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The “great tradition” is a concept introduced by Robert Redfield in 1955 which talked about the existence of a broader civilization which is “followed” people from different cultures. Like most American anthropologists, Redfield used to analyzed people as part of an…
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Download file to see previous pages... Hence, he deducted the interconnection between villages, states and societies and proposed that there is a broader civilization, a “great tradition”, that is being upheld by people of various backgrounds. It is the tradition “which is consciously cultivated, refined and handed down in a formal learning situation” (Musicmall Productions Pte Ltd, 2004). One may say that this is the living culture, one which evolves depending on the environment, present conditions and needs of the society.
The concept of “little tradition” was first developed by Milton Singer and Robert Redfield as a twin to the idea of the “great tradition”. It is the ways in which a culture “keeps itself going, is taken for granted and is not put under much scrutiny or deliberate refinement and improvement” (Musicmall Productions Pte Ltd, 2004). The little tradition are the manifestations of the great tradition, they can be found in the folk music, the pattern of clothing, the choice of food, children’s stories etc. The little tradition are often handed down from one generation to another and are often unquestioned because their details are so minute they are almost unrecognizable. It is the little traditions which creates distinctions between the Sephardim from the Hasidic, the European from the America, the Asian from the Chinese.
Sephardim is defined by the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) as the “descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal and who settled in southern France, Italy, North Africa, Turkey, Asia Minor, Holland, England, North and South America, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Hungary. Unlike other Jews, the Sephardi practice traditions which are tinged with Spanish and Portuguese influences. For example, one of their most popular children’s play is called “El Castillo”, and they have dishes originating from Iberia such as pastel, pan de Espana, and pan de leon. During festivals, they give our dulces or dolces, a kind of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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