Heritage: What Does It Mean For You?
For many people, understanding where they came from isn’t important. We don’t tend to think about our origins so much as we think about where our families are headed to. That doesn’t make us ignorant, it just makes us busy. The thing is, your heritage is inheritance. You’re inheriting every aspect of your looks, personality, art and culture of millions of people who have come before you. Traditions that you grew up with would have been passed to your parents, who had them passed from their parents and so on.
People come and go in a country but the culture and heritage live on and taking the time to think on that is important. The good, the bad and the ugly of our countries should be understood and acknowledged. Knowing where your home originated from, knowing where your leaders originated from is important. It’s the difference between handing your child the keys to a car or handing them the keys to their background. Perhaps your family came from a line of Royal blood but you didn’t know it. Perhaps your neighbour’s generations ago lived in a bank of cottages that has now become a skyscraper as they’ve been pulled down. Heritage isn’t just about the practices that are passed from generation to generation but the characteristics that your town holds.
Check out the buildings around you, how old are they? Are there many left? It’s imperative to be proud of the places you’ve come from, and embrace every day you live with a little hint of the yesterday’s gone by. We have history books to learn from our ancestors and our predecessors. Not just learn from their mistakes, but to learn from their triumphs and how our society has changed and evolved into what we have right in front of us. Your heritage is the beliefs that were instilled in you as a child and what you are likely passing down to your children. Wherever you come from you’ll have songs, poems, proverbs and quotes from natives of your land that you still pass down. Perhaps you have superstitions that you believe in that you still live by today. You may not remember where you learned the poem about magpies, but if there’s one for sorrow you will always remember to salute him so that you can balance the negative connotations of a lonely magpie.
Our heritage is our very core, our belief system and our future. Our morals and traditions that we hand down from our parents to our children all comes from our backgrounds, and this is our heritage and birth right. Knowing where we come from is just as important as knowing where we are headed and if you take the time to look into your birthplace, your ancestors and why you hum the old tunes you hum (as in, where did mum hear it from? why?) then you are asking the right questions. After all, how can your children inherit their culture and traditions without you knowing where it all began?