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How can an Asian society preserve its traditional culture while modernizing - Essay Example

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The most significant features of the current time are modernization and globalization of local and traditional societies. The majority of people believe that these changes are for the better, but a problem of preserving traditional cultures while modernizing occurs in Asian society.
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How can an Asian society preserve its traditional culture while modernizing
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Download file to see previous pages East Asia is presented by Inoguchi and Newman (1) as a value system in the context of an East-West dichotomy. Their thesis maintains that cultural values have underpinned the growth rates of East Asian countries and conditioned the orderly social and political characteristics of the region.
Of cause, there are some common "Asian values", such as celebrating the community over individualism, the family as the basis of society, frugality, respect for learning, hard work, public duty, teamwork. Mahathir bin Mohamad cited in Inoguchi and Newman (1) notes that some explorers usually demean their argument by contrasting these with the breakdown of the family, decadence, hedonism, excessive individualism, lack of teamwork, fecklessness, and ill discipline in the West. At its most nonsensical, the dynamism and cohesion of East Asia is contrasted with the West's "moral degeneration" and its imminent social collapse, no less.
Inoguchi and Newman (1) suggest an ascendancy of the "Asian way" of strong government, social conservatism and free market economics. The renaissance theme is common. It is interesting that some political leaders in the West have begun to "learn from the East" and use the rhetoric of this agenda in response to the perceived excesses of individualism and social deterioration. Reinvigorating community values and the public spirit is a popular theme.
As China Daily (3) writes, culture, as heritage, includes both material or "built" aspects of culture such as sites, buildings, landscapes, monuments, and objects, as well as non-material or "living" heritage embodied in social practices, community life, values, beliefs, and expressive forms such as language, arts and handicrafts, music, dance and poetry.
Non-material cultural heritage is characteristic of certain nationalities and is passed from generation to generation. A nation rich in cultural resources, China has an ocean of non-material cultural heritage including folk art, literature, opera and dance. But many of these precious traditions are under the threat of extinction with the modernization of the country.
There is not enough awareness of what these cultural heritages are, let alone the necessary personnel, funding and legislative efforts to rescue and protect them. What's more worrying is that random tourism development in many local areas have misled people's understanding of aboriginal culture and have proved to be destructive to the maintenance of the original cultural ecology. (China Daily 3)
China's long history has made the country heir to countless intangible cultural assets, but modern times have sent folk arts into a decline, as China Daily (4) writes. As the master craftsmen grow old and die, many of their precious traditional arts die with them. Pop songs are replacing local operas and cartoons are killing off shadow puppet plays. Most people see a centuries' old residential compound as shabby housing, while a section of an ancient city wall is merely an obstacle to traffic.
The importance of traditional holidays such as the Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival are waning, too. In contrast, imports such as Christmas and Valentine's Day are gaining widespread attention. To those who are blindly enchanted by all that is new, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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