Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There is no hope of doing perfect research (Griffith, 1998, p97)

There is no hope of doing perfect research (Griffith, 1998, p97). Do
you agree?

Doing a research simply means searching for knowledge, or a way of discovering or developing something or a method that will lead and join people with the advanced world. Research has a very open extent that it includes different areas such as science, life styles, arts, politics, history etc. Different people in different parts of the world can claim completely opposite results on the topic because of the varying examined data or contradictory environment they have. As we are constantly learning more and more one can disagree with the above topic. There are so many things that we couldn’t even begin to imagine and we don’t even aware on that. However through researches we learn and get benefited. But the thing is in this changing world any research won’t be perfect. It will always be better than the previous one.
One can argue about it in different ways. For example on one hand the inventions at the past were perfect in terms that we actually used them and benefited from them for so many decades on the other hand those inventions are not perfect because it didn’t actually fulfill all the necessities of humans. Therefore the perfection of invention or research is not the matter, but the endless necessities that human beings have. These endless necessities make the humans do more researches and as a result of that humans always try to find new inventions. As we live in a world where globalization highly exists, people in one part of the world easily have inter- connections with people in another part of the world. So they often exchange ideas and everyday they learn something new that can enhance their knowledge. Then researches only become a continuous process which involves strenuous human power and money.
Innovation is a multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products, service or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace. [Baregheh, 2009, pg 48]     

 It is true the fact that people need to invent different things to fulfill their needs and wants. They always need to boost up their knowledge most of the time for the mean of satisfaction. Subsequently they search and search till they find the best thing but end up with finding a better thing because humans won’t content with what they have and they always believe the fact that there is something ahead better than the things they have. In addition to that the process of inventing something they pay attention for the quality, durability, simplicity and value. This enhances with the competitiveness. Therefore after inventing something they intend to find another alternative that can be more qualitative, more durable and simpler. That is the true nature of invention and that is how an invention or a research becomes a multi-stage process. Moreover that is why humans give birth to various products with considerable changes than the first product. It is clearly evident with the inventions such as abacus, calculator, computer [desktop], laptops, palmtops etc.
Although research results may appear promising, nevertheless, their reliability or validity has always been threatened with the presence of errors and biases in the study. [Mehra, 2002, pg125] The word perfect means ideal or complete without any fault or weakness in other words it can mean that 100% correct. But for a research or an invention it is difficult to apply the word perfect as it won’t be 100% correct. Therefore it is correct to agree with the statement of having 'no hope in doing perfect research'. But reach to perfection becomes the aim of doing a research. By nature human beings are imperfect. They always struggle to survive. They don’t think deep before doing anything. So naturally or may be due to unavoidable circumstances they made mistakes. So imperfect human beings never end up a task with a perfect result, but they can end up their tasks by achieving a successful better result.
The fact that the perfection of research is impossible can be seen in some researches that I have been practically involved while I was doing my degree (Bachelor of Arts). One was the research that I have done on the topic of ‘English pronunciation skills among Sri Lankan school children’. It was a broad topic to gather factors. First of all I selected fifteen schools in Sri Lanka and that included six schools in rural areas, five in town areas, two international schools in town areas and two from suburb areas. But I was not sure whether my hypothesis was correct. The process of researching rotates around something called as Trial and Error. Results may vary according to the different strategies that different researches use and there researchers play a main role. Next at the end of my research I came to a conclusion. But it depends on the strategies I used because another one can follow a totally different hypothesis than mine. Then the result too would be differing. And at the same time no one aware about the best hypothesis, because it depends on the knowledge that different people have.  Therefore the process we called research we need to face mistakes, faults and misinterpretations as well as misunderstanding. In consequence to that we have to agree with the fact that a perfect research is impossible.
Another example can be given through a research that I have done on the topic of ‘Globalization Media and Cultural Identity; with reference to Sri Lankan experience. There I had to continue my research on what is globalization, how it relates with media and how can it affects to the cultural identity of our country. For that I had to gather factors in different spheres like various life styles of the people, politics in the country, modern technologies that are using in the country and also about famous media in the country, because it is through media we get familiar with the concept of globalization. Then I interviewed number of people who belong to different age groups, different social background and different nationalities. And I classified what they said according to their age. Under that I categorized them into three groups like youths age between, 15-30, middle age, 30-50 and age more than 50. But at the end of my research I couldn’t reach to a perfect conclusion as my topic was an updating one. Globalization changes our lives every day. And also the people too, as they often change their ideas. People who represent the younger generation now represent the older generation in future. Though we come to a conclusion regarding the topic it won’t applicable to future and it won’t be a perfect ideal research.  
In this regard, it can be seen that there is no hope in doing a perfect research. There are always certain motives and agendas behind all types of research. [Vangelisti, 1999] There can have both advantageous and disadvantageous. Some do it for money, some for humanitarian reasons. Some even do it for the destruction of humanity. There is always room for improvement, and research is an ongoing process. It is limited by time, resources and tools available for research. Sometimes cultural restrictions, social acceptance or certain biases affect the firmness of research.


