Essay Sample on European Culture
According to the Longman Dictionary is a cosmopolitan place a place in which people from many different parts of the world live and a cosmopolitan person shows a wide experience of different people and places. Since many places are cosmopolitan, accroding to this definition, we would like to argue that in the 21st century everybody should be cosmopolitan, national boundaries and national affiliation should become obsolete.
Germany and France are more alike today than they were one hundred years ago. In part this is because the nations have traded with each other, and in part they have shared common technological advances through other trading partners. The last decades technology has improved enormously and trade has increased all over the world, the international exchange of goods and services and ideas is huge nowadays.
A typical American yuppie drinks French Wine, listens to Beethoven on a Japanese audio system, uses the internet to buy Persian textiles from a dealer in London, watches Hollywood movies funded by foreign capital and filmed by a European director and vacations in Bali; an upper-middle class Japanese may do much the same. Games of the National Basketball Association can be seen in more then 100 countries, Toyatas can be bought in 151 countries and Coca Cola is a very popular drink all over the world. Each year McDonalds opens twice as many restaurants abroad as in the United States, name a country and it will have a McDonalds.
People are influenced by very many different cultures. This is a very positive thing, the cultural life of people enriches, and one has an increased menu of choice. Trade makes countries richer in material terms, it tends to make them cultural richer as well. People are not limited by their own culture, there are different cultures offered, and one is influenced by many cultures. This tendency of cosmopolitanism, caused by increased technology and trade, can’t be stopped and should not be stopped. In the future there will be invented new technological miracles, by which trade and contact between different countries shall increase even more.
The term cosmopolitan means having constituent elements from all over the world or from many different parts of the world. Many people consider themselves to be cosmopolitan, and pride themselves on the sophistication that seems to be accompanied by this word. However, the term globalisation which is, in many ways, inextricably linked with cosmopolitanism, strikes fear in the hearts of a large part of this same group. The general belief of globalisation is that “it involves massive forces of homogenisation or global sameness, under which local and national identities, cultures, and traditions are inevitably profoundly threatened or even obliterated.” 1 This belief certainly does not have to be true. The term globalisation signifies the process of making worldwide. This means that in stead of cultures disappearing, the opposite could be true, a particular culture can be shared with the rest of the world, and be embraced on a widespread level.
In a way it is arrogant of anyone to presume that one culture has got it all right in one go. What is meant by that is, that instead of believing only in the things that one culture has to offer, why can there not be a mix and match situation? Where aspects of any given culture can be chosen to represent popular culture. If we look at culture in this way, it can be described as a sort of survival of the fittest, where the negative aspects of a culture die away, while the positive aspects are adopted and live on. Thus creating what can be described as the ‘best’ culture.
Some may say that it is not realistic to argue that everybody should be cosmopolitan and national buondaries and affiliation should become obsolete. Still, we think it might not be realistic yet, but in the 21st century it will be. Individuals nowadays share more common cultural compenents than before. Imagine how this will be after another two generations, when we will find ourselves in the 21st century. Comparing two or even three generation with each other, there will clearly be differences. These differences can be found in numerous areas, such as the way of individualistic behaviour, the perception of society and the world and the way of acting towards other cultures.
Furthermore, some critics argue that growing cosmopolitism creates a bigger gap between rich and poor regions in the world. We would argue the opposite, cosmopolitism decreases the gap between rich and poor, because … Many non-Europeans generalise European countries. For example, The Netherlands and Germany are often thought to be the same country in their eyes. Admitting this to an inhabitant of either of these countries will trigger a rarely surpassed outrage. When analysing this, we can come to the conclusion that the reason for this …