Thursday, August 26, 2010

China isn't Westernized

Pete Terranova: I'm still struck at the Westernization of their culture.
In China they tend to not say the word "Westernized", instead they talk about the "international" craze. They seem to want to emphasize how they have joined the world, rather than how they have been changed by it. And it does seem like a craze. I saw a brand of moon cakes, one of the most Chinese of things, being advertised with a tag-line like: "take a trip around the world", showing images of people in different national dresses eating them.

In the city where I was, no one was wearing anything that looked remotely like traditional dress, other than hostesses at fancy restaurants. There were a few workers who had a peasant look, but they really stood out:



During the Cultural Revolution Great Purge they destroyed much of their traditional culture. The government today is doing what it can to destroy what's left, removing old buildings and trying to standardize everything from the language they speak to the exercises they perform, or putting it safely behind glass in museums.

Obviously, having Western things like clothing has a connotation of wealth and status, so everyone wants them. Add to that the fact that the government embraces Westernization and it would be surprising to not see people and buildings which looked "Westernized", or in other words "completely normal".

1 comment:

Pete said...

Ha ha! Today, a front page mention on Living in a Golden Age! Tomorrow a front page mention on the blogger lady's!