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#50 Western Culture

Posted March 31st, 2008 by Shaun · 20 Comments

Look around you. Western culture is everywhere. Be it the Coca-Cola you’re sipping on, the Hollywood film on television, or the American president you wish would stop putting his foot in his mouth. (Gosh, how many “˜Great Moments in Presidential Speeches’ moments does Letterman have?).

Let’s face it, western culture is all-encompassing. For this reason, Asians tend to gravitate towards this culture like flies toward a fresh ball of dung. Is it a sign of rebellion against traditional Eastern values, or does it signify that Western culture is becoming prevalent all around the world? Whatever the case, Asians like the idea of Western Culture.

Or should I say… Asians love the West. However, like many other things, they do so in moderation (Perhaps it would be overkill having Westerners overpopulate and invade Asian countries, even though it’s very amusing for Asians in their native country to stare (#25) and point at Western visitors or expatriates in the same way that one would stare and point at a clown).

Paradoxically, Asians in their element see Westerners on television all the time; but seeing one in the flesh is something extraordinary. To some foreigners, it is even something to be cherished. To a very reverential group Western Groupie Asians, tourist groups are a chance to test their broken english. Frequently, Asians will attempt to use encounters with Westerners to try to brush up on their English because as generally intelligent creatures, they figure that to succeed in life, they must be well-rounded and articulate as possible.

Asians also see the English language, one of the byproducts of Western culture, as very imperative to success. Unfortunately, Asians have the false belief that all Westerners speak English, and are often oblivious to the existence and widespread use of other “Western languages” such as French, German and Spanish. Asians are pretty smart though, because they’ve already realized that English will probably make all other Western languages (mainly French) obsolete by the year 3000 (obscure Futurama reference), In other terms, they’re effectively jumping on the bandwagon.

In reality, there’s actually no need for Asians to exploit traveling Westerners for insight into the Western way of thinking. It’s in proximity to Asians all the time. What do I mean? The most obvious exposure Asians get to Western culture is in Hollywood films. However, Jet Li, Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan (#33 & #27) aren’t good enough. They’re don’t really epitomize Hollywood (if you know what I mean).

What Asians really need in order to immerse themselves in western culture is a good ol’ Governator film. For one, as soon as Arnie exclaims: ‘I’ll be back!“, Asians can take comfort in the fact that #20 (Bad Pronunciation) isn’t as big a deal as they once thought. Then there’s dubbing. If anything, it helps Asians delude themselves further into thinking all Westerners can actually speak Asian languages. (Yeah, in our dreams”¦)

Yet, Asians still enjoy challenging themselves. Taking their love of Western culture one step further, some asians actually visit or even take the plunge and immigrate to a Western country. The conundrum is that many, many, many, many, many… many… (exasperated gasp)… many Asians take this plunge, almost to the extent that it has become a fad for Asians to study, work, or allow their children to grow up in a Western environment.

Other Westernized Asians are getting sick of this conformist behavior. “We were here before you guys! Try Canada or maybe New Zealand instead.” However, the benefits are numerous. In an actual Western country, an Asian will find Western pleasures to their heart’s content. From fast food to modern brand names, Shakespearean plays, or even white boys (for you Asian girls of course): Every Asian’s wildest western desire is accounted for in Western countries. Well, that’s logical, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, when all is said and done, the idea of Western culture is enough to keep Asians entertained. All those Nike products and greasy, oily hamburgers can only go so far (Asians can only deal with so much of their own products in western culture). But, when it comes down to conservative Asians, tradition (East) nearly always beats practicality (West). Wait a second”¦ that shouldn’t make sense. Oh well”¦

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to get me some McDonalds’ flied lice for lunch before I have my big juicy steak doused in soya sauce for dinner”¦ Beat that for immersing one’s self in Asian”¦ I mean Western culture. Wait, I’m confused now”¦ again.

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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sy88 // Apr 1, 2008 at 5:39 am

    P.S if you were wondering, I’m pretty sure you can actually get fried rice/lice at McDonald’s. I’m quite certain Malaysian McDonald’s accomodate to some Asians’ perverse culinary needs.

    I believe it’s called ‘nasi goreng’ which translated is ‘fried rice’ in Malay anyway. Please feel free to correct me if I’m either wrong or deluded…

  • 2 YASPY Chick // Apr 1, 2008 at 7:51 am

    I think Mickey D’s does accommodate different cultures. In Quebec, you can get poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy), but you can’t get it in English Canada. Also in many European McDonald’s, you can get beer.

    As for other westernized things: Piano and violin lessons are probably high on the list!!!

  • 3 Asian Apocalypse Founder // Apr 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Wow. Did you just say “gosh”? Please see my comment to your previous post.

  • 4 Asian Apocalypse Founder // Apr 2, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Yes, but white people like Asian stuff, if not Asian people (except, I guess white guys. sorry, Asian guys.) Free Tibet, yoga, buddhism, daoism, dao of pooh, de of piglet, feng shui, zen, general tsao’s chicken, ramen, acupuncture, chinese tea, japanese green tea, korean barley tea, bubble tea, stupid desk top asian fountains, kimonos, eating sushi to impress the asian girl you have a crush on, eating sushi to impress the white girl you have a crush on, eating sushi with chopsticks to impress asian/white girl if you aren’t asian, using chopsticks in general, chopsticks in hair, chopsticks on desk top asian fountains, chopsticks in flower arrangements, lucky bamboo in flower arrangement, bamboo chopsticks, the list goes on.

