Today, I wanted to introduce to a novel concept which I had learnt sometime back. This is about memory book or inheritance of memories. Documenting history of a country, or personalities, is important activity to preserve the heritage. Many countries including India have failed in systematically documenting history for variety of reasons. One of them is emphasis on oral tradition.
A century back when families lived together jointly, every family would have their own folklore passing from one generation to another. The folklore kept growing with every generation. This family folklore is mainly about interesting tid-bits, stories, real incidents about members of the family over generations. With advent of industrialization, nuclear families or small families has become norm where often family members of two or more generations don’t live together. The family folklore seems to be getting lost with older generation passing away with no record whatsoever of it.
Because of this loss of information on folklore and the basic need of human beings to record happenings in his/her life, generation or family for others to know has opened up doors for family memoirs or books. Capturing memories, sharing stories on major events in the history such as partition of India, in the form of book or even on Internet has become common these days. Events such as partition of India, is a huge social change affecting many families over generations. This itself is part of family folklore of those families. The website such as Partition Archive are very good example on this.
The organizations such as Vita Veritas have come out with a book writing service to families sighting the need and gap in writing skills available. As their website says their mission is “Our mission is to help people to document their life story, and to pass it on to their descendants.”. The documenting family folklore or history need not be in the form only a book. It can be a website, blog, AV, film etc. This organization provides services in all those areas. It borrows its name from famous Latin phrase Via, Veritas, Vita meaning “The Way, The Truth, The Life” in English. It is taken from the Bible, and was spoken by Jesus Christ in reference to himself. They help in capturing truth in individual lives.
In the era of virtual world, as we know simple things such as preserving memories in the family by way of printed photos is loosing its edge, the need to preserve and transfer to next generation is very much there. There are various medias available these days and also ability to create those in professional way are also available.
I also would like to share something I had saw when I was in Orange County near Los Angeles for work, couple of years back. The hotel where I stayed had a magazine called Reminisce on their shelf at the reception. This magazine carried out articles shared by its readers where they talk of their memories on various subjects related to culture, and prevalent things in the society in the USA. I believe this is also another example of society in general attempting to preserve memories related to their families, and society. This becomes important reference work for the future generation.
What do you think?
BTW, here is my own attempt to document my childhood memories in the summer. Enjoy!