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The Effects of Westernization

My entire life has revolved about two distinct cultures: Chinese and American. These two cultures have worked in excellent harmony to shape the way I reside. All through my life, I have come to recognize both the distinctions that set the two cultures apart as well as the crossroads at which the two cultures cross. The very first time I skilled a cultural crossroads was when I went to China. While I was there, I keep in mind seeing shirts with English words written on them and asking yourself why that was the case considering that Chinese people wouldn’t know what the words meant. Small did I know, this was one particular of the many examples of westernization that had taken root in China and a lot of other nations. The western culture had not only permeated the culture of fashion and language, but also meals, economics, and music. The streets of China have been filled with countless McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Subways, KFCs, and numerous a lot more American rapidly meals chain restaurants. In shops, western music was getting played by nicely-identified artists such as Taylor Swift.

Grocery shops have an American section filled with familiar foods in shiny packages such as Pringles, Twinkies, Oreos, and much more. Now that I think about it, westernization has had such a lengthy history in China that there are even words in Chinese that are borrowed from the English language such as pizza, soda, and chocolate. To discover far more about westernization, I went to my mother who skilled westernization firsthand. She told me that the largest modify was from a communist economy to a market place-capitalist economy. This elevated her family’s revenue, which impacted her life in a lot more methods she could think about. As my mother thinks back to when she was nonetheless a tiny youngster living in China, she recalls the time that everyone was also poor to even purchase meat and dairy products, so a lot so that my grandmother’s dream was to be capable to consume chicken when a month.

After the change of economy, my grandmother’s dream not only came correct but was more than what she could have ever imagined. She was now in a position to acquire unnecessary goods such as hamburgers, fried chicken, and french fries, the staple of an American diet. An additional drastic change that occurred was the introduction of pop culture to society. Just before westernization, my mother listened to classic Chinese songs such as the national anthem, and the assortment was extremely little. All songs have been controlled by the government. Following the westernization, Chinese artists started producing pop songs that mimicked American music at the time. For example, my mother’s favorite artists to listen to have been Xiao Hu Dui, which emulated the style of the Beatles. The last critical modify that my mother observed was the improve in tourism each to and from China.

Ahead of, folks were not allowed to check out China from other countries. Soon after the westernization, several folks traveled from all over the globe to pay a visit to. My mother witnessed this alter 1st hand, as she lived in the capital city Beijing, which harbored a lot of tourist attractions. When she first saw foreigners, my mother was extremely curious about them because she had by no means observed a 1 before. This was just the starting for her, as she later chose to immigrate to America, which was allowed by China because of the westernization that took place in the course of the time. According to Merriam-Webster, westernization is the procedure by which a nation adopts western traditions, ideals, or techniques the countries that are regarded as “western” are these in North America, Europe, and Australia. The query that westernization raises is no matter whether countries ought to embrace it or shun it. Several opponents of westernization think that by enabling it, nations drop their traditions and values.

Nonetheless, this is not the case: Though westernization has damaging effects, countries need to permit the flow of western suggestions in order to culturally advance their societies. To additional expand on this thought, westernization will be examined in the nations of China, South Korea, and Japan. Westernization in ChinaIn China, many individuals are appreciative of what westernization has brought, but they are wary of what it could bring. One particular optimistic change that westernization has brought to China is television. According to Eric Fish who is a writer at Asia Society, Hollywood themes of spontaneity, nonconformity, and self-realization especially resonated with young Chinese fans of American Television (Fish). American Tv shows and the tips portrayed via them are becoming increasingly common with the Chinese youths. The most appealing aspect is authenticity. This fascination is coinciding with the rise of the new ‘golden age’ of good quality tv in America, with complex characters and unconventional storytelling. By comparison, Chinese Tv can really feel uninspired with comparatively predictable plotlines and unambiguous characters. Heroes are heroes and villains are villains. But this appreciation for western culture is not felt by everybody in China.

