Culture: Is the term loosing its meaning?

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On TV today Ram Chandra Guha, defending the call for a ban on CheerLeaders, said that these things while in addition to diluting the game of Cricket are also against our _culture_. The question is not what is it that is against our culture, ...
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Culture. Throughout our country and other countries all over the world, people become very protective about it. Westernisation, using wanna instead of want to... At the end of the day its a personal choice. Culture is defined by the collective people of a nation and their tendencies. If they want to westernise there is nothing wrong nor grotesque about it. Its not in our culture. How many times have we heard that? But any individual should not do thing because its culture, s/he should do it because they want to.
People should not be defined by culture. the culture is defined by the people.
For me, culture has no meaning. Like its root, cult- its a set of beliefs.

Culture moves with times. Tring to fight it under the pretex of going back to our roots and "OUR" culture is stopping evolution. As we evolve so does our culture. Its not STATIC

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sharang Says
I know there are ppl who will leave their parents in their old age...but i dont think that this has been influenced by westernization...this is more cuz ppl hv shifted to cities,have become more selfish and feel that their parents are a liability...whr does westernization get in?jus cuz americans have been doing the same doesnt mean indians have learnt it frm them...if u've lived in a village u'd know that brothers are thirsty for each other's blood for a few square ft of land...they do respect their parents more than in the cities, but nuclear families have helped in building relations upto a certain extent, joint families have always been a cause of quarrel right frm the age of devdas and even before that...Indian-ness should and will come from within but that coupled with Global-ness would truly make us a great nation!


A few thoughts that I had:

1) Just because I use 'gonna' instead of 'going to' or 'wanna' instead of 'want to' does not make me Americanised. Similarly, wearing a kurta and a lungi does not make me Indianised. Culture would have more to do with the set of values that I respect. There are Americans who believe in honesty, integrity, fairness, and equality. I'd rate such a 'western' person higher than a corrupt 'Indianised' sarkari babu. Wouldn't you?

2) Being 'western' is not necessarily bad. 'They' might seem to have issues like higher divorce rates, a violent society et al, just because such things are repressed in our society. Don't we have 'honour killings'? Don't we have innumerable cases of wives being tormented by husbands? Don't we have rape cases? So, one can't really blame the evils plaguing us today, on the influx of foreign culture. For example, dowry, infanticide, the caste system, aren't all these part of our so-called culture?

3) Nuclear families have gained precedence, due to various factors. In earlier times, most men were married to women from same/similar backgrounds, religions, and families. So, the integration into the family was easier. However, now, a Bangalorean may be married to a Kashmiri, or a Mumbaikar may be married to a Bengali. Also, the religions of the couple may be different. It could be difficult for the parents to accept and be a part of the lives of the couple, in such cases. Also, there are parents, who'd rather live in their own house, and live life on their own terms, instead of relocating to wherever their children stay.

Disclaimer: My views are, in no way, meant to offend anyone. If you object, or disagree to my tone/views, please let me know. 😃
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Thread loosing charm :eh:!!!
Slightly deviating from above posts, I would like to express my views about, I would not call this term culture as definition varies with individualsI will call it Indian-ness!
Isnt everything that used to be Indian (not in literary terms) is loosing its charm, we Indians include ppl (and number is increasing exponentiall) who know French but not their native language, who know salsa but dont even know name of regional dance, who know who is winning American election and by how much margin but not who is chief minister of their own state, there is an unending list of whos and not whos are we getting too much westernized. Then comes the argument, hey it is globalization; we cant survive without all this but is it really true??... lets take example of Japan (just for example sake) ppl dont speak English thrthey say whoever comes to our country should learn our language and not the other way aroundthey have to learn our culture and not the other wayisnt Japan developing at a much faster pace??
In the end, just a simple question, are we loosing our culture?? Is getting westernized the only way for a country to develop in the era of globalization?? If not, then why is India going this way, and where will it lead us toarent we going to end our truly unique culture and become a western clone??
Waiting for views from fellow folks.

