Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pass me the culture !

I was wondering aimlessly today and that is when I started questioning myself about what is a culture to a person ,what is it for a group of people and what is it for an organization and finally what is it at a country level? The main thought here was not to state the general feeling by most is wrong or to muscle in my thought as a dictum of any sorts. It is just and solely my thought as such.

Well then as I say this, I cannot help compare this to the environ where I live, Madras, a fairly orthodox and conservative place and along with all that extremely Hippocratic place too. Hey which place in India is not Hypocratic? That would be something which I would reserve to write at length. For the time being, Madras can be safely assumed to be a no nonsense city, a metro of nice sorts as compared to other funnier places in India. I don't have anything against this place. But I wanted to pick a city to elaborate my thoughts. This city is extremely pivotal in shaping and building entertainment while generating great opportunities to the likes of cine world- Kollywood, Soap operas and what not. When we scan these components and look a bit more closely, not one movie gets away without a hot song (per Indian standards). Wet skin, inappreciable attire and total female exploitation err. Sometimes out of will too. These are acceptable and part of the culture and when this happens in the real life then it is the technology which has killed the culture.

Lets go back for a while. For a singleton community(defined before time of modern era), a culture to him/her is being nicely dressed with an ability to earn the bread in the most legitamate way PLUS the work ensures no physical contact or any communication with the opposite sex. The gains with this attitude were mostly the Arts, Music, Architecture and sports but all this started in the earlier times had hugely suppressed the involvement of women as such. Women were in the house literally 24 * 7 under the pretext of taking care of the house (primarily because they were not educated) and everything under the roof of the house. The men were the stronger ones. The men could do what they want but were justified with the rules of the society being defined and re-defined. Every family had a good 9-10 children. Women were child creating machines, which they did without much regret. This was the period when the Kama Sutra was created by a sage (supposedly) . A true display of what men thought of but were not sure if it was right to practice it. So I am pretty sure the creator of this would not have had the guts to propose anything like this. This was the culture then in those dark ages. "Keep it indoors" was the rule of the thumb which was passed on to another era as time changed.

Let's forward a bit, a progressive evolution, a common man in present world. Ask him/her what he/she thinks about the culture and the habits of existence. I bet my dollar, deep down the heart, nothing much has changed in the attitude of men in this neck of the woods. They still think women as weaker sex, providing the only opportunity to be scantly dressed in cinema in order to be successful and yet thump the heart fast and say "Culture" is close to the heart. The hypocrisy. Men with shorts are viewed differently once upon a time. He is "so cool". Spice it with an accent. When the same thing happened to women, men were the first ones to react differently. I don't blame them. Women were created beautiful but lets keep it at a decent intensity. If we had lived that way we would have had gotten every reason to say "My Culture" is good. What would people do in turn? We stalk them, we chase them, it becomes our birth right to harass them. And do we say anything to that? No, the solution to it is women should NOT be fashionable. Get back to the older ways of life - by being suppressed, then it is safe. Now do we say that as our culture? Would we dare to say that. No. Why? because this has a bad image to the the way we live our life. At the end should a women undergo unjust, then it is because they have been provocative. The problem was them and they are the solution as well.

That is the way the hypocratic society in which we live like to define the term "Culture". We have been the only culture that had taken so much pride in involving in something as cruel as "Female infanticide". Cruel us. And yet we are so proud. Damn ! And yes come to think about the most easy ways of extrapolating the term "Culture", the most prevalent, "Arranged Marriage". I, for one, think the people incubated here are the most blessed ones. Even the creatures in the lowest food chain, need to impress the partner to ensure that the strongest proliferate. Instead what do we do living high up in the food chain? Make a business outta it. The man clocks 30, the women strikes 22 and then we got a business on hand. Make a deal. Ask for tons of money, land - termed dowry, the women now gets to be a house partner and marriage is on the way. We say this is the highlight of the Indian culture. By doing this, we have successfully held the "Culture" together. How? I find it so strange to believe in the system. It is still a taboo to exhibit love or affection in public. This is so weird. You like someone, what would a hug got to do with the society? and apparently this is the no-no per the culture. There are so many pot holes in this sort of existence. We have so quickly gotten modernized at the same time the old, strong hypocratic life styles is holding our legs ever so tightly and pulling us. The people of this era are the most troubled because they can't look forward at the same time can't stay back and continue the older way of existence. Poor Us !!

The baton has been passed again to us - another era. Now, I think men should shed slowly the hypocrisy and selfish motives and women should be more independent and then hold things together. The baton that has been passed on for time immemorial has something that we should not follow anymore, something that we should take forward. With education now available to all and everyone should ensure that the good part of the legacy is chaffed from the bad. The term "Bad" and "Unacceptable" is something that is very very subjective to the year of existence. Few things that were unacceptable in 1850 cannot be blindly followed now in year 2007. You use contraception now means you don't bring any bad to anyone. You love someone you have not brought the full house down. It is just a way of moving forward.

I, for one, believe the term Culture is so losely used these days for everything. For me, it refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. Different definitions of "culture" reflect different theoretical bases for understanding, or criteria for evaluating, human activity. In general, the term culture denotes the whole product of an individual, group or society of intelligent beings. It includes technology, art, science, as well as moral systems and the characteristic behaviors and habits of the selected intelligent entities. In particular, it is a mutual exchange of ideas for the survival. That is how so many eras have come into being and we remember them for what they offered us and what we learnt from that.