POEMS

Culture – Are You In or Out?

CULTURE is like a winter coat. Without it you are exposed to the vagaries of the unpredictable weather. It is for the sake of such unpredictability that we need our coats. But is it really? Is it not a thing of habit? A safety cloak to hide in, a comforter, a firend to wrap up in, a familiar place or feel around us.

Quite often we find that it does not rain when we thought it was going to. We end up carrying around this heavy coat, a burdensome luggage because we just don’t know when it will come in handy. If you happened to be caught in the wintry rain without your coat, how ‘silly’ will you feel to be the only one standing in the rain and cold uncovered?

Anyway, enough about coats.  I am talking about CULTURE. Do we need it?

I am not sure

Whether to like it or not

The things we do

The things we say

The way we live

Traditions and practices

Often steeped in controversy

But accepted as the norm

In the name of culture

It makes demands on us

Forces us to conform

Otherwise we are deemed aliens

Not part of the community

Not part of the wise clan

Not sure which is worse

New culture

That sneers

At the traditions of the past

Or that part of culture

That sets itself up

As guardian of the traditions

The traditions of the past

Traditions passed on

From generation to generation

There is no midpoint

Everyone must choose their side

Sticking with the old

Or evolving along with the new

If you want no part of both

you will be described as uncultured

A misfit

A social rebel

It is a lonely place to be

This middle ground of pick and mix

That is where the silent ones remain

Those who dare not share

Their divergent views

For fear of being cast in the mould

Of traitors and the intolerant

They cannot influence the shifting paradigm

With their silent wisdom

The question then is this

To which group do you belong

Are you cultured or uncultured

Whatever that is supposed to mean

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