For instance, Chinese students practically unanimously stated that they thought Western democracy was unsuited for China (Fish). This unanimous choice reflects Chinese dissatisfaction with the American foreign policy, as they have skilled and seen how America treats other countries and are unhappy about it. Though Chinese individuals may be uncertain or divided about westernization, numbers do not lie. According to Kate Williams, China’s FDI (foreign direct investment) in September 2013 rose 8.8 billion dollars (Williams). The FDI of a nation measures how significantly foreign investment is put into an additional country.

Because China has such a massive FDI, this means that other countries, particularly these in the west, are pouring money into China in the form of investment in companies and e-commerce. As a outcome of this elevated quantity of western investment in China, China’s economy has prospered, as it has played an important function in China’s economic improvement and export accomplishment. General, China has experienced many constructive effects of westernization in the past decades in the type of a lot more assortment in media and television and an improved FDI which has led to economic prosperity. Ultimately, the opinion of western influence in China is mixed: a lot of will express unfavorable feelings towards American foreign policy, but at the very same time, are a lot more appreciative of modifications that have occurred as a outcome of westernization. But in contrast to the mixed opinions that China harbors, South Korea expresses a distinct attitude towards westernization. Westernization in South Korean South Korea, the US is regarded as a symbol of urbanization, modernization, and freedom. According to Seong Won Park, many Korean women aspire to go to America due to the fact they want to run away from Korean patriarchal society” (Park 59). This is an example of indirect Americanization.

Though Korea did not totally adopt the (mainly) equal society in terms of gender in America, the idea still penetrated society. This is evident in the many Korean females immigrating to America to escape the patriarchal society of Korea. This also shows the appeal of American culture that has traveled all the way to Korea. But westernization has a hidden negative side that folks could not realize or overlook. In South Korea, looks are heavily stressed in society and many young girls can feel the stress place on them to look a specific way: Psychiatrist Ryu In-Kyun examined how a lot of Korean college girls received plastic surgery in 2007. 52.5% received plastic surgery and 82.1% wanted to receive cosmetic surgery (Park 55). Koreans’ excessive preferences for US values lead Korean folks to devalue their culture, particularly their bodies, which is a unfavorable effect of American influence in Korea. The explanation behind the drastic quantity of college girls receiving plastic surgery is the belief that “western” faces are a lot more attractive, with western physical traits such as double eyelids, pale skin, and a V-shaped chin. The effects of westernization can also be observed via daily speech and writing: Konglish is a cultural fusion of English words such as “ice cream” or “camera” into the Korean language (Rhodes). The incorporation of English words into the Korean language is an clear effect of westernization. But the true query is regardless of whether this symbolizes a loss or deviation away from the native Korean culture. Konglish utilizes English words but twists the pronunciation to fit Hangul (Korean language), and the Konglish words, when written, are distinctly Korean, so it nevertheless retains its original culture while employing these half-English words.

Furthermore, westernization of South Korea has prompted the vast majority of South Koreans to think of English language potential as the most essential element to promote careers (Park 53). English is particularly critical for obtaining sought-after competitive jobs in Korean big firms like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, as nicely as high-paying jobs in international firms. People seeking individual economic improvement as a result, tend to attribute western traits by studying English, and Korean students normally choose the United States as a spot to discover the language. But acquiring proficiency in any foreign language is made up of significantly far more than speaking and writing. It embodies the cultural values that the language shapes, and, in this sense, a lot of Korean students are assuming western values. Along with language becoming westernized, South Korea’s music has also been hugely influenced by western suggestions. One particular of the most significant pop culture industries in South Korea is the famous K-pop industry. With trendy songs, complicated dances, and stunning faces, K-pop is the epitome of exactly where Korean and Western cultures unite.

