A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, also a basical character of a society still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyer wigs or military officer spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be political or cultural, over short periods of time. Certain scholarly fields, such as anthropology and biology, have adapted the term "tradition," defining it more precisely than its conventional use in order to facilitate scholarly discourse.
The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, the political concept of traditionalism is based around it, as are strands of many world religions including traditional Catholicism. In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of traditional genres (such as traditional dance), adherence to guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given greater importance than the performer's own preferences. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.
Read more about Tradition: Definition of Tradition, Invention of Tradition, In Scholarly Discourse, In Political and Religious Discourse, In Artistic Discourse, Relationship To Other Concepts, Preservation of Tradition
Famous quotes containing the word tradition:
“The instincts of merry England lingered on here with exceptional vitality, and the symbolic customs which tradition has attached to each season of the year were yet a reality on Egdon. Indeed, the impulses of all such outlandish hamlets are pagan still: in these spots homage to nature, self-adoration, frantic gaieties, fragments of Teutonic rites to divinities whose names are forgotten, seem in some way or other to have survived mediaeval doctrine.”
—Thomas Hardy (18401928)
“I allude to these facts to show that, so far from the Supper being a tradition in which men are fully agreed, there has always been the widest room for difference of opinion upon this particular. Having recently given particular attention to this subject, I was led to the conclusion that Jesus did not intend to establish an institution for perpetual observance when he ate the Passover with his disciples; and further, to the opinion that it is not expedient to celebrate it as we do.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. The average conservative is a slave to the most incidental and trivial part of his forefathers gloryto the archaic formula which happened to express their genius or the eighteenth-century contrivance by which for a time it was served.”
—Walter Lippmann (18891974)