Baregheh et al. Community-Based Research: A Documentary History. Macmillan and co; limited (2009).
Mehra, B. Bias in qualitative research: Voices from an online classroom. The Cyprus review, Cyprus.(2002).
Vangelisti A,. Teaching Communication: Theory, Research, and Methods. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sri Lankan Foreign Policy.

Sri Lankan Foreign Policy.

   From my point of view the foreign policy of a country could changed, if not radically or materially, at least in nuance. At different times Sri Lankan’s foreign policy has shown changes in nuance. As a country whose geographical location has a high strategic importance, Sri Lanka has had to be doubly cautious about her foreign policy stand to prevent the attraction on undue force/power from countries’ whose political economic and military might are fine excess of Sri Lanka’s.
When Sri Lanka was a British colony its foreign policy was determined by them. After independence the main intention of our leaders’ was to protect the newly won freedom and sovereignty of the country. I think that soon after the independence Sri Lanka had a pro-western nuance to her foreign policy with many connections with Britain. D.S. Senanayaka the first prime minister of Sri Lanka [then Ceylon] had security agreements with Britain. [a NATO country] to protect Sri Lankan’s freedom. He also kept Sri Lanka a dominion within the Commonwealth instead of making it a republic like India and Pakistan did. During the period 1948-56 Sri Lanka had leaders like D.S. Senanayaka, Dudley Senanayaka and Sir John Kotalawala and all their foreign policies had a pro-western nuance. The beginnings of change however were beginning to appear they did in the Bandung conference – this in spite of the Sir John Kotalawala – Chou En Lai clashed. S.W.R.D.Bandaranayaka who became prime minister in 1956 fell back strongly on the Bandung principles of peaceful coexistence. He also reclaimed the British bases at Katunayaka and Trincomalee and set Sri Lanka on its path towards Non Aligned Movement. He became totally committed to Non Aligned during the period of the premiership of Mrs. Bandaranayaka when Sri Lanka became one of the founder members of the Non Aligned Movement. Sri Lanka has since then followed the path of Non Aligned in spite of the occasional glitch like our voting with Britain on the Malvinas/ Falkland island issue and our abstention on the West Iranian issue.

Friday, November 19, 2010



 The clock had stopped. I couldn’t wake up at the time that I had hoped to wake up. I felt that day would be an important day in my life; that there would be a change in my life. New hopes began to bloom in my heart as I prepared to go. I promised my friend Mahesh who was a psychiatrist at the Colombo General hospital that I would meet him. I went quickly to the bus halt. The bus was a little late that day. When it arrived I got in and sat down. My mind was filled with what had happened and what I was going to do that day. As my mind went over the past I felt I had been; too precipitate.
            Mahesh and I were very close friends. He had a friend called Kasun. One day I invited Mahesh to our dance concert. He came with his friend. He introduced his friend to me. My first impression of his friend was a bad one. I didn’t know why. Perhaps I felt that way because of the manner in which he looked at me. While the concert was on I felt that he was paying more attention to me than to the other dancers. After the concert I had no time to talk with my friends and I went quickly to my vehicle. I saw Mahesh’s friend running after me, but I didn’t pay any attention. Two days later I got a call from Mahesh.
“Hello Rangana, are you busy now?”
“No why?”
“I have something special to talk over with you. Do you remember my friend Kasun?”
“Ah the one who came to my concert?”
“Yes he told me that he wanted to speak with you. I feel that he has an interest in you, because after the concert he talks only about you.”
“What a fool! Mahesh don’t be angry with me. I don’t like your friend. When he looked at me on that day I felt that he had not seen a girl before.”
“I gave him your phone number.”
“Oh! What have you done?”
            After that day I got a phone call everyday from Kasun. I got upset and confused. Sometimes I didn’t answer him. Mahesh also phoned me and tried to convince me that Kasun was a good man and tried to persuade me, not to rebuff him. But the unending telephone calls only increased my dislike of Kasun. I even began to move away from Mahesh because of this persistence. I didn’t get any phone call from them for three months. Then I began to feel sorry for Kasun.
“Why did he persue me in this way?”
I looked into myself. I began to blame myself. I had been too harsh. I had a hard heart. I was an artist and normally an artist has a sensitive heart. My feelings began to change. I decided to talk with Kasun. But I couldn’t do it directly. So I phoned Mahesh and told him that I wanted to meet him.   

