After attending various events by the Center for Global Studies I have learned more about the importance of Global Studies. It is not because we simply live within such a globalized economy but because as American citizens we live within a global culture. Whether one lives in the urban areas of Philadelphia, New York or DC or rural Pennsylvania he/she will be somewhat affected by global culture. We no longer live in isolated areas, but are all part of some bigger culture, constituted of many. Global studies helps us to understand these cultures and their different ways of life.
For instance, the film flying fish was more than a film, it was reality caught on tape. The incidences occurring in the film were those specific to Sri Lankans and the horrors they faced daily during the civil war. As the film came to a climax I still questioned why it was banned in the first place. It contained sexual contact yes, but don’t all films? Murder, yes? But what good movie doesn’t have a death scene or seven? Growing up in America this is mundane to our media but it is not that way everywhere. And to have someone banned from the country for creating such a film, in America would mean we’d have no good film directors left. But it’s the culture, and the government and the differences in many facets of life that makes me make no quick judgement about the film or its quality.
The French headscarf law really had me thinking too. Oppression is everywhere and against many different groups of people. Some may think the not wearing of the Hijab frees Muslim women, but the restriction against such religious garb only marginalizes them even more. There are many different perspectives to look at this law but my overriding opinion is that it is an oppressing force of Europeans against immigrants into their country. A group’s religion is as sacred as it gets and when one impedes on that it becomes an infringement on freedom of expression.It’s important to note that this law does not affect all Muslims, but Muslim girls, an already marginalized group. The lawmakers in France could probably use a global studies course or two.
In America, although met with quite some opposition for fear of an eroding “american culture” global studies is being taught in primary schooling, to begin children young to understand and learn about all the cultures surrounding them. Global studies is important because one needs to understand the cultural background behind religion war, terrorism and etc before he/she can make a knowledgeable judgment. Ignorance does nothing but feed the soul with resistance, to other cultures and ideas.