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  • Who finds it sad that so many things have been lost from the culture? For example only two of the new airbenders (excluding Tenzin) shave their heads, and even Meelo, who has grown up with the customs, has grown hair. I was surprised to discover the other day that Jinora does not shave the front of her head, either. Her arrow is smaller than Aang's so you can see the whole thing but it is a shame, seeing as she seems the most likely to follow the old ways. Also the robes. From what we have seen in flashbacks, once an airbender finishes training, they leave behind the training outfit and wear robes of their own design. With the advent of the wingsuits, however useful, it takes away another part of the culture. Same applies to the gliders, as they appear to have been scrapped.

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    • Tenzin wanted to maintain the old traditions, but when trying to entice people from their established lives who were suddenly airbenders overnight, they were not as appealing as they would have been to those born into the Air Nomads. So to rebuild the Air Nation "Omelet", many "eggs" of traditions had to be broken.

      Also care should be made to not confuse setting aside tradition with progressing with the times.

      IRL there are plenty of cultural traditions around the world which have had, and some still need, to change with the times. Women's rights, arranged marriages, honor killings, just to name a few.

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    • I know, I just find it sad. I understand that they have to move with the times and everything, but it makes me cross that Jinora and Meelo stopped bothering with the hair customs they'd been raised on their whole lives.

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    • In light of how bratty Meelo was in Book 4, I'm guessing he's just letting his hair grow out to be rebellious.  Also, he's not a master yet; it's possible that getting his tatts will result in his changing his mind about that.

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    • Deist Zealot wrote: In light of how bratty Meelo was in Book 4, I'm guessing he's just letting his hair grow out to be rebellious.

      That makes sense. Not sure about Jinora, though. I've been examining her arrow and it's certainly smaller than Aang's not sure if that's an intentional thing or just to make her new hair work. Probably the latter.

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    • Well, as I we saw in The Rift series, Aang had to learn to combine the past and present in regard to Air Nomad traditions. And that is what Tenzin is doing. He is holding on to the old tradions and artifacts and myths and whatnot but he is also trying to incorporate the present he lives in. Sure the glider was put aside because the wingsuits are so in handy -  they evolved with the times - they couldn't have reverted back to living separated like monks and nuns and wear robs and all that. That belong to the past to a different era and Tenzin and his family live in an era were the old and the new intertwine. Of course I am kinda sad they aren't like the old Air Nomads but even if they wanted to they couldn't have been 100% like their ancestors. Aang did live 12 years as an Air Nomad and he did learn quite a few but even he couldn't have seen all there was to be seen about his culture or learn all there was to be learnt. He was just a kid and what kid pays attention all the time to everything around him? He took it for granted like we all do and probably learnt from Gyatso all of the traditions he passed on to Tenzin. I also strongly belive that the abandoned Air Temples had books and documents and many more relics that the FN knew they had and proably Aang used them as well to learn about his culture. 

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    • The culture does have its' appeals. The air Acolytes like the idea and thus they are the new Air Nomads. I also find it a shame the apparent segregation between the Airbenders and the Acolytes. I am aware that they live in a new era now- that is evident in the developments of the other three Nations. Aang was pretty good with what he did; he rebuilt the Air Nomads, but nobody acknowledges them as such. He did a pretty good job considering that none of them can bend, and it is sad that the new Airbenders won't be part of the culture he rebuilt

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    • The episode title, "Original Airbenders" refers to these newbies as "original", different to the monks of Aang's time.That was Tenzin's struggle in this episode. Times and traditions change, dawg. Besides, the oath of non-aggression was a nice compromise between olden times and the present.

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    • Except that the air-suits are less useful for bending (no more enhanced abilities), require an extra height or movement in order to start flying (look at Aang; he could take off while standing up), and are much more prone to damage (Kai, the very first time they were used). More to the point, they're much more... sculpted than they used to be, making a much more obvious impression of the body. All in all, it seems as if the new Air Nation cares more about looking like a superhero than living a relatively peaceful and practical life. And I agree, it is somewhat sad that the Acolytes (who can't actually Bend) are more dedicated to the culture of the Air Nomads than their successors, the Air Nation WHO, I had better point out, do not all have the general personalities associated with free, fun-loving, enlightened Airbenders. Speaking as an Air Nomad Avatar, that is, he said with a grin.

