Nowadays, many people talking about culture and its influences to the development of a country in everywhere. Based on Wikipedia, Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning “to cultivate”) is a term that has different meanings.
However, the word “culture” is most commonly used in three basic senses; excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture; an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning; and the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group. So, what are its influences to the development of a country? Most of the people thought that ‘culture’ play a major role in the development of a country.
But, in my point of view, it became an obstacle precisely rather than to support the development of a country. Other words, it’s not always in a positive ways. Why do I say so? Because in the reality, it tackle us to moved forward. We tend to be hesitating to decide something because we thought it opposing our culture. It was wasting our time. If we want to do something that contra our culture, it usually took a long time. And the cost is, we left behind by the other country. Here in this regard, I would like to compare two countries which I think able to support my opinion.
They are Indonesia and United States. Indonesia has already known with its wide culture. They have about millions of culture. Examples of cultural fusion include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan; others could be cited. Indonesian art-forms express this cultural mix. Wayang, traditional theater-performed puppet shows, were a medium in the spread of Hinduism and Islam amongst Javan villagers.
Both Javanese and Balinese dances have stories about ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, while Islamic art forms and architecture are present in Sumatra, especially in the Minangkabau and Aceh regions. Traditional art, music and sport are combined in a martial art form called Pencak Silat. Western culture has greatly influenced Indonesia in modern entertainment such as television shows, film and music, as well as political system and issues. India has notably influenced Indonesian songs and movies.
A popular type of song is the Indian-rhythmical dangdut, which is often mixed with Arab and Malay folk music. Despite the influences of foreign culture, some remote Indonesian regions still preserve uniquely indigenous culture. Indigenous ethnic groups Mentawai, Asmat, Dani, Dayak, Toraja and many others are still practising their ethnic rituals, customs and wearing traditional clothes. Although they have so many variant in culture, in my opinion they still struggling to develop. This is because most of their culture became an obstacle to their development.
American culture encompasses traditions, ideals, customs, beliefs, values, arts, and innovations developed both domestically and imported via colonization and immigration. Prevalent ideas and ideals from the European continent such as democracy, capitalism, various forms of monotheism, and civil liberties are present as well as those which evolved domestically such as important national holidays, uniquely American sports, proud military tradition, innovations in the arts and entertainment, and a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole.
It includes both conservative and liberal elements, military and scientific competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. It also includes elements which evolved from Native Americans, and other ethnic subcultures; most prominently the culture of African-American slave descendents and different cultures from Latin America. Many cultural elements, especially popular culture have been exported across the globe through modern mass media where American culture is sometimes resented. A few of the cultural elements have remained rather exclusive to North America.
Compare to Indonesia, United States doesn’t have culture as many as Indonesia. But here in this regard, I would like to say that United States is way much better in developing their country. They have developed well. In my opinion, culture is not always being the supporter of the development of a country. But it doesn’t mean that ‘culture’ is not important at all. It depends to our will and skill to develop our country. What I mean is, the development of a country is not really dependent to their own culture. There are other aspects which took much more influence in order to develop the country.