Globalization and National Identity

Sai Gon Giai Phong Editor-in-chief Duong Trong Dat shares his views on the trend of assimilation in the world caused by globalization, and how important it is for Viet Nam to retain its national identity.

A gold-medal athlete wears Vietnamese flag at SEA Games 20 

The role of the individual has never been hailed as nowadays. It does not only mean ‘egoism’, but also refers to the community of each separate nation. And it becomes national pride; that’s why we see athletes cry when their country’s flag flies at an international sporting event. And it explains why we Vietnamese feel deeply moved when we sing “Viet Nam Ho Chi Minh” before each game of our national football team.

Nationalism makes us realize who we are when the world seems flatter each day. It creates inner strength for every country to stand tough in the face of globalization.

Along with globalization, there exists a trend of separatism that can be seen in the experiences of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, Eastern Europe, Indonesia and Canada.

It cannot be denied that separatism stems partly from extreme nationalism, whose poisonous seeds are scattered over many areas of the world.

A foreigner learns to play Vietnamese musical instrument

And there is another reason: the struggle of weak and small nations against the danger of assimilation. It is not an exaggeration to say that the world is seeing a new, interesting type of struggle in the history of humankind: every nation is striving to prove its national identity. This special struggle has governed relations between countries.

Researchers once warned about the Dolly the sheep phenomenon - asexual reproduction. Imagine what the world would be if every country was the same? There would be no concept of the French, the Russian, the Chinese, the British or the Vietnamese.

It’s a frightening thought. So what needs to be done? We say we will integrate into the world, but we won’t be mixed. We must strive to keep our cultural identity, while enriching it with different features of the world’s cultures.

By Mr. Duong Trong Dat – Translated by Thuy Hang

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