*                                          *                                          *

The bus stopped at the Colombo hpspital. I went to Mahesh’s room. He was reading a diary and didn’t pay any attention to me.
“Mahesh I want to talk with you.”
“Yes of cause.” He replied in a formal voice.
“I have been thinking things over. I think that I have been too harsh on Kasun. He has not phoned me for a longtime. I like to talk with him. I don’t know why I brushed him off like I did.”
            Mahesh gave me the diary which he was reading and said that I could get to know more about Kasun from it. I began to read. This is what he had written in it.
            “I went to watch a concert with my friend Mahesh. He had got an invitation from one of his friends for that concert. He introduced me for his friend who was a dancer.        “What a pretty girl.” She was really beautiful. She attracted me at once. I wanted to speak more with her. So, at the end of the concert I ran to meet her. She ran away to her vehicle. I saw that one of her anklets had fallen on the road. I picked it up and followed her. But the car drove off and she did not even look at me. I asked more about her from Mahesh. He gave me her phone number. I tried to phone her, she did not respond. I do not know why. I phoned her continously. She still didn’t respond. But I loved her. I began to keep her anklet always with me and it was like a chalice to me. When I was going to work I kept it in my pocket and thought that she was with me. When I was eating in a restaurent I kept it on the table and thought that she was eating with me. Even when I was going to sleep I kept it next to my pillow. I was madly in love with her.
            “Love will withstand cruelty and persist even in death, but it will within under indifference. Pitty will not replace it.”
            This is what he had written in his diary. Tears came into my eyes.
“Mahesh, please tell me where is your friend? I want to talk with him and tell him that he has won my love.”
“If you like to see him I can take you. He is in here.”
“Is he working here?”
“Let’s go.”

I went with him. He took me into an isolated room led to an iron cell. Then he pointed to the cell and told me that there was the man who was madly in love with me. I looked at it. I saw him with a black beard which fully covered his face. I went near him and saw that he was keeping my anklet in his hand. He looked at me. Mahesh began to talk. He told me that I was too late. He has lost his proper senses as a result of meaningless love. So, they were going to trasfer him to the asylum.  

