Culture is the real identity of people, society, place, nation and lifestyle. It is the culture that defines who we are, how we behave, how we live and how we proceed in our lives.
India has been known for its vastness in culture. Our culture is very old and dates back to almost thousands of years. We people are very much adhered to the culture and tradition of our ancestors and simultaneously adopt new trends and culture in order to go neck-to-neck with the current world.
But from the last 20-30 odd decades it has been observed that many of the people specially the teenagers are adopting and living the Western culture due to:
• Trendiness & coolness
• Global impact
It’s considered to be fair by people as:
1. Impression and Fashion: People live, earn, prevail not just for mere survival but to live and compete in the society and bring advancements to their lives. Adopting western culture includes adopting the western lifestyle, wardrobes, music and entertainment options. Moreover, they are in fashion and everyone wants to be fashionable.
2. Global connectivity: Most of the nations are adopting western culture and the Globe has shrunk due to this mingle of culture and therefore we also need to adopt the same in order to match footsteps with the people of the world and connect to all globally.
3. Cross culture promotion: Many people think that it is the way that we can enhance and promote our culture. Meaning, if we adopt their culture they may get impressed and influenced by that and adopt our culture to show respect and dignity hence promoting cross-cultural life.
On the contrary, if we look on it’s disadvantages we may come under the impression of not adopting the western culture due to the following reasons:
1) Hampers our Traditional culture: First and foremost adopting other’s culture would straightaway hamper and adversely affect our culture and then what would we teach to our forthcoming generation about our glorious culture if we ourselves would not be following them?
2) Increased criminal activities: Due to adoption of western culture young girls wear short fancy dresses, go to discs and pubs at nights, drink alcohol and go home late night. So, it obviously hampers the social integrity of the nation and due to such an open kind of exposed lifestyle criminal cases like eve-teasing, rapes etc are also increasing day by day.
3) National heritage would lose it’s value: India is famous for it’s cultural diversity world-over. Every nation praises the vivid culture that prevails and perpetuates in India. But if we start adopting and falling in the western culture then even the foreign nations would see us as non-cultural nation. It’s about the ethical and moral values that make us distinct from others but adopting western culture will lead to the loss of national heritage, honor and value.
In some way or the other, we can easily observe that culture has a lot to do to a person both individually and socially. It may make us honored as well as dishonored depending upon the level to which we are valuing a particular culture. Adopting western culture is not an issue the real issue is to exaggerate it in a way that adversely affects the growth, development and prosperity of a nation as a whole. What we need to really change is the way we perceive the adoption of western culture and the keeping in mind that there must be allied limitations to it to such an extent that our own culture remains intact and vulnerable.
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What Can We Learn from Western Culture?
June 4, 2013
by Ramandeep Kaur
We live in a closed society. Every now and then we find someone condemning western culture for being too open, flashy and modern in a way that is disturbing our society and the present day generation. Most of us believe that western culture is weakening our own value system and with time our culture will disappear.
But do you think it right to put blame on others for all your wrong actions? What is happening in our society is because of us, not because of any other person or society. Is wearing modern clothes, using mobile phones, eating fast food what westernization means to us? The fact is, we are in a dilemma. We do want to stay where we were and, at the same time, want to fly high up in the sky. But flying high when you are deeply rooted to the ground won’t let you fall in any case.
Moreover, every society whether western or eastern has both positive as well as negative sides. It depends upon the person: whether he or she wants to imbibe a positive or negative aspect of the same.
At present, a majority of us are blindly running after modernization and have started believing that western culture is doing only wrong. But this is not right, as western countries are developing at a much faster pace than us. Crime rate in some western countries is far less than what India has at present. Their cities come in the list of the most preferred destinations to live in the world because of low crime rate, and high standards of living. So, we must learn good things from everyone leaving aside the wrong.
What can we adopt from western culture?
Society and community value system
Deep-rooted family values are part of the Indian culture. Parents perform their duties to raise their kids, kids once grown up take care of the elders in the family and marriage is the most sacred union in Indian culture, and so on. But when it comes to society or community, we show an altogether different attitude. For any terrible situation, we think it is not our responsibility but that of someone else. However, the same responsibility towards community is well understood in the West. Western people show their concern for society and make sacrifices, if required.
Habit of Cleanliness
Most of us have the habit of throwing garbage here and there instead of putting it in its proper place. But, if you have been to any western country, then you might have observed a big difference in cleanliness. They keep their surroundings absolutely clean and do not throw even a single bit of paper on the road, in parks or at public places. Everything is well maintained.
In some western countries, different types of garbage like plastic, kitchen waste, etc are required to be put in separate garbage bags. These are then kept outside the home to be collected by respective garbage collectors. But in India, throwing garbage in empty plots is a common scene. So, we must learn a sense of cleanliness from them.
How many of you have seen someone or the other breaking traffic rules in India? I have seen this many a times. But westerners follow all the traffic rules very strictly, even if there is no traffic policeman around.
Transportation system in western countries is much better than in India. A friend of mine once went to England. She was travelling by bus. The bus stopped at its scheduled stop and there was a handicapped person waiting for the bus. This bus had that space occupied, so the driver of the bus deboarded. He contacted another bus driver driving the bus on the same route and confirmed the space for handicapped person and his wheelchair. The driver then waited for that bus. He left the place only after boarding the handicapped passenger in the right bus. Bus drivers can communicate with passengers whenever required and they speak very politely. Such types of incidents are absolutely hard to find in India.
Sense of accountability is great in western culture and we must learn this attribute from them. We must be answerable to what we do. However, in India, generally important people are less answerable than commoners.
Be professional like people in the West who do not allow their personal feelings, problems and dealings to interfere in their professional lives. Along with this we must be punctual and respect the other person’s time.
Therefore, going ahead by preserving our values and culture is not wrong. Also, we should change with time for good as everything in this world is changing. We must adopt good values of western culture to our value system for betterment, growth and development.