Today everything is fast paced. It always feels like the time in our hands are never enough to accomplish everything that needs to be done. So, we tend to spend all our time running towards our self-made finish line, but at what cost?
Last June 20, I went to Washington Park to watch a classical music concert. The performance was great but what really struck me was the last performer, a taiko group from Manhattan. Before their performance, one of them talked about globalization and culture. According to her people, today moves around all the time. Some for their jobs, for some, to study or to find the meaning and purpose of life. Then they forget their origin; their culture and tradition because they are so engrossed with the work at hand.
We experience globalization every day, making us part of the “global citizenship” but that does not mean that we should set aside our culture and traditions because it is a part of our identity. If we let this happen, we will find ourselves feeling incomplete and lost. Our culture and traditions are something that makes us unique and through this, we can let other people experience and discover something new and beautiful.
I really admire how passionate this group in passing down to the younger generation the art of traditional Japanese drumming. Even though most of them are born and raised in the US, they hold on tight to their roots.
As a Filipina who wants to travel a lot to gain more knowledge and experience, this encounter made me realize that I have forgotten. I call myself a Filipino but then I spend more time learning about other people’s customs and tradition. I know our history and our traditions but when I think about it, I just know but I don’t understand. These two are very different because when you know something, you just know but when you understand; it goes way beyond knowledge. It means you can see the real beauty of it. You know that it’s part of who you are.
Being a “global citizen” does not mean that we should lose a part of ourselves. Having a set of goals and aspirations does not mean that we should let ourselves forget because that is not an excuse. Being a global citizen means that we are flexible enough to adapt without losing the unique part of ourselves. So, we should remind one another to remember. When we feel like someone is kind of lost, it wouldn’t hurt to tap his or her shoulder.
Written by Lorie Cruz, a current WYA Headquarters’ intern from the Philippines.