Religion in the Modern World

Religion in the modern world has two conflicting aspects, one the growth of science and technology which appears to marginalize religion, and the other, the spread of religion both in its original and fundamental aspects. Religion may be considered basically a belief in the existence of a Creator by whom everything that exists, seen and unseen, was created, and who is in final control of his creation. There are however various other forms of religious beliefs that exist in the world-polytheism, spirit worship and ancestor worship, to name a few. Religion in its various forms exists all over the world and has played, and continues to play a part in human life. In all cultures human beings accept and believe in a spiritual dimension to life, which is as real as the material dimension of science, and has an existence beyond it.
Religion and science were originally not considered conflicting. Religion in the modern world however, has undergone a change in attitude towards it. In the 13th century religion was regarded as a science. Thomas Aquainas argued that this was so. He posited that while some sciences dealt with what can be known by the light of natural reason, there was another science which dealt with things so far as they are known by the light of divine revelation.
“We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from principles known by the natural light of the intellect, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are also some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of optics proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. So it is that sacred doctrine is a science because it proceeds from principles known by the light of a higher science, namely, the science of God and the blessed. Hence, just as music accepts on authority the principles taught by the arithmetician, so sacred doctrine accepts the principles related by God.”[Anton 07]
            However with the growth of materialism as evidenced in the development of industry, commerce and technology, religion was pushed into the background and the type of science that proceeded “from principles known by the natural light of the intellect” [Anton 07] emerged as predominant. This was the time of the Industrial Revolution, which was one of the most important changes in the history of humanity, altering patterns of life and thought. It meant a shift from an agrarian, handicraft and labor- intensive economy to one dominated by the machine, the factory system, division of labor, a freer flow of capital and the growth of cities.
            The Industrial Revolution brought changes in the social structure. In Britain the new system of industrial production brought about by the steam engine replaced the old crafts and the craftsmen, and industrial production made people shift from the countryside to new industrial towns with consequent overcrowding squalor and degradation both in standards of living and standards of morals. At the same time industry, trade and commerce began to develop on a marked scale. The new emerging industrial society broke up the existing harmonious structure of country life into hostile groups of haves and have nots. Wordsworth wrote in 1817, “I see clearly that the principal ties which kept the different classes of the society in a vital and harmonious dependence upon each other have, within these thirty years, either being greatly impaired or wholly dissolved. Everything has been put up to market and sold for the highest price it could buy.” [Ford, volume 5, p.15] 
Together with the old social order, religion too became subordinated to the new forces of trade, commerce and industry, and it gradually began to lose ground. Not only Wordsworth, Mathew Arnold in “Dover Beach” spoke of “the sea of faith
                                     Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
                                    And naked shingles of the world”
In the late 19th century thinkers like Karl Marx, Darwin, Carlyle and Frazer further questioned religious beliefs Karl Marx rejected religion, Darwin’s theory of evolution was taken as opposing the biblical theory of creation and Frazer saw Christianity as a religion whose beliefs were no different from other religions which has existed before.               “Taken altogether, the coincidences of Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the church in the hour of its triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished yet still dangerous rivals” [Frazer, (369)]
Carlyle said in “Signs of Times” (1829), “Were we required to characterize this age of ours by any single epithet, we should be tempted to call it, not an Heriocal, Devotional, Philosophical, or Moral Age, but above all others, the Mechanical Age… Not the external and physical alone is now managed by machinery, but the spiritual also” [Ford, volume 6, p.19]
            In the 20th century Science has led to an explosion of technology covering every aspect of human life such as material comfort, medicine, travel, exploration of space and lifestyles. The impact of this explosion of technology on material comfort and lifestyles made a change in human lives. New material comforts provide numerous facilities for humans. Proliferation of all sorts of consumer goods including electrical and electronic goods allows people to have a comfortable life. There are numerous goods and appliances which can help humans in their day- to-day lives. These things make people enjoy their lives in material comfort. For example a man can watch everything that happens around the world with television or download it on the internet and these things also provide entertainment.
            Another achievement of this explosion of technology is the development of medicine which made revolutionary advances. By the end of 20th century medical advance helped to increase the average person’s life expectancy by almost thirty years. As people lived longer, new medical challenges emerged. Heart disease, cancer, strokes and other conditions often associated with aging replaced infectious diseases as the leading causes of death. Physicians began to pay greater attention to preventing diseases and keeping patients healthy into an advanced age. Physicians were successful in conquering infectious through improved sanitation and use of antibiotics and vaccines. Furthermore doctors found new methods of curing people such as surgery, radiology, scans, psychoanalysis and electroconvulsive therapy. So technology gave modern man a longer life to enjoy the material comforts it provided. [Encarta 2004]  
            Another achievement of technology is the development of travel. The development of travel provided transportation services like airlines, bus companies, railroads, taxis which transport people swiftly from place to place. Furthermore the development of travel has led to space exploration which helps to discover the nature of the universe beyond earth. Science and technology has brought the universe closer to human life. All those modern achievements of technology make for a comfortable life style. The material comfort and the extension of human life which enables longer enjoyment of these comforts has made people feel that religion is redundant and that it is a historical phenomenon that has been replaced by science and technology. Secularism has been gaining ground.
            Western writers questioning the validity of religion dealt with Christianity because that was the religion in the west. However their concern was not with Christianity perse, but with belief that went beyond the material world of science and technology. The technological explosion affected western as well as Asian and African societies, and led to the marginalization of their religions too by the material wealth and lifestyles that technology provided.
            Paradoxically, the very technological advancement that has tended to marginalize religion has led to its expansion. The facilities of travel and communication through television, radio and internet, to give a few examples, and particularly the development of mass communication techniques which are a product of modern technology, has led to the spread of religion in its original and also its fundamentalist forms. Christianity which was historically brought to certain countries through conquest and colonization is, today, spreading further afield with the help of these modern technological developments. On the other hand religions like Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam which had hither to been confined to a few countries in Asia and Africa, are now spreading westwards.
            Further, technological developments have led to the affirmation of religious beliefs and thus of religion itself. It is interesting that even Darwin’s account of evolution which was believed to have destroyed the biblical story of creation says “If it be asked why apes had not had their intellects developed to the same degree as that of man, general causes only can be assigned in answer, and it is unreasonable to expect anything more definite, considering our ignorance with respect to the successive stages of development through which each creature has passed.” [Darwin. p.465]
There are also aspects of human life innate qualities of human beings which Darwin is unable to show as being a result of evolution. He says “with respect to the origin of the parental and filial affections, which apparently lie at the base of the social instincts, we know not the steps by which they have been gained; but we may infer that it has been to a large extent through natural selection.” [Darwin.478] Darwin can only infer that these qualities were gained through natural selection. Theology however is certain that they were features derived at creation being a terrestrial manifestation of the divine relationship between God and man. Darwin also said, “The moral sense perhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower animals. The moral sense in man is the fundamental factor which separates him from the animals. It is also the factor which links him to the divine. Once more there is an area which refuses to be explained by evolution but can be explained only by a divine act of creation.” [Gen.1, 26-31]         
            Beyond that pointer, there are other scientific facts. The fingerprint, the voice scan and the retina scan, show the uniqueness of the individual in the creation of each human being.
            Frazer in Golden Bough says “if then we consider, on one hand, the essential similarity of man’s chief wants everywhere and at all times, and on the other hand, the wide difference between the means he has adopted to satisfy them in different ages, we shall perhaps be disposed to conclude that the movement of the higher thought, so far as we can trace it, has on the whole been from magic through religion to science.” [Frazer.711].Unfortunately science and technology have not been able either to marginalize or to disprove religion. On the contrary it has helped to spread religions and has in its findings supported basic religious beliefs. As Aquinas said, religion proceeds from “the light of divine revelation” [Anton 30] which he saw as a higher science.       

