Society has great impacts in everyone’s life. The country where an individual is born and raised within affects your way of living. I came from a country where the community and its social customs are valued more than one’s life. Rules such as, respecting elders, listening to their advice and following the family tradition are considered to be the guidelines in the society. Every individual has their very own way of life and religion which everybody having a place with a similar clan need to pursue. Such regulations are created by the human beings who are considered as superior social being because of their ability to judge, differentiate between right and wrong and to continue their religious beliefs.
Justice, honesty, compassion, respect, equality, concern, harmony, fairness, care, affection, trust are the ethical values that bound the people to each other. These are the natural tendencies that improve and maintain the social interactions within the population. In family, duty is the center moral value where as in the public arena, equality, regard and harmony are the significant virtues since it involves various indigenous and ethnic gatherings who have distinct expressions, societies, cultures and religions.
Moreover, the sense of unity is vital in societies with where diverse religions and beliefs exists. It is important to understand that society consists of heterogeneous individuals who have their own perspectives, opinions and principles that guides their lives. To maintain the balance in the community, one has to respect the ideas and beliefs of each individual as everyone differs in ideology and concepts. When such groups discuss and live together, varieties of dialogues arise but the fundamental priority is the outcome which should be acceptable and productive to all mankind. It is only then when we can live in consonance and peace.
Today I am going to write about my experiences on social customs and beliefs existing in my society that has been followed from generation to generation.
As I have mentioned earlier, society is the main factor that has great influence in upbringing, moral values, behavior, and most importantly the way of living of mankind. I belong to the Hindu community and our society is mainly dominated by males therefore gender inequality is a major existing issue. Though we are in 21st century where men and women are given equal rights and freedom, there are still orthodox and narrow-minded people living within my community. There is a vast difference in the development and education of men and women. After birth each and every individual has right to study which is one of the primary necessities, however, many Hindu girls are deprived of education due to the traditional norms and values.
Men and women are regarded as two sides of the same coin whom are incomplete without one another but women are still not given equal preferences and rights as men. Thus, being born as a girl within my society itself is a major challenge. Women live with many restrictions and harsh rules such as never talking back, listen to elders, staying home after dark, coming home early, staying away from men. Essentially, women live their life according to their parents’ decisions. Women are considered as a piece of property. Scientifically, men and women differ biologically but are equal spiritually. The crucial responsibility of men is to earn and support for his family whereas the primary duties of women are required to govern the household, giving birth to children, continue the family generation, serve her husband and his family. Such social beliefs has become major hindrance towards women education and empowerment.
Many girls in our society are not allowed to go to school and required to get married at early age since they are meant to be given. Girls are forced to get married and continue their life in their husband’s household while serving them throughout their life. In the name of tradition and religion, many people have to sacrifice their dreams and an unimagined live.Many individuals think that it is a waste to invest money on their daughter’s education as they will be wed in the future. This is the main reason for why society is against educating girls. Such superstitious practices still exist in many aspects of our society. Due to this, women are still backward in every sector than compared to men.
While I was in high school my parents often thought about my marriage due to the pressures of my relatives. There was a custom of marrying daughter at early age so that she can settle down and parents do not need to worry about her. However, when I told them that I wanted to continue my education and become independent. At first, they were confused and tried to convince me that it is important to follow our culture. They also give me example of their own experiences that they had families as per their parent’s decision and maintain the cultural trend. Now, it is my duty to listen and to obey their decision.
However, I decided I will not do what they desired, instead I was going to continue my studies. I explained my study plan to my family along with the negative impacts of early marriages. For instance, married girls had to bear children at early an age which ultimately affects the health of both the mother and her child along with many other adverse health consequences. Furthermore, marriage is a big responsibility for which I was not ready. Somehow, they seem convinced and agreed for my further studies.
In addition, preferences to son is also another major reason behind the deprival of education to girl. There is a belief that sons will take care of his parents during their old age and support them. Due to this, sons are encouraged to study further and live life according to their desires.
Social values are created so that we can live together and understand each other. Men and women are both equally important to run the society. But inequalities still exist in many countries and societies which restrict women from becoming independent and living their own lives. The place where I was born and raised in is one of the many areas where women are far behind men.
Introduction and advancement in technology has made it more competitive to fit within society. Under such circumstances, it is very harder for women to survive in today’s society if they are deprived of education. It is unfortunate that educating girls is not a priority in many places around the world. One of the ways to create change and to dismiss such negative attitude is to create awareness programs regarding the importance of education girls and women.
This might change the religious perception of those who think that role of women is limited as the homemaker or in the kitchen. It should be carried out strategically and should encourage people to educate and to send their children to school which might motivate others as well. In addition to the awareness, government should also take some action like creating fund for those who cannot afford to educate their children, give priority to girls, and make the education system affordable. On the other hand, we can also create awareness about health impacts of early child marriage and discourage early marriages.
Furthermore, educating a girl does not create limits. It will enlighten and empower them. This also help in the economy of a nation which in turn improves the standard of living. Moreover, there is a famous saying that “if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a nation”. Indeed educating girls essentially means educating a whole family as women play major role in the family.
To sum up, social customs are created so that human being will be bounded by it and live peacefully but there are still some practices which became major problems in the development and progress of woman. Traditions and behaviors reflect your way of living so it is our responsibility to follow those norms which do not have negative impact in the society. Many women live a hard life because of tradition and social beliefs. We should always follow our culture and tradition but it does not mean that we should neglect equality and treat women as inferiors.