The Notion of the Mosuo Culture
The Notion of the Mosuo Culture
The Mosuo is the most interesting minority group in China. It is often called the matriarchal culture which means that women occupy a leading role in the family. They own property, make decisions, etc. In this culture women have more power than in other cultures. Women practice “walking marriages” which means that they do not get married. However, choose and change a partner when they want.
At the present time, the Mosuo are working on development of a written language as they have only oral one. Their history is passed from generation to generation through oral stories. These stories are told by the local priests “Dabas”. Moreover, they are creating a project of their economic development, environmental protection and cultural preservation.
One can find the references to the Mosuo culture in Chinese written history. Thus, as we see, the information about the Mosuo culture is hypothetic (Mathieu 1996). The origin of this culture is also unknown as there are many theories about it, but one cannot say which of them are true. There is the thought that the Mosuo people are the descendants of the Mongols. The others suppose that they came from the Yunnan/Sichuan area.
The Mosuo culture differs from other cultures by the practice of “walking marriages”, matriarchate and the integration of their religion with Tibetan Buddhism. The Mosuo people live in the Himalayas close to Tibetan border. That is why it is not strange that their religion is integrated with Tibetan Buddhism (Bliss, 2013).
The Effect of Globalization on the Mosuo Culture
Globalization is the process that breaks down all barriers between countries: economical, political and cultural ones. Historically, the establishment of agreements and treaties between nations is the oldest way of international relations. The status of any country in the world should be one of the directions of its politics. And it is the globalization that can help them to occupy their places at the international scene. Moreover, globalization has an impact not only on politics and economy but also on culture.
The changes in culture are inevitable as globalization and modernization affect any culture even if we are not aware of it. Mosuo culture has always attracted and provoked interest. It is very unique and fascinating. However, even this culture is undergoing changes due to the influence of modern technologies. The Mosuo culture is very ancient but it cannot resist modernization. Let’s distinguish the factors that influence the Mosuo culture. First of all, these are the tourists coming to China and bringing something new from their countries. Secondly, this is the development of new technologies in China. Thirdly, these are international relations of China with other countries (He 2001).
It is necessary to mention that in spite of the changes in lifestyle and the way of thinking, Mosuo people are faithful to their culture. Consequently, they keep their customs, traditions and sacrificial rites. There are two contradicting views concerning the influence of globalization on Mosuo culture. The positive one states that culture benefits from the new technologies and the Internet. They help to develop Mosuo culture and inform the humanity about the existence of such culture. The negative view claims that modernization and globalization destroy Mosuo culture sweeping away the ancient traditions and rituals.
Mosuo culture is a part of traditional, non-industrial society and with the process of modernization it begins to acquire technological characteristics. It means that Mosuo culture is undergoing acculturation. For example, describing Mosuo culture at the present time, it is necessary to admit that Mosuo people have more interests, devote more time to studying something new compared with the times when there were no modern technologies and they were completely devoted to their sacrificial rituals and traditions (He 2000).
Since culture is integrated phenomenon, changes in the world can have both positive and negative impact on cultural processes. Some people believe that harmonizing of culture and its beliefs is done with the help of globalization. Without a doubt, globalization is the integration of economy with the global market. However, simultaneously with the globalization of economy, globalization of culture takes place.
The Differences between the Mosuo Culture and the American one
Mosuo culture is supposed to be pointless and primitive and there are people that suppose that this culture needs modernization and globalization. However, there are people who state that Mosuo culture needs protection from modernization as it will ruin it completely. One should preserve this unique and original culture without interference of the modern world. To my mind, these points of view are very contradictory. I am convinced that Mosuo people should not abandon their culture as they will lose their identity.
American culture is integrated and it has changed under the influence of globalization and modernization. It has its own history, written and oral languages. Their history is passed from generation to generation through written historic documents.
In my opinion, Mosuo people should make their own choice concerning modernization and globalization. It is impossible to impose a different culture on people with their own one. Mosuo culture is unique which means that people with other cultures can learn a lot from them. Every culture has its values and it is an awful thing to impose any other cultural traditions. On the other hand, one should not forget that culture is changing under the influence of political and economical factors, so it is a normal phenomenon when culture is developing.
Mosuo culture is changing under influence of improved economy, technological advances and contact with other cultures. Change is natural for any culture. At the present time, Mosuo people are worried that the future generations can lose Mosuo practices. Mosuo people are not against learning the world, travelling and seeing other countries. They want their children to be educated, knowledgeable and have perspectives for future.
The changes in Mosuo culture are unstoppable and inevitable. However, the task of Mosuo people is to preserve their traditions, customs and rituals and pass them to the next generations. One can distinguish two possibilities for the Mosuo culture:
1) The Mosuo can disappear because of globalization and modernization. This can happen if Mosuo people do not take care of their future and do not have the knowledge and skills that are necessary for the development.
2) The culture will change and develop but it will remain unique and original. It will still integrate with other cultures but at the same time preserve much of the Mosuo culture.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that there are two contradictory approaches to the influence of globalization on Mosuo culture. The supporters of the positive approach believe that new technologies and the Internet will do good for the culture. They develop Mosuo culture and inform the humanity about its existence. The negative approach states that modernization and globalization destroy Mosuo culture sweeping away the ancient traditions and rituals.
To my mind, Mosuo people should make the choice concerning modernization and globalization themselves. It is impossible to impose culture on people who have their own culture. Every culture has its values and it is an awful thing to enforce any other cultural traditions. On the other hand, one should not forget that culture is changing under the influence of political and economical factors. As a consequence, development of culture is a natural phenomenon.
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