Friday, February 24, 2012

colonising continues

It seems that someone has clicked 'refresh' on colonialism.

As I walked down Nathan Rd in Kowloon (Hong Kong) I lifted my eyes to the billboards ('where does my help come from?', I am tempted to add) filling the horizon and reckoned that 19 out of 20 were adorned with white and western images of beauty.

As I worshiped in a Dutch Reformed Church in Colombo (Sri Lanka) we sang the hymns and continued the liturgy handed down by missionaries decades earlier. Not just Sri Lanka. This is so common. And whether it be this old liturgy, or the new liturgy of Hillsong - it is still an imported liturgy.

As I wandered through transit in Abu Dhabi, at the geographical heart of the Arab world, everything that surrounded me was the very stuff they are known to despise in the way the other half lives: alcohol and beauty products and movies and...and... [OK, so they are trying to fleece European tourists on their way home, but really, the oddity of it all being there was just so striking].

As I open the newspapers in any and every country, and as I feel my flicking fingers instinctively find the sports pages, the headlines are the same. Everywhere. Always. English Premier League football. Oh yes, local sport is here and there - but the multi-inch headlines have a common focus.

As I surf in these countries the only way I know how - with the TV - the music videos are desperately seeking the old MTV and the game shows are obsessed with surviving and becoming millionaires and talent-seeking.

Sure, this is not all there is - but it is a lot of what there is.
Is it not a colonialism recast in twenty-first century attire?

It may be more subtle today. It may be pulled by people towards them, rather than pushed upon people from afar. It may look like a global culture seeping like a tide into every local bay - but maybe, just maybe, it is the same old colonising of minds and behaviour. Some cultures do seem to be dominant and others do seem to be dependent.

'Not so with you' was the phrase of Jesus that comes readily to mind.

nice chatting

Paul

2 comments:

Nigel Webb said...

here in Ecuador it is the same. supposedly USA is the big baddie but "everyone" drinks CocaCola, wears US-made jeans, wants to learn American English, many try to emigrate legally or illegally to the US. It's like colonization where the West has somehow convinced the rest that they want it.

Barry Pearman said...

So we follow Pauls commendation to 'live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ' Phil. 1:27 and not in the manner of CocaCola or Apple.

I wonder if you were to ask someone to tell you the first thing that came into their head and you said the word 'Apple' what would they say?