Friend i agree thr are ppl who are so americanized and so much involved in their westernness that they wudnt know their native lang or their CM...but rest assured such ppl are there in every culture, but their number never rises exponentially...there are japanese who are americanized...and chinese...so are few indians...its not a threat to the culture...
On the contrary,openness of culture is the key to building a civilization...people wud hv felt bad when different religions came to india and mixed with the locals--change of culture...when sati was abolished--change of culture...when railway lines were laid and
travel became fast--again a change of culture,aint it?
I wud define culture as a way a community or nation or grp lives, practices their rituals, teaches its kids,dresses,speaks...is it bound to remain same wid time?obviously not...it has to change...and it changes to convenience...convenience to eat, to dress, to live
Also i'll tell u sumthn with certainty...india wudnt hv been in its current position had it not been for its english speaking populace...it wud hv been a distant nation with a massive population where language changes every 100 kms...Japan's case-it grew and came into limelight cuz of its electronics and automobile industry...but now that country is not growing as it was before (GDP growth of 2.7)...i do not say that speaking own lang makes u backward...i say that english has helped more in the progress that could have our regional languages...
Finally we're nowhere into being a western clone...we have a huge dominant significant identity and we'll not lose it...i wear jeans or pants cud i'm comfortable not cuz i am getin westernized...looks more formal than wearing a pyjamas or dhoti to office...thats my native dress,but pants are a necessity...suppose u go to afghanistan...which person wud u feel comfprtable with to talk to..d one wearing a native dress or a pants?thats globalization not westernization...
Yes it is true that globalization is more influenced by americans...but then thats where it started, didnt it?I don't wana settle there, i wana be here and be and indian, have my identity and likewise live in a globalized society

Well, i totally agree with what all of you have mentioned above. I would like to bring my point of view.
I agree that a pickpocket may be forced to do so because of his responsibilites, but here, who is the ultimate loser? Does anybody benefit from it? It may eventually lead to people looking to find way for 'easu money' rather than hard work. ever asked a beggar to work and earn his living? He'll immediately either run away or say that who'll give hima job. People have actually learnt to make 'easy money' which involves no hard work. Where are we heading?

Coming to Murty's example, Its not an one-off incident. It happens almost everyday on Indian roads. But i believe there is one more reason that peple dont stop by. Its because they are afraid of the mess they might get into with the police. Because there also, the hawaldars n inspectors may look for better means of earnings. Nobody wants to trouble himself, speacially when things look a wee-bit murky. I heard one story where a Man talks rudely to his son before going to office and when the next moment he bumps into a ldy, apologises and smiles. Is this the way we talk our own people? Bitter and acrimonious with our 'own' people and sweet n tender? Where do the ethics fit in? And then we blame our kids that they leave us when we get old. Who is to blame? its true that the kids also may be wrong coz it always takes two to tango, but then both are responsible.

Talking about culture, do the Youngsters these days even bother to know what their parents went through to bring them up. they just need their needs ans desires to be fulfilled, no matter what, no matter how unreasonable they are.
To an extent everybody around you is responsible for this culture shift. we are more inclined towards the westernization than the 'Indian-ness' which should come from within us. How many of us rally know everything about Indian culture and history? We dont even bother to pay any heed to what our parents are saying, leave alone what they do for us.

The culture decline is bound to happen if we dont look into the matter soon. After all 'Charity begins at home'.

