What if we Could Transcend Cultures

What if we Could Transcend Cultures

Generally, we introduce ourselves with some basic information like name, place and profession. These seem to be enough to get an idea of any individual’s cultural background. But how are we defining the term ‘culture’? Does it possess any particular definition? Raymond Williams, the British cultural critic, famously proclaimed that ‘culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language’. It is undeniably one of the central concepts in our interpretation of how societies work, and for this reason, it is worth spending some time considering the different ways in which the term ‘culture’ has been and is used. As Raymond Williams points out in Keywords (1976), “Culture is a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development; a particular way of life, whether of a people, a period, a group or humanity in general; the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity.”

In other words, culture can be defined as the qualities and knowledge on a specific group of individuals, including language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. With approximately 195 countries and 7.9 billion people on earth, it is not hard to imagine the existence of cultural diversity. Though India is well-known for its unity in diversity. But the process of globalization and digitalization have united the world with the acceptance of its diversity. Access to the internet and multiple social media make people a global citizen. Each country is influenced by its ancient culture however every era comes up with some modification that fade out the difference at some extend. India is welcoming the western culture which is clearly visible in our food, habits, dresses, living style, thinking, working etc. And western culture is also getting influenced by Indian culture. Such as yoga is being practised globally, whereas it is known as Indian orientated practice.

“One day there will be no borders, no boundaries, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart” - Carlos Santana

Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer, German philosophers, are the first to use the concept ‘Culture Industry’ in their book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944). They argue that the idea of ‘Culture Industry’ is culturally elitist, and an excessively pessimistic account of the role of the mass media for culture. Both philosophers express that this concept causes a standardization of society, it leads to humanity being more imitators rather than thinkers and creators. Society turns out to be passive and the people are considered the victims of this “culture industry” dominating the human brain and developments. Nevertheless, many researches prove that Adorno and Horkheimer have neglected its positive effects in which popular culture had on society because of the advancement of technology having not only negative influences.

Although, the present scenario is severe due to the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and restrictions on people assembling and moving threaten a generally delicate area across the globe. People have lost their loved ones, jobs, confidence to live and many more. Despite all, optimistic thought that one day everything would be all right encouraging us to have a few wishes. Though the post-pandemic era would modify the existing culture. People have discovered that they don’t have to be in an office, that they can get most things done remotely. And its future would be work from your favorite destination. This is how we can find changes in work culture. The practice of teaching and learning has altered with the availability of online classes and courses. Its future would be a combination of virtual as well as physical classrooms. This will provide options in the education approach. The pandemic has given a lesson to value life and time, and it brings the folk close to explore themselves with their close ones. The post-pandemic culture would be more about following our inner instincts and being more creative. People will prefer to live every moment of life instead of mourning on the unfulfilled desires. 

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” - Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan