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Globalisation means a blend of cultures, ideas and concepts

Globalisation means a blend of cultures, ideas and concepts

Last Friday there was the opening of ďIdentity versus GlobalisationĒ at the Chiangmai Art Museum. An impressive act of organization, done by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Giving artists from Asia (10 countries) a chance to show their thoughts and feelings to the world. Definitely an exhibition to look at.

But: The word globalisation is very fashionable and was mentioned often at the opening. I overheard some conversations, condemning globalisation as a killer of individuality by saying it is coming close to the idea of communism.

But arenít we all craving for a nice place to live in peace, running water and sanitary facilities?

How can I explain my good friend, who lives on the island Koh Phangan, who grew up in poverty selling coconut shells, burned for charcoal with his family. The fact that he is losing himself now, making millions in his restaurant at the beach? To tell him not to adapt to his foreign costumers, not to treasure his stereo and his big car would be an outrage for him, he will think I am crazy. Do I live in a hut without electricity?

Donít we all who are living in a western societal system profit from globalisation.

There is tradition around me. Children are brought up as usual on rice and curry, eating the same as they are used to. Temples are still visited, families supported, individual values are high and every one has the choice to choose between right and wrong, we are supposedly living in a free world. We must strive and fight for this freedom and not get tangled up in unsolvable problems; just to get the proof that globalisation is bad.

Not just McDonald is profiting from globalisation, but also other cuisines are spreading around the globe. You have many Thai restaurants abroad and these trends are expanding.

Donít you love to sit in Chiang Mai, drinking your coffee, eating an apple strudel and at the same time you can order a dom yum?

To me globalisation means a blend of cultures, ideas and concepts.

Of course we must stay in touch with our senses, and avoid being overpowered by strong forces that use this network only for themselves and to their own ends, misusing their strength, not to help, but only to gain.

To stop this trend, which is only one part of globalisation, it should be that leaders concerned keep values and morals alive in a free and liberal society.

Globalisation is happening here and around the globe, itís an irreversible process. It does not help to mourn old times or past situations.

We have no right, sitting in a comfortable chair, to force the hill tribe villager to stay simple as before and not to crave for a TV set in order to be really sincere.

If we are valuable examples every day, we might find that globalisation is bringing us together. I do witness that each country on this globe still values its tradition and cultures although modernisation has taken place. Let globalisation be the springboard for a brighter future.
Doris Kraushaar
An artist living and working in Chiang Mai