By- Lifestyle Food
For long there has been a debate over the relevance of the age-old traditional practices and rituals in modern times. The advanced technology that we boast of is hardly helping in the current situation of the highly infectious and deadly virus circulating and infecting people, one cannot relate enough to those traditional practices and how they hold significance even today! Let us hear it from Dr. Shilpa.G.R on how our traditional practices, albeit ancient, are still relevant today. Dr. Shilpa BDS, MPH, DHP, is working in the National Health Mission as Community Mobilizer.
Indus Valley Civilization was one amongst the most advanced civilizations, and we Indians hail from that civilization (for those who have forgotten this fact!!). The fact that they introduced the public toilet system or excellent underground drainage system (which the current generations have failed miserably at), we need to rethink our contribution to this legacy of our forefathers!!
Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
And it starts at home! Grandmothers of the previous generations would have a container filled with water waiting at the very entrance of the front yard. Any person before entering the home would have to ensure the footwear was at least a few meters away from the main entrance and then wash their feet, hands, face and then and only then would enter the main living area of the house.
Now how did this help, you wonder? well, it would reduce the number of germs, dirt and any other foreign body that one tends to pick up during their time outside the house. People these days wear their footwear and walk all around the house let alone having a designated space for footwear at the entrance. Speaking of which, footwear of certain brands cost more than gold jewelry these days, no wonder we feel protective of them!
The Healthy Greeting Gesture
Jokes apart, the simplest of the gesture of folded hands in greeting has caught the attention of the world in the recent pandemic times. How is it that our forefathers were so brilliant? Folded hands in a NAMASTE to greet not only channelized positivity but also prevented a lot of germ exchange that is very rampant with a handshake.
“13 studies were identified that supported the hypothesis that shoelaces are a vector for infectious pathogens”
Forefathers with a Forethought
When we talk of festivals, in every culture in India there are so many festivals, each with a specific kind of delicacy. What did it do in terms of nutrition? It provided a burst of essential minerals, jaggery and ghee very rich in iron, neem acted as an anthelmintic, meat would provide proteins.
Guests were served with freshly prepared lemon juice, not any preservatives added to fizzy drinks. Cooking three meals a day was a given on any day. With no refrigerators, there was very little opportunity to store food and have it later.
People believed in social gatherings, met often and there was human interaction. Human beings are psychologically wired to be in groups and not to be with inanimate objects like mobile phones or television. Lesser human interaction leads to fewer life skills or coping skills development and fewer moral values. One acquires all the virtues through trials and experiences. These, in turn, cause negative values to dominate like greed, selfishness, impulsive & aggressive behaviors. We cannot forget the fact that we are social creatures!
“All parts of the neem tree- leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots, and bark have been used traditionally for the treatment of inflammation, infections, fever, skin diseases and dental disorders”
The Sustainable culture
It was never a ritual for grandmothers of the Yester generation to carry plastic bags anywhere. They would diligently take a handwoven bag and the same went everywhere they went whether it was veggie shopping, grocery shopping, market or anything else. The older generations and the forefathers of this generation were minimalists what one calls today. There was never a time when shopping indiscriminately for anything was thought of as any kind of therapy; in fact, the reverse was considered true.
So what is this innate need of every generation to prove that they are better or smarter than the previous generation! The facts which have been established years ago through trials and experiments, through people’s way of life and lifestyles, should pave the way forward to adopt those rather than completely abandoning the brilliance of the legacy we have received. Yes, technology and development are essential but can they replace the very purpose of our existence? Can they take over nature? Certainly not! Years may come and go, with newer generations coming in and going. What once held good will always hold good. It’s only years that are adding up to this earth but the core composition and makeup of the earth still resonate with what has been natural and eco friendly!
Considering all these differences from modern times and the older generations one needs to introspect if we have, in real terms, achieved development? be it the mismanagement of the garbage or the sheer volume of garbage that this generation generates in a single day or the air and noise pollution. How have we been better than our forefathers in any way? It is high time that we ponder over this, isn’t it?