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Globalization in China and India

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Globalization refers to “worldwide interconnectedness, evidenced in global movements of natural resources, human labor, finance capital, information, infectious diseases, and trade goods” (Haviland, Prins, Walrath & McBride, 2008, p.19). Along with the movements of these products and peoples comes the traveling of ideas and beliefs also. The world seems to have become smaller due to the technological innovations in communication, travel, and availability of information. This interconnectedness between nations has especially allowed for modern nations such as the United States to have great influence on native non-Western countries. It has allowed for transformation not only in the economy of such societies but also has brought about changes in their cultures and values.

Economic reforms in China that opened up its society to globalization began in 1978 with the process of Reform and Opening up. This was the beginning of industrial civilization, cultural modernization, and social transformation (Keping, 2008). Economic growth has since been present for China. Poverty has been reduced but income inequality has increased. Prior to the economic reforms Chinese economy was worse compared to other Southeast Asian countries (Wikipedia, Chinese Economic Reform). Culturally China today is a combination of tradition and modern culture. Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world. Customs and traditions are different depending on where you are in the country. Most Chinese people practice Confucianism or Taoism (Wikipedia, Chinese Culture). In China’s urban cities today you will find tall buildings, advanced technology, and its resident living and dressing similar as those in the US or Europe, while in some of the villages people still live simply and traditionally, celebrating ancient festivals and practicing the traditional arts (Keping, 2008). India is another great example of a country that has been greatly impacted by globalization. It is a nation that is rich in culture and heritage. Friedman (2011) in his documentary says it is “an ancient civilization where people’s way of lives have remained unchanged” that is until the past few decades. India itself cannot be summed up into one type of society or culture. Religion is an important part of their culture.

Indians practice many religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and many more. In addition, many languages and dialects are spoken by its people (Wikipedia, Culture of India, 2014). Because it was a British colony for long period of time, however, many middle class citizens speak English fluently (Friedman, 2011). Another tradition practiced in India for generations is its joint family system, wherein a household is composed extended family members such as the adult children’s spouses and their children. Arranged marriages for centuries have been the norm. Because of its diverse culture, Indians celebrate a variety of festivals and holidays. The citizens eat a variety of traditional cuisine and have multiple traditional clothing based on which part of the country they are from (Wikipedia, Culture of India, 2014). It was in the early 1990’s that Globalization wave hit India when new economic reforms opened up the country to the world market. This is sometimes referred to as the economic liberalization in India. Prior to this, the belief was that by practicing self-reliance or isolation from the world, colonial exploitation could be avoided (Wikipedia, Economic Liberalization in India).

Urban development in its major cities is evidenced by the tall and modern buildings, presence of billion dollar companies, and millions of jobs that has made its way in the 21st century from big American corporations as seen in the example of Bangalore (Friedman, 2011). Western companies have set up their call centers all over the country due to the large amount of eager young English-speaking professionals (Parande, 2012). Globalization intensified, not only directly transforming India’s economy, but also indirectly and unintentionally bringing about many changes in its citizens’ lifestyles. Parande (2012) thinks that Indian lifestyles have become “fast”, social institutions are “fragile”, goals are “short lived”, and fashion, glamour, cell phones and laptops have become a necessity. Access to satellite television and cable network, to the World Wide Web, to global food chain restaurants, and to “branded” and international products increased. Literacy rates in both genders have also been steadily growing (Chatterjee, 2013). Parande (2012) believes that globalization has changed Indians into being more open and accepting of the Western way of life such as in the area of dating and that even live-in relationships are becoming more acceptable. It is now not uncommon for young Indians to break the traditional joint family system and live out on their own (Parande, 2012).

In an interview with an Indian family living in Bangalore, one can notice how generations have changed from the parents to their twenty-something year old daughters. When asked who their role model was very quickly the young women states Bill Gates was, while on their mother says that hers was her god. These same young women believe that their generation has becoming more materialistic and at what point even said that India may become a “ mini-America” (Friedman, 2011). Young Indians are embracing this new lifestyle. Globalization has given them opportunities to become financially independent (Paranda, 2012). On the other hand there are those such as the RSS, a Hindu nationalist group, that is determined to fight the Westernization of their country. They are concerned that family ties are being broken and that their rich traditions and rituals will become obsolete (Friedman, 2011). Anti-globalization groups worry that globalization is making the poor ever poorer and that traditional Indian society is being destroyed by globalization.

Finally, there are those such as Jadoo Works, an animation company that have learned to take part in globalization yet still continue to use Indian traditions (Friedman, 2011). Another example featured in Friedman’s (2011) documentary a school in one of the poor villages near Bangalore called Shanti Bhavan School. Abraham George, its founder, has found a way to take the good of globalization and use it to benefit the poor children of India. He believes that it is necessary for all of Indians to do well if India is to succeed globally. Globalization has its consequences and its challenges. It is inevitable and like any change that the human race must go through can be a powerful force that can ultimately bring about success or conflict. Globalization has been and will continue to play an important role in the transformation of cultures and bringing of different people together (Haviland, Prins, Walrath & McBride, 2008, p.12)


Chatterjee, S. (2013, April 16). Globalization in India: effects and consequences. Retrieved from Management/Globalization in India.pdf Chinese economic reform. (2014). In Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chinese_economic_reform&oldid=593442972 Chinese culture. (2014). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chinese_culture&oldid=597204349 Culture of India. (2014). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Culture_of_India&oldid=596154317 Economic liberalisation in India. (2014). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Economic_liberalisation_in_India&oldid=593278360 Friedman, T. (2011). The other side of outsourcing [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/14287759

Haviland, W. A., Prins, H. E. L., Walrath, D. & McBride, B. (2008). Anthropology: The human challenge (12th Ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.
Keping , Y. (2008). The development logic of the Chinese culture under modernization and globalization. Boundary 2, 35(8), Retrieved from Parande, N. (2012). Globalization and cultural transformation in india. Indian Streams Research Journal, 2(8), Retrieved from

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