Old vs. New

There is perhaps no greater struggle today than that of the old versus the new, traditional versus modern. In varying degrees—from families to nations—this dichotomy between established cultural institutions and our rapidly changing world is a large obstacle.


This dissonance is a major issue in families today, where attitudes and views between children and parents differ so sharply. Are education and college as important today as 11139796_10206557021029132_231151248_nthey were in generations past? What religious views and social ideas should kids be exposed to? Tough questions with no clear answer, this generation of families struggles to find the fault line in these ideas. It is natural for young people to be influenced by their peers and their surroundings; the cultural environment of society is highly influential to a child’s psyche. Children are highly impressionable and the messages they receive around them shape their perception of the world. Society being infinitely different than it was twenty years ago, today’s youth will have starkly different values and beliefs than their parents.


In a much larger dimension, nations also experience this struggle of old and new ideas; it 11139941_10206557020909129_790592572_nis a tension that poses a huge threat to the world. Without question, western models of society—democracy and capitalism—are the biggest influences in international politics, a phenomena that many leaders find threatening. Contemporary ideas of economics and politics have percolated to every continent and our interconnected world operates by these institutions. Some claim it is a natural diffusion of ideas and culture while others demand it is aggressive cultural and political imperialism that seeks to exploit other nations.


The evidence suggests that democracy and capitalism have torn countries apart—look at nations like Mexico, the Philippines, Iraq and much of Sub-Saharan Africa,; areas once 11158196_10206557020989131_1306952527_nfilled with prosperous civilizations are now plagued with corruption and poverty. The presence of modernism and western colonialism has turned a once prosperous Afghan society into a failed state rampant with violence, gang activity and terrorism. There are numerous examples of this modern deterioration around the world.


On the other side of the apple cart, we can point out many examples of the tremendous benefits of modern ideas of society. Nations like Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates enjoy prosperous societies with flourishing economies. Their success can be owed, arguably, to ideas developed and nurtured by Western Europe and the United States.


The most notable example of the dissonance between old and new is that of religious conflict, namely the controversy surrounding the religion Islam. Terrorism, t11129985_10206557013708949_987466045_nhe 9/11 attacks, Charlie Hebdo, ISIS; conflict between the west and Islam is a classic example of the clash of civilizations, a clash between different mentalities, a dissonance between attitudes of different time-periods.
Whether it is conflict within the household or war between nations, finding a fault line between the old and the new is a step towards peace. There is no easy and definite answer to this problem but pointing out the issue is essential to finding viable solutions.




Germany Marked 25th of Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

On the 9th of November, 2014, Germany experienced the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that separated Germany into a communist East Germany and West Germany from 1961 to 1989 which was the powerful symbol of the victim of the Cold War. There are still bricks of the wall left for the memory of the time. On this day, German Chancellor Angela Markel visited the place and put roses on the remaining sections of the wall, and later has said, “ The fall of the Berlin Wall has shown that dreams can come true and nothing has to stay as it is”.

Even though it has already been 25 years since the wall was destroyed and people say that they have forgotten it, nevertheless it still stays true that there are people feeling uneasy about traveling to the East. In an interview conducted by ODN with a man who had grown up in the West, he said “ It is bit weird, isn’t it? It’s bit strange, but we all have gotten used to it, but as I was born in West, it is still weird just to go to the East”. It is quite easy to imagine how astonishing it was to be able to go across the borderline where approximately 136 people died trying to escape from the East to the west due to the accidental and illegal actions done by the guards of the wall.

The construction of the Berlin Wall started on August 13th in 1961 for the sake of stopping people from fleeing to West Germany from East Germany, which was occupied by the Soviet Union back in time. It is still a memorable moment that John F. Kennedy, the president of the United States gave a speech “Ich bin ein Berliner” in West Berlin on 2nd of June in 1963 delivered to more than 450,000 people.
Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!

There had been a number of movies and TV documentaries made based on this factual event and still keeps touching million of lives nowadays. It is said about 3.5 million people migrated from East to West Germany before the beginning of construction in 1961 which sums up to 20% of total population of East Germany, and 0.5 million did the same between 1961 to 1988 in the hope of finding better living standards.

There are still many people that have been suffering from threats to their human rights in different forms. People are persecuted on the basis of religion, race, gender and more even in today’s world as the same way German people were treated. As Mrs. Markel delivered a speech to those in need of helps for human rights: “We can change things for the better. This is the message for… Ukraine, Iraq and other places where human rights are threatened”, let’s hope that people in these situations can break away from these threatening and fear just like Germans made it happen in 1989.