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    • Besides the suits and the hair what has changed?

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    • Well, some of the moves, for sure. Less circles, more somersaults. And I highly doubt that very many people meditate anymore. Except Jinora, and that seems to be for focusing on energy, not trying to find peace with the universe.

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    • That we've seen.

      First, recall that Aang was a boy, and although tat'd, he would hardly know the same amount of moves as an older master. As he grew he probably picked up more, and taught them to Tenzin, who we saw fight the most in both series. The rest were also young and or just learning. We also did not see them in their day to day activities which were not of their Book4 "substitute avatar patrol" duties.

      I shall also point out that the moves of the Wan-era Airbenders were nothing like Aang's. For one, of what we saw they rode clouds (ala Chinese heavenly entities) instead of Aang's "airscooter" which he invented.

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    • Simple fact is these aren't Air Nomads they're the new Air Nation, yes they're similar but different

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    • True. But I do miss them, and frankly am highly confused by them. Ah, well, we just need another generation, I guess, before we see what they've REALLY become.

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    • Culture evolves. I dought culture on the lion turtles are the same as culture was before the 100 year war. They seem to still be a vegetarian culture & the glider-suits could have been made because it is easier to have the glider built in to their clothes then it is to have it separate; which does help when your fighting bandits.

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    • I feel like the only thing that is really dying in their culture is the head shaving. Well, and the air temples seem to be co-ed now. Everything else seems to be fine, though. Reviving a nearly dead culture is never easy. I really don't like the fact that they are now called the Air Nation, though.

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    • Love Robin wrote:
      That we've seen.

      First, recall that Aang was a boy, and although tat'd, he would hardly know the same amount of moves as an older master. As he grew he probably picked up more, and taught them to Tenzin, who we saw fight the most in both series. The rest were also young and or just learning. We also did not see them in their day to day activities which were not of their Book4 "substitute avatar patrol" duties.

      I shall also point out that the moves of the Wan-era Airbenders were nothing like Aang's. For one, of what we saw they rode clouds (ala Chinese heavenly entities) instead of Aang's "airscooter" which he invented.

      Well, i was thinking about that too. Aang had to master 36 moves to get his tatoo but he only mastered 35 and invented one, what about the last one he had to master? Is it lost forever? Thinking about it i came to the conclusion he could just learn them from his previous lives, the same about his culture he didn't show much interest in the historys and spent time playing with Gyatso.like we see in The Rift. He may know the customs but he doesn't know the history behind them so he just asked the other avatars(like Yangchen) about it.

      Also, in Aang's time they separeted the men from the women? I remember seeing a woman in his flashback.

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    • SaitamaBro wrote: Also, in Aang's time they separeted the men from the women? I remember seeing a woman in his flashback.

      LoK said that guys and gals were dormed separately on Air Temple Island, but otherwise were not segregated beyond that. I imagine that to have always been true. Although I'd not be surprised if there were still areas deemed as "old boys club" "retreats". At least one of the pre AG Aang era women had master-tats, so I would expect any "no wimmin allowed" areas to be few.

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    • So they lived together? Cool.

      Would also like some more information about the Air Nomads Pon Farr, the creators of Avatar should do something about it.

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    • Well. I'm sure the air nomads didn't actualky just start out that way, they embraced the ..I guess personality of air and became nomads. Just because there's the Air Nation now doesn't mean the Nomads won't return when/if air benders re-embrace their element, and im sure there are hidden/lost records detailing their culture. Worst case scenario the next air bending avatar uses the avatar state to learn from past air nomad avatars to rebuild the nomads. It's completely possible for their culture to return.

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    • Kile574 wrote: Worst case scenario the next air bending avatar uses the avatar state to learn from past air nomad avatars to rebuild the nomads.

      All the past Lives are lost. At best Korra is the first of the next set of past lives. No more communing with past Air Nomad avatars.

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    • Wait what? Did that happen in tlok?? Gosh I really need to watch that.

