Tuesday, January 17, 2006

'Ganabaranai!'


With subtle echoes to my 'cultural identity' ideology, the 'slow life' or 'Ganabaranai!' movement in Japan has sprouted. While a lot has been made of the idea to 'slow' everything down, and make the most out of life, therefore creating a more balanced, harmonious society, much honus has been made towards enjoying items and experiences which are distinctly Japanese.

In short, slow down and take the time to make a traditional, healthy meal instead of going for fast food (which is, in most cases, western-style). Slow down and build a proper home, not a faceless, culturally bankrupt mass market construct. Use good materials, ones that have stood the test of time in your area. Take the time to drink tea, walk and enjoy the environment, take the time to wear traditional clothing and take pride in their craftmanship. Yes, I know there will be arguments that only the rich have time to do this, but is it not their financial lead the markets follow? The habits of the rich have a tendency to trickle down, as the general acceptance rises.

Ultimately, under the guise of bettering one's life there is a definite underpinning of Cultural Identity which i wholly approve. Win-win.

Sink chicken has the full article and some posted points of interest. One of his sources, is here. Sink Chicken, in spite of his name, often has some interesting letters.

They are perhaps now realizing that the forced American template does not work. Sixty years on, the society has little resemblance to the prior ages, in which change was slow, perhaps, but rich and bountiful, always exploring new facets of their culture, but always with a very distinct core. Sixty years is all it took to go from a defined and richly textured sense of self to a sad, made-in-Japan clone of the American dream, with little sense of direction or past, floundering in the ocean of mediocrity.

Now, the question is this: How can this (movement) be instituted in the world of today, where the pace, breakneck and unrelenting, pushes like a tsunami against the shores of custom, eroding cultures under the torrent of capitalistic pressure? (pardon the run on structure.)

Can we slow down and enjoy? By slowing down, will we be able to maintain our cultural identities, our true sense of self? Will we slow down enough to look back on our rampage through the delicate balance of the natural world? Will we all be able to take that moment to reflect on the full scope of our actions, rather than what we have been doing, these snap decisions based on current goals and benefits? Will the 'ruling' class take this movement to heart?

...Or do we just continue to drive ourselves into the ground?

5 Comments:

Blogger Sinkchicken said...

Big fan of the run on sentence myself.

3:38 PM  
Blogger DaProkah said...

Driving ourselves into the ground seems to be a global pastime. I say it's the artists that will help lead the movement of Ganabaranai...

4:17 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

however, for it to work we'll have to scale back the human footprint.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Love this. You sure have range.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

if by 'range' you mean 'issues', then, yes.

i appreciate the kind words.

10:38 AM  

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