By Mohammad Iqbal
Material culture is personal and different for everyone in society. Because people’s life experiences are distinct from others, life has its quirks and twists for everyone. It is similar to dancing – the rhythm and lyrics of a song make a person want to illustrate their representation in their own way. Culture exists through individual personality and the stages of life of people. One that is young describes it with toys or insignificant objects, while an older person would use bigger and more constructive objects. When talking about material culture, it should be remembered that these objects should enable individuals to gain knowledge and importance of the past or present, through triggering a memory or use of the object. My personal material culture represents various standpoints and attitudes of today’s society.
The most important personal belonging of mine is the prayer rug. The prayer rug represents discipline and the way of life I choose to participate in and the type of company I like to associate with. This is most significant to me because today’s world is becoming too man-centered and scientific to the point where people have lost track of what is important, what is real happiness, and the meaning of life. Working from dawn to dusk, celebrating every single week, gaming every night, tolerating taboos, is not the lifestyle I wish to support. Where is the fun in that? Does that relieve the internal exhaustion? By restricting myself to the rug and its beliefs, I can find my own happiness and be the happiest. This is the perception that many people lack today as they have grown too infatuated with many objects, i.e. films, sex, drugs, etc. They are obtaining happiness from sources that provide little to no education of the way life should be or help their inner peace.
Sauce pan and/or Sauté pan are objects that are important part of life because I am not a restaurant person or someone who orders too much food. By owning these pans, I have the opportunity to make my own delicious food, hot and without having to wait an hour at a restaurant or for delivery, then opening a million containers and putting the food on my plate. Cooking also conserves money and is less expensive than eating at food places regularly. In today’s society where fast food is at every corner, many people limit themselves. Daily visits to restaurants or throwing huge feasts with friends is simply throwing hard earned money away during the present and not caring about the future. People are under the impression that money comes easy by working at any place. While that is somewhat true, they fail to understand why saving money is important. If serious about life, life requires time, money and dedication, and while people usually focus on time and dedication, they are often short on or wasteful when it comes to money. They rely too heavily on bad and awful restaurants when they could simply have eaten excellently made food at home with friends and family.
The tree of knowledge, growing with the world of technology and roots reaching every corner of the world, the laptop. I have not grown up with a laptop or an internet connection, but after life progressed and time integrated with technology advancement, I have become a laptop’s user. Through this means, I gain education and become informed of worldly events and passions. There is entertainment, and many other things involved also. This is the same way today’s world functions because everything is on the internet which requires some kind of medium such as a phone. The use of them shows that people do not like handling business face-to-face anymore. Need an application? Go to your laptop! Writing a paper? Go to your laptop! Entertainment? Laptop! Can’t own a book? Kindle it! Phone dropped in water? Lapto… Not! You need to hurry up and pull it out at this very second. We currently live in a world where duties are carried out easily and at our convenience, which allows us to steer life at our own pace. The use of laptops and other devices shows we have started to become a part of society where, in order to seek answers and construct our life, we need to succumb to a new technology-based world and learn its ways.
This post was completed as part of an assignment interpreting the “material culture” of home, and how objects, keepsakes, and ephemera from our domestic lives contribute to our social identities. For additional information on the assignment, please visit: https://americanstudiesmediacultureprogram.wordpress.com/the-concept-of-home-spring-2014-the-archeology-of-home/