Beyond Typical Western Civilisation

Long are the days where Americanisation dictated what countries consumed on a regular basis. Countries are now beginning to claim their own media identity, producing movies, news and television shows that reflect their cultural values rather than the manufactured Hollywood entertainment industry which is designed to be translatable across all medium’s.

There is no doubt that Asian cultures draw from western civilisation. Whether it’s the emergence of chained restaurants or high-end fashion Asia has become a direct influence of Americanised culture. Hong Kong especially has established its own cultural identity gathering influences from western and other Asian cultures which have led to the development of its own entertainment industry. Cantopop originated from the 1970s and was based on the Rock music of Hong Kong known as ‘Cantorock’ . Cantopop reflects international styles of music including western pop, jazz, blues and rock. The songs are sang in Cantonese targeting several Asian demographics. Below depicts a YouTube video from the famous Roman Tam, a legendary artist of Cantopop, known as the “Godfather”.

Hong Kong has created an identity that reflects both western and Asian cultures while still remaining unique and original to its own country. Hong Kong’s entertainment industry is created and distributed across several countries including Beijing, Amsterdam and Vancouver (Curtin 2003, p. 203). The increase in political, economic and media participation within Asia and surrounding countries especially Hong Kong and India has led to a term called ‘Neo-orientalism’ which is a development caused by New Media capitals. In 2009 India’s media was transformed by the racist assaults that were occurring on Indian students within Australia. This established a void between Australian and Indian relations, Khorana (2012, p. 39) states that it resulted in “diplomatic visits from Australia to try an calm fears about the safety of Indian students”.

Due to the advances in communication India has faced a revolution in relation to print and television. They have established various channels within their media industry enabling them to communicate domestically and internationally to a wide range of audiences.Β  India has had access to over 450 channels since 2010, with news channels being the main source of marketing and advertising within the country as opposed to the entertainment industry dictating the market within western cultures (Khorana 2012, p. 41). However, in order for India to gain superior advantage within the international market they must create productions that are predominantly based on the English language (Moran 2009, p. 75).

News channels have established a voice for the middle-class in India. But this has led to a degree of ‘Bollywoodisation’ (Khorana 2012, p. 45).Β  When the attacks occurred in Australia this caused an uproar within the middle-class as they believed India was a growing, powerful nation which shouldn’t be targeted. India covered these attacks in a melodramatic form for entertainment purposes instead of recognising the issues seriously facing these students such as lack of funds (Khorana 2012, p. 45).

It is evident that India is clearly influenced by Bollywood, but when it starts to effect the news it covers and the way certain countries are depicted this results in voids between nations that can often lead to negative publicity or repercussions. India needs to draw a fine line between their entertainment and news industries, instead of being dictated by ratings and profit, they should generate news that is integral both domestically and internationally.

Curtin M, 2003, ‘Media capital Towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 203-228.

Khorana, S 2012, ‘ORIENTALISING THE EMERGING MEDIA CAPITALS: THE AGE ON INDIAN TV’S ‘HYSTERIA’, Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, vol. 145, no. 145, pp. 39-49.

Moran, A 2009, News Flows in Global TV, Intellect Books, Chicago, USA.


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