions need to be done away with due to their implications on the society. Female genital mutilation has been prevalent in various forms around the world for many years. Though it has been cited as a tradition in many communities, it has come under heavy criticism recently as one of the forms of gender based violence. With regard to dueling  it can be risky to the parties since they use dangerous weapons and can be a major cause that propagates violence within the society though it is used as a form of tourist attraction in countries such as Germany.

The tradition of wife inheritance should be discouraged within the society despite the initial intention of taking care of the widows due to the risk it poses with regard of HIV rate of prevalence. The tradition of child preference leads to discrimination of children based on gender leading to violation of human rights. Such traditions should be discouraged within the society for equity to prevail amongst children regardless of gender. Foot binding requires to be stopped due to the health implication it of the children and the pain through which the child is subjected. Most of these traditions were used to oppress the female gender and they propagate male chauvinism within the society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Deon, F., Freidman, F. & Norbert, S. (2009) The preference of sons does not

decrease with development. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4716 Retrieved on 5th May 2009 from

http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:_qOH6K_irfMJ:econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/0,,contentMDK:22058877~menuPK:574960~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382~isCURL:Y~isCURL:Y,00.html+disadvantage+of+son+preference&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk

Eldar, R.(2005)Tibetan sky burial in china. Retrieved on 5th May 2009 from

http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q=why+discourage+mummification+as+a+tradition&d=75965214699087&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=964780b2,f308a32

Office of the high commission for human rights: Fact Sheet No.23, Harmful

Traditional practices affecting the health of women and children. Retrieved on
5th May 2009 from
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a713767533~db=all
Pan, M. (2006) Early marriages, harmful traditional practice
http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:Qv3iYdqi-GgJ:faizlawjournal.blogspot.com/2006/08/early-marriage-harmful-traditional.html+EARLY+MARRIAGES+AS+A+TRADITION&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk
Thane, B.T (1996) Warning: Using your head can be dangerous to your
Health. Ancient tradition still lives on. Retrieved from http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:xJ20EqK84gsJ:www.ilt.columbia.edu/academic/classes/TU4022-Sum96/sword.html+negative+effects+of+dueling+as+a+tradition&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk
Sherie, L.C (1998) Foot Binding: A Painful Tradition. Retrieved from
http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:_g-Aa05wCGYJ:bosp.kcc.hawaii.edu/Horizons/horizons_1999/footbinding2.html+foot+bidding+as+a+tradition&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk

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