The real cultural imperialism of the West
Posted by ampontan on Thursday, January 17, 2008
WHILE VIEWING THE KOREA TIMES WEBSITE when preparing the previous post, I stumbled across this op-ed called Some Foreigners Bash Korea Unjustly, Unfairly, written by an English teacher there.
Substitute Japan for Korea, and the same article could have been published in any of the English-language dailies in this country. Heck, I could have written it.
It’s curious; I’ve talked to a lot of Asians here, from countries as far away as India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, and I’ve never heard a negative comment about Japan from any of them. Meanwhile, snide Japan sniping, couched in the fashionable irony that passes for wit and repartee in some countries, is as common a conversational topic for many Westerners as the weather.
One has to wonder when the same sort of people are saying the same sorts of things in South Korea.
Some people–again, mostly Westerners–think McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and popular music are symbols of cultural imperialism. That’s silly, of course. Those are just consumer goods purchased freely by people with other choices for spending their disposable income.
The real cultural imperialism is the attitude.