Globalisation is about knowing your cultures

Posted On 05/02/2007

Filed under Food for thoughts, Photo

Comments Dropped 2 responses

The historical town of Melaka is under chaos culture. Similar to many historical places in Malaysia, the political wills/show hand always override the local culture calls.

It is a dilemma for under-developed countries to choose between development vs preserving “old-style” of living. Where development might bring economic and better living standard, but with a price of pollution, stress and destruction of the old-style living

Such dilemma are rare in industrial countries or first world countries. The people know their culture stand point. They are not hesitate to preserve their culture, “old-style” living; even preserving it come with a hefty price tag.

Melacca Heritage House, locate on Jalan Tan Cheng Lock
Melaka House

I like the banner on the ceiling.
Calmness let you walk a long distance
Read from right to left. The glyph is compose of 2 Chinese verb. The first 2 glyph start from the left means quite and calmness. And the last 2 glyph mean lasting, enduring. The 4 glyph bring the meaning of “Calmness and quietness bring endurance”. Advise given by Zhur-Ger-Liang(AC 181-234, a key character in Romance of three Kingdom) to his son.

In Mandarin


Similar meaning are found in English proverb : “A rolling stone gathers no moss”.

In fact, no culture are able to thrive until the dust settle, when the society achieve the calmness to think, to learn in order to build and innovate.

Perhaps some people in Melaka (and also many people that don’t understand what real culture values of various races) refuse to grab the idea of calmness.

Many will misunderstood that noise, loudness are everything of Chinese culture.
Stage decorated in poor taste

No one will view USA as cultural desert. Because anyone can pointed out USA inherit the English world literacy and culture. A huge English culture world which outshine the cowboy culture!

On the other hand, many Malaysian has failed to realized some calmness in various racial culture.

Just take example of music instrument.
How many people know that Malay inherit and reinvent various music instrument besides the monotone Kompang ? How well do you know about India drum, where a master can beat with a high speed tempo which deem impossible for many pianist? Besides the kung-fu like lion dance, drum beating, did you ever know that the Chinese music string instrument are actually instrument from minority races in China?

A traditional Orchestra with the choir.
Choir and Chinese traditional orchestra

Cultural heritage amnesia
When an English educate Chinese watch Japanese manga, dragon balls; playing the video game of “Romance of three kingdom”, they have little idea it is a literacy inherit from China. It seems Japanese has little burden to embed the literacy as their own heritage.

On the other hand, it is common for many Christian or English speaking Chinese to ditch own heritage as it is barbaric compare to the English culture. Similar is happens to Malay and India that know little about their own culture literacy, besides the traditional practice.

Cultural chauvinism vs cultural interchange
For 50 years, many Malaysian still doesn’t have a clue why the national unity fail. And no many realize how the culture play the part on localization to prevent one engulf by globalisation.

Bertrand Russell has mentioned the cultural integration issue in his book The problem of China” : When two culture meet, there is only 2 outcome when one has little idea about their culture focal : i) Blindly accept the foreign culture as superior and ditch everything or ii) endorse ditch the alien culture and prevent any possibility of learning it.

While the only way out from the dilemma are cultural interchange . When one culture strengthen the good values of the culture, integrate the weakness with new culture.

Name 5 cultural substances from your own culture and briefly describe it. It can be a relic, person, instrument, novel, food, festival, etc.

Anyone willing to take the challenge?

2 Responses to “Globalisation is about knowing your cultures”

  1. freelunch2020

    ok esp since i english ed doesnt mean i dunno my culture although i admit i’ve not read the classics except for art of war~~ 😀
    5 cultural substances
    Shi Huang Ti ~ the first emperor of China who unified all the warring states and form the ‘country’. build the great wall, which essentially joined all the disparate walls 😀
    Great Wall of China (;D) ~ the great defence against the Mongols + also a 7th wonder of the world that can be seen from space (the only structure??) it is rumoured that many died and were buried within the wall. the system of alerts is based on torches~~like most during that time
    Gu-Zheng? (Chinese harp) ~ the one always see on TV chinese series one…the lovely lady will be playing this instrument in some coutryard witha pond…
    Mooncake / Mid-Autumn Festival ~~~ the legend goes the mooncake was part of some resistance movement? (hahahahhaha not sure about this one la)
    BAO ~ the ORIGINAL FAST FOOD as you could have meat + carbo inside and it’s easy to carry around 😀
    A bonus one —-> ANG POW –hhahhahahahaha — cos chinese is obsessed with $$$$$

    i believe in cultural exchange…and generally a more tolerant and open society like UK..many cultures but open..more open la~~~~
    BUT CULTURE is not dependent on SKIN COLOUR~~and ANYONE CAN CHOOSE ANY CULTURE>.just cos I am yellow, i choose to embrace a more Western culture…actually i mix whatever is useful to me 😀

    Great 🙂
    2. Great wall of China actually are mean to fending off nomad waring tribes from the poorer west regions. Actually the wall is useless against mongols during Kublai Khan invasion.
    3. Gu Zhen is invented during the 7 kingdom period.
    4. Moon cakes has a 2 traditional traits. 1 related to pre-historical age myth, where a wife took the immortal pills to prevent the tyrant to rules the country forever. While the second one is related to rebellions to draw off the Mongols occupation in China.
    5. The original Ang pow or Red Envelop has nothing to do with money. It is just a symbol to draw away evil spirit that disturb the children.

  2. ylchong

    Okay, I join the FUN-d hear!
    (1) Pau — soft velvety flour-made dumpling, with prok inside, or for sweettooth, raed or black bean paste
    (2) Teng lung — lantern, lighted during a Chinese festival like New Year or Autumnal/ Moon-Cake Festival (moo-t, corrrect me if NOT autumn, I come from evergreen forever naked gals lying on the beach awe yaer round tropics)
    (3) Huang Ti — Emperor, generic , no shi-shi. I heard there was one Emperor Chong, Chung or Choong but he was slaughtered at birth and his throne was usurped by Five Flowers Queen.
    (4) Yum-Cha — I’m using the Kantonis version because IF I pronounce the Manadrin way, I could be miss-understood as “poisoned tea”. Don’t wanna to flighten your Guests away, Moo_t!
    (5) Hoong pau — red-coloured “Pau”! (see Definition in (1).

    PS: Now, moo-t: Am i steal a Banana?

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