the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

assessing “ethnicity” and “asia without borders”

The emergence of Asia as a potential economic superpower seems like a form of anti-colonialist threat to the West. For one, economic tigers like Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are continually playing well in the international economic arena. Meanwhile, China is on its way to achieving a superpower status if not only for the eruption of SARS among other internal post-communist problems. These strengthening of Asia mirrors the Vietnamese defiance of the US during the two countries’ war. It appears that the economic boom in Asia is a way to defy colonialism being foisted by the West.
The West had a notion of Asia as a “white man’s burden” because it believes that Asia must be civilized in order to grow out tribalism. This, however, poses no evidence, since even without foreign interference, tribalism does not occur. It is only then a justification for the West to foist its brand of liberalist modernism in this territory. However, there is a problem with regards to this modernizing scheme on Asia by the West. It has not caused a decrease in ethnic tension nor paved the way for a transition period. The West seems conjuring up that Asia needs it to become modernized, which it actually doesn’t.
Ethnicities are imagined into existence and reinforced via mass literacy and the mass media. What we imagine as ethnic Asia is that which we see in National Geographic, among other media construction. Also, iot is what is being taught in school among other social institutions like the Church and governments. Owing to this, erthnic violence erupts. Ethnic violence creates the concept wherein peoples get estranged form one another more psychologically all because of wrongly imagined construction.
Globalization supercedes national sovereignty, rendering states on a scramble to sustain national control and, ultimately, identity. Meanwhile, the relationship between ethnic networks and global capital, a trend in globalization, goes more than the involvement of business firms but extends through political interventions that involve bureaucratic entrepreneurs that push for economic development. Thus, globalization creates a threat to individual national culture by creating just one global culture.
Seeing ethnicity as a way of imagining communities can enrich my culture since I get to appreciate the present culture I have, which is informed by both Chinese and Filipino heritage. However, this mixture gets contaminated by globalization because my culture also gets informed by Western influxes like Hollywoodization, McDonaldization, and other such Western imperialist influences.
Ethnic consciousness should be understood with regard to the relationship between national sovereignty and globalization, and the interaction between local and global network. Globalization leads to diaspora, which has become a contemporary reality. While diaspora has its benefits, it also has its disadvantages. As a result, diaspora poses constant challenge to the contemporary world for both new home and original home since communities get immersed in acculturation and enculturation.
While globalization becomes a requirement in the contemporary times, the status of a global village is yet achieved. Hence, its homogenizing factor is hardly felt in my country, but its threat cannot be less discounted. For all I know, I may be neocolonized already by the tentacles of globalization like onslaught of foreign commodities, culture and ideologies.

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