Debate Championship III-4th and 5th Aug

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Posted: 13 years ago
The topic :"Our embracing the Western culture is making us loose our own rich heritage and culture"

Let me introduce the Contestants to you


Arguing FOR the topic are: "Yes" we are loosing our rich heritage and culture as we embrace the western culture.

1. Khizer
2. gk_09
3. Heartgirl




Arguing AGAINST the topic "No" we are not loosing our rich heritage and culture as we embrace the western culture.


1. T.
2. MNMS
3. Mrs.Eishu.SRK



Please present facts and examples as much as possible to make your debate the winning one !!

Before we begin, let me reiterate the rules for this debate. Contestants are advised to make themselves familiar with the rules:
Rules for the Debating Championship



1)Please read Rules and Tips for Debating and India-Forums Code of Conduct before starting with Debate Championship.

2) Please recognise the members on your side of the team and only debate against the opposing team .

3) After the completion of 48 hours , the post will be locked and no further comments can be added or erased .

4) Only the contestants may particpate and post to this debate . Any other comments will be deleted by the Development team.


Date of the debating championship - 4th August (Friday morning U.S time/Friday evening IST)2006


Time : At 9:00 A.M U.S (Eastern time )/ 6:30 P.M India time.

The Competition will last 48 hours , giving enough time for all particpants to respond from different time zones .

This topic will be closed until Debate Championship day. I will open this thread at 9:00 A.M. US Eastern Time on August 4th. Any participants from above list can start with their opening statement. Whoever logs in first can get started.


Wishing all the particpants "break a leg " !! This post will be opened now on Friday morning !!
Edited by Aparna_BD - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago
Wishing all the contestants "Best of luck"Thumbs Up !!!!!!!! Plz do take your time, follow the rules and post.Smile
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Posted: 13 years ago
Good luck to both the team. Any participant who logs on first can get started with the championship opening statement now. This thread will be open for 48 hours. Only Championship Participants and DM DEV Team members can post in this thread, all other posts will be trashed. We have selected our panel of judges consisting of 5 anonymous members consisting members of IF DEV Team and DM members. Good Luck!!!!Thumbs Up
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Posted: 13 years ago

 

             The word "culture" is commonly defined as "a way of life." More specifically, it is the way of life of a particular society at a particular time and place.[ii] Some say that Western influences have corrupted South Asian culture to such an extent that it is on the brink of extinction. I strongly disagree with this statement!

 

South Asian culture has always evolved throughout the ages. Our lifestyles today are definitely not the same as the lifestyle of a Neanderthal. For the most part, it is fair to say that we have progressed a great deal technologically. The progress has been via a combination of internal and external influences.

 

In my opinion, "loss of culture" is a faulty way of describing this evolution of the South Asian way of life.

 

From the time of the Aryan "invasion" of 1500 BCE to the IT revolution of modern times, the subcontinent has gone through numerous changes. Yet, we have always preserved the innate goodness in our ancient civilizations.

 

The Aryans (Greeks, Persians and Romans) gave us Holy Scriptures in the form of the four Vedas, which are pivotal to Hindu tradition. A series of invasions from the north, including the most long lasting one by Central Asian ruler and Mughal dynasty founder Zahir-ud-din Mohammad Babar, brought Islam into our country. The Mughals also brought with them exquisite art and architecture – who can forget the Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world?

 

It could be argued that the Aryans, Mughals and most recently, the British devastated the cultures of the initial inhabitants of the subcontinent. I disagree.

 

Shiva or his symbolic phallic pillar, the lingam was worshipped by indigenous people of the Indus Valley civilizations before the Aryan Invasion. It was a symbol of fertility and bounty. Today, there are approx. 220 million Shaivites all over the world.[iii] The Indian Temple Portal gives a list of over 80 major Shiva Temples in India alone![iv] Even the Aryans could not destroy an ancient faith, which was pivotal to the people of that civilization.

