What Can We Learn from Western Culture?
June 4, 2013
by Ramandeep Kaur
We live in a closed society. Every now and then we find someone condemning western culture for being too open, flashy and modern in a way that is disturbing our society and the present day generation. Most of us believe that western culture is weakening our own value system and with time our culture will disappear.
But do you think it right to put blame on others for all your wrong actions? What is happening in our society is because of us, not because of any other person or society. Is wearing modern clothes, using mobile phones, eating fast food what westernization means to us? The fact is, we are in a dilemma. We do want to stay where we were and, at the same time, want to fly high up in the sky. But flying high when you are deeply rooted to the ground won’t let you fall in any case.
Moreover, every society whether western or eastern has both positive as well as negative sides. It depends upon the person: whether he or she wants to imbibe a positive or negative aspect of the same.
At present, a majority of us are blindly running after modernization and have started believing that western culture is doing only wrong. But this is not right, as western countries are developing at a much faster pace than us. Crime rate in some western countries is far less than what India has at present. Their cities come in the list of the most preferred destinations to live in the world because of low crime rate, and high standards of living. So, we must learn good things from everyone leaving aside the wrong.
What can we adopt from western culture?
Society and community value system
Deep-rooted family values are part of the Indian culture. Parents perform their duties to raise their kids, kids once grown up take care of the elders in the family and marriage is the most sacred union in Indian culture, and so on. But when it comes to society or community, we show an altogether different attitude. For any terrible situation, we think it is not our responsibility but that of someone else. However, the same responsibility towards community is well understood in the West. Western people show their concern for society and make sacrifices, if required.
Habit of Cleanliness
Most of us have the habit of throwing garbage here and there instead of putting it in its proper place. But, if you have been to any western country, then you might have observed a big difference in cleanliness. They keep their surroundings absolutely clean and do not throw even a single bit of paper on the road, in parks or at public places. Everything is well maintained.
In some western countries, different types of garbage like plastic, kitchen waste, etc are required to be put in separate garbage bags. These are then kept outside the home to be collected by respective garbage collectors. But in India, throwing garbage in empty plots is a common scene. So, we must learn a sense of cleanliness from them.
How many of you have seen someone or the other breaking traffic rules in India? I have seen this many a times. But westerners follow all the traffic rules very strictly, even if there is no traffic policeman around.
Transportation system in western countries is much better than in India. A friend of mine once went to England. She was travelling by bus. The bus stopped at its scheduled stop and there was a handicapped person waiting for the bus. This bus had that space occupied, so the driver of the bus deboarded. He contacted another bus driver driving the bus on the same route and confirmed the space for handicapped person and his wheelchair. The driver then waited for that bus. He left the place only after boarding the handicapped passenger in the right bus. Bus drivers can communicate with passengers whenever required and they speak very politely. Such types of incidents are absolutely hard to find in India.
Sense of accountability is great in western culture and we must learn this attribute from them. We must be answerable to what we do. However, in India, generally important people are less answerable than commoners.
Be professional like people in the West who do not allow their personal feelings, problems and dealings to interfere in their professional lives. Along with this we must be punctual and respect the other person’s time.
Therefore, going ahead by preserving our values and culture is not wrong. Also, we should change with time for good as everything in this world is changing. We must adopt good values of western culture to our value system for betterment, growth and development.
Much has been said and written about how the youth today is far removed from the values that make a good human being. While the elders continue to fret over the loss of values and morals among the young, they, on the other hand, are treading on a path, unaware of the consequences.
The Page 3 culture, which has become the hallmark of this generation, is being adopted by almost everyone.
In their bid to be counted among the 'in' crowd, youngsters have failed to see the good and the bad of this phenomenon. They consider it 'cool' to be seen at the most happening parties in the city. At parties like these, alcohol flows freely and all inhibitions are shed. Unfortunately, we are bracing this culture with open arms.
The generation Y seems to have lost respect for elders. They are blindly aping the western culture where elders are considered to be the interfering radical. Massive cultural erosion is corrupting the innocent minds of the young. They seemed to have lost sanctity for all relationships and are leading a self-conceited life.
The young brigade lives for itself and throws everything else to the wind.
For them, life is a huge party and in their bid to party hard, they are, unconsciously ruining their life. No matter how much the parents try to ward them off the bad track, the peer pressure is so much that they succumb to it and follow the herd mentality.