Final Post

This class has taught me a lot about other cultures and their views. When we first started in class, we discussed, as a generalization, how we could work harder to become global citizens in our rapidly changing world. At first, everyone suggested things like getting to know other cultures and eating the various foods different countries had to offer. But, as we became more involved in this class, we built a better foundation establishing what it means to get to know and understand another culture. Understanding isn’t necessarily knowing the language or being able to navigate oneself through that country’s international airport, but it’s knowing the traditions, meanings of customs, and principles within a particular society. For example, watching “Chak De! India” was a really fun thing to do, because who doesn’t like a safe, predictable sports movie? But as we watched more deeply, it wasn’t just a sports movie at all. Chak De was a prime example of Indian pride and customs. It displayed differences between people from various regions and castes through out India, it depicted women and what their stances in life should be (subservient to the man of the house and feminine), and it also showed the relationship between India and other countries (Pakistan, England, Australia, etc.). One thing this movie definitely made me “un-learn” was the idea that Indians wore Saris all day and ate Indian food for every meal. This was very, very false. In fact, most of the Indians in Chak De were dressed like a lot of Americans dress, except for special events like the field hockey banquet with Australia. Also, one of the biggest, most important scenes in the movie take place at a McDonald’s! But, they apparently eat lamb-burgers instead of hamburgers, since cows are very sacred in India. I really liked the use of music in Chak De. Music is much more meaningful in Bollywood films. Throughout the movie, whenever Khan would have an enlightening moment, there would be a voice singing “I was once your third color” and :you are my master.” I don’t really know what they mean by that, but im very certain its meaningful to the people of the Hindi faith, or at least the people of India as a generalization. To become a global citizen, I have decided that it is very important to cleanse oneself of any assumptions or stereotypes while learning about a particular culture, so you can really get the true meaning and gist of what a certain aspect of that culture might be trying to portray. Before watching Chak De, I assumed that most of India looked like “Slumdog Millionaire,” which is definitely not the case. You can learn so much about other cultures without even leaving your living room (which would be smart to do before actually heading off to a country you know little to nothing about). Becoming a global citizen, in my opinion, is not necessarily agreeing with, but just understanding everyone’s points of view.

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One thought on “Final Post

  1. Nice and specific final blog post. I especially appreciate your last point, and I completely agree with it: to be a global citizen means to approach the world with an open-mind, recognizing that each person brings with him and her a cultural background that shapes her knowledge and skills. We can learn from everyone, even if we don’t agree with everyone. Also, great point about the McDonald’s scene in Chakde!. I hadn’t thought about how that scene really challenges American stereotypes about Indian culture (that they eat only Indian food, for example). I’m glad you were able to join us for the class. Good luck as you continue your learning and unlearning in your growth as a global citizen.

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