I know there are ppl who will leave their parents in their old age...but i dont think that this has been influenced by westernization...this is more cuz ppl hv shifted to cities,have become more selfish and feel that their parents are a liability...whr does westernization get in?jus cuz americans have been doing the same doesnt mean indians have learnt it frm them...if u've lived in a village u'd know that brothers are thirsty for each other's blood for a few square ft of land...they do respect their parents more than in the cities, but nuclear families have helped in building relations upto a certain extent, joint families have always been a cause of quarrel right frm the age of devdas and even before that...Indian-ness should and will come from within but that coupled with Global-ness would truly make us a great nation!
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Much has been said about Murty's example of a man bleeding to death on the road, because no one cares to stop by. Let me narrate two experiences that I had:

1) I was driving down the road to my house, late at night (around 2 a.m.) I saw a fallen bike, with lights blinking, in the middle of the road. There were no street lights and the road was deserted. I stopped, to see if anyone needed help. There was a man, clutching his leg, and crying out in pain. He had some minor bruises, but his leg looked broken. I decided that he needed to be taken to hospital, but it wouldn't be safe to leave the bike behind. Moreover, to avoid hurting him further, an ambulance would be needed. I called the police 'helpline' and they promised to reach in about 15 minutes as well as call an ambulance. They got there in 10 minutes. By then, the injured man had fallen unconscious. The cops accused me of crashing into the man, and threatened me with dire consequences. A few hours after we reached the hospital, luckily, the man came to, and gave a written testimony to the fact, that he had slipped and fallen, and that I had helped him. That's when the cops let me go.

2) One freezing December evening, I had high fever, and my flatmates were away to Delhi. (I live in Gurgaon.) I needed some medicine, so I thought of driving to the market to get some. But then, as Murphy's law would have it, I discovered that I had a flat tyre. I got out of the car, and tried to change the tyre, but I had just no energy to use the jack. A lot of people passed by, but no one stopped. My flatmates were still 20 odd minutes away. Then, an Alto stopped, and a smartly dressed middle-aged man got out of the car. He seemed like a middle-to-senior level executive, being dressed in a business suit and tie. He realised that I was in condition to change the tyre on my own, so he took over from me. He knelt in the mud, ruining his suit, and started changing the tyre. When I protested, and requested him not to do so, he just waved me away. Meanwhile, my friends arrived and helped. The man started to move towards his car. I thanked him profusely, but he said, "Don't thank me, just ensure that you never turn away from a person who needs help on the road."

Now, the two situations have happened to me. I always stop to help someone who seems to be in need of help. But, public service departments are doing nothing to help the citizens of the country.

In my opinion, most of those who are yelling out loud about the loss of moral fibre in the country, are the ones responsible for it in the first place. I'm sure most of us would love to stop and help someone in distress. But, hardly anyone would end up doing so, because there could be so many hassles involved.

Culture will be what we make of it. :thumbsup:

Well written...i wud like to add my experience to this...
Its abt 3 yrs back, me and dad were driving back from a function when we saw a couple on a bike skid in front of us abt 30 ft away...they were probably from a nearby village...we picked them up and rushed them to a nearby hospital (my dad's a doc)...there they admitted the wife and gave the husband a few stitches...after which he came to us and started accusing of hitting him from behind on the road! Expect gratitude? He was threatening to called the cops unless we paid up...but when he tried to rough up with my dad, my dad lost it and gave him the thrashing of his life...
Well i could have vowed never to help anodr man dying on the road...but my dad explained that there are all sorts of ppl and their presence should not be a factor powerful enough to dissuade you from carrying out ur duty or living ur life the way you want it...the weak change but the strong sustain and move on to write legends...that speech has changed my life and the way i look at others...it may sound like level 3 philosophy but it does affect,esp when sum1 so close follows it and keeps inspiring you!
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geminishivani Says
Coming to Murty's example, Its not an one-off incident. It happens almost everyday on Indian roads. But i believe there is one more reason that peple dont stop by. Its because they are afraid of the mess they might get into with the police. Because there also, the hawaldars n inspectors may look for better means of earnings. Nobody wants to trouble himself, speacially when things look a wee-bit murky.