According to Jessica Oak and Park Young Woong, “Their combination of Western and Eastern sounds… have all helped K-pop stand out amongst other genres” (Oak and Woong). A lot of K-pop songs incorporate distinct western styles in them such as EDM (electronic dance music), rap, and R&B. K-pop music videos also exhibit the western trend of focusing on telling a story by way of the music video rather than performing or dancing. Despite the fact that this wasn’t’ the style of older generation kpop, it is slowly altering due to the western influence. Since of the cultural fusion amongst the two, K-pop is successful in attractive to each Westerners and Asians in their music and performances. Though K-pop is effective in appealing to the South Koreans with their western infused pop, the same cannot be said about K-pop’s influence in North America. According to Dal Yong Jin and Woonjae Ryoo, some westerners view K-pop as a diluted version of the Western music, making it tough for Korean musicians to find acceptance in the mainstream western pop business (Jin and Ryoo). This harsher view of K-pop reflects the views that westerners hold of westernization. They are pleased that other nations discover western concepts, or in this case, music style to be appealing, but are hesitant to accept the westernized merchandise from other countries due to the fact they believe the new merchandise are lesser versions of the actual western solution. Thus, for this explanation, K-pop has had a difficult time discovering western audiences that are not previously affiliated with the K-pop genre. Despite the fact that Westerners may possibly not be extremely accepting of “diluted” versions of western items, these in Japan are very welcoming of western concepts. Westernization in JapanConsidered to be pretty western, Japan has embraced westernization, which is reflected in their diet plan, style, and education method. Initial, we can see the effects of westernization by means of the changes in the Japanese diet plan throughout time.

According to Zenjiro Watanabe, Westernization brought on the introduction of dining out in Japan (Watanabe). This modify was triggered by the diversification in life-style that took spot in the post Globe War II period. Urbanization, the social advancement of girls, and adjustments in labor circumstances led to a gradual lower in the standard scene of the household gathered around the table at mealtime. This new life-style demanded improved individualization and simplicity and led to the improvement of the foodservice industry and instant foods. Thus, as a result of westernization, Japan gained a new style of dining: rapidly food. But westernization did not result in all constructive modifications with regard to the Japanese diet. After the surge of western influence in Japan in 1964, Japanese people began eating much more than 300% far more animal fat, protein, and fat in common (Watanabe). The explanation for this drastic modify in the Japanese people’s’ diets can be explained by westernization. Throughout the 1950-1960s, Japan adopted much more and more western customs and tips, such as the initial supermarket, which opened in 1963, the introduction of propane, and the use of electricity and gas. These alterations also brought about western foods into the Japanese diet regime. Because westerners promoted the value of milk and animal proteins in their diet program, these trends carried more than to the Japanese diet. In addition, the improve in quickly food also contributed to the boost in fat intake, which demonstrates how an initially constructive change can outcome in a negative consequence. Not only is westernization capable to be observed in diet trends, it can also be observed via the style and clothes adjustments across Japan.

According to Yuniya Kawamura, During the Taisho period (1912-1926), wearing Western clothing was a symbol of sophistication and an expression of modernity (Kawamura). Due to the fact western culture had such a fantastic effect on Japan throughout the Meiji restoration, the Japanese were really appreciative of western “luxuries,” and wearing western garments was a way to show a greater class. Workers, specially men, began wearing company suits, and kimonos sooner or later started disappearing from casual life. Even though some may argue that since of westernization, Japan lost its classic values and culture via the disappearance of the kimono, that is not the case. Instead, the kimono is worn on specific occasions such as weddings or coming-of-age ceremonies. This makes the event even more unique and permits the Japanese to maintain their conventional way of dress. In addition to the modify in dress, westernization also impacted Japan’s education technique. It had greatly changed the educational system in Japan by generating a new program for compulsory schooling in 1871” (“Western Effects on Japanese Culture In the course of the Meiji Period”).

The educational program in Japan was based on the European method which provided suitable education for not just Japanese men, but also for women and children. By the time the educational technique had grow to be universal in 1908, most of the Japanese youngsters were in a position to study and create. All round, a lot of countries all over the planet have knowledgeable many effects of westernization. The western culture has especially permeated the cultures of China, South Korea, and Japan with regards to the diet, fashion, pop culture, language, and a lot far more. Life in these nations went from watching mundane Chinese shows to humorous western shows, listening to classic Korean music to K-pop infused with western music styles and English lyrics in South Korea, and from wearing classic kimonos to company suits in Japan. This just goes to show how each action that we take right here in a western nation is capable to send a ripple to the rest of the world, whether or not it be a new style trend or a way of consuming, the tips from western countries are in a position to positively or negatively influence non-western nations.
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