Works Cited

*       Anton C.P(ed) Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Acquinas, Random House, New York. (1945)
*       Darwin. The Descent of Man, Modern Library, p.465.
*       Ford, Boris. “From Blake to Byron”. The Pelican Guide to English Literature, volume 5, Penguin Books, 1957.p.15
*       Ford, Boris. “From Dickens to Hardy”. The Pelican Guide to English Literature, volume 6, Penguin Books, 1958.p.19.
*       The Bible societies. Good News Bible, Caledonian International Book Manufacturing Ltd, Glasgow, Britain.
*      Frazer, J.G. The Golden Bough, Macmillan and co; limited, 1950, (369)
*       “Medicine” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe. 2004 ed.


GLOBALIZATION MEDIA AND CULTURAL IDENTITY: an analysis with reference to Sri Lankan experience

           The modern epoch opened as an era of globalization. Most of the critics portray this term as a world with permeable borders. Furthermore globalization is a widespread concept with a considerable degree of ambiguity. This ambiguity does not mean that it remains unclear or ill defined. Globalization has been viewed from different perspectives and dimensions particularly in relation to different interests, subject areas and scope. One perspective attempts to define it as a process of strengthening and extension of the international instability of commerce, capitals, technology and labor force. Another perspective refers to institutional changes, which are brought about in the society by the increase of these flows and the development of the transnational corporations. [Adesoji 41] In this point of view, it stressed the weakening of the regulating function of the national states. In its stronger version, globalization can be implied as disappearance of the state in its economic dimensions. Yet another perspective refers to the growing homogenization of certain processes and behaviors like the introduction of global standards in the production of goods.

In other words, what it means is the transformation of the state, the emergence of a new kind of global politics in which the state is one actor among many. [Glasius, Kaldor, 1] Accordingly the obvious fact is that globalization results by having a world with permeable borders.

Today money, goods, and services readily cross national boundaries. Instantaneous messages and enormous libraries of information flash across the Internet. Television, telephones, and wireless communications connect people in everywhere. In another viewpoint globalization can be interpreted as an integration and democratization of the world’s culture, economy, and infrastructure through transnational investment, rapid proliferation of communication and information technologies, and the impacts of free-market forces on local, regional and national economies. Hence it has been difficult adopting a standard definition and under different perspective and spheres it gives slightly different viewpoints, globalization can be interpreted as a combination of all the above mentioned factors.

The concept of globalization is not a new concept. Deluxe Encyclopedia 2004 conveys the roots of globalization as follows. According to it the most important globalizing process was the migration of human beings from the birthplace of the species to other continents. Soon after people settled down to work the land, they began to trade with other societies, nearby and far away. Then there came numerous inventions of the world like wheel and sailing vessels. Silk Road carried goods and ideas between China and the Roman Empire. Not only goods it carried information, clothing and cooking styles, techniques of metalwork, decoration and religions too. Then the concepts like imperialism, colonization took place and exploration of countries caused for exploitation. Though these conflicts were terribly destructive, they were part of the process of globalization that has brought about modern society.

Therefore it is evident the fact that globalization is not a new concept. It is an existed concept from the past. Moreover Karl Marx observed the same situation, the origination of globalization in Das Kapital as follows though the situation was not labeled as globalization during that era

“The capitalists’ ‘avarice’ for consumption as the accumulation; production and surplus value go on increasing. Marx says, ‘Luxury enters into capital’s expenses of representation’... Capitalists accumulate not for accumulation’s sake but to convert it into capital and to generate more surplus value. But what for this surplus value? Marx explains, “At the historical dawn of capitalist production - and every capitalist upstart has personally to go through this historical stage, avarice, and desire to get rich, are the ruling passions”4 … the capitalists need expansion of their markets. So Marx already explained it in the Communist Manifesto, “The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connection everywhere”5. [Sen. 121]

Accordingly today we get familiar with the development of the above condition and we label it as globalization. When this condition gets more familiar with the present world it affects to the states in different ways. It could affect socially, politically, economically and culturally. Nowadays we see that globalization has invaded the culture. Hence globalization is from West to the rest all those affectations have an effect, not largely on Western developed countries but on under developing countries. However the development of this concept now resulted by having a global culture in the world.

Culture can be interpreted as a way of life adopted by a certain group of people of a particular society at a specific time and place. Every society has its own culture and way of life. Culture is established by a group of people who live together and stick to some principles in their society. Consciously or unconsciously people adopt the culture of the group that they born to. Nowadays culture becomes an important domain in relation to the concept of globalization. Globalization makes people have common needs and common challenges and as a result of that people form common societies which can address to their challenges.

Cultures of people are diverse, even when dealing with similar realities. They mould a people’s way of life and thinking and give distinctiveness to a community. The process of globalization tends to bring about homogeneity of cultural behaviors throughout the world, at least in certain aspects of life such as in food, dress, leisure, music, and sports. The mass media and advertisements create wants, especially for TNC products such as McDonald’s food (present in 111 countries), Coca cola, jeans and rock concert music. The universalization of the demand for these goods may give the impression of a pervasive global mono-culture. [Balasuriya, www.religionline.org]

Today, many nations are multicultural societies, composed of numerous smaller subcultures. Local culture and social structure are now shaped by large and powerful commercial interests. Cultures also cross national boundaries. For instance, people around the world now know a variety of English words and have contact with American cultural exports such as brand-name clothing and technological products, films and music, and mass-produced foods. Unlike past nowadays travel where we want easily. Distance is not a problem for that. Therefore Diaspora has become a common factor for all. And Diaspora too brings their own cultures when they move to another country. Hence there can be seen multicultural societies all over the world.

