GP Samples Essays – Tradition & Progress

Have you been looking for good General Paper sample essays on the topic of Tradition & Progress? Aiming to prepare this sub-topic of Social problems as one of your main content topics for your upcoming GP exams? Good choice, as social theme is a perennial theme that is assessed every single year.

Social problems covers the range of marriages, juvenile delinquency, role of women, education, etc.

 


Q1: “Tradition hinders progress.” Do you agree.

Gone are the days of playing “masak-masak”, “catch” and “five stones” under the shadows of the coconut trees in the kampong clearing. Indeed, in our modern lives, the traditional way of life has taken a backseat due to the fast pace of our society.

 

To have progress in our modern society, we cannot afford to lose time. Tradition impedes progress as according to old beliefs, women should stay at home while husbands work. I would mean reducing the workforce by half. Nowadays, girls receive the same education as boys. Thus girls have equal ability to work and make contributions to the economy. Women, now, are shed ding their roles as housewives, folding up their aprons to go out to work, to help maintain the high standard of living.

 

Traditional beliefs about the inheritance of land in India have brought many problems to the country. On the death of the landowner, the land is shared among the sons and thus divided into smaller and smaller portions until the land is not able to provide the family with a decent standard of living. Also, in India and China, people favour boys instead of girls. They have a traditional belief that boys will carry on their family’s name while girls are just a waste of money. This has led to unfair treatment of women and discrimination against baby girls. This traditional belief had taken away the lives of many baby girls. It is hard to accept that in this modern world, such absurd beliefs exist.

 

Nowadays, there are still some people who believe that a magic stone rubbed on the skin or some talisman burnt into ash and put in water will cure an illness. There is no scientific evidence that these traditional cures work, and so it is best to seek proper medication before an illness gets worse. When it comes to festivals, the traditional way of celebrating Chinese New Year is a fifteen day holiday when everyone visits their friends and relatives. From the economic perspective, if a factory were to stop production for half a month, it would suffer losses. That is why many traditional celebrations are simplified nowadays as in modern society, it is too time consuming, and impractical to follow every traditional belief and celebrate every festival.

 

On the other hand, tradition does help in giving the economy a boost. In traditional festivals such as Chinese New Year, it is traditional for people to buy furniture and new clothes. Consumer spending increases and thus stimulates the economy. Such festivals also help to keep the family together. In modern society, families tend to be small. Festivals give them a reason to come together to celebrate. For example, Hari Raya Puasa which the Malays celebrate, brings the whole community together not only to celebrate but to do good deeds by donating foodstuffs and money for the less fortunate. Such festivals also enable people to get to know other races and cultivate tolerance and understanding between races.

 

“Yeo’s, tradition in a can.” This slogan has been used in advertising the glass jelly drink Yeo Hiap Seng has been promoting. Believe it, or not, people have a tendency to favour things from the good old days. Several hotels have been using slogans such as “Come savour the traditional Nonya delicacies” to promote their buffets and turn them into a money-spinning business. Some watches and even cough mixtures boast of traditional methods of manufacture. Nowadays, more and more people are seeking the traditional methods of healing, brewing herbs for several hours and gulping down the dark, foul smelling soup with the bitter taste, as traditional cures are said not to be as “harsh” on the body as western drugs.

 

Tradition is just like drinking Chinese tea. It needs time to be appreciated and is a slow process. Due to the fast pace of modern life we cannot afford to lose time and so we will have to settle for our usual Lipton’s three in-one. Tradition has not been forgotten as it is in our roots but we cannot slow down for tradition or we will find others overtaking us in the rat race.

 

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