Western Cultures overbearing influence has deteriated Indian Culture
Introduction – Indian culture as a hold has been damaged by the increasingly overbearing and more influential Western Culture. The deteriation and damage that Indian culture has experienced can be broken up into three
causes and sub groups. The first one being Pursuit of Wealth. The second one the Power of Western Media and the third and final one being Western Complex maybe the most damaging of them all.
The three sub groups being Pursuit of Wealth, Power of Western Media and Western Complex. All Indians no matter if they live in India or are part of immigrant populations outside India experience at least one of these sub groups if not all. Although they all seem different they have one thing in common that being the destruction and dilution of the Indian culture.
Pursuit of wealth.
In the pursuit f wealth immigrant culture either survives or dies out.
The actual culture of the immigrants goes through a change it either becomes radicalised or an it completely dissolved assimilated into the local culture. This process can often lead and is the culporate behind the destruction of thousands of year old culture being damaged. The actual speed at which this process happens till what extent depends on the individual and their family structure. It all depends on what sort of family background they come from. For example a man coming form a poor fishing village in comparison from low caste family will react differently to the pursuit of wealth, compared to a person from a high caste and well off family. A research carried out in the United States of America showed that a poor immigrant families when given the chance to gain prosperity changed their life styles drastically. In that they did things like change their religion and lifestyles which meant they purpously sped up the assimilation process in the pursuit of wealth. Yet at the same time the results show that a family coming from India who are well off and are from a high caste family have reacted differently. Because of them having reasonable prosperity and wealth the sudden drive and urge to change their lives for it was not there. Which meant that they did not undergo any drastic cultural changes for attraction of wealth. Human Development ,Jan 2001 v44 il p19 Immigrant Adaptation and Patterns of Acculturation. Margret A Gibson. Yet regardless of these statistics success and the maintenance of ones culture can be achieved regardless of which social background you come from. India and much of its population is from urban middle class background. The type of people this is includes is everyday people only concerned by one thing that being wealth and its accumulation. They range from the taxi drivers to the newspapers sellers with their mobile phones they can be found anywhere, hence being known as the wheeler and dealer. Australian Screen Education, Winter 2003 i33 p117(3)Monsoon Wedding: raining on tradition.(Film as text) Cynthia Karena . Yet regardless of these statistics success and the maintenance of ones culture can be achieved regardless of which social background you come from.
The Power of Western Media
Western media has created a clash of culture in Indian Society, through Hollywood influencing Bollywood. Western Media is portrayed in India as Hollywood so realistically Western means American. Bollywood being the equivalent of Hollywood in India is a movie making, idea producing machine. It is not only a entertainment industry it is seen as a role model and the ultimate image. This is because like everyone knows Cinema is the most powerful media force. The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 1999 v23 i3 p56(1) Cinema Paradiso. Richard Schickel. . India is the same as everywhere in the world in where the young want to challenge tradition. This is the result of them watching Indian films that portray a continuous trend of western aspects. This is seen in the production of movies such as “Monsoon Wedding”. This movie represents the way Indian Culture is traveling. The influence that Hollywood has exerted on India can be seen clearly in this film. The west has made it fashionable to wear jeans and tight fitting costumes and have western ideas such as sex before marriage. In the past Indian films have not portrayed any of these ideas and concepts. Western media has portrayed that have so called essentials such as MTV and the newest issue of Vogue is essential. Indian Society have absorbed these things into their lives. Sex is another thing India is cautious about although being the home of the ultimate sex instruction booklet the Karma Sutra, India is very divided and vastly conservative on this issue. This is largely due to the way the cinema has shown sex scenes. They just haven’t shown them unlike Western Movies where they are essential part of the movie. Intact they haven’t even shown kiss scenes and have left it up to the audiences imagination as they saw it more romantic. Traditionally Indian films have been revolved love stories. Yet increasing influence from the West has resulted in that movies such as Monsoon Wedding have started showing increasingly long kissing scenes. Australian Screen Education, Winter 2003 i33 p117(3)Monsoon Wedding: raining on tradition.(Film as text) Cynthia Karena . Production of these sort of movies is on the rise. The other sort of Western influence is from the Non Resident Indians these are Indians that live in the West. As they have lived in the West they have been exposed to Western ideas and morals. The Canadian Indian Deepa Metha a film producer made the film Fire in 1998. The film revolved a house wife and her affair with sister in law. Although the film received awards overseas in India it caused riots and protests as it showed lesbian sex scenes. Metro Magazine, Fall 2003 i138 p132(4) Beyond the Bollywood Blockbuster: independent Indian cinema(Regional Review) Karena. Although sex and lesbians are excepted in much of the West and in its culture, this is not the case in India.This sort of Western influence although is rejected by the vast public it is none the less slowly but steadily creeping into Bollywood and through Bollywood into mainstream Indian culture. This infiltration does not always blend with Indian culture and creates clashes.
Complex of the West
Indians in their mind consider themselves second rate, which leads their assimilation process into the West quicker. The complex that Indians have of the West is not constricted to one area and can be seen throughout their daily lives and in their Physic. A good example of this is the subject of arranged marriage. Traditionally this is the only way Indians use to get married. This system works due to the fact that the bride and groom would have faith in the decision of their parents. Yet now days some youngsters prefer to go and find love marriages even though they know the risk of break ups and divorces. Due to the complex they have picked up from Western influences they would rather run the risk of disgrace than do the traditional ways. . Australian Screen Education, Winter 2003 i33 p117(3)Monsoon Wedding: raining on tradition.(Film as text) Cynthia Karena. This complex that is developed is Indians is a direct affect on the assimilation rate. A experiment was conducted in England they asked children of Indian background questions and asked the parents the same questions. The experiment was to prove how assimilated the families were and what were the families attitudes were towards Western culture. This included Western morals of Sex before marriage. The results differed from each ethnic group yet there was a definite connection between assimilation and Western Complex. This showed that the family’s culture and the attitude it had toward the Western culture had an affect on the assimilation process. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Nov 2000 v41 i4 p350 (Stress and Reproduction) Mary Stopes-Roe: Raymond Cochrane