Sunday, 21 September 2014

Our world is getting smaller

Of course the world doesnít change. The globe is still here but our role on the earth is changing and our ways of thinking about it are changing. I know that this sounds really smart, but it is really simple Ė globalisation.

What does globalisation actually mean? The simple answer is that itís a process whereby we make the barriers between countries smaller and the connection between them gets bigger. When we speak about globalisation, for sure we think about the economy, but we can also speak about connections between communities, cultures and even psychology.

I started thinking about this after watching the Irish movie ĎAdvertí. The movie was about a small Irish village somewhere in Donegal, post office, pub, butcher, a few houses. It was a really small village somewhere at the end of the world with its own rules and own culture. One day, one of the villagers sent an advert to the newspaper that he wanted to invite a young American woman to the village. That was the beginning of a lot of problems and funny situations. But it also brought a lot of positive change. After that movie, I started thinking about what happened with the whole island when globalisation came along and meant that it stopped being on the fringes of Europe.

Of course, I donít want to be paranoid. I know that the land since ancient times traded with the rest of the continent, especially on maritime trade routes. Also, I know that one generation ago many villages which are in the middle of Ireland, were very isolated. Then came the big boom of the past twenty years and the Irish economy started to grow really fast, bringing businessmen, tourists and immigrants. Then Irish people became more interested in the rest of the world. As modes of communication started improving, everything improved, including communication as in flights, internet and television. I donít want to think about what happened in cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway. I am more fascinated with what happened in the local towns and villages whose names I can never remember. On one hand, we know that outsiders respect Irish culture, I even know a lot of people who are passionate about it. We know that this transformation resulted in irreversible changes which have serious consequences.

Anyway, thereís no point discussing globalisation too much. Whether we want it or not, itís the natural process. Like everything, there are two sides, good and bad. Some people think that the world is shrinking and other people think that itís getting bigger. All of them are speaking about the same process. In many ways we are looking like a big global family (we know that there is a lot of conflict in every family). But I just wonder if I swapped my car for driving by elephant in Roscommon, would people understand that this is globalisation in action or would it be Marta for the madhouse?