Happy HELLOWEEN 2016
It doesn't matter which culture you are talking about. This rule is universal, and we ignore it at our own great and terrible peril.
With its traditions, American culture becomes something worthy of admiration.
These are not necessarily exclusively American traditions, but Americans have taken the core values and ideas behind them, and made them fresh and unique and relevant to the American experience of the world.
These traditions remind us of who we are, of what our fathers and grandfathers sacrificed for us, and of how great Western culture can be if only we would stop being such complete spanners as we destroy the very society that gave us these wonderful things.
I don't have kids, but I can think of nothing more wonderful than to be woken up at 6am on Christmas Day by the happy shrieks and laughter of little children, discovering presents under the tree. When I was little, spending Christmas at my grandparents' house was my favourite time of year.
My grandparents are long gone now, but I continue to love spending Christmas with my family at my parents' house. Out of one tradition has grown another, organically created by the same values that our forefathers passed on to us.
Similarly, diwali, the Festival of Lights, makes little sense to most Westerners. There are multiple origin stories behind diwali, each one more outlandish and silly than the last- one of them involves a monkey-god jumping over the sea separating Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Bharat (India). Most Indians don't pay terribly much attention to the origin stories and instead use the occasion as a (really very fun) excuse to detonate lots of firecrackers and sparklers on the night of a new moon.
Westerners don't quite get that, either.
Hell, I don't get it. And I'd lived in Asia for most of my childhood.
That is how cultures survive, and thrive. That is how it should be. Our traditions define us and give us a base upon which to build our lives, so that we can then create new, living, breathing traditions of our own.