Today man has drowned himself
in a thousand garbs of civilization and modernity. What is true is
what is inherent I remember reading
Tagore recently, and his ideas about how modern technology’s
major drawback has been preserving information. Tagore blames technology
for contaminating or memories of great personalities of this age.
People don’t hold modern great men in as much awe because they
simply know more about them- their flaws and their shortcomings.
Just like a photograph would capture every little detail of a scenery
whereas a painter would paint only the most magnificent part of it,
we know only the best part of ancient ideas. The rest was lost along
the way. And, it was lost because it was irrelevant. What is left
of Asian traditions and cultures with us is indeed the part of ancient
A test for strength is survival. Cultures that survive thousands
of years of time, ideas and people endure this test of strength.
Strong cultures are not preserved, they naturally survive. I come
from on such great Asian civilization.
It was not until I came
to the United States that I realized that growing up in India was
not easy- it is a developing country. You
don’t know the difference until you have seen it just like
the cultural difference. At home, I took my cultural and my roots
for granted. In America, I discovered how rich and powerful it is.
It is important to bring two contrasting colors together to appreciate
each one’s beauty, and we see that happening today with cultures.
Globalization is the new
buzz world of the world economic order. People and cultures are
coming closer along with economies. Where
globalization is taking over local economies, the sister concept
of hybridization is taking over the world culture order. Hybridization
is about breeding diversity. The essence of life on earth is it variety
which fits like parts of puzzle to complement each other. The more
individualistic western society complements the more community oriented
eastern society. The more material western thought complements the
more spiritual eastern thought. Really, only a balance of the two
sets humans on the path to self development. Such a balance can only
be achieved by respecting different cultural aspects and providing
a healthy environment for various cultures to mingle and thrive at
the same time. Here I see the need of initiative to maintain one’s
traditions in multicultural settings.
Right and wrong or good
and bad depend not on each other but also on one’s up bringing.
I grew up in an Asian society, and hence my ethics and morals go
by Asian cultural standards. To give up on
these standards would put more out of place than I really am by infringing
on the space within me. But, of the many good reasons it is my love
and respect for Asian thought that would keep me most from giving
up my Asian tradition in the United States.