Modernization Vs Westernization

“This article is written for self-realization. I do not intend to hurt anyone’s emotions”


 As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Modernization is the process of acquiring something different from the traditional style for betterment. For the last few decades, technological development has been the major component and the front end of modernization. It also includes acculturation* and liberalization** etc.

 This process has been at its peak for the last few decades. We have faced lots of changes in our cultures and lifestyles. Most of the things around us are technology-driven. Humanity is seeing itself progressing at such a rapid pace as never before.

 At the same time western enculturation*** has reached its peak in the name of modernization. People stopped wearing kurtas, dhotis and pyjamas. Anyone who can’t speak English well is judged as undereducated. The culture of sitting on the ground for eating has almost vanished.

Time For self-realization

Can you wear a kurta with a dhoti or pyjama and walk on the streets without feeling embarrassed?

Do you remember the names of all the months according to the Hindu Lunar calendar?

Did you ever judge a person who cannot speak fluent English as well educated?

Sadly, the answer to all the above questions is NO. Even for me too.

And let me tell you the worst case. Some of the people I know do not know numbers in Hindi, which is our National language.

It signifies that we are more westernized than modernized. The actual modern people in our country are less in number.


Japan, known as the land of the rising Sun, stands first in the race of modernization (As per my perspective). There are restaurants and hotels in Japan which are run by robots. Trains in Japan do not delay for more than a few minutes. If such a thing happens, it becomes a news headline. People there have a life span longer than in any other country. It also has the lowest obesity rate.

It is possible because they have prevented themselves from western enculturation. They still eat with chopsticks. Whereas, almost half of the world has adopted spoons. When you eat with chopsticks, you eat slower and less. That leads to an increase in nutrition consumption rate and lowers the risk of obesity. Very few restaurants in Japan have chairs. Instead, they have Zaisu (short heightened seats belonging to Japanese tradition). Even KFCs and Mc Donalds in Japan serve Sushi, fish and green tea instead of burgers, French fries and soft beverages. 

Rabindranath Tagore, who had travelled to different parts of the world in his book Nationalism wrote, “Japan is old and new at the same time. She has maintained the legacy of her ancient culture from the east.”

We have a lot to learn from Japan and eliminate this westernization that prevails in our country from modernism.

“Modernization is not dressing up like Europeans or living in square houses with flat ground and smooth walls. True modernism is the freedom of the mind from the slavery of taste.”

-RN Tagore

* Acculturation: cultural change that takes place as a result of contact between groups and their individual members.

** liberalization: the process of gaining freedom from restrictions imposed on one’s ways of life.

*** enculturation: gradually acquiring someone else’s culture. (One must keep in mind that acculturation and enculturation are different)

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