[thechat] Flaws in Cultures

Erika Meyer erika at seastorm.com
Tue Sep 24 18:43:01 CDT 2002

>Western style of Music began to flourish in Pakistan in late 1980's.
>At that time it had worst form in Pakistan. Musical bands spread all
>over Pakistan like infectious diseases. Each of them was equipped
>with heavy guitars, strong drum beat and awkward and disgusting
>movement of body.

Moshing.  It can be fun!   A nice cathartic release of emotion.  But
yeah, that's when the so-called "grunge" sound was beginning to take
hold... it seems like it got almost more popular outside the US than
it did here, judging from the number of non-American web sites I see
that celebrate Northwest/Midwest grunge-punk bands from late 80's
early 90's.

>More than 80% of them have disappeared now. They were highly
>influenced with western culture, (USA culture is a better term) but
>people of Pakistan could not accept them because USA culture was
>being imposed on Pakistanis which was not according to our
>environment and social atmosphere.

Imposed by whom?  The music industry?  Or Pakistani teenagers?
I do not think it was the US government, they don't get it either.

>We could not accept lots of English in Urdu and Punjabi songs. We
>could not accept heavy beat and guitars which seemed to us like the
>battle of cattles and nothing else.

You ever heard Kat Bjelland scream?  Her voice could flatten a cow
from half a mile.

>We could not accept awkward movement of body which was often
>referred as the reaction of stomach pain. Consequently, most
>Americanised musical bands had to leave the stage.

Due to lack of popularity or government crackdown?

>Remaining had to Pakistanize their way of singing. Now most famous
>Pop Singers of Pakistan have created a very beautiful form of music
>by mixing Pakistani musical traditions and instrument with western
>hi-tech musical instruments.

Personally, I prefer heavy cow-battling guitar sounds to high tech
sounds.  I mean, as long as you can mosh to it.

Don't get me wrong though, I like wooden flutes and voice only
singing and analog traditional instruments too.  And some high tech
music. There should be room for all kinds of music, I think.  People
like it or they don't, but give people the creative freedom to
express themselves in art I say.

>Abrar-ul-Haq is one of the leading pop singers of Pakistan. His
>songs are famous for heavy beat but all of them depict the pure
>culture of Pakistani province of Punjab in the natural Punjabi

Syed I understand what you are saying about wanting to celebrate your
own culture and not take on foreign values that are not appropriate.
That is right, I think, as long as it comes from the people not
imposed by a government on the people.

Cultures do bleed and mix, nothing stops that... and American has
such a strong media presence it's hard to stop it from influencing
other cultures.  But there is NO REASON you can't take what someone
else offers and MAKE IT YOUR OWN.  That's what rock n' roll is all
about.  The blues originated in Africa, and it was brought to America
with the slaves, where it evolved.  Then it was taken on by white
teenagers.  Same with Jazz.  Same with Rap/hiphop.  And Celtic music
which mixed with blues and is integrated in our Country/Western
music.  .

Different American ethnic groups take rock music and combine it with
traditional and non-traditional instruments and sing about their own
stuff, and they make it theirs.

People do look a bit silly when they imitate another culture for
which they have no understanding... but when they simply love the
music, and they put their own hearts into it (or language, or
whatever) it becomes something different and new and real.

To my (western) mind-set, art is not always pleasant nor should it
be.  Sometimes it expresses the darker sides.  What makes it moving
is when it is real and comes from the heart and the gut...

Personally, I don't like art that is moralistic and didactic.  I like
it emotional and honest and personal.

And even within the same culture, there is a huge variety of tastes.

Also, never forget that what you see of America as portrayed by
American media and industry is not really what is going on in the
shadows and in the streets of America.  What's really going on is a
lot less slick, less arrogant, and much more exciting.



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