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    • Sadly, it is true. I hold it as a fundamental that the past Avatars will be returned, though, for a number of reasons that I've already posted elsewhere and that have little to do with this conversation. Also, why not the head-shaving? It was practical and it gave masters that "smooth" look.

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    • I think Tenzin is right for doing what he did, and I don't think Aang would have been able to do it if there were new Air benders during his time. Tenzin realized that the Air Nation can not remain isolated and while the old methods may have worked for the old nation, unless people have been brought up that way, its going to be extremely hard for them to understand. It's not surprising that Korra and the new air benders all struggled. She called him a bad teacher, and he was. But he is wise enough to know a lost cause. He eventually figured out that a battle of wills with Korra was never going to work and knew that his methods at training the new air benders was a complete failure. A new idea was necessary. Feeling like a useful part of the world motived the new air benders and made them care.

      Into the future I can see some return to the old ways with second generation air benders and there will probably be a semi return to the isolated society of the old air nation. Some Air benders would likely choose the follow the spiritual path again and others will follow the new human path.

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    • Well, even if Aang is too focused in the old ways he could still understand that because he himself was more concerned in having fun with his airbending abilities than learn about his culture(i think all kids are like that). Even with the Air Acolytes he was angry with them at the begining for disrespecting his culture even if they didn't know(wich makes me think that anything written about the AN were modified by the FN or destroyed) but later he accept them and teachs them his culture. Also, he wouldn't be too mad on people who out of nowhere gained airbending and now will be part of the new Air Nation, since he also went trough having a responsibility thrown at you suddenly. I think he would be great to make this new Air Nation.

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    • I have an idea for a new staff! It will be like the old, except without the wings. It can expand and retract to make it easy to carry. 

      Your thoughts are apprecited!  

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    • "Without the wings" would just make it a regular staff. The distinguishing feature of "the old staff" besides its use as a weapon in airbending was its function as a glider, which is rendered obsolete by the wingsuits worn by the Air Nation in Book 4. 

      It's not necessarily a bad idea - but it's nothing new either.

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    • I think a staff is way cooler than a glider suit. Every culture seemed to have changed being that the earth kingdom doesn't have a monarch anymore the fire nation is more defensive now and has a completely different ideology on war and Imperialism. The water tribes now have two separate leaders as supposed to one that rules both tribes and a council of elders so it's only natural for the airbenders to change

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    • I also think the staff is cooler, but the suit must feel better. I mean, you just have to open your arms and fly instead of holding something.

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    • Yeah I guess but the way aang could just snap his staff into place especially in day of black sun right after he kissed katara was just great. I prefer Aangs second staff as suppose to his first one it just looks more mature and the blue wings with handles were pretty cool too.

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    • Since this is apparently getting necroposted & this is the 1st time I've seen it, I'd like to address the supposed flaws of the Glider Suit:

      Except that the air-suits are less useful for bending (no more enhanced abilities),

      It's always been pretty vague exactly how much a weapon "enhances" bending, it's a feature that was rarely used anyway.

      require an extra height or movement in order to start flying (look at Aang; he could take off while standing up),

      There's no reason to believe these function any differently from other gliders, they work the same way, it's just that 1 is a stick & the other is a suit.

      and are much more prone to damage (Kai, the very first time they were used).

      The glider has been damaged before. Dumb luck doesn't mean the suit is more fragile, something that's incredibly unlikely because Asami designed it with top of the line fabric.

      More to the point, they're much more... sculpted than they used to be, making a much more obvious impression of the body.

      Okay?

      All in all, it seems as if the new Air Nation cares more about looking like a superhero than living a relatively peaceful and practical life.

      Well, they basically function like superheroes now, so yeah.

      I can't really get behind the notion that the changes are "sad," all of the changes to the culture seem to have a purpose, & address flaws that existed in the original culture. Some of these things didn't even change. In Aang's time, it was customary for women to shave only their foreheads, which I think looks a little ridiculous with Jinora's hairstyle, but whatever.

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    • Tenzin and Bumi still look ridiculous in a winged suit

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    • Y'know what I wonder? If Korra ever wore one of those(Doubtful though it would be IMO), what it'd look like. I bet a two-tone blue rather than red. Maybe navy for the darker parts, and the same blue as her normal shirt for the lighter parts. 

