Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Rural Culture

Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch

The culture, the traditional rural culture and the industrial city culture, the contents, the characteristics, changes are more or less the topics of discussion in various considerations on the subject. It may not be clear to many where the problem really is, or why the restlessness, why the discussion?

The term Culture is gladly used in these times. To be lacking in culture or be devoid of culture, no please! It does not surprise when one talks of eating, sleeping and drinking cultures. Educated people have the reading culture. Many are members of special cultures like leisure activities. One is sure to maintain high standard in body culture, which is by the way synonymous with the intensive use of perfumes. It underlines the positive image towards outside.

All these consumption-oriented cultures please the producers the most. They help to obtain satisfaction in the life, with appropriate message to other population groups; for example, people in the rural areas want to follow suit without thinking or any other consideration.

As an example for the short-sightedness, we may refer to Thornbury’s LIVING CULTURE (Random House Business Books, London 2000), who would surely not be happy on his being quoted in actually the opposite sense; a world-wide operating consultant company mentioned by him has described the performance as expected from managers, to achieve what they should do. It is assumed that the desired culture is already known and nothing more is required.

Who should they have the time to ponder upon the meaning of culture and to follow the connection to commercial enterprises? The direction of expected results here is rather clear: the industrially produced products are considered as guiding line and there are only minimal deviations, for example the argument of fantastic possibilities of informing oneself in a world over-flooded with information. This reminds of the satisfaction of bodily desires in a Fast-Food-Restaurant, where one can select between number of dressings for the salads.

The scope of the keywords used to search the Internet gets narrowed down. This leads to lesser and lesser words actually written, which does not matter at all if it is not so evident and one gets used to it.

The influence on the traditional city culture is clearly recognizable in literature, which reflects the social situation. The process of democratization is supposed to improve the general quality of life. The followers of this line of thinking refer to antique Greek city-states where, on a small scale, good results were achieved by segregating the social status of groups of populations. Even then, the greatest Greek thinker was passing the argument that democracy probably functions best on empty land. Let us not get into that because a lot has been written on it and democracy has spread ‘industrially’. An interesting side effect is the slimming of the depth and intensity of feelings: the fact that antique feelings, like literary portrayal of feelings of love, the subtle overcoming of authoritarian power structures are rather more spread in accordance with western standards. The consumption-oriented behavior is strongly on the advance specially in the conurbations.

As in a bow, we again get to the point where we began, namely the conflict between urban and rural culture. The unconcerned enjoyers and shortsighted beneficiaries do not recognize the loss of their non-material values. The rather live unrestricted in their state of euphoria, whereby abandonment and self-limitation are more sought after.

The attentive non-political and religious fellow human being suspects in this environment that there must be something to the socialism thinking, as also in the representation of gluttony in the Old Testament and the dancing about the golden calf.

They must, in order not to be left out of the dance, decide and rapidly transform themselves into a consumer, which is to be honest the easiest and the best way because it causes no headaches and one is also not limited in any way. Arguments like what should the individual otherwise do very helpful and useful here. Life must be financed: the family, the children, the house, the whole living standard should be taken care.

In the other case, one may quote a religious saying from the time of the begging monks: monk, monk, you carry a heavy burden. One form of interpretation may be mentioned here. Galileo Galilei said, more or less defiantly... and she is moving, “Even if a wrong is done millions of times that do not make it right.” In democratic terms, one would discuss so long, till the majority deviates bit by bit from its old course. Information deficits must be equalized, one must find compromises, people with other opinion must be better explained; here other unpleasant sayings come to mind, like for example, “after me... the flood, riding the horse to death.”

The modern cynic makes a good profit out of all this and lets himself gladly be invited to television talk shows till he is ridden to death. After all, one must live from something.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM,


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