PEOPLESPEAK: Live and let live

Though our country has developed to a great extent in terms of adapting western ways, there is still some tint of traditionalism that binds the people of Nepal. I personally feel that at times Westernisation does overshadow the minds of the youth of the nation and in this way they kind of lose their identity as humans. The youth here don’t know which society they belong to. They dress up and behave like proper Westerners but deep inside their minds they are as narrow-minded as the older generation. Hence, this influx of two cultures is leading this country nowhere and its high time they realised their true identities and work towards enriching their culture.

— Deepa Sharma, Dillibazaar

The world now has become a truly global village where ideas, goods, services and capital flow from one country to another freely. In this context, I believe that our country Nepal also cannot remain isolated from this global trend. This is, in fact, beneficial for both the consumers and the business sector and also for fostering tolerance among people. From a consumer’s point of view, influx of goods and services are always welcome as it reduces the prices resulting from the competitive market. For business sectors also, it opens up the door for bigger market for their products and services. On the whole, it helps people understand each other and their ways of life, bringing harmony and better understanding among people.

— Sama Adhikari, Jorpati

In the present context, considering our socio economic state of development, the ratio at which goods, services and the cultural invasion taking place is in no ways a good sign for the country. At this stage of economic development, our goods and services cannot compete with the manufacturers of the advanced economy. As a result, the domestic manufacturing industries have to suffer and the country becomes dependent on other nations. In today’s world, it is almost impossible to imperialise a nation politically, that is why western influential nations try to influence developing countries through cultural imperialism. This helps them influence people on matters of international concerns. It is high time that we thought about the long-term consequences of our present actions rather than only looking for the short-term benefit.

—Sabita Gairhe, Milanchowk

Influences from foreign cultures and values do not have detrimental effect on our culture and values. It has multiple effects on our tradition, rather good than bad. Most importantly, for a culture to survive, it is imperative to adapt to the changing times. The only downside is that it no longer remains what our forefathers bequeathed. Once we learn from cultures foreign to us, we discover its worth and that of our own. Adopting the good from other culture, and blending it into ours makes it even better. It will only lead to quality development enriching our culture and keeping it alive. Our forefathers didn’t know much about different cultures other than their own and the developments that took place elsewhere. So they continued with what they had been handed down rather than making modifications. But for a culture to be compatible with the changing times it has to accept advancements and thus ensure its survival.

— Dipak Tuladhar, Budhanilkanta

Sometimes in the name of cultural exchanges programmes between countries and sometimes for some other reasons, western and Asian cultures, mainly Indian and Chinese, have been making their way into Nepal to a greater extent. If this trend continues and remains unchecked, then a time will come when we Nepalis would be loosing our true identity. It is high time to ponder on this issue seriously and be united to fight back with those elements who are trying to impose their culture at the cost of our own. Any one who loves his\\\\her country should be proud of the country’s rich cultures, as it is the cultures that bind us together and instil a sense of integrity on us. So loosing our culture means we will be loosing our identity and integrity. Why not to develop a sense of patriotism and protect our culture before they are eliminated and extinguished?

— Ambika Pandey, Chitawan

I feel that there is no harm in adopting a Western outlook in today’s ever-changing world. We have to learn to move with the times and the more the influx of different cultures, the more harmony amongst the people. We have to broaden our horizons and let other cultures and traditions also flow in. In this era of globalisation, why should anybody be lacking at all. If we build a wall all across ourselves, we will never be able to understand the other side of the world and will be living in the primitive times forever. But keeping all this in mind, one thing that should be most kept into consideration is the fact that in this attempt of mixing different cultures, we should at no cost be compromising of forgetting our own Nepali culture. We are the land of culture and traditions and each citizen should be proud of it also letting other cultures come in.

— Priyanka Aryal, Baneshwor

We can call it cultural preference of an individual rather than cultural imperialism. Everyone is free to live the life s/he wants. It is natural for people to emulate the culture they like. Globalisation has made it possible for people to know about other cultures of this world. The influx of goods and culture from around the world is rather an opportunity for people to have choices on the way they want to live bringing together an array of cultures together to choose from. Puritans may not want any distortion on it however it seems an impossible craving in this era. What they call ‘influence’ in other word is a choice made out of their own free will.

— Ravin Pradhan, Kuleshwor

The impact of western culture is quite perceptible in our society. Cultural influx, theoretically, should have more positive consequences than negative impact on a society. Literally, it is an opportunity to know about each other more closely. However, Western culture has shadowed others’ culture. A number of native cultures are on the verge of extinction due to western cultural pervasion through media. We are deprived of knowing about our culture just because we do not have worldwide network of communication.

— Gopal Mishra, Birgunj

Having lived in a hostel most of my life, I would like to say that living among people from such diverse cultures has taught me tolerance, given me insight into the other person’s values and has made me aware of the richness of our culture. So, the influx of other cultures can be compared to life in a hostel where one gets to learn so much and grow.

— Purna Gurung, Dhapasi