Customs are important for the identity of any country. They ensure the
continuity of history and lock in the uniqueness of its people. Similarly, laws
are essential for the smooth running of a country, for they spell clearly the
boundaries of responsibility for every citizen and non-citizen alike.
country, some of the most important customs are the showing of respect for the
elderly and the special rites for weddings,
births and deaths. The most important laws to me are those dealing with the
protection of the citizens and unfair discrimination.
Showing respect for the elderly is certainly a crucial custom that must be
upheld today. The young are increasingly westernized and
deluded into thinking that having a mind of their own means not
having to listen to anyone else. This results in them resenting any sort of
control or advice from the elderly, whom they see as old-fashioned and therefore
unimportant to the modern ways. It is an Asian trait to be respectful to the
elderly, but this is unfortunately much neglected these days.
Rites are a way of lending importance to ceremonies and nowhere is this more
essential than in the dealings with birth, marriage and death. Such rites are so
heavy with tradition and symbolism that they ensure that these important
occasions are laden with significance. Thus, marriages begin with much
auspicious cheer, while births are celebrated with much ceremony. Similarly,
deaths are dealt with great pomp that serves
to reflect the importance of the deceased. Thus, these customs must continue to
In the area of laws, I must say that one of the most important ones is the
protection of the citizens. This refers to laws enacted to ensure that its
citizens are safe from physical and mental harassment, as well as threats to
life from direct and indirect sources. Such laws assure the citizens that the
police are ever vigilant and crimes are dealt with harshly. As such, many arc
deterred from committing these acts because of the severity of punishment.
Unfair discrimination is an area in which the law ensures that offenders are
dealt with promptly and severely. This can be discrimination in terms of age,
gender and race. Being a multi-racial society that we are, it is important that
the law is impartial so that everyone is assured of fair treatment. Laws that
legislate against discrimination go a long way to making sure every citizen is
not unfairly treated for reasons they cannot help.
Actually, all laws are important as they regulate the lives of people living
in the same society. Without laws, all will degenerate into chaos, which could
spell the disintegration of that society. Similarly, customs are usually symbols
of the past that define its people. Of course, not all customs are good. There
are those which border more on superstition than tradition. Yet, it is important
to recognize the richness of the culture that all customs originate in.