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 :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

An Argument for "Cultural Regeneration"

I understand:

Whenever I walk in a woodland or a forest, I look for seedlings. Why? The presence and absence of seedlings tell me if the forest is regenerating or rotting; 

You see, in my lifetime, I have witnessed a modern dominant global culture (Soviet Union) rot and collapse. Believe it or not, in Quetta, where books were very scarce at the time, I found books printed in the former Soviet Union in the piles of garbage and bought them by weight from the garbage collectors (tens of meters away from Baluchistan University). Those were books that were looted from libraries when Kabul fell to "Mujahiddin". 

I also witnessed another modern regional culture that was born from the marriage of dying Mughal culture and ruling Colonial British culture (now known as Pakistani Culture) to lose its form under grinding forces of cold-war and reduce into a patchwork. 

I grew up believing that the Middle East was a unique place in the sense that it was the birthplace of three dominant global religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But I never imagined, how badly rotten were its cultures, until, the attempts were made to bring forced "spring" (As it was called Arab Spring) to the region by imposing liberal democracy. In the new Middle East, all we witnessed was the fast growth of psychedelic and poisonous culture of ISIS.

All along, I read and listened to the story of Western Liberal democracies as creators of the modern world. The epic stories of cultural battles like the renaissance, state nations, colonialism, world wars between democratic-colonial-powers and fascist-colonial-powers, the cold war between capitalism and communism, globalization and finally the "end of history" by the emergence of the US as the final victor. The stories of Western modern democracies are looked upon as models for the refurbishing of dying cultures around the world. But it seems, the explosion of Middle East has seriously shaken the confidence of the Western World. I hear the voices that are doubting the universality of its ideals are growing loud and louder. 

When I walk into a woodland or a forest, I look for the seedlings. Why? The presence and absence of seedlings tell me if the forest is regenerating or rotting; 

It happened many times that when I speak in Hazaragi with Quetta accent, some get offended. Some advised me to write in "pure" Hazaragi (I don't know what that means since there are many dialects of Hazaragi spoken in different areas). Some asked me to correct my language by speaking in modern Farsi (They consider Hazaragi as an archaic Persian language that needs to be standardized). I hear voices who think Urdu and English should be our priority to facilitate communications with regional and global communities. 

Partially, I agree with all these arguments as the people who advocate them have genuine concerns but let me make my point here;

Why do I speak in Hazaragi with Quetta accent while I can speak modern Farsi that's a regional language? 

The answer lies in my concept of "cultural regeneration": 

I see Hazara community of Quetta as a living "Statue of Resilience" that has stood firm against all odds and not only hasn't lost its original form but is going through the process of refinement. While the world around the community is collapsing and it has been targetted regularly by the forces who see the community as a misfit. But it has never turned itself in turtle mode of defense. It's an open community that is learning from all around of the world. It's a seedling that has survived so far. 

I understand that engines of global changes are in the cosmopolitan cities of the world. But those engines are churning to produce only market standard cultural products that are profitable. They can't afford to produce products that are not marketable. 

It's probably just me (and I may be somewhat biased here), but I think that young, small and open communities with the global outreach that living on the fringes are going to be the engines of modern cultural diversity. I know, there are hundreds (probably, thousands) of small communities like that of Hazara Community of Quetta out there that are needed to be explored.

One more thing; Why am I giving the example of Hazara community of Quetta? Well, that's because I am more familiar with the community than other communities. 

I understand:

When people talk about standardization and integration, they have genuine concerns. But the emergence of ISIS and the serious doubts in the confidence of modern liberal democracies made me go back to forests and see how forests regenerate. 

I understand the concerns of marketability of seedlings that are not grown in the standard environments of nurseries but I also understand how forests regenerate.

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