Much has been said about Murty's example of a man bleeding to death on the road, because no one cares to stop by. Let me narrate two experiences that I had:

1) I was driving down the road to my house, late at night (around 2 a.m.) I saw a fallen bike, with lights blinking, in the middle of the road. There were no street lights and the road was deserted. I stopped, to see if anyone needed help. There was a man, clutching his leg, and crying out in pain. He had some minor bruises, but his leg looked broken. I decided that he needed to be taken to hospital, but it wouldn't be safe to leave the bike behind. Moreover, to avoid hurting him further, an ambulance would be needed. I called the police 'helpline' and they promised to reach in about 15 minutes as well as call an ambulance. They got there in 10 minutes. By then, the injured man had fallen unconscious. The cops accused me of crashing into the man, and threatened me with dire consequences. A few hours after we reached the hospital, luckily, the man came to, and gave a written testimony to the fact, that he had slipped and fallen, and that I had helped him. That's when the cops let me go.

2) One freezing December evening, I had high fever, and my flatmates were away to Delhi. (I live in Gurgaon.) I needed some medicine, so I thought of driving to the market to get some. But then, as Murphy's law would have it, I discovered that I had a flat tyre. I got out of the car, and tried to change the tyre, but I had just no energy to use the jack. A lot of people passed by, but no one stopped. My flatmates were still 20 odd minutes away. Then, an Alto stopped, and a smartly dressed middle-aged man got out of the car. He seemed like a middle-to-senior level executive, being dressed in a business suit and tie. He realised that I was in condition to change the tyre on my own, so he took over from me. He knelt in the mud, ruining his suit, and started changing the tyre. When I protested, and requested him not to do so, he just waved me away. Meanwhile, my friends arrived and helped. The man started to move towards his car. I thanked him profusely, but he said, "Don't thank me, just ensure that you never turn away from a person who needs help on the road."

Now, the two situations have happened to me. I always stop to help someone who seems to be in need of help. But, public service departments are doing nothing to help the citizens of the country.

In my opinion, most of those who are yelling out loud about the loss of moral fibre in the country, are the ones responsible for it in the first place. I'm sure most of us would love to stop and help someone in distress. But, hardly anyone would end up doing so, because there could be so many hassles involved.

Culture will be what we make of it. :thumbsup:
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Well, i totally agree with what all of you have mentioned above. I would like to bring my point of view.
I agree that a pickpocket may be forced to do so because of his responsibilites, but here, who is the ultimate loser? Does anybody benefit from it? It may eventually lead to people looking to find way for 'easu money' rather than hard work. ever asked a beggar to work and earn his living? He'll immediately either run away or say that who'll give hima job. People have actually learnt to make 'easy money' which involves no hard work. Where are we heading?


It is true that a good percentage of youth indulge in Easy Money practice, let it be pick-pocket, robbery, chain-snatching, kidnapping, extortion etc etc. A good society should have good number of youth who are educated and understand the responsibility they have on them. These guys are promoted by regional political parties in election, for their vote-banks, and then these political parties throw them back on streets till next election. I really feel sorry for these people who easily spoil young years of their lives, in the hands of cheap politicians.
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Well, i totally agree with what all of you have mentioned above. I would like to bring my point of view.
I agree that a pickpocket may be forced to do so because of his responsibilites, but here, who is the ultimate loser? Does anybody benefit from it? It may eventually lead to people looking to find way for 'easu money' rather than hard work. ever asked a beggar to work and earn his living? He'll immediately either run away or say that who'll give hima job. People have actually learnt to make 'easy money' which involves no hard work. Where are we heading?

Coming to Murty's example, Its not an one-off incident. It happens almost everyday on Indian roads. But i believe there is one more reason that peple dont stop by. Its because they are afraid of the mess they might get into with the police. Because there also, the hawaldars n inspectors may look for better means of earnings. Nobody wants to trouble himself, speacially when things look a wee-bit murky. I heard one story where a Man talks rudely to his son before going to office and when the next moment he bumps into a ldy, apologises and smiles. Is this the way we talk our own people? Bitter and acrimonious with our 'own' people and sweet n tender? Where do the ethics fit in? And then we blame our kids that they leave us when we get old. Who is to blame? its true that the kids also may be wrong coz it always takes two to tango, but then both are responsible.

