Mar 22 2013

Perfect mix of Asian hospitality and European values

Two decades ago, usually only the middle class Europeans and upper class Asians were able to afford travelling across the world. The growing economies of industrialized West and the alarmingly low birth rate have caused governments to open up their borders to foreign workers. This increased the mixing of cultures not only in the West, but also in the Asian region.

Most open minded travelers will agree that what makes us unique is our wide spread of cultures, religions and opinions. While individual opinions may varies, apart from few “odd balls”, each and every culture and religion has a general tread. These general treads are often associated with unique mixing of culture, religion and social conditions. For example, a rural Tibetan young adult who never been outside of the country (or Asia) would most likely have no experience with interacting with people of different cultures. However, a young adult from UK or Canada most likely have fiends with different cultural and religious background. It is a good thing that our human evolution has taken this route of global respect for each other (although sometimes it creates conflicts between us) because it allows us to mix traditional values of several different cultures (and religions).

There is no one system is better than the other. Each and every one of us has our strong and weak points. I found that the hospitality and respect for others in Asian Buddhist culture very appealing while I despite with how some Asian people discriminates to women and people with different sexual orientation (Buddhism is not against gay people, but most Asian Buddhist are for example!). This is where mixing of Asian and European values are great way to better ourselves. Particularity European Buddhist monks like Ajahn Brahm tried to bridge the gap between cultures. I think this is great because this will advance our human civilization to the next level. Each and every culture has something positive to offer. If you meet people from all walks of life, you will realized what you think about others is far from the truth. This is because the “truth” is bended to fit the needs of the mass media and those few who are in control of power. For example, I found that so called “poor” people of South Asia is actually “rich” in happiness. But the media would portray them as unhappy group of people living in the third world. What is my perception of happiness with money is imposed by the popular opinions rather than facts!

However, people from the East should have an open mind for Western cultures as well. Given the violent and extremist history of the colonial era and the current propaganda of dominance by US and EU over small nations, I would not blame the people of Eastern origins for being close minded. But if people with open minds from both sides get together and mix our values, it would make great societies across the world. I am not saying that we can create a utopia (like many utopians would argue), but rather a pleasant environment with at least far fewer wars than the modern day civilization.

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