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Culture and Change are Clashing

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Rabbit and potatoes - part of "culture".

Rabbit and potatoes - part of "culture".

I am seeing this clash between "culture" and "change" nearly all across the planet nowadays. Our connectivity with each other, in terms of correspondence and/or travel, has made the world a small place. Unlike a hundred years ago, we are now much more mixed-up. I do not think there were many Romanians in Canada in 1920. And there were certainly not many Vietnamese people in Romania in 1920. Now, there are.

This mix between people across the world is also creating a mix of cultures. The following is a definition I pulled from Wikipedia: "cul•ture kŭl′chər n. The arts, beliefs, customs, institutions, and other products of human work and thought considered as a unit, especially with regard to a particular time or social group". As such, culture becomes for many people a form of identity (not a good thing).

If we indulge in our culture/identity, any different culture being introduced in our lives, can be perceived as a threat to our own culture/identity. So, we see the way the Chinese government is treating the Uighur people in China: sending them to what are officially called "Vocational Education and Training Centers". This is as clear as it can be: the Chinese government sees the Uighur culture as a threat to its own idea of what Chinese culture should be. Thus, it is trying to eliminate the Uighur culture.

Notice in the definition of "culture", the last part reads: "especially with regard to a particular time or social group". That bit about "a particular time" is critical. For a couple of months I was thinking this piece of writing would be titled: "Where are the Sumerians now?"

No Sumerians around. They're gone, just like we will be gone too. Time changes everything constantly: mountains, oceans, rivers, animal species and yes, even cultures. The audacity! How can time change our cultures and identities without our Ego's approval?! Haha!!

It is funny when I think about it but on the other hand, when I see all the people freaking-out about transgender rights, or women's rights, or human rights for that matter, it is no longer a funny matter. These people cannot accept time and change. They see it as an attack on their identity because they indulge in their culture and many times, they react to change in horrible ways.

Four years ago, Radio Free Europe reported about a new law in Russia: "For first-time offenders, the bill reduces battery inflicted on a family member from a crime to an administrative misdemeanor". So, to those "manly" men out there in Russia: feel free to smack your wife and kids around because it is now considered just "an administrative misdemeanor".

The Guardian had an article about this matter, in February 2017 in which it explained:

"Others claim the law is about protecting Russian traditions according to which the family is sacred. Priest Dmitry Smirnov, head of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy’s commission on family matters, said on a television programme that the idea the state should be able to poke its nose into family affairs was a western imposition on Russia."

I am not even going to go much into the idea that the "family is sacred" yet, violent behavior towards family members is somehow "an administrative misdemeanor". But once again, we see that clash of culture/identity in the words of that misguided priest, in which he somehow implies that the idea of not being violent towards your family members is a "western imposition on Russia" and that this law is "protecting Russian traditions". It is a very sad thing to see: this violent opposition to the change that is inevitably coming because: where are the Sumerians now? We (men) cannot be beating our wives and kids forever. It's just not going to happen.

Let's not forget our Western world either. In the UK, we have a racist, stale and outdated Monarchy which will most likely fall apart in the next half a century but which until now it is still fighting change. The EU is fighting the change which is coming its way as well because France and Germany have been used to running the show without much interference from the other states in the Union and change is not welcomed there. While in the United States and Canada we are still dealing with loads of racism, combined with a refusal to properly reconcile with the First Nations people on this continent by respecting the Treaties made with them hundreds of years ago. Too many people want to hold on to their idea of what culture/identity is, even when it is so very clear for anyone who has studied history that everything changes, constantly.

In a conversation with a man in his late 60s from the United States not long ago, he said something along the lines that he didn't have much time left going for himself and so, his struggle to maintain things the way they are and have been, are for the next generation and not for himself. I was stunned by this! I told him that: "I am the next generation!!" I further told him that if he wishes to help my generation, he should get out of the way of change. Sigh ... no, do not do onto others as You wish to have done to You. "What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly" and the more we deny change, the more painful we will make our going forward because change is absolutely inevitable. Where are the Sumerians now?

All the best to everyone!

Turkey's Erdogan quits European treaty on violence against women

Comments

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2021:

Nice to see You visit Mr. Falk - thank You.

I must say that I am a little concerned about: "Either way, I always hope to be on the winning side no matter what that may mean." - The end justifies the means? lol

You are quite right in saying: "Eventually it'll fail, but so long as "tradition" prevails it'll be a slow death that lasts generations." That is why I wrote: "the more painful we will make our going forward" if we do not shed detrimental beliefs which are part of culture in some instances.

Well, stay sane and stay safe - cheers!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2021:

Thank You for the visit and comment, Mr. Hansen. I appreciate it. People need to know what is going on, otherwise they are surprised when faced with the truth.

All the best!

Kyler J Falk from California on March 18, 2021:

I first saw John's comment on this before opening and reading it, and my first thought was, "This is to combat western influence."

After reading your article, I'm doubling down on that stance, but away from the idea it is a "culture" issue. In America we maintain racial issues, even promote them both directly and indirectly; we don't do this as a culture preservation response, but as a way to maintain control. Of course, I say "we" loosely as I'd never promote division in the way we saw it all summer.

Women and children being equal to men in power and privilege is a western ideal, it allows for a greater freedom for everyone, and functions well in a freer-thinking culture. From what I know of Russia, being a homosexual male could get you killed, let alone being an outspoken woman. What I also know of Russia is that the party line is everyone's line, or else.

In lessening disciplinary action against men for "keeping their women in line" you essentially dissuade any future dissent you'd get due to western influences like the waves of feminism, LGBTQ+, etc. as women and children are usually the first to shift to such powers. It's like putting a police force out there to enforce "tradition" without paying a penny. Eventually it'll fail, but so long as "tradition" prevails it'll be a slow death that lasts generations.

There will always be a power paradigm to maintain, or overthrow and replace. It seems like it is a matter of being a force for change to a different oppression, or the iron fist that clamps onto tradition. Either way, I always hope to be on the winning side no matter what that may mean.

Good article, got me thinking!

As for culture, well, there's right and wrong; so long as we maintain some semblance of justice, the area where Russia falls far behind, then I'd say we are doing just fine. It is unfortunate, though, that I'm beginning to witness less and less honest justice, and more petty, wanton destruction for the sake of itself.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on March 18, 2021:

Very interesting Mr Happy. You make very good points.

“ For first-time offenders, the bill reduces battery inflicted on a family member from a crime to an administrative misdemeanor". So, to those "manly" men out there in Russia: feel free to smack your wife and kids around because it is now considered just "an administrative misdemeanor". This is a terrible vehicle for domestic violence and a certainly a move backwards rather than forward.

Thank you for sharing.

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