Reflective Essay ICSE 2008

Elements of Western culture have had a very influential role on cultures of the world. This Reflective Essay was asked in ICSE 2008 board exam. You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay ICSE 2008

Colonisation by the European powers resulted in western culture influencing different cultures of the world.

  • Western culture is individual-oriented, while Indian culture is family oriented
  • Western culture is flexible and practical, while Indian culture is the oldest, spiritually oriented and caters to different religions
  • Western culture is open and exhibitionist in nature, not approved in the Indian
  • Good things we can adopt from the west, like gender equality, human rights and progressive outlook to life

Western culture is versatile, individualistic but also progressive and self-dependent. Need to imbibe these good things without forgetting our culture

The rapid colonisation of different parts of the world by the European powers in the last two centuries, resulted in elements of the western culture influencing different cultures of the world. The British who ruled India for nearly two centuries, also considerably influenced the Indian culture.

Elements of western culture are primarily individual-oriented, while Indian culture is basically family-oriented. This individual orientation has resulted in creation of nuclear families with fewer kinship ties in the west. It is thus common to find 18-year teenagers, moving out from their parent’s home, to stay on their own.

On the other hand Indian culture is family oriented, having strong family and kinship ties. Thus even now there are joint families living in rural India. Unfortunately in cities the influence of western culture has led to the fad of nuclear families, which is fast catching up. However, this is more on account of economic reasons, than social or cultural. We still cherish our family values, ethos, and respect for elders. This differentiates us from the western or other cultures of the world.

Besides being more individualistic, western culture is also self-centred, which makes the society highly materialistic. It attaches a lot of importance to wealth, power and success. Indian culture and society on the other hand being more spiritual in nature, gives more importance to customs, traditions and family values, than only material gains.

The materialistic orientation of western culture makes it more flexible and practical. Thus there are fewer customs and traditions to follow. Our culture, on the other hand, is the oldest and hence rich in customs, traditions and most diverse of all cultures in the world. This is also because we have different religious and social customs, in various parts of the country, which bind us into a large family.

Our culture therefore offers a unique example of unity in diversity to the world. The customs enrich our lives, making the individual and the society more pleasant and peaceful. It is indeed a paradox that while we are adopting western lifestyle, the people in the west are looking up to India for peace and salvation. They flock to India in search of peace, through meditation and yoga.

Moreover, since western culture is open and exhibitionist in nature, it has encouraged immoral social conduct. This gets reflected in the clothes, mannerism and behaviour of the people in the society. The Indian society being more traditional does not approve such immoral conduct. However, this is changing fast, with the onslaught of western TV programmes. A cultural invasion is gradually taking place in the country. The impact being more discernable in the cities and metros.

However, this is not to suggest, that there is nothing good in western culture, which we in India cannot adopt. There are many important issues like gender equality, human rights, progressive outlook to life, and a spirit of competition which we can adopt from the west. This will make our life more meaningful and also develop the society and the nation.

Agreeably western culture is versatile but more materialistic and individualistic in nature. Nevertheless it has taught us to be progressive and self-dependent. We should not blindly adopt it with all its ills. There is need to imbibe the good thing from them, without forgetting our culture and values, which makes us unique in the world.


Impact of western culture on our social life.