Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Dilemma of Metro Culture

In today's hyper-caffeinated world, trends change in the blink of an eye and it's not surprising to find ourselves caught up in those culture. One such trend- where parents book a party hall adorned with a specific theme decoration, colorful balloons, wear party hats, exchange return gifts, and indulge in a feast fit for a king. Yes, I am going to pen about the birthday party celebrations that we arrange for our children, primarily in metro cities.

This week, I find myself attending third consecutive birthday party, pondering the implications of this growing trend. One was organized by a close relative, another by our neighbors next door, and the third by my dear friend. Hence, I could decline any of these invitations. After all, avoiding such gatherings goes against the so called rule of social etiquette and risks of isolating ourselves from community. Yet, I question whether this metro culture is truly beneficial for my child and my family values.

As a parent, I've always had a different vision for my child's birthday celebrations – simplicity, quality time with family and a understanding to the deeper meaning of the life. I envisioned taking him to the temple, attending school if it fell on that day, and visiting an orphanage or a senior citizen home to have a sense of empathy and gratitude. However, as the pressure to conform societal expectations mounts, it feels like the essence of these ideas is slipping away.

Now, I find myself at a crossroads. I can no longer avoid hosting extravagant birthday parties for my son. A close friend of mine said that it has become a mandatory ritual, every month, that she is expected to set aside a portion of her income, specifically for these lavish celebrations, all for the sake of a few hours of joy and merriment. It's ironic to think that we used to criticize our parents for extravagant weddings, and now, unintentionally, we find ourselves doing the same.

Where does this cycle end? How can I strike a balance between adhering to societal expectations and staying true to my own values as a parent? These questions weigh heavily on my mind.

Perhaps, it's time for a paradigm shift. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of lavish parties, we can focus on creating meaningful experiences. We can teach our children about the value of money, the importance of giving back to society, and the joy of simple pleasures. By prioritizing these aspects, we can demonstrate that birthdays are not solely about extravagant celebrations, but rather about love, growth, and shared experiences.

Will I be successful in imparting these values that truly matter to my son? Can I convince him that a party is not about receiving gifts, but about planting a tree on his birthday, buying a book to expand his knowledge, or donating his clothes to those in need? Will he come to understand the joy and fulfillment that comes from giving and making a difference in someone else's life?Will my son grow up to value the lessons I strive to teach him, and will he appreciate the choices I make as a parent?

But yeah, It won't be an easy path, but as parent, it is my responsibility to guide my child towards a balanced understanding of life. By striking a balance between the modern metro culture and our own values, we can provide our children with a solid foundation that will empower them to make conscious decisions in the future.

My dear parents, let's embark in redefining the meaning of birthdays, and fostering an environment where simplicity, love, and personal growth take center stage once again.

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