The Negatives and Positives of Tradition

Diversity; it is a beautiful concept. Diversity is what makes us different, distinguishable, unique and special. Without diversity, we would all just be the same person. But to this, God says that we are created in His own image, under different cultures and traditions. As an ethnic Korean, there are both negative and positive traditions that I must carry through every so often.

Principally, there are some but few negative traditions that need to be carried through at times. The worst tradition, in my opinion, that our family has is that the father is the literal head of the family. In this case, I do not mean my dad, but rather my grandfather. My grandfather is the one who provides the financial support for food, shelter, and clothing and approves of family marriages. This is not at all a very serious matter, but in our family, I find that natural and relaxed communication is very hard between my grandfather and other members of our family. Our relationship with my grandfather is just very difficult. Also, I think that the fact that you are one when you are born is a negative “tradition” that the Korean culture has. It is not so much that it is something that is bad; it is just that it is really confusing. I did not know that trying to know how old you were could be so hard. Therefore, there are negative traditions that I have had to carry over the course of my life.

On the other hand, there are also traditions to look forward to in our family as well. For example, on days such as Chuseok and the Lunar New Year, I love how these are chances for the family to just get together. Also, I enjoy cooking and setting up the table with food with my aunts, uncles and grandma on special occasions like these. I also like the fact that when we greet and say farewell to our elders, we bow to them instead of waving. This shows a distinct difference from how people from American cultures greet each other. Moreover, when talking to older people, we tend to put a different ending onto our sentences. I love how there is a great sense of etiquette between the Korean cultures because this also sets us apart from other cultures as well. Therefore, there are quite a few positive traditions in our family.

All in all, tradition is what makes our Korean family so diverse. Though some of these traditions may be negative, I believe that these are what make our family particularly unique. Without traditions, I can imagine that the relationships between members of my family would have been so much more different. After all, what you practice from tradition does show up in daily life. Thus, tradition has been a very important aspect of my life that has heavily impacted me to shape me into the person I am today.