By Dr Omila Thounaojam
“Inheritance” – a heavy word indeed, isn’t it friends? Sometimes all the words that we include in the dictionary of our life is not just enough. With ageing, man realizes that we add on more terms and so the list of significant words grows. It is ironical that we feel the relevance of words, people that are associated with it and the whole story that gets revealed with certain words. In one’s lifetime, it has become mandatory to associate certain words with specific events or accounts related to an individual. One such word that must impact us all in a heavy way is the term “Inheritance”. Why and how is it so is because it is a core element in defining “who” exactly we are. For God’s sake I’m not intending to imply or associate the word with the notion of inheriting property legally.
Instead my subject matter today is specifically in reference to the conception of the chosen term in regards to tradition and cultural beliefs belonging to a community. In case we try to look at it from this spoken dimension, it brings forth a whole new world of ideas and creative interpretation of “how” we can identify ourselves with great dignity and pride. Irrespective of any time or place, it is what we carry forward and carry on in the future in terms of our cultural heritage that will define us in the most meaningful of ways.
The first and the foremost task in this duty of inheriting the best of our cultural root and fabric is through the process of identification. Until and unless we identify the crux or the soul of our cultural elements, we will never be able to appreciate the beauty and the spirituality of our tradition. When it is the time for us to proceed further we will automatically be driven to move beyond the foundational level of understanding our roots.
Once the fundamental level of learning our foundational truths is achieved, we will go next and proceed towards celebrating the numerous cultural threads that make us so rich at the end of every day. Wherever we are, it is not hard for us to identify ourselves through associating ourselves with our ancestral background. This is what that makes our life a truly worthwhile one. The beauty of our inheritance is in the recognition of our predecessors who had done so much to pass on so much precious cultural structures for us to inherit. Look around us, let’s see the unique forms of music, dance, multiple varied art forms that has made us so incredible before the world. From a wide range of rich myths to folklores to historical accounts of brave kings and queens – there are so much to be proud of.
Today a team of cultural experts hailing from this small state are maneuvering on selflessly researching on our past. Digging out way too deep to discover more remains/fragments of the past so that a newer and fuller version of our ancestral life styles and social structures would be recovered has become a new preoccupation. There are more enterprising social welfare communities who are dynamically indulging in setting up local libraries and local museums. Such a step has ensured a micro level commitment towards preserving even the local based oral stories and factual based historical accounts that are part and parcel of who we are. Earlier public depended hugely on the government fund for involving themselves in acts that are motivated by a community spirit. Nowadays there are a set of generous youths (educated mostly) who have come up with multiple proposals to ensure the process of preserving our cultural inheritances at all cost. Writers have come up in great numbers to showcase the world about our cultural fabric through publication works that are based upon research work. Student union situated all over the country commit itself in organizing cultural based events every years to facilitate youths to gather together and celebrate our tradition with much dignity and pride.
A trend setting recent development that we see is the way young parents are forwardly educating their small children. Parents don’t hesitate anymore in admitting their children in musical colleges, dance colleges and other such institutions that are local and indigenous folk based. Unlike earlier there is growth in the recognition of “how” glorious our musical and dance forms are. Inheritance of such a wealth is also considered a best’s way of carrying forward our beautiful traditional richness. It is indeed a happy moment for us to get to witness an upsurge of this feeling of growing love and respect of our rich heritage. May be this is the bright side of a civilized society that we are part of today.
Hopefully with time, we continue to grow in this line of thought and value the importance of this form of inheritance all the more.