Thursday, February 13, 2014

The homogenization of the world's cultures is ramping up

Regional costume is vanishing from the planet, kept alive at the opening ceremony of each new Olympics and on the it’s-a-small-world ride at Disneyland. Increasingly it is a small world in style terms, one in which traditional garments like saris, dhotis, lungis, kimonos and sarongs are on their way out, jeans having become as inevitable a uniform of daily life in Delhi or Dublin as in Dubuque.

With rare exceptions (the hand-knit Bad Christmas sweaters devised by Polo Ralph Lauren for the United States team, and already selling on eBay for thousands; the knit logo caps like those worn by the Canadians that left no doubt about national affiliation; the traditional Bermuda shorts on a one-member Bermuda team), the current Olympics are a perfect reflection of style homogenization. Without the curious space-maidens, in their go-go boots, spatula headdresses and carrying rings-of-Saturn signs identifying the national teams, a viewer last week would have had little luck differentiating one country from the next.

No comments:

Post a Comment