How important is tradition? Posted by Kasia on Aug 12, 2011 in Culture, Nature, traditions
Living in the present day is by no means an easy task. In our fast-paced world inevitable changes seem to be the only permanent thing. Trying to find our place in a dynamic and tangled reality we look for stability, some point of reference. Our heritage gives us a sense of individuality which distinguishes us from other nations, while culture and tradition restore our identity. More and more often in these days of globalization we go back to our roots, listen to the words of wisdom of our elders and the voices of our land. It is no wonder that interest in many family traditions, especially holiday related ones, is growing and people have become eager to revive them. They give Polish culture its particular form.
When I think of Polish folklore an image of idyllic countryside landscape immediately springs to my mind. Black soil, mighty old oaks, a row of willow trees whispering in the wind,roadside crosses and shrines, wooden churches, cottages and barns.. In my mind’s eye I can see golden cornfields, a farmer walking in a field behind his horse and a stork that comes back to the same nest every year. But does this countryside still exist? Or are those my childhood memories? A country changes from day to day, just like everything else. But the country still safeguards most of it’s old traditions, whether practiced everyday or during holidays. To witness this, go to church on Palm Sunday, or take part in a Corpus Christi procession, light a bonfire on a St John’s night, or dance at a real Highland wedding. Take part in one of the numerous traditional pilgrimages to Jasna Góra. Look at the beautiful traditional Christmas table. Even in the city, where folk customs and the bond between man and nature are often vague, we still find hay in the manger, Christmas wafers, traditional dishes and an extra place set for an unexpected guest. So it is with Easter: family and friends exchange good wishes while sharing pieces of hard boiled egg blessed in church.
Discovering both old and new traditions while traveling through the many regions of our country can be fascinating not only for visitors from other countries, but for Polish people as well. I’m always excited while traveling in Poland with my husband – I always learn and see something new.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)