I went for a walk while listening to Dave Chapelle on JRE. They were talking about fame, and the Americanization of the world, and it stuck with me. I know more about American culture than Indian culture. All the media I consume is produced by and intended for Americans. I haven’t tested this, but I probably get less Indian cultural references compared to American ones. Am I losing touch with my Indian culture? Is that really a bad thing?
Another thing that adds to this is the massive diversity within India. As a Kannadiga and South Indian, I never quite left like I was part of the country’s cultural fabric.
What if the world had a homogeneous singular culture? The lack of diversity wouldn’t be ideal, but in an increasingly ever-connected world where a certain group (America) end up being the source of most information production: Internet, movies, music, books, etc., this is likely to happen. One gigantic barrier that stands in the way is language. I’m always shocked by how little English is used in certain parts of the world. South Korea, for instance, has little-to-no English usage, also Japan.
But India being a colony of British and having relatively easy access and important need, is a prime target for the percolation of American culture. I think this further adds to the class divide within the country. The rich skew towards American culture, while the poor remain with their traditional roots. I’m characterizing rich and poor since I think economic status strongly dictates both:
What happens as this divide widens? The Americanized denizens head to America (à la brain drain).
But is it really important to retain one’s birth culture, or can it be treated as a birth language? I’m not significantly disadvantaged at not knowing Telugu or Kannada as well as I know English, while the inverse would’ve been a inhibitor.
I really liked that Sam Harris episode talking about tight and loose cultures. I wonder how good social dynamics simulations are at modeling the interactions between different cultures. I should check that out.Written on February 21st , 2022 by Dheeraj R Reddy