When we talk about globalization we often talk about cultural convergence and the intermixing of pop cultures around the world. Author David Singh Grewal argues that globalization does not just influence which other cultures we encounter in our daily lives. More importantly, globalization changes our own culture. [Grewal, 2009] Most often dominant societies can shape the culture of less powerful societies, a process some researchers call cultural domination. Today, many anthropologists openly oppose efforts by dominant world powers, such as the U.S. government and large corporations, to make unique smaller societies adopt Western commercial culture. Right now this cultural domination has identified in the term of Cultural Imperialism.

According to Tomlinson cultural imperialism is ‘the use of political and economic power to exalt and spread the values and habits of a foreign culture at the expense of a native culture.' [www.wikimediaclture.org] Furthermore according to Tomlinson economic power has enabled high capitalistic countries to exert a considerable control over weaker countries economically and culturally. Since America or Western countries are seen to dominate the world’s capitalism, their popular culture, Hollywood, the English language, and companies that include Nike and McDonalds, appear to show their cultural imperialism over the world. [Thomlimson, 54]

This situation basically happens through its relation with media. Rapid changes in technology in the last several decades have changed the nature of culture and cultural exchange. People around the world can make economic transactions and transmit information to each other almost instantaneously through the use of computers and satellite communications. Media is the vehicle which brings the effects of globalization to each nook and corner of the world. Media come out with images, sounds, and spectacles help produce the framework of everyday life. Furthermore it can have a certain effect on our lifestyle while dominating our leisure time, shaping political views and social behavior. Additionally it provides materials for people to forge an identity. Radio, television, film, and the other products of the culture industries provide the models of what it means to be male or female, successful or a failure, powerful or powerless. Media also provides the materials out of which many people construct their sense of class, of ethnicity and race, of nationality, of sexuality, of “us” and “them.”

It is through media we get familiar with the effects of globalization. Daily stories and images of media provide the symbols, myths, and resources which help people to constitute a common culture for the majority of individuals in many parts of the world today. Media culture provides the materials to create Identities and we insert ourselves into contemporary society what we identify as a global culture.

According to Manuel Casetells the information revolution and reconstruction of capitalism have established a new society that could be called the “network society.” The most important characteristic of this society is its prevalent culture established by a diverse and comprehensive media system. [Babran, 2008] Hence technological revolution constitutes a basic support for capitalist globalization. This revolution is the important device which speeded up the process of globalization. Critics of globalization often cite "media imperialism" as a dominant vehicle for the expansion of a homogenous, consumer-based culture extending across borders. [Richards, French 2000] As a result of this situation powerful western countries are largely carrying a one-way transmission of ideas and values and end up with displacement of indigenous cultures in under developing countries.

This situation can be observed through Sri Lanka. As a developing country it has the facets of globalization. According to the ideas discussed above Sri Lankan culture has vastly affected and affecting due to this situation and it mainly occurs in relation with rapid development of media.

Throughout the past centuries and still Sri Lanka has been moving along with the process of globalization. If we move to the past decades of the country according to the introductory factors mentioned above, even during the era of western colonization too had good as well as bad facets of globalization in Sri Lanka. The psychological consequences too on the colonized, Portuguese, Dutch and British were severe because whatever they did in Sri Lanka was first for their own benefit. Even the advantages brought to us were due to the requirements of the colonial government. Some of the advantages of colonial rule were the building of roads, railways, harbors and hospitals in the colonies. The colonizing powers introduced the modern education system and medicine. They even introduced modern agricultural methods. Most often, the colonial government exploited the Sri Lankans and their natural resources. Only a very small share of profit was given to us. Our country was used as the source for the raw material and the markets for the finished foreign goods. This badly affected our economy. Even politically these nations made several changes. They arbitrarily partitioned our country in some cases, while at some places they made divisions on the basis of language, religion and custom.

There were also social and cultural effects. Various European languages with a rich tradition of literature were spread. The impact of western education and culture, their dress and language was acutely felt. Most of natives in Sri Lanka have also migrated to the West and also there had been number of elites who followed the Western pattern. Accordingly this situation proves the fact that though it was not so strict, though it was not so rapid and though the way of spreading the concept was different there were the facets of globalization in Sri Lanka from the past. If we take the present condition of the country we can see that nowadays Sri Lanka is highly affected by it.

Consequently nowadays a vast majority of the Sri Lankan community is getting influenced by it. As a result of that western culture is attacking to the indigenous Sri Lankan culture. In some major cities the influence of western culture is being increasingly felt with the introduction of major fast food brands such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken as well as the appearance of major clothing brands such as Levi and Bench. Most of the critics identified this situation as a threat to Sri Lankan cultural identity. In the political structure some critics identify it as a loss of sovereignty in the country.

