look, it’s NOT single-sided..

there’s always two sides to the coin – that you can’t make yourself fall into the biasness of a story by looking at a single perspective..but as a matter of fact, that is what we have been practising..to the extend of shutting our eyes and ears from acknowledging the sheer existence of the other side of the story..

look at the books we read..the characters have brown hair, blue eyes, white and play with snow during winter and speak the language of prestige..

let’s go back to reality..the readers are widespread all over the globe..say the readers are from the tropical part of African countries where they never get snow falls, and their skin color is the total opposite from the characters in the books they read, do you think they will develop a positive sense of self..?of acknowledging that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder..of acknowledging that no matter where you go nothing feels like home and that the linguistics features they own are of high in value..?

the same thing can be applied to the readers who come from the tropical part of Indian and Arabic countries..where people hold strongly to the customs and cultural practices and where boundaries between boys and girls are strictly emphasized..do you think they will develop a positive attitude towards the cultural norms, values and traditions that they have been socialized into..?of NOT wanting to hold the hands of the person (of the opposite gender) they dearly like..or exchanging hug with a friend they have not seen for a long time..or kiss even..do you think they will hate the restrictions without wanting to consider all the reasons why they cannot do like what they read..?

well, looking at it on a different side of the coin, i can say all the things like “hey, they can learn the different cultures” and “they will have a broader point of view on how the world looks like on the other side of it” and “there’s more development from that side of the world let’s learn how they make it”..yes, i can say all of the above but,

at the cost of one’s sense of self and identity..

have a look at this inspiring video..so the next time we look into something, try looking at it from a different perspective..try to be critical and again, don’t confuse critical with radical..


4 thoughts on “look, it’s NOT single-sided..

  1. I think people do it sometimes because of ethnocentrism; thinking their culture is superior to that of others’, sometimes unconsciously, and sometimes out of pure ignorance.

    A person truly acquainted with the different cultures of the world would practise cultural relativism. And possessing an open mind partly entails the willingness to accept a broad spectrum of ideas, not only limited to his own.

    1. the question is, how open is acceptable in practising cultural relativism..?

      well, that’s the best practice if this issue is to be contested..that’s to avoid bias and prejudice..that’s to acknowledge all people are born differently from the smallest biological make up of a dna..acknowledging the broad spectrum, indeed, amir..

      thank you for reading..susah enchek engineer porsche nk ada masa..haha 🙂

  2. nice talk. who’s this lady again yuyu? was it held at ur university? would love to listen to more of her talks.

    i think i can agree with her message, that sometimes when writers write, they like to write the obvious. they like to write what they think they know and like ur friend Amir here said, the ethnocentrism and anglophile perception of the world.

    we’re always being bombarded with western literature. we think we know American lit and British lit more than we know Asian lit or African or South Asian literature etc.

    who would have known that English lit actually started to become a formal education in India because the British colonizers wanted to teach a portion of the society to learn and understand English as part of language colonialism. “brown skin and brown appearance” but English in blood and language.

    it’s amazing when she (the speaker) mentions Chinua Achebe. i’m reading his book this semester for my Literary Criticism course. Achebe is very blunt. he says that instead of learning English and become and English (Anglophile/Anglicized), we should learn our colonizer’s language (English) and use it to “bear the burden of other [in his case African lah] experience.

    in other words, we should learn English and use English to appropriate it with our own culture. spread our culture, our ways of thinking and so on using English so that we may reach as wider audience as possible.

    hehe. panjang lebar lak. this is and interesting issue to me yu. nice entry. =)

    1. owh, this’s not from my uni poms..our teacher showed in class the other day..i’m not sure if there’s anymore video by her..

      i’m doing a lot of critical courses sem ni poms..jgn jual buku Achebe tu poms..aku nak pinjam nanti..nak baca..

      seriously i think we malaysian should be proud with our own language and culture and use English to make the world experience our life if not embrace it..

      we’re not trying to draw a boundary between different people here, we’re celebrating the differences by making people realize that “hey, ppl from that part of the country do not dress or speak or eat like us..” things like that..thank you for dropping by poms..

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