Recently, during a trip to Wadi Rum and Petra, we met and dined with many local Bedouin people. For dinner, they invited us to share the meat of a sheep which had been freshly slaughtered for our visit. Our hosts had different histories and journeys that brought them around the fire pit, but they all shared a wonderful pride for their country, their renowned hospitality, and their treasured historical and geological landmarks.
Mubarak, a man about my age, with a weathered face and kind, soft eyes, talked to me for hours around the fire. He told me of his family’s history, the way he grew up moving from one part of the desert to another during different parts of the year, herding sheep and searching for firewood. He talked of the Bedouin people’s common ancestry and desire to keep traditions alive, and about his favorite sand dune in the whole desert–his eyes clouded over as he recalled memories of the spot and described how the sand is as fine as flour. Then, without even a second thought, he grabbed his mobile phone out of his flowing, white shirt and asked if I would like to Skype with his friends Robert and Dee in Mexico.
To me, two worlds collided.
I couldn’t help but fall back on my elbows and laugh.
My children, like yours, are growing up in an ever-changing world. Preserving unique cultures, traditions and practices is becoming more difficult as we connect digitally through Skype, Facebook, What’sApp and other technology.
I see technology as a great equalizer, an incredible tool for those in the developing world–but also as something to treated with great care if we are to preserve the traditional practices in the world.
What do you do with your children to preserve family or cultural traditions? Does technology help or hinder your efforts?
Photo credit to the author. This is an original post to World Moms Blog.