Sunday, 5 May 2013

Are we as Creative as Our Ancestors were ?

This post was inspired by a post made by Thomas Macentee .

So how many of us make our own clothes. Very few is the first answer to come to mind. 
I read somewhere that John Lewis is cutting the area it has for fabrics and other handicraft items but that there may be an increased demand for these items in times of austerity. 

When I grew up (being a child of the 60s) girls would have been taught skills such as needlework at school. We were also taught how to cook. Both skills our parents and grandparents would have been expected to learn at home.

My grandmother brought up in an orphanage at a time when many young girls went in to service would have been taught these skills to ensure her employability. Skills she would later use when she had her own family. I well remember the school jumpers or cardigans that she would knit for us when we were children.

Even after the industrial revolution when fabrics were cheaper to produce the everyday working class of this country would make their own clothes as a necessity rather than a matter of choice.
Alongside this change from homemade to shop bought have we also lost other traditions in our culture?
 In the days when most people attended church on a Sunday the working class would have a set of best clothes often referred to as “Sunday Best”. Does anyone have a set of best clothes today?

“Home made” items also bring to mind organizations such as the Women’s Institute (WI) with the label “Jam and Jerusalem” which many turned their back on but may see a resurgence with all the food scares we have seen.

We will never turn the clock back and society has changed and all of us should ensure we record what we remember of our own past as this will be the stories our families want to read, but have we lost something more fundamental when the basic skills of cooking and clothing ourselves have been lost by the majority.

Should making anything from the basic ingredients be a hobby or should we return to the days when we taught children how to cook and sew at home and backed this up with school tuition.

How many of us have children who cannot even cook?
Has the era of ready meals really done our children any favours?
Do we create less than our ancestors?

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