Articles on Tradition

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The African Union laboratory in Nansana, a suburb of Kampala, Uganda. Ikko Kobayashi and Fumi Kashimura/Terrain-Architects

Ugandan architects struggle with the dilemma of what’s appropriate

There is a growing trend of designing modernised replicas of traditional buildings for entertainment and tourism. That’s no way to salvage positive lessons from building traditions.
South Africa is taking a tough stance against the practice of abducting and forcing young girls into marriage that’s still rife in some parts of the country. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Banning child and forced marriages is gaining traction in Africa

The reasons for the phenomenon of child marriage are complex and include the fact that in customary law, marriageable age was never reckoned as an actual number but depended on puberty.
In the Netherlands, the tradition goes that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, wears a red clerical robe and a bishop’s mitre, and has servants called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters). from www.shutterstock.com

Schnapps, whipping and sacks: how Christmas traditions evolved around the world

The celebration of Christmas has distinct variations around the world, with many of these local traditions arising from particular historical circumstances.
Dutch painter Pieter Claesz’s Still Life with Turkey Pie (1627) features a cooked turkey that’s been placed back inside its original skin, feathers and all. Wikimedia Commons

Passeth the cranb'rry sauce! The medieval origins of Thanksgiving

Most of the flavor combinations and traditions we've come to associate with the holiday date back to the Middle Ages.
Hungry for more than just the turkey. Turkey image via www.shutterstock.com.

Expert roundtable: the psychological benefits of our Thanksgiving rituals

Our panel discusses the benefits of gathering for an annual holiday meal. Traditions and rituals give us a sense of identity and closeness with those we love – and come with mental and physical health benefits too.
Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini with the late former South African president Nelson Mandela and Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Mandela combined a deep faith in culture and constitutionalism. Reuters

Unease reigns as culture and the constitution collide in South Africa

The recent skirmishes about culture in the public space represent the tip of an iceberg that can be properly characterised as a cultural backlash.
Through force of ritual practice and habit, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers manages the emotions of a parliamentary ovation. Youtube/CBC News

Rituals of the Mace, limits of the handgun: in defence of ritual

What makes a man return to work the day after killing someone? How does he manage to do his job in such circumstances and under public scrutiny? The day after mortally wounding Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau…
Taking extra care and consideration for those with dementia can make Christmas a much more enjoyable experience for all. brutusfly/flickr

How best to celebrate Christmas with a person with dementia

Christmas can be a stressful time for hosts and guests alike, and it's more so for carers of people living with dementia.
Love is still a modern goal, and its connection with individual freedom, agency and autonomy makes it a difficult idea to reject. Peetje2

Does same-sex marriage necessarily mean ‘radical love’?

Earlier this year, Byron Bay mayor Simon Richardson announced that he wants his council to pass a motion recognising same-sex marriage and to set up a “love park”. That the theme of the park is love rather…
Back, sperm, back: a human egg on the tip of a pin. Flickr/wellcome images

Squaring up to difficult truths: how to reduce the population

Elephants in the room, part two For all our schemes and mantras about making our lives environmentally “sustainable”, humanity’s assault on the planet not only continues but expands. What are the deep…

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