Babies Carry The Culture – Will the World Become Flat So Quickly?

In china business by Michael Michelini5 Comments

In Shanghai, I am spending a lot of time with my friend Mike song, who now has a 18 month old son in the photo. Funny kid, very smart and friendly. Doesn’t cry except when his daddy leaves the home. Spending a few years in China, I have been submerged into the culture. Even more lately…I rarely spend time with foreigners (non-Chinese) seems most of my time is with Chinese people more then ever. But hey, I am in China, right, it is how it should be. And I learn the most.

So in Mike Song’s home, his son grows up with the Chinese culture. OBVIOUSLY, because he is Chinese born in China. BUT, my noticing the still rather clear differences in culture between East and West, this young boy will grow up surrounded by Chinese people, culture, and traditions. He will get accustomed to eating the local foods in china that people in USA would think is disgusting (duck neck, fish head, goose liver), and he will hear from his family and neighbors the mindset and perspectives of the Chinese people.

And this is why I think we will still have some time before the world is….how do you say….more homogenous. More connected…..more aware……

Maybe in his school he will meet more foreigners. The first time his son met me, he was a bit shy and afraid – now he is really happy to see me (who wouldn’t be, haha!) but again, the family told me he doesn’t meet many foreigners. So… his early years growing up, he will not be surrounded by various cultures and perspectives.

I am not saying this is a negative thing, of course it is great children grow up in their culture with a loving family to carry on their family traditions.

BUT THIS IS THE EXACT POINT – to carry on family and cultural traditions. This is why I am questioning the amount of time it will take for their to be a “single society” and “the world is flat” concept to reality.

This baby will grow up in a Chinese school, in a Chinese home, surrounded by chinese people, chinese culture, holidays. Maybe he will see some television from USA, or hear stories, and of course watch USA DVDs, haha. But will he get the perspective of an American baby growing up., and vice versa?

But my idea is that the next generation growing up, will they be more open minded to other cultures? Sure the internet and technology helps people share and see information from all over the world more quickly, almost real time….but does that change their ENVIRONMENT around them, and the attitudes they grow up with

Just food for thought.

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  1. Every kid luvs Mickey mouse!! So when they c u, they wave n say hi!!!

  2. Author

    ……so funny Lammy……I thought every white guy looks the same in China????

    Mikey, Mickey, when will it end!!

  3. no…u do look like mickey mouse haha n not all white guys look like micky mouse ;P

    milky mikey mickey mouse haha

  4. This is, as I’m sure you know, a rather complex issued. A “flat” or homogeneous society I don’t see happening anytime soon. Opening up China to the world allows it’s culture to be influenced by outside sources. It allows new questions to be asked and it will foster experimentation – especially for those that feel the most out of sync with their own mother culture. I guess I view this as relatively unimportant though.

    I think what the worlds needs, I know this is a bit off the subject :p, is tolerance, teach it, preach it, live it. If you can respect your neighbor and tolerate him even though every damn thing he does you disagree with then there is hope for humanity. Find some common ground to connect to those with whom you usually cannot stand. Walling yourself away from sectors of people in a world being driven flat by technology will succeed only in creating evil… frustration, animosity, atrocities, human rights violations, violence, war, etc.

    I don’t worry about a global culture that is prevalent all over the planet – that’s pragmatically implausible as the derivation of culture is necessarily different based on the environment and experience of each places people. More precisely Societies and cultures change SLOWLY. Many of the pioneering women in the 20’s fighting for the right to vote died before they saw their dream fulfilled – or they were damn old!

    So anyway, glad to see your chewing on this puppy, social change and world peace rank high on my list of “idealistic goals I’ll probably never achieve” on the lighter side that sort of world would make a lot of things your struggling to do now easy – which would mean you’d have to find something else to challenge and break into – wait is that a negative? 😀

  5. Author

    haha, yes Dave if the world became flat then a lot of complaining and struggling i write on this blog would no longer exist! but then again, what would I have to complain about.

    Tolerance……………………….hmmm………seems that is a long shot….

    thanks for your very thorough response, let all sing KUMBAYA my lord, kum by aaaa

    lets keep on trying to make this happen, one person at a time

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