 

The Mughal invasions did not destroy Indian culture or Hinduism. Emperor Akbar was known to have held a conference for all existing religions in India in order to understand them better. Today, 80% of the Indian population comprises of Hindus.[v] Yet, we have also accepted other religions into our culture. The subcontinent has always stressed that we have unity in diversity.

 

The British came into our country and gave it its legal system. While we can rightly blame the British for exploiting us economically, we cannot deny that they in turn educated our country's freedom fighters and social workers – Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Ram Mohan Roy, etc. These fighters awakened the Indian consciousness, they appealed to the ancient, deep-rooted bond that connected all of us – irrespective of caste, community or region – as Indians.

 

My question is that if our country can accept these external elements and still keep its identity intact, then why is the "Big Bad West" (note the quotation marks) seen as such a threat?

 

It is common knowledge that prior to "western interference", social evils such as sati, child marriages, purdah system, taboo on widow remarriages, etc. existed in our society on a much larger scale than current times.

 

Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of the Brahmo Samaj society, took the aid of the British in abolishing the practice of Sati – one of the greatest social evils of our culture where women were burnt alive on their husbands' funeral pyres! That was one of the biggest steps towards women's rights and feminist movements.

 

The question is, should social evils also be accepted as a part of our culture simply due to the fear of "losing" it?  The answer is no. Blindly clinging on to ancient beliefs, when they are detrimental to society, is not the mark of a truly cultured person. Neither does this make you truly South Asian. Discarding such practices is not a loss, but a gain on our part.

 

             The West brought about awareness and information about different things. We improved upon our ideologies, yet retained our individuality. In fact, South Asia is influencing other countries, including the West! The Hare Rama Hare Krishna Foundation and Ramakrishna Mission have centres all over North America and Europe. Buddhism travelled via the Silk Route to the Far East – China, Japan, Thailand and to the South in Sri Lanka.

 

             By that account, one may say that South Asian influence is destroying Western culture and the culture in the Far East! However, this is a flawed method of perception.

 

There has been a mutual exchange of ideas and innovations between the East and the West. Both have improved alongside each other, yet have kept their own identities intact.

 

For example, no one will mistake India for a pale imitation of USA or the UK (Canada already fulfils that requirement Wink). One may say that the economic situation is the most obvious difference. But, I'm not talking about differences in GDPs and the poverty line. I'm talking about languages, clothing, technology, industry and different ideologies that have shaped the citizens of our country. (These will be covered in detail by my team mates, MNMS and Mrs.Eishu.SRK)

 

             It takes more than just western influence to lose a country's culture. History is a witness to that.  

 

PS. If you thought this was the end of our arguments, don't worry…this is just the beginning.Tongue (MNMS, Mrs.Eishu.SRK and T.)

            

 

Edited by T. - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago
   Through Westernization we are losing South Asian culture. I completely disagree with the statement.

   Man was born millions of years ago, started life in caves. At that time he never thought of flying in air, moving in a "Steel Cabin" from grocery store to his house, talking to a person which is thousands of miles away from him in a live chat, have a "Talking Iron Box" for the latest information/ entertainment and getting visuals, get cure from a tiny looking capsule, babies born in a tube and even cook through a radiation (microwave oven) discovered in space while he was away from his planet! How all this become possible? Answer: Evolution in different areas of development.

   Societies evolve through time and there are many theories to prove it. One of them is by Lewis H. Morgan, an anthropologist whose ideas have had much impact on sociology, introduced a link between the social progress and technological progress. Morgan viewed the technological progress as a force behind the social progress, and any social change—in social institutions, organisations or ideologies have their beginning in the change of technology. [1]

   It is evident that every society undergoes social progress. It is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. In late 18th and 19th century, The Industrial Revolution took the shape of initial technological progress which affected the world at large. From commerce and industry to philosophies, from male dominance due to more earning power to giving birth to Feminist Movement, from arts and crafts to military developments, Industrialization changed nearly everything. [2]

