“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…”
~Robert Frost ‘Mending Wall’
I look at all the sweet, young teenage things, noodle- strapped, straightened- hair and blue- jeaned. Bangles and kohl eyes and nose stud—surely this makes them different; Eastern, Ethnic and Exotic. Non, non. From Madonna and Britney to the occasional girl in downtown
So whether it is material girl or metro- sexual male, woman of substance or man of means— identities and their definitions change fast and furious in a world in a hurry. Welcome to the 21st century, where cultures collide to merge or get submerged in what is termed the ‘globalization’ of the world. Human beings are still human beings, but the world has changed.
What has happened is the advent of communication and connection whence the exchange of both ideas and ideology are no longer limited by time and space. I refuse to cry ‘foul’. Protest has raged rampant about how globalization has made everyone identical, that culture and identity has taken a tossing in the whirlpool of everybody ‘mixing’ together. McDonalds, malls, and Valentine’s Day have besieged our country and turbans, tandoori masala and tattoos their country; but we should stop and think—is this just not what was happening before? The Beatles and Ravi Shankar did play together a long while ago. Fusion is possible. The change has accelerated, and the handshakes are faster across cyber space, that’s all.
Eastern identity feels threatened, but one needs to question why. It is not a one- sided deal. We are also giving a lot to the world, making it available in ways not possible till now. The Gayatri Mantra can be heard on a CD in
Why should we be desperate to be separate? Decades ago, when people moved from villages to cities, it was urbanization, and it threatened the very core of thinking then. Yet, in the cities, people from different places and backgrounds walk and work together. Globalization is cursed because it brings with it a kind of commercial uniformity all over the world. Have a look at the sized and packaged bananas available at the malls; they are perfect clones of each other. This is just a micro-level example, but it states a fact. It scares us that we humans may some day become perfect clones of one another. Globalization also raises issues of ethnicity and immigration. Should immigrants from
We have to find our answers and make our decisions. But we cannot be static.
‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall’. Humanity definitely does not. The answer actually lies here.