1/06/2013

Should Traditions End?


Everything on earth will end when the Lord comes again.

This is what the Scriptures tell us, but some cousins and I discussed a different kind of ending when we got together again for our 68th annual clan reunion (CLAN-V we call ourselves). 

Sadly, we see an ending to this reunion saga somewhere in time—when our generation (third) shall have passed away.  The second gen (our parents) was totally wiped out with the death of our lone surviving aunt in Chicago on New Year's day, just a few hours after we closed the last reunion.
  
Our children (fourth gen), although still enjoying the 3-day annual event with their second cousins, are not as passionate as we are about heritage and roots. Some of them do not even know why the reunion came about and why the tradition continues.

Meanwhile, more children are being born to our children, going into the sixth gen. These kids belong to the postmodern era with new interests, concerns, and distractions—now too remote from their roots.

Unwritten rules, values, and discipline are mutating; those who strictly impose them are perishing one by one with the passing of years. 

I believe that having a direct emotional attachment to heritage is the only thing that keeps reunions going strong year after year. In short, this annual tradition is hanging by a thread. Give or take another seven years, or less—unless grandparents and parents drum into the younger ones' heads the significance of the reunion and what it stands for.

But even this is no guarantee.  

Putting that bleak thought on the back burner, here are some highlights of that wondrous 68th gathering, excellently chaired by the third sub-clan in the family succession (a dozen came home from the US!) . . .   

- A first: we went on live stream! CLAN-V outside the country (two thirds of the clan population actually) watched and enjoyed with us on their computer monitor. 

- With Facebook, Twitter, and email messages, everything was on real time.

- A live band, innovated last year by the third gen, went on stage again to regale us.

- Games, raffles, chats, sports competition, and laughter among both oldies and kiddies packed the festivities.

- The constants remained consistent: Honoring the Lord through a Worship and Memorial Service; tossing of coins into a batya (a huge soda pop tin, which is now extinct, so we settled for a tin tray) for performers; ending the old year and beginning the new one with a family circle; hugging and buzzing; awarding of prizes; praying before meals; reminiscing; brainstorming; playing hide and seek in the first hours of Jan. 1; and reconnecting.

We continue to bask in the joy of God's blessings for this awe-inspiring tradition while it lasts. Someday it can come to an end, but His grace for this growing CLAN-V will not—not until He comes again.

The sub-clan to which I belong; 19 are abroad
The 68th CLAN-V reunion attendees
(Photos, courtesy of my nieces and nephews: Dannie, Jaja, Karl, Karen, Desiree, Anna, Alma, etc.; and grandniece Steph)

No comments: