It is often heard that as a result of globalization, local cultures around the world are under attack from powerful Western influences. Societies across the globe are infiltrated, molded and at times subjugated by Western popular culture and large transnational corporations. This is but a small facet of globalization and an unfair summary of its effects on the world. Countless benefits could be listed but as another counter-argument, it can be contended that the rest of the word has equal influence on Western culture. It is only perceived differently because many Westerners believe themselves to be the only trendsetters when in many cases they are the followers. Currently, the sports of soccer and rugby are growing tremendously in the U.S. and neither originated here. The U.S. sports of baseball, football, and somewhat less basketball, are still struggling to make a global presence. Musical artists such as Shakira, PSY, Youssou Nou’Dr and Akon have been among the most popular singers in the United Stats and none are in fact from the West.
In the article “McDonald’s in Hong Kong” by James Watson it is clear that McDonald’s has had a significant influence on Hong Kong food culture since the 1980s. It is also very important, however, that Hong Kong is a cultural mecca with food varieties from around the world. Another single company may not have a fast food monopoly but just like in the United States, you can find cuisine from almost any country. Why is the presence of Chinatowns, Koreatowns and countless Mexican, sushi and Pakistani restaurants not considered an invasion of Western culture? It seems there is a slight feeling of guilt surrounding Western culture when in many cases we provide the world with many beneficial things such as technology and medicine. Many westerners probably do not know that we currently receive a large amount of technology and essential knowledge from the rest of the world as well. There is a give and take practice that nearly the entire world is benefiting from and it is time to focus on just that, the benefits and the ability to share cultural aspects and practices with our fellow global citizens.