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Invented tradition

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Invented tradition refers to cultural practices or phenomena that appear to have a long-standing history but are actually recent creations. This term often applies to aspects like the Highland myth in Scotland, traditions of major religions, and martial arts such as Taekwondo and judo. It also comes into use when discussing pseudo-folklore, which is essentially inauthentic folklore. This can include newly created stories or songs, or traditional folklore modified to suit modern preferences. Invented traditions can sometimes blur the line between genuine and fake practices, leading to debates. Related concepts include false etymology, hoaxes, imagined communities, mythopoeia, and old wives’ tales. This topic has been widely studied in literature, shedding light on various aspects of national consciousness, American folklore, and folklore in different regions.

Invented tradition (Wikipedia)

Invented traditions are cultural practices that are presented or perceived as traditional, arising from the people starting in the distant past, but which in fact are relatively recent and often even consciously invented by identifiable historical actors. The concept was highlighted in the 1983 book The Invention of Tradition, edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Hobsbawm's introduction argues that many "traditions" which "appear or claim to be old are often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented." This "invention" is distinguished from "starting" or "initiating" a tradition that does not then claim to be old. The phenomenon is particularly clear in the modern development of the nation and of nationalism, creating a national identity promoting national unity, and legitimising certain institutions or cultural practices.

"Ancient" Scottish clan tartans are an example of an invented tradition created in the 19th century.
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