[thechat] Flaws in Cultures

Syed Zeeshan Haider szh at softhome.net
Fri Sep 27 14:43:01 CDT 2002

From: "Madhu Menon"
To: <thechat at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: September 27, 2002, Friday 10:34 PM
Subject: Re: [thechat] Flaws in Cultures

> But isn't that all a matter of personal preference? If the people in a free
> society (where "free" is of course relative) want to listen to certain
> types of music and ignore others, shouldn't that be up to them? As long as
> nothing criminal is happening, why should one force one's views on what is
> "proper" upon others?

Sorry Madhu, you misunderstood me. I am not trying to impose something. I am
trying to express something. I also listen to American and some other western
music. I listen to Qawwali, I listen to traditional classical music, I listen to
folk music. I do care that everybody has his/her own choice. What bothers me is
making something a status symbol. I don't like to people commenting about each
other by saying, "Look! He listens Qawwalis. He's maybe somekinda religious
extremist" (Muslim extremists do not like Qawwalis because most of them are rich
with those religious views which extremist don't agree with) or "He doesn't like
pants, he's backward" or "He listens classical music, he's livin' two centuries
back". I stress that social status of a life style directly affects others. We
have to stress on importance of ALL cultures and lifestyles. Personally, I am
very easternized man. I don't like to wear pants and I don't like to talk in
English where I can use Urdu. I can communicate a little bit in English by
writing and speaking. I don't like classical dance instead I prefer to view
western break dance. My westernised friends always say to me, "You look live
very old-fashioned. Change your lifestyle". Yes, it's all matter of personal
preferences. What I stress is that easternization is not being old-fashioned and
westernisation is not modernization. Both cultures exist in 2002, hence, both
are modern. Symbolizing one as old and other as new bothers me.

> If a culture can't hold its own against a so-called
> "invasion", especially one that's voluntary (the Americans aren't
> air-dropping Britney Spears CDs on our countries yet, are they?), then
> surely it wasn't that strong to begin with.

Our eastern culture still exists in far more percentage here than western. But
westernised people are powerful both politically and financially. They are not
only affecting media but also people and they always express contempt for
eastern culture. That bothers me. Surely Americans are not air-dropping
Britney's CD's. However, I think you will agree that today, American media is
powerful than any other, therefore, it has very high influence on other

> Does that make a Western lifestyle and speaking English a bad thing?

The mind-set behind this lifestyle is bad. I have already written about it.

> Isn't
> the ability to choose a lifestyle what democracy, er, freedom is all about?
> In other words, should you force Urdu or Pakistani music on people? Should
> *you* be deciding what's "right" to listen to?

I am not any political leader. I am a common citizen. I can't force anything on
people. I would like to express what I like or what I find better. I don't want
to force anything. I want to stop the degradation of eastern culture, Urdu
language and Pakistani music. People have their choice but they must not express
their contempt for what others like. I don't know what do you think about India?
But in Pakistan, a powerful westernised class of people is continuously
degrading our eastern values and traditions. Unfortunately, most people in our
present non-democratic government belong to this class.

> westernised don't like Britney Spears (I don't think she can sing),
> but I certainly don't go around telling people "don't listen to that
> American tramp!". Similarly, I also don't go around telling people, "listen
> to Hindustani classical music for the love of your country".

How would you feel when someone tries to tempt you to listen to Britney Spears?

> I suspect Ali Haider's labelling of his music has more to do with marketing
> strategy than anything else. Call it Qawwali and people know what to
> expect. Call it something "new" and it raises interest in the market.

However, Ali Haider's album "Jadoo" could not succeede. Consequently, he turned
himself to movie acting.

> What
> I find strange is that you find "trance" similar to Qawwali. In my opinion,
> they sound nothing alike. Maybe this is a different version of Trance.

Perhaps my angle of observation is different. Do you remember Einstein's Theory
of Relativity?

> Cultures change over time. In this connected age (global village blah blah
> blah), the spread of one culture to another is even faster.

Global village must be GLOBAL not western.


Syed Zeeshan Haider.

PS: Why did you set the priority of message to low?

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