Talking about culture, do the Youngsters these days even bother to know what their parents went through to bring them up. they just need their needs ans desires to be fulfilled, no matter what, no matter how unreasonable they are.
To an extent everybody around you is responsible for this culture shift. we are more inclined towards the westernization than the 'Indian-ness' which should come from within us. How many of us rally know everything about Indian culture and history? We dont even bother to pay any heed to what our parents are saying, leave alone what they do for us.

The culture decline is bound to happen if we dont look into the matter soon. After all 'Charity begins at home'.

Commenting on this post has been disabled by the moderator.

Thread loosing charm :eh:!!!
Slightly deviating from above posts, I would like to express my views about, I would not call this term culture as definition varies with individualsI will call it Indian-ness!
Isnt everything that used to be Indian (not in literary terms) is loosing its charm, we Indians include ppl (and number is increasing exponentiall) who know French but not their native language, who know salsa but dont even know name of regional dance, who know who is winning American election and by how much margin but not who is chief minister of their own state, there is an unending list of whos and not whos are we getting too much westernized. Then comes the argument, hey it is globalization; we cant survive without all this but is it really true??... lets take example of Japan (just for example sake) ppl dont speak English thrthey say whoever comes to our country should learn our language and not the other way aroundthey have to learn our culture and not the other wayisnt Japan developing at a much faster pace??
In the end, just a simple question, are we loosing our culture?? Is getting westernized the only way for a country to develop in the era of globalization?? If not, then why is India going this way, and where will it lead us toarent we going to end our truly unique culture and become a western clone??
Waiting for views from fellow folks.

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I totally agree with Murty. In our country, where we discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, caste, and god knows what all things, we really shouldn't be policing culture.

Folks like shiv sainiks who loot Archies' stores and burn V'day cards are nothing but hypocrites. Did they ever step in to save a woman being 'eve-teased'? Or did they ever take an injured man dying on the road, to hospital?

I think we have no right to question other countries on their culture, till we fix our own. Religious intolerance, and fundamentalism is not synonymous with protecting one's culture. I guess it's high time we realised that.


Thanks! you just pointed out a very valid point, there is no one from the Political parties, who always shout when it comes to...who is from north India and who is a Marathi. They openly beat up innocent people, burn shops, burn taxis, autos for no valid reason. I wonder as you said, I havent heard of any instance when someone from this party has ever done something peacefully, ever made life easier for someone by-not-doing-such-foolish things.
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Totally agree to what Murty is saying. But thats more about where our Moral values are draining and Indeed our slowly fading culture has been rich in these things.

Our slowly fading culture does brings about the moral questions into focus as it seems it's what we are actually loosing. So talkin about Culture. What's that? As I said earlier a way of living. Yeah, sort of but does it holds any meaning in this always shrinking world? In this age of internet, Airplanes n all. Long ago, probably last century or even before that an American was much more different than an Indian or a Japanese. All lands were far away, each having a very different way of living, different food to eat, different cloths to wear. But the things have been closing in for the 50 odd years. Noe we have an iPod as quickly as an Australian has it. We wear the same dress an American will wear to office. Who says McDonalds was an American name. and this list can go on and on.

So there isn't any cultural identity any more as our immediate world has widened several hundred folds, covering almost all of the globe. Cultures have always changed over the centuries but now that pace is of years if not decades.

So, somehow the word Culture doesn't seems to hold the same meaning as it would have have had say 100 years ago or even 30-40 years ago. earlier culture was something coming down from ages, spanning numerous generations. But now the unit of time or rather change in times has changed dramatically and so has the word culture. There used to be a word cultural identity separating one individual belonging to one land, from another belonging to another land but now who can tell the difference between Naseer Husain and Greme Smith. But even if there are small differences they are slowly merging.
And the term Culture is falling prey to the term Globalization.

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