(I’m thrilled and honored to present the following guest post by extraordinary poet and deep thinker KalpanaS.**
Enjoy, and show her some love in the comments!)
“In the deserts of Sudan,
and the gardens of Japan …
every woman, every man,
hit me with your rhythm stick,
hit me, hit me …”
My trip takes me to a Guardian blog where comments are in full swing about Nordic noir, and the British and American remakes of “Wallander” and “The Killing,” a crime drama series I have watched avidly.
Later in the week, tapping the keys, I take a trip to an American ex-pat’s blog about her experiences in Africa. I get the feeling she is trapped by her stereotypes of the ‘other‘. This is not unusual and mirrors persistent and prevailing attitudes of the West to the rest.
In contrast I am reminded of the Chinese nets that Indian fishermen to this day still use in Kerala, a tradition from past cultural exchanges on a mutually respectful relationship between the two countries.
Looking on a popular social network site, I extend my silver-surfing to other lands and come across the poetry of other lives, blogs not lost in translation: musicians in Nepal, artists in Indonesia, political students in Nairobi, pop-singers in Japan … a random selection that by no means gives me a deeper world-view, just a blog-butterfly sip.
The blogging trip has also helped me become wary of the trap of globalisation, leading me to re-visit the issues on my own blog. My poem “Lost in Translation” takes an oblique glance at the issues of translation and inequalities between cultures.
An article in the New Yorker on an exhibition of Indian art prompted me to write a short riposte, referencing another interesting article that challenged the globalisation of culture.
It is not just cultures and nations that we can get trapped in, but also in our gender identities, which Sweepy Jean recently posted about, which got responses from men and women eager to share their experiences.
Let me end with a request in Dury’s words:
“… From Milan to Yucatan,
every woman, every man
hit me with your rhythm stick …’
… and comment as to whether you think the Web is a trap or a trip!
**KalpanaS writes from the UK. Her blogs cover spiritual and cultural aspects of her Indian heritage, Yoga, reflections on places, prose, pop culture, paintings–a potpouri!
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011