    I had a friend who thought if she had anything Asian, she was cultured but if I had anything Asian, I was just too Asian. And that is also when reason warped in on itself in a round about way.

  • 5 sy88 // Apr 3, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Uh huh AAF, I did just say ‘gosh’. I didn’t see your previous comment, but meh, I could explain my use of that word by linking it in to this article and just explain that the word ‘gosh’ is a byproduct of western culture. Hence, I hear other people say the word (in the western environment I live in), and thus is seeps into my own vocabulary.

    “Yes, but white people like Asian stuff, if not Asian people”

    Yeah, isn’t that natural for people of a certain culture to envy parts of another culture? That is the question. I’m not saying all Asians want to be white, just that particular parts of Westerners are especially enticing to us…

    “I had a friend who thought if she had anything Asian, she was cultured but if I had anything Asian, I was just too Asian. And that is also when reason warped in on itself in a round about way.”

    I suppose your friend isn’t ethnically Asian then? That is the conundrum, supposedly if white people have interest in other cultures, then they are ‘cultured’. If we do or don’t have interest in our own culture, we’re can either be called ‘too Asian’ or ‘white-washed’. And as you said, we just go round in circles with this…

  • 6 CarolinaHaze // Apr 3, 2008 at 11:17 am

    [Reviewed by Moderator]
    sy88, that is indeed an **** conundrum for AAs. Black people get it bad too. If they have an interest in anything deemed “white”(academics, career advancement, healthy diet) then they are called “Oreos” or “Sell outs” if they have a strong interest in their African(a broad term) culture, they are then “too-black”.

  • 7 Julius // Apr 12, 2008 at 10:27 am

    ^^^Man tell me about it. lol

  • 8 Julius // Apr 12, 2008 at 10:28 am

    also you could add “Uncle Tom” in there to. I get called that by my on mother.

  • 9 hi // Dec 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    And Whites like Asian stuff too, but the world wants to speak English and eat McDonalds – so what is so wring with that?

  • 10 Gab // Mar 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Asian Singer, Jocie Guo Mei Mei
    Born March 21, 1982 (1982-03-21) (age 26)
    Singaporean – Chinese

    Many of her songs were copied from whites.
    (Original) – And better in my opinion.

  • 11 Robert // Jul 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    As an american expatriot in Japan you can tell there is a clear interest in western culture. But in the respect its no different with westerners having an interested in asian culture. Admittedly they seem to like it alot more I can tell from the fashion groups in Tokyo. But when you ask them its not like they do not want to be Japanese they just have a legitimate interest. Like I have with thier culture. I do seem a little bad I have come across some people who really do wish they were western or american. Though they are rare atleast to me these people seem shy I am sure there maybe westerners who feel this way about them I have not met any of them but then again when I lived in the US I never really left my area in North Carolina very much.

  • 12 Kiyaso // Nov 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I don’t like western things!

    Asians should not like white stuff.

  • 13 Yanatsu // Oct 31, 2010 at 9:47 am


  • 14 Anonymous // Dec 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm


    “I don’t like western things!

    Asians should not like white stuff.”

    Then you don’t like

    Modern Clothing,

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  • 18 confused // Aug 31, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Asians would have been very happy without:
    Modern Clothing,

    Western culture may have valued technological advancements – especially pertaining to mass manufacturing, but does technology raise the level of human happiness? It seems now that as a global community, we are all deadlocked in an ever fearful technological race, trying to gain every bit of informational and technological advantage that we can so that we can stay employed and ahead of the curve. And honestly, do you really think playing God and glorifying scientific historical firsts that cool? It’s not over yet, there’s still the first Man to Mars and on and on. You might say, if it weren’t for the Western culture, everyone would still be living in the jungle. Well, the 18th and 19th industrial revolution was only possible because of the Chinese invention of paper. It’s hard to spread information solely by word of mouth.

  • 19 confused // Aug 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I was a bit irritated when I wrote above post, so let me clarify.

    While the Pros of Science is pretty obvious, the Cons are seldom talked about even from a layman’s perspective.

    Science Cons:
    1) Does not increase happiness, unless we find a way to increase the level of endorphins our bodies express.
    2) Makes people addicted to it – we cannot live without technology.
    3) Gives certain people inflated egos when they “invent” something and “change” the world. These people play by God’s rules but insist on placing their names on everything they do. Do they think other people are amazed by their achievements? Who are they kidding?
    4) There are always more challenges and science breeds an atmosphere of competition in the industry and rewards those who dominates academic discourse- See #2.
    5) Everything has a price. And for those who thinks technology is as perfect as a piece of heaven, they are deluded. We’ve merely found ways to amplify our destructive and selfish tendencies. The smart people in government are well aware of the accelerated extinction of the human race by many factors, although they usually tout stem cells or global warming because they don’t want to scare the public by detailing the potency of their weapons arsenal.
    6) Technology is not only an addiction, but also its advancement is now pursued by everyone who cares about self-survival. And Western culture think that’s good? Do you Western folks even think about the consequences a couple hundred years from now? Oh wait, you are still living off of the high that technology has given you. Time to go back to making more hyped up gadgets for Western culture to lap up.

  • 20 Jack De Sanchez // Dec 19, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Western culture is okay, but i have a problem. a lot of girls that have been exposed to this western culture too much arent nice to me

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