   In today's era, globalization is another revolution which has got its side effects and it is nothing new. It is needless to say that technology has been the other principal driver of globalization. Advances in information technology, in particular, have dramatically transformed economic life. Many governments have adopted free-market economic systems, vastly increasing their own productive potential and creating myriad new opportunities for international trade and investment. It can be said that globalization can also be a profoundly enriching process, opening minds to new ideas and experiences, and strengthening the finest universal values of humanity. [3]

   Modernization is a consequence of globalization. The concept of modernization comes from a view of societies as having a standard evolutionary pattern, as described in the social evolutionism theories. Technically modernity simply refers to the present, and any society still in existence is therefore modern. [4]

   Unfortunately Mordernization is misunderstood as Westernization. Westernization means blindly copying the "Big Bad West" (quotation marks noted T.Wink) which definitely we are not doing. Infact the during the process of modernization we, the South Asians, are able to carry our cultural identities. Adapting to technological advances in order to meet the challenges of globalization need not imply the adoption of ALL the Western values held by those who produce such technology. We preserve our distinctive traits in the past as examples given by my mate T. illustrate the fact and we are safeguarding our cultural values in present too. We have got such a rich and powerful culture, which has survived brutal invasions YET we have been able to protect our cultural traditions and individuality. Let me tell you, invasions bring a severely imposed change on a society whereas revolutionary changes act gradually and are able to retain the basic essence of a particular culture.

   Coming to Modernization, yes there are things that may be mutually exclusive and exist in contrast to each other in both cultures, but most of the time they are simply different i.e. cultures are able to maintain their identities. Here the theory of "survival of the fittest" from Charles Darwin applies pretty well and South Asian culture has proven this fact from the ancient times of Mughal invasion to current time of the enormous Revolution of Globalization.

 [P.S. Please stay tuned for more brain teasers Wink ]



[1] Wikipedia
[2] Encyclopedia Brittanica
[3] http://www.globalization101.org/   
[4] Wikipedia

Edited by MNMS - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago

Every person from this world comes from a culture that holds specific values. Those values are different from values of another culture. What one person might believe as good and respectful, the other might think the exact opposite. Their perceptions are manipulated per se or controlled by their culture values. The integration of two cultures is something which is not seen because it is simply not possible.

 

Many people in the non-western world wear so called "western clothes" even though it is not part of their cultural clothing.  By adopting every little thing from the west the people of the East are gradually loosing their own culture and ways of it. For example, In India the traditional clothing would be something such as a "saari" for women and "shalwaar kameez or pajama kurta" for men. However many people from the middle and upper class do not wear them consistently as they would've had before. Their main dressing would be a t-shirt and jeans. As people steadily progress to more modern and western techniques and ways; Western ways have influenced the lives of so many in India that even television serials about "the modern Indian life" portray the characters wearing western clothing and behaving in the same ways. They show people who have even forgotten their own culture and heritage and adopted western ways.

 

The western world is influencing the world greatly whether it be indirectly or directly which subtracts from the unique eastern cultures of the world. One aspect of western cultured which is mimicked around the world is their lifestyle. Copying ones lifestyle is in a way copying their culture. A person's lifestyle reflects their culture. For example, a Muslim (assumingly) prays 5 times a day. This routine is part of their lifestyle and originated from their culture. Hence, by imitating ones culture you are losing your own in the process. No two cultures would likely to match because otherwise they wouldn't be two separate and diverse cultures.

 

PS: I have to go for Friday prayers now and will continue my post soon!EmbarrassedTongue

 

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Posted: 13 years ago
Originally posted by T.


 

             

South Asian culture has always evolved throughout the ages. Our lifestyles today are definitely not the same as the lifestyle of a Neanderthal. For the most part, it is fair to say that we have progressed a great deal technologically. The progress has been via a combination of internal and external influences.

