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Tag Archives: cultural conflicts

A Firefly in the Forest

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It has been a long break from this blog and the world is none the worse for it….! But fixing the world anyway is not the agenda here.
In a forest is full of fireflies, does one tiny firefly ask itself, “ What should I do with my tiny lantern? Why should I glow? Am I adding any light?” And then it remembers its name, ‘firefly’.
That little spot of shiny light is its nature.
The agenda in this blog is similarly personal, to light my lantern and leave it out there in the forest. It is possible someday, someone will take away my tiny lantern and return to me a bigger one.

The plan is to post at least twice a month.

More than ever, culture is still our shared concern. There is violence in every culture. Individuals can be violent in every possible ways, and mental imbalances are understandable. But if groups like ISIS resort to something as extreme as beheadings, what is one to make of it? Granted that it is about politics. But then, why do they go back to religion and culture to find its validations and justifications?

Why is culture such a convenient tool?

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WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN TODAY: Summarizing the Issues

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As globalized members of the internet community, we have  lost touch with the bio-rhythms of our unique locations.  We follow global fashions and share global concerns. By implication, we have lost touch with our immediate communities, our neighbourhoods, our streets and lanes.

Our issues may  no longer be immediate and local. We might raise funds for Somalian children—which I cannot argue that it is not a worthy enough cause.  The implication of our de-localized concerns is that we have also lost the sense of shared culture that comes with the feeling of belonging to a particular, specific and a locationally-defined community, which by definition is rooted in tradition, religion and inheritances.

To go back to one of the one of my earlier arguments, now more than ever culture can no longer be defined as a shared inheritance. Culture has moved to the personal sphere.

And, don’t these new practices of culture demand a redefinition of culture, and by implication also of multiculturalism?

Thus, to summarize the argument thus far:

Thesis 1: Humanism is bigger than culturalism

Thesis 2: Technology has redefined our social interactions and our sense of community

Thesis 3: Identity is no longer rooted in culture, community and religion. This is what it means to be a technobot

Thesis 4: Consequently historical issues have lost relevance as also have historical debates about multiculturalism.

The Cultural Minefield

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One of the paradoxes of Multiculturalism is that it has to take a very limited and reductive defintion of culture. A framework for the interrelationship between cultures can be theorized only if we pretend an intra-cultural structure does not exist.
An unacknowledged fact is that we live in contradictions–we smoothly transit through cultural conflicts when we shift roles from the social, professional to familial and further into personal.
The more roles we have in life, the more the cultural minefields we have to negotiate.
We cannot claim any one mono-culture for our hyphenated selves.