Tag Archive | rituals

Big shoes to fill or just find a better fit

I got thinking a lot after I saw this pop up on Facebook.

As long as human beings have been conscious of their own existence in the universe there has been wonderment about the meaning of life and the place we have in it. There are traditions, rituals and beliefs that stretch back to the ‘dawn’ of our species. Indeed, how our collective ‘sun came up’ is one of the most contested and debated ideas of all time. Religion has been around longer than science (I think), but for its short time in our cultural landscape, science has weighed in just as much into the debate and for some it has turned into arguing two sides ‘evolution vrs creation’.

But we cannot ignore the fact that a very large percentage of the worlds population follows one form of religion or another. I did a quick google search (as you do) and was pretty amazed at the incredibly diverse faiths, traditions, beliefs and religions of the world. Some have emerged in more recent times to dominate in terms of numbers of followers but within Christianity alone there are so many denominations it kind of makes my head spin. I suppose one of the things that really interests me is the way cultures shift and change through migration and colonisation, especially for indigenous cultures.

I was watching Avatar recently (for about the 10th time) and aside from the futuristic offworld giant blue people and crazy scary flora and fauna, the parallels of one group trying to impose its beliefs and values on another are pretty clear. There is a pattern we shouldn’t ignore or be afraid to examine because it might help us understand and possibly reclaim some different ways of relating to nature and each other.  Read More…

Ready to pass The Ball?

All across New Zealand, High Schools are gearing up for Ball season. It’s a curious event The School Ball, generations have experienced it. I’m from a time when we actually had to formal dance and I was secretly delighted having been sent to ballroom dancing lessons and couldn’t wait to show off my skills. But I’m not sure if that is something young people miss or want, I’d be interested to find out. If we are going to hold onto such a tradition should we be making more of an effort to hold onto some of the rituals that came with The Ball up until a few years ago. Some of the markers of the modern ball are schools recognising that not everyone wants to take someone of the opposite sex and I think this is a change worth celebrating.

I do know, that regardless of your date, a lot of effort goes into preparing. It is a chance to dress up for a night and some of the worries about the big night are just the same. Do parents still give ‘the talk?’ and the ‘curfew’ or has the age of technology enabled a more fluid kind of arrangement? I know we never had ‘the Police talk’ but then our ‘after ball’ was a few mates around with the record player/tape deck (now there is a generation marker for you) turned up loud. I’ve got a feeling after balls have taken on a whole new meaning or am I missing something? What does The School Ball actually mean to young people and do we still need it? What do parents think of it? Is the After Ball actually more important? And how is technology influencing the capturing of the moment the good the bad and the ‘ugly.’  Read More…