      Crap, now I want to try to draw that...

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    • Given that, when she had to wear Air Nomad robes, they were just normal Air Nomad robes, I'd say as they normally would.

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    • RosenDrache wrote:
      "Without the wings" would just make it a regular staff. The distinguishing feature of "the old staff" besides its use as a weapon in airbending was its function as a glider, which is rendered obsolete by the wingsuits worn by the Air Nation in Book 4. 

      It's not necessarily a bad idea - but it's nothing new either.

      Thanks for your honesty:) Now that I think about, it makes more sense to use regular staffs. Again thanks!

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    • EosOfTheDawn wrote:
      I know, I just find it sad. I understand that they have to move with the times and everything, but it makes me cross that Jinora and Meelo stopped bothering with the hair customs they'd been raised on their whole lives.

      To start with, women never shaved their entire heads after they recieved the arrows, well, not in Aang's time.

      The wing suits were done out of neccessity, when all the trouble is over, I suspect they'll return to robes.

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    • Duke of Skibbington wrote:

      The wing suits were done out of neccessity, when all the trouble is over, I suspect they'll return to robes.

      I don't think they would discard the wingsuit because of it's use if anything I think it will be more of a hybrid style like Tenzin.

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    • Superbike10 wrote:
      Duke of Skibbington wrote:

      The wing suits were done out of neccessity, when all the trouble is over, I suspect they'll return to robes.

      I don't think they would discard the wingsuit because of it's use if anything I think it will be more of a hybrid style like Tenzin.

      Perhaps the standard robes will be for ceremonial purposes. Or the wingsuits will be reserved for combat.

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    • Duke of Skibbington wrote:
      Superbike10 wrote:
      Duke of Skibbington wrote:
      The wing suits were done out of neccessity, when all the trouble is over, I suspect they'll return to robes.
      I don't think they would discard the wingsuit because of it's use if anything I think it will be more of a hybrid style like Tenzin.
      Perhaps the standard robes will be for ceremonial purposes. Or the wingsuits will be reserved for combat.


      The wingsuits isn't primarily made for combat it's for everyday use for airbenders to be used in flight without need of an airbender staff. So it's the modern version of a their glider.

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    • Will the new air benders still get tattoos. I know jinora got them but it just looked like they finished their training in book 3 and then roamed the earth kingdom.

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    • I think the glider suits were added only because they look so kickass, and the show's creators need gimmicks like that to hold our interest in an otherwise disappointing 4th season. But I would imagine that other Air Nomad/Acolyte traditions would fall by the wayside in light of the fact that the new airbenders are coming from such vastly different cultures. Vegetarianism, head-shaving, tattooing, segregation of the sexes, and many other practices would probably become optional choices. On the other hand, I would bet that Tenzin would insist that some remain, such as the principle of nonviolence. Whether future airbenders would heed this advice is another question.

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    • Avatar Steve wrote:
      I think the glider suits were added only because they look so kickass, and the show's creators need gimmicks like that to hold our interest in an otherwise disappointing 4th season. But I would imagine that other Air Nomad/Acolyte traditions would fall by the wayside in light of the fact that the new airbenders are coming from such vastly different cultures. Vegetarianism, head-shaving, tattooing, segregation of the sexes, and many other practices would probably become optional choices. On the other hand, I would bet that Tenzin would insist that some remain, such as the principle of nonviolence. Whether future airbenders would heed this advice is another question.

      If anything I think their culture will be more diverse that that of their predecessors.

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    • Flying Fury wrote:
      RosenDrache wrote:
      "Without the wings" would just make it a regular staff. The distinguishing feature of "the old staff" besides its use as a weapon in airbending was its function as a glider, which is rendered obsolete by the wingsuits worn by the Air Nation in Book 4. 

      It's not necessarily a bad idea - but it's nothing new either.

      Thanks for your honesty:) Now that I think about, it makes more sense to use regular staffs. Again thanks!

      I think I've figured it out. My staff was based on the expandable baton. The thing police use. It would be easy for the airbenders to carry and effective for combat.

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    • Oh, dear.

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    • An anonymous contributor
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