March 10, 2007

On Culture, Identity and National Survival: A Discussion

By Wahlay Ray

Talking about three choices, we will face hungry lion if we go back to Burma, we will also face unfriendly bear if we are in Thailand (I’m not generalizing the fact). No doubt, third country can be the land of opportunity. Well, talking about loyalty to culture, it is very challenging especially in term of preserving our norms, values, mores and symbol. I have to admit that I have already lost some of the Karen material cultures in the third country. If I myself lost some of those, there is no question for the next generation.

I’m not defining culture as a static element; I'd rather be progressive and dynamic. I do believe that culture can be exchanged between societies, in cultural diffusion. However, the problem is we have tendency to use our culture and belittling of other’s cultures or believe in cultural relativism. Basically what I’m trying to say is, cultural adaptation to technological changes and social invention are also needed to be considered On the other hand, maintaining one’s own culture including identity is an obligation. Wishing you all the best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that maintaining own culture is an obbligation but how do you pratice in a land that so far and strange from your motherland?
The other Karen