The West Against The Rest
The era of globalization is a pefect time for culture sharing. By this era, communication between nations is not something impossible anymore. With increasingly sophisticated technology, the slogan “the world in our hands” is like a dream of the past which has now been realized. Even when far apart, the communication still can be done anytime anywhere by anyone. As a “master” of technology, western nations nowadays be respected by other nations in the world. By rule the technology, they rule the world. As a result, every nations including Indonesia are looking forward to western nations as they now become the ruler of this world. But it wasn’t just the technology that we have adopted, western culture slowly began to dominate the lives of the people of Indonesia. This is called Westernization.
Quoted from Wikipedia, westernization is a process whereby societies come under or adopt Western culture in areas such as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, clothing, language, alphabet, and religion. Westernization is like a virus that ready to infect us anytime anywhere, if we no longer appreciate our own culture. By perspective of sociology, westernization can give negative impact on a culture when the culture is too excessive in absorption process with no attention to some aspects of the local culture itself. Ironically, it is starting to look at Indonesia, westernization has spawned a mindset in teenagers especially that if you want to be perfect dressed, you have to imitate the style of the west. On the other hand, this has led to the erosion of nationalist souls and love domestic products. And when our culture is claimed by Malaysian we start to mock at them, then youth began to scream and shout how much they love our own culture. Yet if we look back in the past, we are the ones who have abandoned the wealth of this nation. So it’s a little bit strange when we called them “thieves” for them to take something we have “throw”. Is it?
The influence of western culture does not only impact on the people in the city. All classes, both young and old have consumed an understanding that leads us to emulate and apply the western cultures into daily life. Without realize it, the children of the nation is now getting familiar with the western lifestyle which is not appropriate with the ideology of our nation. Changes in dress style, trends, or even the loss polite behavior in young generation nowadays is more likely a system that has been set up very well to get all aspects of life in this world are dominated by western nations. This phenomenon reminds us of our nation old memories. It is the memory when our nation was colonized by western nations and can only come out of the shackles after hundreds of struggle years. Now they are no longer invaders enthroned in the archipelago, but now much more formidable threat to gradually peel national identity until one day we really are in their restraints. The era of globalization seemed to support this process so that it looks more refined by displaying “friendly face” to lead into their cultures. If we got colonized by them once more time, we become as well as fish that have managed to escape from the hook but instead headed into the net that has been prepared. If we are not selective in addressing this westernization, of course it will lead us to the erosion of national identity and western culture start to dominate all aspects of our life.
According to Edward B. Taylor, culture is a whole thing which inside of it contain of knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs, and other capabilities from any person as a member of society. Indonesia is actually a great nation in which each region has their own cultures which it is able to become an icon of wealth and to attract other nations. Remember, a good nation is a nation that knows its culture. So, if we were actually already has a great culture, then why should imitate the culture of other nations?
With the flow of cultural changes towards westernization getting stronger, we as youth generation should be able to more selective addressing this phenomenon. Indeed, western culture is not entirely negative, it’s just us that haven’t been able to select them out which one that match with our own culture. For example, alcohol-drinking culture that has been infecting this nation is derived from the influence of western culture. But if we think once again, the western environment is environment with cold climate, not surprisingly they consumed alcoholic beverages which physiologically can increase the warmth of their body. But how about in Indonesia where the weather tends to be hot, culture like this of course not suitable, all it ever did was damaging morale and cause drunkenness. As what the quotes says, different fields different locust different bottom different fish as well, every nation must have cultural differences according to their individual needs.
The excessive of cultural absorption like these, can fade the identity of Indonesia. What we really need is just to be selective in choosing which culture that appropriate to be adopted. Just as the human gut that filter food juices, the allowed one that will be absorbed of course the one that give benefits for us, while the harm one will be destroyed by human’s body until disposal phase. If we apply this analogical in the acculturation process, for sure the results would be very good. We just need to take the good one and throw the bad one. So that the influence of westernization will be no longer a frightening aspect, because selective acculturation has guided us for not to forget our own culture while receiving western cultures. Yet, the culture acculturation help us to improve and enrich our own culture.