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The Importance of Preserving and Promoting the Culture in a Modern World

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The Importance of Preserving and Promoting Culture in a Modern World

        Different people in different societies in the world have their own culture which makes them unique and contrast from the others. It is the identity of the people from the respective community, which has the specific characteristics and features to be practiced. As an author from the global New Light of Myanmar said, “People and culture cannot be separated because what makes any human society is its own culture”, they are shaped by the influence of their own culture to become who they really are. People follow what culture says and teaches to them in their lives and define the culture as a respectful and significant thing for their society. But as my knowledge is concerned, many societies nowadays are facing the problem of losing their identity because of the rise of the new technology, what we called “Modernization”. People are getting influenced by the other foreign cultures which they think can make their society more develop. Nevertheless, their concept of thinking is not totally correct because no matter how much many people say that a lot of progresses can be achieved by adopting the new culture, on the other hand it can be a huge impact to our the society. Since Modernization itself can be considered as “a transition from traditional towards modern society” (Shahzad, 2015), the more people embrace, the more they forget the value of their uniqueness. When people lost their identity, the entire society will be lost too. Thus, it is really important to preserve the culture of a society in the modern world by promoting with the effective ways in order to keep the significance of the society alive because once people lose it, there is nothing else to lose (Myaing 2017).        

        Today, the effect of the modernization becomes the major threat on the culture of the country Myanmar. Even though, the situation in Myanmar is in a stage of transition to the developing country with a good potential, the cultural values and traditions are being gradually eroded by the foreign culture, especially in the cities. Moreover, some of the customs and languages from some places are now about to extinct and it is really needed to conserve them instantly. The reason is because the society is not always staying in one stage and it is always modernizing day by day. As the society come to be more modernized, life becomes easier to explore the world, new experiences and about the culture of other people than the past with the help of the latest technology. It is obvious that most of the Myanmar young people are getting influenced by the other dominant cultures. They become to think that their culture is no longer updated and start adopting the new trend in their daily practice. Perhaps they might become an educated and trendy person, who can see the world more widely by doing so; on the other hand, they are just losing their own cultural identity. Indeed, modernization does not mean doing away the traditions and letting of that culture (Myaing 2017). It is about learning the new techniques, knowledge and methodologies of the foreign countries and apples them in promoting the existed culture of the society. But many Burmese young people are wrongly imitating everything what the new culture says in their daily life. In fact, culture plays a very significant role for the country (Myaing 2017). And it is more important for the country like Myanmar where many different ethnic groups are live. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people (Gandhi 1948), the unity of the strength of the country is totally depends on how unique these cultures from the respective communities and how much people value it. Therefore, preserving the culture of the identity is a very crucial thing for a society.

        There are many reasons why people should preserve their cultures and traditions. The first and most vital reason is because culture lose can lead a society to lose their history. It is the biggest threat to the human societies and many of them in the world are facing that problem right now. An author, Marcus Garvey said “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” (Garvey 1887-1940).  It gives people the ways of life and teaches them to think for the whole nation not individually and provide the concept of family and nation. And it is true that a scholar, Tylor (1871) mentioned “culture is a kind of thing that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, las, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”. So, if people lose their culture, the identity which shows where they come from and tell who they really are will no longer be existed. Today, Myanmar one of the historical countries with the beautiful culture heritage and traditions is also facing the problem of losing their culture. With the influence of western culture, many Myanmar young people are neglecting their own traditions and customs and welcoming the western culture. The reason is because they are living in a modern world, so that with the support from the latest technology like internet, they are now can easily be able to access or explore about the other people from the other side of the world. Since the western culture is a dominant one in all over the world, they are being influenced by that culture. Many young people start imitating the ways the other people talk, dress and the way the other people see the world and they are taking pride in it. In fact, they are just forgetting the facts those other people from foreign countries have different cultural values and traditions which might not be cohesive with their own culture. People without a past are like people without a future. Their future is totally depends on their selves. No matter how much modernization influence to the society, people must carefully alert of the impacts on their culture. Otherwise, their future generation will completely forget about the beautiful culture of their ancestors and they will be erased from the surface of the earth.

        Another important reason is because it can effect to the language. Nowadays many young people become more educated and they become more competitive with each other as the society more developed. Even a child from grade six is always thinking to get the first in the class and to be better than his friends. Parents also force their children to study to get better result in exams, because people they think a better grade means a more secure future and more income. Moreover, it is obvious that youth participation in the society is getting increased. A lot of young people graduated from the foreign universities and now they are running their own business and contributing back to their society. These might be a good result of modernization, but on the other hand, people start acting like the way they never act like before. They start using the foreign language even in their daily life and regarded as one of the progress to their society. Some parents put their children in the private school where no Burmese language is used. So as a consequence, children become forgetting their mother language. Indeed, English is just a language not knowledge and people should be a master of that not a slave and they must learn to be able to use it as a cow, but do not need to worship (Dr. Khin Maung Nyo 2017). Another thing which is widely happening in the Myanmar society regarding with the Language is that, many trendy slang words are becoming more popular among many young people. When a famous celebrities or person say something unusual words in a movie or interview, it becomes popular in the daily life of the youth. For example, people use Kwee & Mwee when they call to their brother or sister instead of using “A Koe” & “A Ma”. These are the examples of leading their language to be extinct. So, if people keep creating words like these and use widely in the future, the true meaning of the words of the language will be vanished and to be the worst, the entire language will be dead. In fact, all of the above events are caused by the effects of the modernization. Probably, there might be some kind of similar events happened in the past, but with the lack of good communication through the internet, the impact remained the same. However, with the support of modern society, people nowadays, can easily communicate with the other people by using the internet like social media and the rate of transmitting or influencing something to the society is faster than the past. This is all due to the advancement in technology which is the product of modernity. As a Russian psychologist highlighted, “Language and culture are the frameworks through which humans experience, communicate, and understand reality (Vygotsky, 1968), people must preserve their language and promote it.



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