 

In my opinion, "loss of culture" is a faulty way of describing this evolution of the South Asian way of life.

 

Tanaz di,

 

What makes people like you or I Indian(Or whatever nationality a person maybe)? It is their unique culture and heritage that does so. Taken into consideration no culture is static, the values and heritage of it should remain static because the values define who you are.  To progress should not mean forgetting your past and the unique values we all hold however by adopting new ways of living it interfers with society. By interupting a way of living, it is interupting their culture as well. As one person changes their routine life in society they change their values along as well.

 

Originally posted by T.


It could be argued that the Aryans, Mughals and most recently, the British devastated the cultures of the initial inhabitants of the subcontinent. I disagree.

 

The British changed a part of the Indian culture one way or another. They made people of one culture try to adopt another one by influencing their ways. Although many people gave in, people such as Ghandi did not. What is a main reason Ghandi is famous for? One reason would be he did not let the British effect his society and lifestyle. By not letting them interfere with his lifestyle, he preserved the Indian way of living at the time and not adopt any british ways.

Originally posted by T.


The Mughal invasions did not destroy Indian culture or Hinduism. Emperor Akbar was known to have held a conference for all existing religions in India in order to understand them better. Today, 80% of the Indian population comprises of Hindus.[v


Yet, we have also accepted other religions into our culture. The subcontinent has always stressed that we have unity in diversity.

 

What do people mean when they refer to an Indian? Do they refer to Indians who are defined by their nationality? Do they refer to Indians who are defined by their religion? Since most if not all cultures have different values and standards, the integration of several religions into society does not come nicely.

 

When other religions are accepted, usually there is not any problems between them but this has not held true. The stereotype for an Indian would be most likely associated with Hinduism. And this is so because it is the majority of the population. Hence, since people associate Indians with their specific religion, it shows that the so called integration of religions has not worked. If there was unity, it would be seen clearly.

 

Originally posted by T.


The British came into our country and gave it its legal system. While we can rightly blame the British for exploiting us economically, we cannot deny that they in turn educated our country's freedom fighters and social workers – Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Ram Mohan Roy, etc. These fighters awakened the Indian consciousness, they appealed to the ancient, deep-rooted bond that connected all of us – irrespective of caste, community or region – as Indians.

 

People who go abroad to study and to different societies do not forget their own heritage. They simply go there to earn some sort of knowledge which is not available or good enough in their own country. By going elsewhere for studies does not mean you must adopt their culture. However it has! 

 

The exploitation of a different culture has affected the culture of one from which he came from. Many NRI's (Non-returning Indians) have adopted other cultures. They have adopted other languages and dialects. Dialects are an aspect of one culture. Dialects are part of the values of one culture. The adaptation of different dialects has changed ones original values and changed them as well. 

 

In an Indian culture, women are regarded with the up-most respect. They are not allowed to go out with men whom they do not know and familiarize with. Women keep a distance even from the men they know. The actions of one are a reflection of their values and by keeping their distance women are reflecting their cultural values.

 

However in other cultures such as western ones, there is no such thing as a distance. Although women are still given the up-most respect they do not have a barrier which prevents them from interacting with others they do not know. In some western cultures, people do anything that will satisfy their needs without paying regard to their values. Western culture can be defined as "doing what makes you feel good." 

 

By embracing western culture, people of other cultures are loosing their own values and ways of living. 

 

Originally posted by T.


My question is that if our country can accept these external elements and still keep its identity intact, then why is the "Big Bad West" (note the quotation marks) seen as such a threat?

 

The west is seen as a threat because western culture does not have any traditional values tide with it. It involves pleasing ones self. If one adopts cultures such as one from the "Big Bad West" then they are forgetting their own culture and their values.

 

          

Originally posted by T.


  The West brought about awareness and information about different things. We improved upon our ideologies, yet retained our individuality...

 

             By improving ones ideology means to accept different perceptions of the world. When one try's to see things differently they forget how they originally saw it and fall into these new perceptions of viewing people and their world.

