He was formerly in the Royal Air Force (British RAF, not Australian RAAF). Sighing with nostalgia and a wee sadness, he informed me that the RAF, once so full of proud traditions ("Never in the field of human conflict ..." etc etc as eulogized by Winston Churchill), has lost much of those.
On a trivia note, he said that even the nicknames for doctors and dentists were no longer in use. In the RAF, which adopted many traditions including medical nicks from the far older Royal Navy, doctors were once referred to as 'Bones' (that's where the Star Trek doctor's nick came from) while dentists were 'Fangs', but alas, according to my matey, no more.
|Nina Dobrev as Elena in The Vampire Diaries|
my preferred 'Fangs' wakakaka
He then looked at me and asked whether I share any such experience of known traditions being lost.
I thought for a while and then recall the traditional hospitality of the Arabs who emulated the Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham (pbuh) and his nephew Lut or Lot (pbuh).
According to the Bible (wakakaka, bearing in mind the 'good book' was written by Judeans and not Hebrews) the latter (Lut or Lot) was particularly hospitable to their strangers-guests.
Remember how the lascivious people in Sodom wanted Lut (pbuh) to hand over those jambu-looking male strangers (supposedly angels) for a wee bit of gang banging sodomy?
Lut (pbuh) stood steadfast against their lustful demands and warned them of the wrath of Allah swt
"O' my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you! Beware of Allah and degrade me not in (the presence of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man ?" (11: 78)
But those wannabe sodomizers said:
"Well, you know that we have no right to your daughters and well, you know what we want." (11:79)
A very much distraught, dismayed and disgusted Lut (pbuh) said:
"Would that I had strength to resist you or had some strong support." (11: 80)
Anyway from that Quranic teaching, the Arabs consider or had once considered that in-hospitality to or worse, mistreatment of a stranger was likely to invite the anger of Allah swt.
By now, the former RAF gentleman asked me in a rather frustrated manner, what was my point about loss of tradition?
I replied that the Arabs no longer traditionally treat strangers as Lut (pbuh) did, but instead would chop off their heads, wakakaka, thus in their modern practice, we see both a loss of tradition as well as of the strangers' heads.
The Malays, renowned for their traditional courtesy and hospitality, also have a saying on this issue, which goes "Biar mati anak jangan mati adat".
Meanwhile, wakakaka, the Chinese have a saying "All Men Are Brothers", which was a quote taken from one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, namely, Water Margin (Shui Hu Zhuan), believed to be written by Shi Nai'an and much revered traditionally by Chinese.
Have these Malay and Chinese traditions been lost?