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Title: Common Patterns of Cultural Heritage in Asia-Pacific
Authors: Igor Sitnikov
Contributors: International Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University
Keywords: Cultural Heritage;Asia-Pacific
Date: 2010-03-09
Issue Date: 2010-06-15 14:32:44 (UTC+8)
Abstract: From the end of 20 century due to increasing of capital flow, trade and other forms of economic and political interaction Asia-Pacific becomes an important arena of global transformations. In circumstances of nowadays global integration and new faze of technical change the richness of cultural diversity of Asia-Pacific gives its population the vast opportunity for economic growth, technical innovations and personal prosperity. From the other hand, unusually broad cultural diversity contains powerful threats. Differences in religions, traditions, customs and languages very often become a source of tensions because of misunderstandings and political speculations.
Fast development of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore in 20 century has shown the importance of traditional Asian cultural norms, which were one of main factors to ease the adaptation of backward economies to the fast globalizing world economy. Such outstanding features of traditional philosophy of Confucianism as the close family ties, sense of social discipline and respect for hard work were the engine of economy growth in those countries. From the other hand, philosophy of Confucianism is not the only Asian tradition. Cultural norms of Taoism and Chinese popular religion played significant role in economic and social activities among Chinese for centuries. Cultural norms of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam also had long periods of successful influences on the processes of regional integration, social and economic development. But historical evidence shows us the turns of economic activity and stagnation in the Asia-Pacific region. Why the same believes, religions and traditions sometimes could be motors but sometimes hampers of social and economic development?
It looks like the successes and failures are connected with such phenomenon as cultural change. How and why cultural changes take place? To understand the phenomenon of those turns in Asia-Pacific regional development it is reasonable address to the initial stage of integration, which traces could be found in folklores and mythologies of the peoples, populating the region from Neolithic and Paleolithic times. It is important to notice that besides high level of cultural diversity in Asia-Pacific region there is the opposite phenomenon of cultural similarity of Austronesian speaking peoples in spite of fact that nowadays they confess different believes and separated by various national states. Cultural similarity, which those peoples share, could be explained in terms of former cultural unity or regular long time contacts among them in the past. Wide believes diversity among the Austronesian speaking peoples could be explained by their ability to adapt easily to outside influences. What is a reason for such easy adaptation? I guess the main reason is economic profit of it. What kind of society is so much orientated to economic profit? Probably, it is a trading society. And it is reasonable to suppose that nowadays Austronesian speaking peoples shares the same cultural (not ethnic) ancestry from the unity of peoples who were integrated by sea trade nomads and whose life was depend from the sea.
Ancient Asia-Pacific sea nomads’ cultural traditions reconstruction is interesting and useful task because it can help to discover mechanisms of easy cultural integration in the region, which took place in the past and probably could be exploited nowadays to relief international and inter-religious tensions in the region. To discover that heritage we need address to collective unconscious of peoples (not only the Austronesian speaking) populating Asia-Pacific. Mainly I would like address to an invisible Asian-Pacific cultural heritage, which is hidden under the umbrellas of different religions. This cultural heritage could be found in common cultural patterns. The study of mythological symbols, believes, rituals, cults in combination with particular objects of natural resources and material culture could help find such common patterns.
Relation: IDAS Symposium: The Rising Asia Pacific Region: Opportunities and Challenges for Cooperation,p.316-337.
Description: International Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University, Ph. D student
Data Type: conference
Appears in Collections:[亞太研究英語博/碩士學位學程(IDAS/IMAS)] 會議論文
[2010亞太研究英語博士學位學程學術研討會] 會議論文

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