Willing back the old-fashioned courtship

By:  LPJ

Inspired by my previous blog on love and tradition, I write about old-fashioned courtship in the days of my youth, a nostalgic reflection of how a family-imposed preference easily became our accepted norm.  I grew up in a family in a  province in the Philippines where old-fashioned ways and discipline ruled. One of several daughters in the household, I was not spared stern expectations and rules specifically about the manner of courtship allowed. Looking back, it seemed like a different world then.  If by strike of magic I find myself in my youth again – would I want to be back in that world?  My answer is a resounding yes!  But why, you might ask.

Amusing as they are, I teeter with embarrassment as I share memories of courtship in the old veranda. There’s a delicate coyness about admitting being the object of admiration.  So, regaling stories about the courtships in my youth still somehow elicits a blush.  But this baby boomer Lola will cite the stories anyway, so the young generation will know how courtship was in the good old-fashioned days.

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Love defies tradition — or does love soften tradition?

A PBS documentary on the making of “Fiddler on the Roof” which I watched days ago revived  my fascination for the movie.  I hadn’t seen the stage version of the musical, but had viewed the film six times over the years.  Definitely, I can watch it again another six times.  The story, based on the book by Joseph Stein, weaves around nuances of Jewish culture vortexed on religion and tradition.  Quite skillfully, it renders a sensitive narrative about lives intertwined in the Jewish village of Anatevka, a settlement of Imperial Russia in the early 1900’s.  Never lacking in artistry, the movie is especially gifted with exceptional music by Jerry Book, song lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Gripping and moving, the story portrays an amicable Jewish community hinged on social customs primed on religion, culture and loyalties.  For this blog, I focus on what I believe is the bull’s eye of the story – conflict between love and tradition.

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