Sunday, January 21, 2007

American Culture jeans and chinos....remember that song?
Ya know..this Disney channel is a lot of fun, but ever noticed that they Americanised every thing? Mulan, (one character said he wished he did not cut gym in class- got gym ah in China?- and Mulan hugged the emperor in the end- can ah?); Aladdin was Americanised Arab (not too sure which culture he is supposed to have). Anastasia- not Russian except for the accent. I guess it only makes sense- their major market is the Americans anyway. And the Americans in us. Harmless enough ?

American culture is universal now. The city people I know, (and I believe even some longhouse people of the younger generation) have all accepted a part of American culture as their own, and even over and above our own Asian culture. Actually, a big part of the Asian culture now is American culture - everyone eats Mc*D, everyone wears jeans, everyone drinks Co*ke. Music too- Malaysia has some great bands- Ruffedge etc. They however, sound black ,soul, R&B or rap. Er..American. (don't have ghetto or bronx over here so how come a lot of nu yawk accents haa? Hey how yoooou doin?) Although must say Too Phat do Malaysianise their songs - "Anak Ayam" and "Alhamdulillah" come to mind. We love Rain but he's not singing Korean style music is he? Put english words, have another Mat Saleh guy sing it, you won't notice it (except he's not Rainlah)
Or is this not defined as "culture"? Food, clothing, music and style of living?
In the context of my kids , they are very familiar with the set-up of an American highschool- courtesy of Disney Channel among other things. We know of proms, of first dates, of cafetaria, of nerds and popular gals and jocks, of baseballs and of footballs ! Of calling people older than you by their first names, of having sexual relationships with people you don't marry or intend to build a family dynasty with (my secret mission) all in the name of love.
Someone has commented that all this Bangsa Malaysia is moot- go to the local club and everyone dresses the same, dances to the same tune, and drinks the same thing! - American ! Even the Brits are American hehehe.
Is this a bad thing though..I myself grew up with Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead- American highschool has permeated into my home since babyhood and , passed on to my kids who also love these bunch.
As long as we realise that it is not our culture , and that we are blessed to have yet another source of heritage, that's ok I think. Can imitate, but take only the good parts lah. I love that American school system seems to encourage kids to speak out, do science projects, run school papers, take such active parts in sports, and have social events. But!! I would not want my kids to have to worry about being popular, dressing up for school, using makeup, to be rude to their elders.
We shall make it up as we go along. American culture. can't avoid it, love it. but don't forget our own la!

1 comment:

Dad of Four said...

Mm....that's a lovely song to dance to whilst miming the lyrics! Was it Holly Johnson? Cant remember now! That was 1st year uni...

Winter Sonata sure is different at 49 years old!

Believe it or not I am rewatching Winter Sonata.. ee geram betul I dengan si Yujin tu lah... she really was a wutz wasn't she? and...