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Re: The Conceited Empire (E. Todd)
by Rahul Goswami
08 August 2003 03:40 UTC
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Ref Steven Sherman and E Todd, yes the cultural aspect is certainly
important. In East Asia for example it is J-pop (Japan pop) can
Cantopop (Cantonese pop) that are listened to from Japan to Korea to
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and Korean sitcoms are watched on
cable. True, the presentation of the music and the universe borrows a
great deal from the MTV vocabulary - and indeed the lyrics include
English, which worries Asian linguists who are concerned about the
globalisation of English and its intrusion into Asia - but it
represents a pan-East Asian idea of pop culture. Similarly in
South-East Asia, specifically Malaysia and Indonesia, the influences
can come from as far afield as India, with its indefatigable Bollywood
film industry and its huge doses of saccharine songs, and both films
and songs are popular here (Malaysia has shrewdly positioned itself as
an international locale for Bollywood film producers). This encounter
has also led to expressions like the Indonesian 'dangdut', songs in
Bahasa of local origin but heavily influenced in delivery by the film
songs. Singapore has officially attempted to get rid of 'Singlish' the
peculiar patois that amalgamates English, Malay and dialects like
Hokkien, all in a compressed sort of code, which needs local residence
in order to understand. Conversely, Singaporeans who have been
educated in the west, and who speak with noticeable American or
British accents, are viewed with a sort of tolerant pity by the
Singlish-speakers, as having moved perhaps too far from their roots.


Rahul Goswami

phone +65 62910840 / 96640750
fax +1 775 908 1621

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