The Past and Its Importance in the Present

Monica Jimenez OrtigozaOctober 23, 2023Now and Then

Paraguay is a very traditionalist and conservative country, where a large part of the population treasures the past and seeks to ensure that its knowledge lives on in the following generations. In my community, everyone is proud of our culture, habits, and way of life left to us by the past.

One of the most unique things that differentiates us from many countries is the effort and desire to preserve traditions and cultural heritage such as our Guarani language, something that identifies us as Paraguayans. For me, valuing this language and trying to preserve it is something very important and valuable, since it is a legacy of our ancestors, a way to connect with others and with ourselves.

Unfortunately, just as there are positive habits and traditions that come from the past, there are also those that are not so good and should be changing.

One of them is that the past generations grew up with a different education. Previously everything was based on "discipline and respect," but today we know that it is better to learn and grow with love and patience. Nowadays, this often generates culture shocks between older adults and their children who are already parents, since the methods of parenting are different from those used in the past.

Another culture shock due to the difference between the past and the present is when talking about different points of view with older people, since in the past what adults said was the last word. However, nowadays there are more and more young people who give their opinion and seek to educate their parents or grandparents to help them grow and change certain attitudes. This obviously is not always well received and generates many problems due to the old past way of thinking, "I am older, I have lived more, and therefore I know more things."

Hopefully something as beautiful as our language will always remain and certain negative traditions will disappear.

The past is one of our best teachers and, in many instances, it is good to hold on to it either for the lessons it left us, the experiences it allowed us to live, or the people we were able to meet. However, even though we must keep our roots and pass them on to the next generations, we must not forget that we are the ones who must mold our cultures and traditions, not them us. We must value our past, but without losing sight of all that the present gives us and the opportunities that the future will bring.

Monica Jimenez Ortigoza is a 14-year-old from Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. In her free time she enjoys reading, drawing, and cooking. She loves taking long bike rides because it's relaxing and she explores new places.