On Traditions

Destiny N. Hong

There is a saying in Korea referring to traditions:
" learn the tradition, and know the new." Considering that this is itself
a traditional saying, I believe that what it teaches us is right in many
ways. We stand in the transitional stage where old and new ideas influence us
equally. The method to continue developing depends on how we cope with
both the new and old, and it is important that we take in both of the
aspects. Tradition is the opld idea that conflicts with the new
changes in techonology; tradition should not change, but it should be
adequately mixed with new ideas for us to make use of it.

For instance, it is a tradition in Korea to bow to elders when saluting them.
Personally I think this is a beautiful tradition that allows
to express gratitude, respect and politeness. Positive
like this should not change but continue. Negative
traditions, such as women being not allowed to talk freely to men, can be
thrown away.

Then, we know and take in the new ideas, now that we have learned and taken in
the old traditions; shaking your hand when you have met a friend is an
action that came from Western cultures into Korea. It saves time, and
it is efficient. Thus the old and the new is added together into a
better system of salutations.

In summary, tradition should not change to keep our developments. Rather,
keeping some of the traditions as they are helps us to keep pace with changes;
development itself is achieved by "learning the old and knowint the new."

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