Sri Lankans have subsisted on their own food production except some items. Consequent to globalization Sri Lanka has increased its import of rice and other basic commodities. Neighboring India has always been trying to set foot in the name of modernizing Sri Lankan industrial sector. Through means of globalization India and other countries keep an eye on controlling Sri Lankan lives. [Kumaaran, http//srilankannewsfirst.com]

Culture is a major factor in the process of globalization. With the rapid process of globalization indigenous culture of Sri Lanka has globalized. If we pay close attention to the present Sri Lankan society it can be seen the fact that basic requirements of the people have increased. People unlike to get satisfied with what they have in their own countries they always look for something else. Then there can be seen western influence as well as cultural interactions. With the above two factors people try to imitate the culture of other countries. This cultural imitation affects the indigenous culture of the country. It is due to globalization states’ boundaries get broaden. And naturally people observe the traditions and cultures of other countries. Consequently they get familiar with cultures which are alien to them and obviously they forget their own cultures.

As mentioned earlier these cultural effects come through media. Globalization is not achievable without high technology and communication. Cultural affectation comes through communication. When new technologies emerged, that transformed the speed and range of communications, allowing the process of globalization faster. It is clear that globalization is an ongoing process, with its most visible aspect being the spread of information and communication technologies. Sri Lankans too affected by that. Currently media has close relationship with the people and Sri Lankans too having experiences on it.

The following is an analysis is according to the survey that I have done under the theme of globalization media and culture in relation to Sri Lankan experience. There I have interviewed number of people who belong to different years of age, different social background and different nationality. But here I have categorized what they said according to their age. Under that I categorized them into three groups like youths age between, 15-30, middle age, 30-50 and age more than 50.

According to the views of the youths in Sri Lanka it is clear the fact that they get familiar with the current situation. Though they see the disadvantages they cannot get rid of it because all those modern changes are interconnected with their life styles. They are evident with the social and cultural changes that come with globalization. They are so familiar with media especially television and internet. They accept the fact that media corrupt the indigenous culture of our country. For example Sinhala language is facing to a threat due to this situation. They talked about the changes that happened in the fashions, foods. They like the accessibility of knowledge and instant gratification that come with the concept of globalization. They believed the fact that globalization brings social reality – media reality – hyper reality. They recognized the fact that Sri Lankans are loosing their cultural identity. But according to the ideas given by the most of youths, they said that they too have to move with the present condition and them too getting attracted to westernization. Though they are evident what happen around them is wrong they are unable to get rig of that.

According to my survey, I felt that middle age people who have experiences on both present and the past mostly get lost in this situation. They see the advantages as well as disadvantages of modern facilities. So they are afraid to be familiar with modern world. They always compare present with past. For example they assumed that nowadays they can buy easily what they want but for all they that they need money. They said that most of the people in the present society have become money minded. They have lost their cultural values. Media brings all the things that can corrupt the native culture of the country. They are in between the modern and the past eras. But they too have to join with the present society under certain circumstances.

Third group is the people who belong to the group of age above fifty. Most of the people who belong to this group of age see this situation as a mock. They always think about how nice how it is calm and quiet the life that they spend in the past. Most of them don’t get the love and caring of their children as their children are having a hectic lifestyle. They accept the fact that modern technology brings more facilities to them. But at the same time they argue on the fact that though they don’t have such facilities in the past they spent a happy life with their children and the parents. A larger concern in the emerging global information economy is the fact that most of the people cannot afford the types of products advertised on global media. Though it happens like that, their dissatisfaction of what they have constantly exposed them to these media messages and make them want to have those products that they can never afford. And that causes to a social unrest. For example due to the rapid development of technology it creates different versions of the same product. Mobile phone is one thing. This group of people argued on this fact and said it does not matter they use a mobile phone for communication but when comes different versions of the same product and when they get more familiar with that product with media they feel it is good they have the newest thing of that product. Then they need money and that makes their lives worse. And as a result of that crimes and violence become a common factor in the country. According to them they sill get satisfy with the simple lifestyle that they had in the past.

Above analysis is a sum up that based on the ideas given by the interviewers who belong to different age groups. According to that it is obvious the fact that globalization has multitude fallouts like increasing poverty, rising crime and violence, environmental degradation, changes in life styles and erosion of cultural values in Sri Lanka. Though most of the people in the country aware of that they are unable to get rid of it especially youths. As youth represents the present generation this would continue in future more than now. Middle age people feel that they are unable to fit in to the present as well as the past. They are like in between the processes of globalization. And the older generation just keeps a look at on the different changes happen in the present society.

