Nepalese BoatsStreets of KathmanduNight View of Kathmandu


Mongolian on HorsebackCulture--A simple word with complex meanings and connotations. Is culture national, linguistic, religious, sexual, ethnic or all and any of these plus more combined? Culture is fluid. Change for traditional cultures is inevitalbe , but it is the extent to which these changes occur that is critical to the well-being of culture groups. Change doen't have to be negative.

Mongolian TempleGlobalization has significatn effects on culture, soem would say going so far as to create a new global culture. Why is globalization so influential on culture? Colleir (2000) elucidates the intricacies of the relationship in the following: " ...globalization is a moment in time in which nation-state economies of the world are increasingly interdependent, new technologies have affected the nature, amount and immediacy of information available, homogenization and pluralism are concomitant, localization , and international outreach occur simultaneaously, and cultural space is shrinking and expanding.(Collier, 2000 p.217) " Traditional cultures are most at risk of being lost and the loss of traditional cultures means loss of knowledge. But does the Internet have to be the culprit here?For an interesting perspective on indigenous cultures check out Cultural Survival

Melanesian For instance, what if a traditional language is at risk of being lost forever, but through the Internet, it has managed to hold on and even stave off its extinction? Let's consider the First Nations (American Indian) nation called the Ojibwa (Chippewa). The number of Ojibwa speakers declined so drastically in the twentieth century that many feared the language was lost. Now with the Internet, you can hear clips of Ojibwa online at

(See sources page for link.)


Bridget McGrath November 2001