i somehow don't think burning old ladies was ever traditional outside of Hammer house of Horror Witch movies.
i was thinking more about the outcry by some that modern society is destroying traditional ways of life( culture) such as happened to the Aborigines and has been occurring with small tribes that have been pretty much cut off from the rest of the world (logging in the Amazon). from what i gather the elders want to maintain their traditional life but the younger generation once exposed tend to want to investigate it and either leave their village or incorporate new technology into their life. not so long ago society really had no concept of childhood beyond a few years and children were sent down the mine, up the chimney, into the factory and before the industrial revolution out into the field. my response was meant to be that change is part of our 'modern culture', that we move on in our values and expectations as society progresses. however there are still parts of the world and cultures within that hold onto their 'traditions' in spite of this. strong culture and religious belief can be behind this.
some parents do see marriage as the only protection for their daughter because if she gets raped she will almost certainly have to marry her rapist. if she doesn't marry young she might loose her opportunity to marry etc. i'm not sure, without checking up, how modern the concept of paedophilia is but it might be inappropriate to call Muhammed one if there was no such concept at the time. applying our values to a culture that existed 1500 years ago doesn't seem productive!
i suppose tradition can be seen as dangerous but in what way dangerous and to whom? one society trying to impose it's values onto another can also be dangerous. moral outrage at what another culture is doing makes for great middle class protest but unless real alternatives and long term support are being offered and the culture in question want change plus the controlling party in the area willing to allow a foreign power to come in and tell them what's right from wrong, what's the course of action, sanctions to make their economic situation worse or send in the troops?
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