Cultural Erasure, Retention and Renewal

1298 Words Jan 17th, 2013 6 Pages
Cultural Retention, Renewal and Erasure Culture can be defined as the way of the life of a people, with regards to both the material and non-material aspects. However, as a result of a developing and maturing society, in addition to the birth of various generations and external influences, these “ways of life” can be inadvertently retained, renewed and even discarded. Our own Caribbean society, specifically Barbados is not exempt from such occurrences. Cultural Erasure is the gradual removal of various traditions and customs from society. The process of cultural erasure is gradual as these practices generally make a slow but noticeable transition from a state of prominence to a rarity in everyday life. In most instances, cultural …show more content…
The practice of utilising donkeys as a means of transport, building chattel houses as a means of shelter and walking to a stand-pipe as a means of water has long become obsolete. These traditions despite being the vital and necessary customs for survival of our forefathers are seen as inconvenient and are even looked down upon by some. It is a certain rarity to find anyone that still relies heavily upon these, especially with the evolution of the automobile, indoor water systems and alike. Cultural Retention, I would not describe as a process but more of a conscious action or attempt to not only preserve, but improve upon certain practices and customs. This will occur when a tradition not only links to a major segment of a society’s history, but when it functions as a source of identity and pride. It also works to the tradition’s advantage when it is enjoyable and/or entertaining. A very prominent example of cultural retention in the Caribbean is Independence Day celebration. All across the region, no matter the island, the anniversary of its independence is seen as a special occasion. It is an event where the entire island takes a moment to remember its history and where society recalls its roots. It is important to note that this is a period where several cultures, both new and old are observed and analysed to see how they link to the island’s history. In the island of Barbados, Independence Day is recognised yearly as a time where the all
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