Friday, August 4, 2017

Eastern And Western Culture, The Reflections Of Hidden Potential In Between

Eastern And Western Culture, The Reflections Of Hidden Potential In Between.  That is our topic this week. It comes from  Ramana's blogger friend from Indonesia - Tikno
 and Ramana made it this week's topic.

My approach is limited by the fact that I have not been to the east - not the east of this topic at least. My observations are limited by my own limited contact with  and study of the east but that does include my interaction and friendship with the sage of Pune himself - Ramana. I have jokingly called us brothers from different mothers as over the years we have discovered a remarkable degree of what Ramana calls synchronicity. While absolutely examples of our respective eastern and western cultures we are remarkably similar in many ways including attitudes and thoughts.

The differences between western and eastern culture are varied  and  wide. Eastern culture typically includes Asian nations and Muslim nations whereas Christian nations are considered Western. The geographic split is a bit fuzzier - Europe, North, South and Central America along with Australia/New Zealand being the west. The question becomes whether or not there is any hidden potential between the two.

Some Eastern cultures embrace the west and make the best of both worlds. Japan, South Korea, India and to a degree China all fit this  model - Japan and Korea have made nenormous advances due to their embrace of the west.  They have taken to capitalism like fish to water. There is evidence a similar thing is happening in Vietnam as well. The east has put its own cultural spin on capitalism and adopted capitalism to their own way of education and interpersonal relationships. And if there is a more entrepreneurial society than that in India I am not aware of it.

There are major differences in the way children are educated and raised in the east and the west, religions are different, family interactions are somewhat different - both cultures are family centric. The east tends to be more conservative.

Hidden benefits?  I think tolerance is a hidden benefit - to interact, both the east and west need to be tolerant of each other.  I suggest China is a good example - China is a growing economic power since it embraced capitalism - something not long ago would have been unthinkable (embracing capitalism). The fact that South Korea and Japan have grown into substantial economic powers is another hidden benefit. Vietnam is growing rapidly economically with a GDP approaching  5.2%.  We should be so lucky.

As the world becomes more interdependent,  we all become more global citizens. That is directly contrary to the political forces here that are the base of support for POTUS 45 here. They are most decidedly anti global and very nationalistic. Some might say antagonizing POTUS45 is a hidden benefit.  A  globalist viewpoint is beneficial to a degree - there is after all only one planet we inhabit.  

Be sure to see what the other LBC bloggers have to say -  RamanaPravinMaria and Ashok


  1. First of all thank you for sharing your opinion on this topic.

    You said: "Some Eastern cultures embrace the west and make the best of both worlds." (embracing capitalism).

    You may be right. But I tends to catch it as adopting openness.

    You said: "The east tends to be more conservative."
    Not really.

    One of the strongest Eastern values in myself is that as best I can do, I will never send my parents to the nursing home, even if they're troublesome. That is taboo in our culture. The hidden potential is that they will probably pray for my better health and life.

    1. How can you deny the east is not more conservative? You offer NO evidence to back that statemeny.

    2. The liberal and conservative dichotomies are shaped by religious teachings. Humans since birth are essentially (have the basic instinct to) liberal beings (want to be free), no matter eastern or western. If in the west, who are predominantly Christian, run the religious teachings strictly, then there will be a conservative society too. Take an example of free sex, individualism (egocentric), which is not inline with religious teachings.

      == Back to the East ==
      When I was a teenager, I did not hear about free-sex issues as rampant as it is today in Indonesia. Individualism is getting stronger now. Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, but there are six recognized religions, that is : Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian. If Indonesia is as conservative as in the Middle East, then there is only one religion here.

      If you go to Dubai you'll find glamorous lifestyle ala western in the Middle East.

      That's why I said: "Not really".

      I think the tangled thread between western and eastern styles lies in the issue of Human Rights and Freedom of Speech. For that matter, you can read it in my post below:

  2. The current situation in the USA and for that matter most of Europe with anti globalisation forces coming to the forefront, is unlikely to last very long. I make that statement on the assumption that the West will now vacate the ME and Afghanistan now that the ISIS has been destroyed. The Muslims in the West however are unlikely to get any relief with, I hope that I am wrong, increased terrorism via the disbanded and widespread remnants of the ISIS and other forces such as the Alquaida making up for the loss of the dream of the caliphate through acts of terror. We are likely to see some major shifts in the East too with different equations forming now that China and India have gone into an adversarial equation. Interesting times ahead!

    1. I doubt we will vacate the ME ever as long as there is an Israel. I agree - the worsening relations between China and India make for an interesting future. What will happen with India in the event there is a war on the Korean penninsula?

  3. The differences in people are part of what makes life interesting. Accepting those differences is crucial to both preserving and unifying the world in which I hope we can all live one day.

  4. Acceptance is the key and for many it is the roadblock for whatever reason, though most typically religious