I think that Katherine makes an excellent point in her comment to the effect that other countries that have a distinct Orthodox culture have had centuries to form them. We also have to think about a temporal difference in how culture is incubated now versus in the past. In the past, when all effort was geared toward essential functions (growing, harvesting, preparing and preparing food; building essential tools, etc.), recreation had more of a utilitarian aspect. Barn raisings, quilting circles, cooking, etc. provided an opportunity to reinforce values through direct mentorship and apprenticeship. The food and materials available locally to a group of people and the pattern of their use incubated what we think of as cultural practices.
With the rise of industrialisation and a population shift toward urban areas, people lost connection with the practices and stories that made their heritage unique. Many of our jobs do not require the same kind of consuming attention that a homestead and a skilled craft would require, so we have to create diversions such as television, movies, sports, music, etc. We have created a "permanent present" where there is "no organic relationship" to the past; our understanding of the past is not experiential, it is factual or declarative. Engaging in traditional cultural practices, now (for most of us), is almost voyeuristic because the practices aren't essential to our way of life.
|St. Moses the Black - image from the |
Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black