Invented tradition

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Invented tradition is a term describing cultural customs or events that, while seeming to possess a deep-rooted history, are in fact recent inventions. This concept frequently applies to elements such as Scotland’s Highland myth, main religious rituals, and martial arts like Taekwondo and judo. It is also used when referring to pseudo-folklore, essentially folklore that is not genuine. This could encompass newly crafted tales or songs, or traditional folklore adapted to fit contemporary tastes. At times, invented traditions can obscure the distinction between authentic and counterfeit practices, sparking debates. Related notions encompass false etymology, hoaxes, imagined communities, mythopoeia, and old wives’ tales. This subject has been extensively examined in literature, illuminating various facets of national consciousness, American folklore, and regional folklore.

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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