(written by: Willy Yanto Wijaya)
Imagine if you visit a country, and all the people living in that country are wearing their traditional clothes which are very unique and unfamiliar to you. How do you feel? Say for example, everywhere in Japan everybody is wearing kimono; or when you visit Vietnam, all the girls are wearing áo dài (instead of t-shirts), wouldn’t that be amazing? You could feel the cultural richness of each place, and every destination will be “a new discovery”.
However, globalization or perhaps global homogenization has pervaded almost every corner on this earth. When you travel somewhere on this earth, you will likely meet people wearing t-shirts, or using electronic gadgets familiar to you, skyscrapers looking similar to those at other big cities you have seen.
I have to make clear my stand; I don’t really oppose this kind of global homogenization. Indeed it makes our lives more convenient (that’s why you can find shops called ‘convenience store’ spread all across Japan and also other countries). Also, the development of technologies such as transportation and communication indeed have made the world more connected, so it consumes less time to reach from one point to another. This can happen also thanks to the “economies of scale” (mass production) and sophisticated marketing (now you can find, for example Toyota cars or Mc Donald’s in many countries).
But what are the impacts of this phenomenon? Somehow, we are losing our “richness” or diversity. Many local languages and traditional cultures (such as dances, traditional houses, songs, etc) are perishing. Isn’t that so regrettable? But as Charles Darwin had stated in “survival of the fittest”, in this perspective, global homogenization is indeed a natural occurrence, and will surely occur whenever there is a driving force behind (it had also occurred in the past time by means of spreading of religions, colonization, etc).
That’s why what we can do is how to minimize the negative impact of this global homogenization, for example by preservation of local richness. By preservation I mean not to be put in the museum, but to make the local people realize this richness and live it up.
Personally, I am someone who loves richness in diversity. Imagine how boring it is if we have to eat bread only everyday (no other food choice). Same as that, I support diversity in cultures, religions, lifestyles, and various aspects in our lives.