Cultural Contact Zone

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The world is like one ‘small village’ during the twenty first century. As such, there is a lot of contact among different people, from different corners of the world. Essentially, this means that several cultures come into contact with each other more frequently, and over short durations of time than it was possible during the previous decades. Consequently, not only are the differences in these cultures magnified in the course of their interaction, but there is also a tendency by these cultures to exercise some sort of exchanges. That being the case, it is important to note that this kind of exchanges are often not equal to both, or all the cultures involved. This is because some cultures tend to overwhelm (or persuasively dictate) that other cultures adopt most of their aspects, while they practically remain unaltered themselves. For example, as a Chinese student, studying in the US, I realize that most of my fellow students, who like I, are not of American or European origin, tend to adopt several aspects of the western culture, while the rest of my colleagues who are of Western origin remain totally disinterested in assimilating cultural values from the rest of us who are of non-western origin. This phenomenon has been presented by Mary Louise Pratt’s article, “Arts of the contact zone.” Using this ‘contact zone’ concept, which she terms as “the space in which transculturation takes place – where two different cultures meet and inform each other, often in highly
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