What is globalization? How did globalization impact the islands of Palau? Palau has its rich culture and unique traditions every day. However, the foreign encounter to Palau had some positive and negative influences on the cultures and customs because of globalization, westernization and easternization.
To understand more about globalization, we have to learn what it means. Globalization basically means the interconnectedness amongst people, industries, and governments of distinctive countries, which have been developed in global trades and investments ( CITATION Rob03 \l 1033 (Robertson). In other words globalization is all about the interconnectedness of diverse countries in global trade to improve and develop their country. Similarly, it relates to westernization because of its definition as the adoption of western traditions and cultures. Furthermore, it relates to easternization, which means the adoption of traditions and techniques.
Before any encounter of the westernization and easternization occurred, islands of Palau was all about traditions and customs. They had their own language, lands, religion, and other practices. But even then, Palauans experience wars amongst themselves. Palau first encountered its westernization when Captain Wilson Hook wrecked his ship in Ulong Rock Island in 1973. That was the opening of the door to the different voyagers that traveled to Palau changing many traditional practices to what is now Palau.
Several positive influences of the westernization include the British involvement in Palau affairs and the voyage of Prince Lee Boo (son of Ibedul traditional leader) to London. The English visits placed Palau on the world map, and indicated growing interaction with the outside world. Another country that influenced some of the traditions in Palau was the Germans. They introduced economic developments such as phosphate mining teaching Palauans hard work and earnings.
Another great impact westernization was the United States era. Americans helped regained Palauan freedoms from Japanese ruling, introduced modern clothes, and living their life according to their culture as before. United States helped Palau improve their infrastructures, education system, economically, and living standards. However, the most important positive influence was when Palau accepted the Compact of Free Association and became independent in October 1 1994. Under the American ruling, islands of Palau became The Republic of Palau. In addition, Palauans were able to learn and obtain skills of leadership, democrats, and freedom of speech, which in our culture the men always make the decisions. The Republic of Palau became the democratic nation.
The negative influence of westernization was from Germany. Germany was against some of the Palauan traditions that are neither seen nor practiced today. For instance, tattooing and mur were some of the traditions banned. Today, the art of tattoo have been lost, no Palauan can recognize nor distinguish its characteristic of the design and its meaning. Germans banned the act of mur because they thought it was not productive and nothing good will come out of it. Since Germans banned most of the traditional practices, today Palauans are trying to revive what was once known as part of the rich culture.
As for easternization, Japanese have had many positive impacts. For instance, vocational school, architectural designs for buildings and roads and food. Moreover, Japanese required every Palauans to be punctual in which they would wake up at 6 oclock to do their assigned routines everyday. That is why most elderly Palauans are early birds. Furthermore, Palauans were required to speak, read and write Japanese language, which on the bright side is another language. Omedetou is a Japanese custom, which Palauans have adopted to share any type of foods or goods during New Year in assurance of continuation of friendship throughout the year. As a result of these inlfuences and changes, Palauans engage in Japanese cultures and share some words with the Japanese.
The only negative effect of easternization was Japanese were strict and punctual. Japanese restricted Palauans to speak their own language let alone practice their culture. Traditional leaders lost their power because they could not learn faster to speak and write Japanese language so the younger generation held their positions just because they learn faster.
Davis, Jams E and Diane Hart. Government of Palau: A Nation That Honors Its Tradition. Koror: Ministry of Education, 2002. Print.
Hezel, Francis X. The First Taint of Civilization: A History of the Caroline and Marshall Islands in Pre-Colonial Days, 1521-1885. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1983.Robertson, Robbie. Globalization Is Not Made in the West. Globalpolicy.org: Global Policy Forum, 13 Apr. 2005. Web. 25 September 2013.
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