One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

American Culture

At Appalachian State University we had a general conversation with few students. Sure! The culture was at the focus as students were from United States and we were from Pakistan. It was not two countries but two cultures that were involved in conversation. I was amazed when one of the students said that United States has no culture and I love to live in a cultured society. I brought up in a Quetta City where we have four distinct areas culturally. Hazaras, Pashtuns, Baluchis and rest of urdu and Punjabi speaking people are have their particular areas. For example Alamdar road and Hazara town is totally different from rest of city. Here Hazaragi culture is distinct not only in Quetta city but in whole Pakistan. Alamdar road is known as little Tokyo. I have seen diversity of culture in a single city and people in my city are culturally very conscious. In fact all economical and political and even educational activities revolve around cultural identity.

It was really shocking for me to know that one of the largest and advanced countries of world has no particular culture. To observe the reality of this hypothesis I become more conscious in observing people around me to know more about U.S.A and if succeeded to find out its particulars. A few points that I found are as follows:

A- Distance:-

The first and most obvious thing that I observed in the American culture is distance. It is more obvious from the housings and homes are at the distances. The Americans are very conscious of their distance and one can clearly observe the distance everywhere from environment to aspects in the personal lives (They are taught to not interact with strangers). I think it is the part of American psyche that have developed due to immigrations that took place from different areas of Europe, Africa and Asia. It may also root in concept of personal freedom as American immigrated to new continent in search of economic and personal freedoms.

B- Diversity:-

Once can find the people of different cultures that have adopted the western cultures but in their own manners. The liberty and democracy nourished that these diversities survive though they are threatened by pop economics and rapidly changing pop cultures.

C- Living for economics:-

As most of people immigrated to America in search of good life hence economics are the central point in American life. All other things are secondary to Americans. Their behaviors, life styles, education all and all revolve around economics. The profitism are mechanism of the American thoughts so we can say that profitism is the mechanism of American culture.

D- No generalization of culture (individualism):

American society has not differentiated into a general culture representative of America. People serve their personal goals and their identities. The personal identity is the core of the American life rooted in Capitalist thoughts. It is not statue of liberty which represents the concept of liberty and individualism but behaviors, preferences and life styles are evidences of this mind set.

E- Human relations revolve around interests:-

As good life is the dream of every American and good life can't be acquired without the ability to buy hence everyone evaluate others through their role in making their lives. Capitalism is ruling the relations in a very cold manner. It is strange to people who have brought up in cultures where relations are first preference to all other things. A stronger commitment to money than a human is really shocking for people who think that all things are for human.

F- Professionalisms:-

The most important thing about the American culture is that everyone has a tendency to stretch himself/herself for excellence. Though a large population's struggle remains only struggle but real excellences make their way out to lead the world.

G- Praise for speed:

Either it is travel, work or social interactions, there is a common sense of praising for speed. Even U.S.A is broadly divided into fast moving northern areas and slow moving southern areas.

Two very important conclusions that I got from my American visit till now are as follows:-

1) Human may change far from where we stand today. Totally new social, economical, political and cultural structure may develop but the affection of mother towards her children will remain same (exceptions are everywhere and every time). I have seen that a wife may betray her husband but a mother never betrays her children.

2) The human evolution and civilization may grow human into totally unimaginable stages but again, the largest portions of the people will remain common and there will be very less special people in all times and all societies. In other words majority of people are common whether they are member of a civilized nation or barbarian nation, whether they belong to a developed nation or underdeveloped nation and a very small fraction of people are special people whether they belong to develop or an under developed nation. Common people have no match with special ones in any society.

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