 

 

 

          As the topic suggests, embracing western culture makes one forget their true identity. That identity is defined by their cutural values and if you forget your values you forget yourself.ConfusedLOL

 

Regards,

 

BuntyTongue

 

        (1) = wind.uwyo.edu/sig/definition.asp     

Edited by ~Khizer~ - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago

[Quote=~Khizer~]

Every person from this world comes from a culture that holds specific values. Those values are different from values of another culture. What one person might believe as good and respectful, the other might think the exact opposite. Their perceptions are manipulated per se or controlled by their culture values. The integration of two cultures is something which is not seen because it is simply not possible.

 

Many people in the non-western world wear so called "western clothes" even though it is not part of their cultural clothing.  By adopting every little thing from the west the people of the East are gradually loosing their own culture and ways of it. For example, In India the traditional clothing would be something such as a "saari" for women and "shalwaar kameez or pajama kurta" for men. However many people from the middle and upper class do not wear them consistently as they would've had before. Their main dressing would be a t-shirt and jeans. As people steadily progress to more modern and western techniques and ways; Western ways have influenced the lives of so many in India that even television serials about "the modern Indian life" portray the characters wearing western clothing and behaving in the same ways. They show people who have even forgotten their own culture and heritage and adopted western ways.

[/quote]

The way humans dressed about a century earlier has drastically changed when compared to what they dress like now. Some react to this change in a positive manner, the others don't, and blame the west for this change, which, I feel is rather unfair. Most of us, both in the east and the west, have switched to wearing jeans, but this doesn't mean that we are losing our culture to the west; in fact, it is a universally accepted truth that a pair jeans are the most practical piece of clothing, no matter where you are living.

Traditional clothes are still worn by the not only immigrants in the west, both on religious festivals and otherwise. At times even the people in the west are overwhelmed with eastern culture such that some of their fashion trends are "inspired" from the east. And in any case, it's the 21st century, and we can (and should) wear the right things at the right time. For e.g.; it isn't a smart thing to play basketball dressed in traditional clothes, the same way as it isn't to walk into a religious gathering in sports clothes! 

 

These days, women are at par with men, in whatever they do. Women are now ruling fields, which were considered Male dominated a decade or two ago. This proves that women deserve to be educated just as much as men do. People are slowly but steadily becoming literate, and child marriages and suttee are not being practiced anymore. People in rural areas send their both their children to school, regardless of their gender. Women are allowed to vote, don't u think this change is a logical, sensible and much needed one?

 

Media has a huge role to play in all this too. Bollywood movies are the most watched around the world, popular both in the west and the east. Nowadays, producers are tackling social issues such as live in relations ,polygamy, marital rape in their movies. This helps spread awareness , about sensitive issues like AIDs, the dangers of live in relationships, etc etc.  IT would be wrong to say that cinema has changed over the years, if it has , it has for the better. Skimpily clad women were not uncommon then either. Neither were seductive "item numbers" Who could forget Helen in "Mehbooba, Mehbooba"

 

Skimpy clothing dates back to the time of the Ajanta Murtis. Historically South Asians wore skimpy clothing due to climate. With fashion styles changing over the years, "Skimpy clothing" so to say, is coming back in fashion.

In conclusion, fashion and the media have always undergone changes as is evident from history. Culture is never stagnant; it keeps progressing. However, we, as South Asians have continued to retain our individuality - be it even in the sequined embroidery of a shirt or the use of Devnagri Style Font on T-Shirts.

PS:We (Me, Tanaz di, and Maryam di ) admire your patience if you have not fallen asleep as yet reading our first few posts. Unforetunately, we dont plan to shut up anywhere in the near future, so please bear with us. After the debate is over, you can officially term us insane.Come on, we know u want toTongue

-Eisha

Edited by Mrs.Eishu.SRK - 13 years ago
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