Globalisation and modernisation can't be stopped, it's a natural progression of an interconnected society. Unless we go back to using sailing ships and hand written letters, the world is going to adapt and progress at a much faster rate. With all the ideas of humanity within reach of all people, we literally can cherry pick the best the world has to offer for ourselves. It may be that some nations can only afford a basic version which can be improved over time. Remember that the western nations were once basic too, and it took time for all nations to establish working and effective solutions to the issues of society. It seems that for every issue solved, a handful more arise, with the basic needs met the aspect of human psychology comes into play a lot more. Society breeds all kinds of humanitarian issues that can be weeded out with the correct nurture and education.
The problem culture faces in this race to the utopian dream is that traditions and styles from previous generations can often go overlooked. When the influence of huge cultural giants like Hollywood, Bollywood, and the Japanese animation scene come into play, we tend to lose focus of the minor player who have been doing their thing for a lot longer than the cinema. Tribes from across the world had and have fashions and ways of life which served them in ways mostly unknown to the rest of us. Perhaps outdated and made redundant when there's something available from abroad that does it better, yet it's important not to lose our hold of the ground covered.
How can we ensure that cultural heritage is kept alive in modern society? The most used way is in art and design. Traditional motifs and patterns can be called upon to decorate any number of modern items, keeping the roots of culture well watered even if a high tech motorway is built on the top of it. There tends to be a fashion in place for which cultures are most desirable as decoration at any given time, which is to be expected, however it needs to be made into a stable road for all cultures to walk down. Providing a platform for varied cultures to show their unique styles in works of art and in everyday items is a necessity.
Recently, many nations have adopted indigenous fashion as a centrepiece for their national image. By nurturing the styles and designs unique to the area, a relevance and association can be built that pays homage to the generations of folk who made the lands their home long before modernisation. It's imperative that countries look to their true roots, beyond the propaganda sent with the colonists, and knit their true colours into the blanket. We must accept that once in time, all of our lands were fought for, colonised, changed hands, and shared long before we were born. Our heritage is something to be proud of and honoured as far back as it possibly can go, no matter where we are from.
In the recent edition of Vogue, an article reveals that Toronto this week holds their first Indigenous Fashion Week. This will showcase many tribal fashion designs which make something new from the old. Hopefully the colours and designs will influence many other designers who can establish industry wide appreciation for elements of antiquity and culture. Members of the tribe have created their own versions of clothes that incorporate the wisdom and stories handed down for countless generations. What would you design if you could put your heritage into something to wear?
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