Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM

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Programme in Development Management

Globalization and Cultural Change

By Sumit Vij

Every country in the world is known for the specific culture they follow. Even the colours they use have a specific significance, and the usage of colours have a different gravity. For example in Asia, red can be used in different ways. In India, red is the symbol of a wedding, while the same colour in China signifies happiness and prosperity. However, in both these countries, yellow signifies peace and beauty. This difference is not made by colours but is made by the people who use them for their different notations. The ancestor of both the countries would have made some norms and beliefs, and they value them robustly. The practice of following norms and beliefs helped them in setting guidelines, which we can call the “norms of socialization”.

During the course of time, many new countries formed and many old countries were revolutionized in terms of society, economy and development. Today, in the 21st century, the economy and financial status of a country helps it in showing supremacy over other countries. America, which is known as the boiling pot of different religions, has its own norms of socialization known as Americanization. People residing in India will keep on boasting about their culture and its practices, but will a person staying miles away from the capital of India who is seeking help to earn two square meals a day be able to secure his culture? I think absolutely not. We need to find practical solution for survival. Those days when our ancestors use to be dependent on nature for food are gone. America, on the other hand is the world’s strongest economy and it keeps the concern of its citizens. Red tapism in government offices and corruption in politics are minimal if compared to India.

Globalization is a concept to bring all developed and developing countries on a common platform of economic development. For example, a person staying in India can use mobile phones made in China or Japan. It is a beautiful notion to bridge the gap between the developed and developing countries. Globalization, as a concept is very materialistic and could not hamper the culture of the country. It would only give the economic sustainability and would not help in covering the social benefits of the country. America has not lost its culture, it is just that the culture they follow is different from the culture we follow and the same thing is applicable for the economy. It is not that the plan they follow for their development would be applicable for a village in Bihar. However, yes we can take that as an example and try to bring the changes in the norms of socialization as well as in the economic reforms.

Culture should not be static, nor is it. Slowly it changes and reaches to the core where it was born. Delhi, capital of India is not the same as it was fifteen years ago. It changed gradually in terms of people’s perception, economy and the most important norms of socialization. For example, when I was eleven, I started listening to Beatles and along with that, I used to read religious books along with my father. Listening to Beatles never changed my norms, values or ethics. However, it helped me to become familiar with music which is famous and accepted in other parts of the world. It ameliorated my “knowledge bank” in music.

Culture was born with the first human being and will not die till the last human being is alive. Globalization is just a concept which cannot hamper the social structure of a country until the people or the society is ready to bring some changes. Every concept originated in the world comes up to benefit the mankind and its other important component like nature and environment. But, just because of few extremists, the notion of the people change. The series of terrorist’s attacks has created a similar kind of unbridgeable gap between the extremist groups and the rest of the world. Therefore, we need to work against these extremists instead of superficial and materialistic concepts like globalization and Americanization.

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