Blog post #324 Keeping traditions alive through technology

Keeping traditions alive through technology

The world seems to be spinning faster.  But sometimes that means older traditions are being lost.  Today we are looking at two traditions that are being kept alive through technology:  food and language.

First food

(taken from:

There are Indians living in just about all countries of the world (maybe all).  The Indian subcontinent is home to the second most populous country. But as these Indians migrate to other places, they can lose contact with their heritage.

This article states:

“There’s an app for that. Labor-intensive and unpopular among younger generations, some Indian cuisines are facing an uncertain future. But a host of aggregators, physical pop-ups and digital platforms are now connecting traditional home chefs to new audiences, helping preserve cuisines — a central identifying element for many communities — and keeping myriad flavors alive in an era of globalized markets. Customers get great food and a healthy serving of culture, and as the trend attracts new interest, chefs are hoping it’s sustainable.”

So as my good friend Sanjay wants to pass on some of his heritage to his young family  – but as one that grew up in American society, he could use the app to prepare traditional Indian meals.  

Austin has many Indian families.  India is a hotbed of technology education and with the British system, English is the standard communication language.  How about some of these Indian groups relearning traditional cooking?

That (of course) can translate to other cultures and cuisines as well.

The second tradition is learning a language.

For this study, we are looking at the Irish – and in particular at the traditional Irish language – Gaelic.

I am using Duolingo to refresh my German skills.  (I already used it to get a fundamental understanding of Spanish).  Duolingo states that there are more people learning Gaelic on their platform than native Gaelic speakers.  

In Ireland there are pockets of native Gaelic speakers – in particular in the Aran Islands – remote islands off the west coast of Ireland.  There are after school programs in many areas to teach children Gaelic. While I’m guessing that returning all Irish speakers to Gaelic might be too much (after all in business and commerce English is prevalent), having younger people become bilingual with both English and Gaelic will help to preserve Irish culture.

Like the culture use of food, such applications like Duolingo can be used to teach those with Polish heritage to speak Polish.  I had a friend who migrated to America with his family But he realized that he must speak English to be successful (and he was).  His English was impeccable – but as he aged he missed speaking Italian. His family has tried to keep the speaking of Italian as a second language going strong.

In central / south Texas, language is being confused.  There is a lot of Spanish and a lot of English. Being bilingual is becoming important to the Hispanic community!!!  

As they say “A person who speaks three or more languages is multi-lingual; two languages is bilingual and one language is an American.  Maybe we all need to pick up a second language – maybe for the fun of it – but as others have researched, learning a language does keep our brains fresh.  AND … it all can be done with technology!!!

What do you think?

Have a great day!!



Posted by Bruce White

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