Globalization is the gradual illusion of the weakening of state powers. It also represents how an individual life can be transformed by global forces, and one can expand one’s connections around the world. With globalization, individual lives become affected not just by their local communities, but by economic, political, and cultural processes or forces that operate worldwide. As it is a global process no body can avoid of it. The only thing that we can do is to be familiar with the process of globalization by understanding its effects both good and bad.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dancing Queen -Short Story

                                       Dancing Queen

It was the end of the ‘Ideal Dancer’ TV programme. The presenter thanked the guest,
 “Thank you very much Ms.Priyanka for joining with us. We wish that you perform your dancing items well. Finally I would like to ask your phone number because most of our viewers are waiting to talk with you. They might have lot of things to ask from you about your dancing styles.”
I gave my phone number and thanked them all. Then I came out of the studio and get on to my car. As I was tired I asked my driver to take me home without stopping anywhere. When I was going I heard my phone rang. A woman spoke to me,
       “Hello, is this Ms.Priyanka?”As it was an unknown voice I replied curiously.
Then the woman spoke further. She told that she was a psychiatrist at GGR mental hospital and she had something important to tell me, but she repeatedly told me that she didn’t mean to insult me and she asked me not to misunderstand her. Then I felt more curious and listened anxiously. Then she told me that in their mental asylum they allow some of their patients to watch some musical and dancing programmes on TV and today they had seen my programme. But one of the patients, who suffered from a severe mental stress, cried a lot after having seen the programme. She shouted that Ms.Priyanka was her one and only child. Her words shook me and at once I asked the name of that patient.
        “She is Mrs. Radhika Fernando. Miss I don’t know whether Mrs.Radhika knows you or not, but if you know about her please visit he. She is not strong enough to bear up the things that have happened to her. She is in a serious situation. And now she is so old and feeble. Her husband visits her everyday once he told me that their daughter committed suicide and after that incident his wife had lost her sanity.” She continued.
Furthermore she said that perhaps their daughter might be like me. So she pleaded me to visit the patient though I was busy with my work. And it would be a good treatment for the patient. Then I promised to think about it further.
        After that phone call tears began to pour down my cheeks. Them my mind ran back to the time of my childhood.
        Ten years ago my parents and I lived together. I was the only child of my family. I loved my parents a lot, but I knew that they loved me more than I loved them. They wanted to give me a good education. My father’s dream was to see me as a doctor. He always told me, ‘My little daughter, you should do your studies well and try to be a doctor one day and surprise all our friends and relations.’ But according to my way of thinking I didn’t accept my father’s idea. I always dream to be a good dancer one day though my father didn’t agree with me. All the time he said that he couldn’t be ashamed in front of his relations. My mother too agreed with my father. Time ran quickly and my parents forced me to do the Advanced Level Examination in science stream. However I did my studies without any will, but my parents thought that I would pass my examination very well. They took me too many private classes and spent a lot of money though I found all the subjects equally difficult. I did my examination and awaited results. In the meantime I told my father to take me to a dancing class, but he paid no attention to my request.
        My results came. I had only three simple passes. I feel nothing about my results. My parents were sad and they were disappointed about me because their loving child had destroyed their wonderful dream. So the hunk between me and my parents grew weaker day by day. Then I felt sad and also felt disappointed about myself. My father didn’t speak to me. We behaved as strangers even though we lived under one roof. I was unable to face the situation at my home. Finally I left my loving cage with the idea of building up my life by myself.
        I came out of my thoughts. My face was wet with tears. Through my tears I saw the gate of my house. I went to my room and began to think. During the last five years I searched my parents. But I could find only that my father had sold our house and had gone somewhere with my mother. Now everything is clear to me. I decided to go to that asylum next day.
        The following morning I got ready to go. My car stopped at the asylum gate. Everyone looked at me surprisingly and came round me. Through them I saw a tall young lady was coming towards me.
        “Hi! Ms.Priyanka, I am doctor Swetha. It’s me who phoned you yesterday. I never thought that you would come. Then she took me to see the patient. We went to her room. She pointed her hand at a patient who was lying on a bed. There was a man sitting in front of her. I told the doctor that I wanted to go alone and talk with them. I found very quickly that the old thin man who was sitting there was my father and the patient was my mother. I went to speak with them.  
        “Oh! Are you Ms.Priyanka?” The man asked surprisingly.
I just nodded my head.
        “My wife thinks that you are our daughter. She cries when she sees you on TV.”
I looked at him with a blank face. Then I asked their story. He began to sob and said that because of their faults they lost their daughter. Then I asked whether they knew where their daughter was.
        “No Miss, perhaps she might have died. It is our fate. But when you speak with me I felt that my daughter is again with me.”
I was unable to control myself. I began to weep.
        “No father you are not wrong. You little daughter is still with you. Can’t you recognize me? Do I have changed a lot?”
        “Then who is Miss.Priyanka?” He questioned.
        “It’s a long story. I changed my name.”

At that time my mother woke up and looked at me with tears on her eyes. She began to touch my hands, my face. I promised her not to leave her again and asked their pardon for what had happened. And asked them, not to consider me as an unkind one.