Custom Search

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Culture Article Review

Can a Country preserve its culture nowadays when subject to outside influences?

Culture is a way of life particular to a group of people. It is the sum total of their traditions in the field of literature, religion and languages. These traditions have developed over centuries and in some cases, over thousands of years and consequently cannot be destroyed. Of course, the impact of foreign influence can make a dent in them but basically they remain the same. But when too much foreign influence threatens to adulterate a particular culture, there is a reaction of self preservation which saves it from being swept off its feet.

For example, some twenty or twenty-five years ago, when the countries of western Europe seemed like being swamped by an influx of immigrants from Africa and Asia, the reactions of its inhabitants was very sharp. They insisted that their political representatives should put a stop to immigration and voted out office any party who did not agree. The reason generally given was those immigrants having different customs, religions and traditions were a danger to the survival of European Culture. The result was that, despite the opposition of a liberal segment of Western society and of its social and religious organisations, immigration was drastically cut down. So doing this, the Westerners could preserve their way of life that is their culture.

But the question, nowadays, is how long such prohibitions or laws, moral or otherwise, can safeguard a particular culture in face of constant pressure from outside. First of all, no man is an island and no country can afford to keep its door closed against foreign contact or influence. In these days of easy world communications, where one can travel from one corner of the world to another, in not more than a week, in these days where nations rely very much on trade with the outside world and tourism to promote world fellowship, it is very difficult to live in an ivory tower. Regular contacts between the heads of different governments, international seminars or forums, mammoth gatherings. Languages are no barrier. Many people speak two languages, theirs and another one generally a widely spoken language like English or French. Quite a few even speak three or four languages, for having learnt them at college and read all about culture, the background to the languages they are out to study.

It is clear therefore that the walls of division and exclusion are slowly falling apart and that the world is really becoming a small place indeed where people of different cultures will have to learn to live side by side and to give and take in every sphere of human activity. The idea should be not to preserve but to share. If a particular culture has something in it that is permanent and elevating no other cultural currents but, basically, it will remain the same. For example, British culture has had to face many invasions and many outside influences but it has blossomed whether in the U.K, in America, Australia or Canada. This is because the British culture can be compared to a plant that grows in all climes and is quick to adapt to basically local conditions.

Consequently, a country can and should be to preserve its culture provided it is determined to safeguard it as the French or the English do and are proud to do. In the modern context when outside influences are increasing day by day this pride in one’s culture must be shown not only in words but also in deed to safeguard it against the intrusion of cheap culture stuff from abroad and propagate its ideas and values by signing of Cultural Agreements. Developing countries should follow the example of India which is spending large sums of money to organise festivals abroad to bring home to both foreigners and Indians themselves that if a country were to preserve its culture against foreign influences they should be ready to explain or interpret it to the world. As long as one sincerely believes in one’s way of life one should without fear or favour stand by it. There is no better way to preserve it and to remain true to one’s Cultural Heritage

No comments:


simple thing to do....just say it.
Add to Technorati Favorites