Bursting fire-crackers with my family, lighting diyas in the house, and making rangolis together, followed by a feast with family and friends – these are some fond memories that I carry of my childhood. Each time I think of it, I experience joy and warmth, and wish I could do this more often. But today, families are dispersed across the globe.
Often, life in the fast lane denies people a chance to understand and appreciate their heritage. Caught up in the chaos of daily life, we lose connect with our culture. Sometimes, we forget about the simple joys of celebrating our culture and traditions.
Culture is our identity that shapes our societies. Just listening and reading about our customs will only evoke curiosity. By actively organising, contributing to, and participating in our traditional events, we can provide our young ones with a chance to connect with their roots.
Thanks to the internet, especially social media, today one part of the world is familiar with popular culture of the other part. Thus, we in India are acquainted with Halloween, Black Friday shopping, Thanksgiving, etc., while the Americans know about Diwali, and Baisakhi, etc. While this passive exchange of cultural vignettes is essential to popularise traditions and cultures in a multi-hued and multi-ethnic world, it is more important to provide people with opportunities to experience tradition first-hand. As a marketer also, using traditions to create a cultural connect is a great way to bond with our customers. It makes our brand relevant and evokes trust. We see a lot of brands using festivals and traditions to connect with customers.
Recently, we organised an event “Onnichirikam Oonjaladam” in Kochi where we evoked nostalgia on the tradition of riding a swing in Kerala. The coir cord and wooden planks are a part of traditional Kerala households. They have symbolised Onam celebrations in Kerala since the days of old. These swings hung from tree branches in courtyards and young kids used to swing on them. However, with courtyards being replaced by flats and apartments, they seemed to be losing their existence. We attempted to create nostalgia of childhood memories through our endeavour, and created a world record for the most number of ‘Oonjal’ swings at one place. This resulted in happy customers who carried a strong emotional connect for our brand.
I believe all families should go out of their way to nurture traditions and help the next generation in creating these values. This generation, living in a high-tech Digital age would easily lose track of the joys that traditions and cultures bring, if they are not reminded of the same.
The time will soon come when we may have to stay content with romanticising our traditions when reciting bedtime stories to our kids. Let us all make an effort to keep our traditions and culture alive, and to stay connected to our roots.