Globalization & Our Identities

Globalization & Our Identities
08 Feb

By Eisha, Lahore

Globalization is the name of an inevitable phenomenon, a process which has been uniting mankind through the exchange of goods, information, ideas and aspects of culture. In today’s world, many of us take pride in our advancement of technology when we call this world a “global village”. But should it truly be acknowledged “only as an achievement for our betterment? We cannot deny the fact that globalization has helped us a lot but then again, we cannot turn a blind eye to its disadvantages either. In this article, I aim to reveal only the negative effects of globalization internationally and to a certain extent, in our country as well. In this new world, cities are losing their rich traditions, they’re starting to look like clones of one another and people are losing their cultural identities. Our unique cultures represent who we are, and we can’t find that individuality in a unified, fake world where we all pretend to be like one another despite our differences. The death of culture is manifest from the way a person sitting in Pakistan watches the same TV shows, eats the same food and wears the same type of clothes as the citizens of the United States, or China, Germany or UK for that matter.

Cultural identity was something people simply “had” as an existing possession, which continued to reach them from their past through inheritance of traditions from their ancestors. Countries have now become closer than ever before but the threat does not come from unity itself but from the unification, or actually the total loss of cultural identity. Even Asian countries today, celebrate Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Halloween although they are clearly a part of the Western Culture. Moreover cultural invasion has led to people in different countries growing fond of foreign traditions. They enjoy foreign music, TV shows and clothing so much that it actually affects the economy of their own country. Take Pakistan for example, our imports have increased substantially due to the high demand of foreign goods. This has also increased the competition in the global market which demands improved productivity and quality of goods, in order to face this increased rivalry. Moreover we have also noticed the certain cliche changes in everyday buildings like houses and schools to even commercial buildings like malls and shops etc.  These changes are inspired by a culture we do not own.GI (2)

We can all agree that it’s becoming harder and harder to find people of a country, wearing their national dresses, for example Pakisanis wearing Shalwar Kameez, Indians wearing Sarees, the Chinese wearing Cheongsam and Hanfu and the Japanese wearing Kimonos. Is this not a clear indication of a loss of identity? A fake hope that makes people believe that they can gain acceptance just by becoming more like one another, contributes to this cultural threat. All of these changes that have taken place due to globalization call for powerful action to be taken again the negative ones. This can only be done if we consider these everyday factors, individually as well as a nation and begin working on solutions to have a hold on our shifting realities. It is important for every nation to maintain cultural boundaries within one another in order to stop themselves from losing their unique identities and to take full advantage of globalization.

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