Globalisation and Pakistani culture


Ours is a hybrid culture



Globalisation is deeply related with various issues including “the spatial reorganisation of production, the interpenetration of industries across borders, the spread of financial market, the diffusion of identical consumer goods to distant countries, massive transfer of population within South as well as from South and East to the West, resultant conflicts between immigrant and established communities in formerly tight-knit neighbourhoods and an emerging world-wide preference for democracy.” (Mittelman, 1996; 2)

Culture is shared beliefs, values, traditions and behaviour patterns of group. It is a vehicle for social cohesion and stability because it promotes mutual understanding. It brings peace and harmony in society. It teaches us to rely on local resources and local people rather than outside resources. It can lead any country toward development.

Pakistan is an Islamic state who is predominantly Muslim. Its culture is basically based on the Islamic beliefs, values, ideologies and traditions. In Pakistan there are almost 4 percent non-Muslims (minorities) who have freedom to practice their religious and cultural practices. Pakistan is influenced by various cultures of subcontinent. It is different from other cultures of Islamic countries.

Coke Studio is a Pakistani music television series. It brings different artist on one platform. These artists belong to different regions of Pakistan. It is a source of creating harmony and peace among different cultures. Through Coke Studio Pakistani music is accessible to international audience. Drama and film industry represents and reflects societal thoughts and demands. They show us where the society is going. It can depict the culture in terms of values, norms, dress code, food, traditions and ideology of all kinds. We can now easily see foreign TV shows in our country.

The print media in Pakistan is also publishing global news and matters of international concern. The increase in the number of English newspaper and their circulation depicts that Pakistan has undergone a change as a result of globalisation.

The fast food industry, originally conceived in Southern California during the 1940s, not only altered the eating habits of Americans, but also those in many other countries around the world, including Asian countries. In Pakistan first fast food centre was opened in 1997. Now fast food centres are found on the corners of every street, off the side of main highways, airports, malls, schools, gas stations, local shopping centres, and even in hospitals.

The spread of English as international language and emergence of internet as a fast communication channel are mutually enforcing trends in an age of globalisation. In Pakistan, the demand of learning English and the consequent opening of thousands of ‘English medium schools’ indicates a change in the needs of people to adopt English as a second official language. The last few decades have seen a growth in the role of the English language around the world as the lingua franca of economic, scientific, and political exchange.

Family is one of the basic and crucial social institutions. Other four institutions of the society are education, politics, economics and religion. Whenever change comes in one institution it normally impacts other institutions and their roles.

The following changes can be observed as a result of globalisation: One, the influence of clans and kin groups are decreasing. Second, expanding rights for women (e.g. education and economic independence). Third, we are moving from joint family system to nuclear family system. Four, decline in birthrates due to women working in different job markets. The last one is increasing room for adults’ rights. Now youngsters have a right to select their mates within family and out of family.

In Pakistan family system are moving from joint family system to nuclear family system. Our cultures teach us collectivism but after globalisation our culture is becoming individualistic. Clans and kin groups’ influences are decreasing. Basically, globalisation is changing our traditional gender roles.

Pakistan’s most common dress is shalwar kameez. Women carry dupatta with it. But the gololbalisation has made possible for us to access dresses of different cultures through internet. We can see their fashions and we can buy their dresses through online shopping. We can even adopt their dressing styles.

Globalisation impacts all nations. It has different impact on different culture. The impact basically depends on that country’s socio-economic and political condition. The Muslim society of Pakistan took great influence from Hindu and British cultures after long and intimate association. This influence is prominent from the language, music, entertainment, food and family structure.

Basically, ours is a hybrid culture. Global culture has impacted us on individual, society and nation levels. It also affects our daily life routine.


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