Colonial Mentality Syndrome: Description and Implications


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Former colonial subjects (especially Asians) need not lose their Cultural identities to prove their personal or professional worth. Their personal and professional worth lies not in mimicking the West but by being their original selves in creating their own progress, standards and qualities in life, play and work. Are you proud of whom you are or are you putting on a show?

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Colonial Mentality Syndrome: Description and Implications

  1. 1. Colonial Mentality Syndrome: Description and Implications What is Colonial Mentality Syndrome? How did it evolve? What are the implicationsof Colonial Mentality Syndrome?What is Colonial Mentality Syndrome? Colonial Mentality Syndrome which herewith I will term in abbreviated formas “CMS” can be described as: 1) Acceptance of foreigners (especially Caucasian) and their ways as superior; 2) Attempts to mimic or parrot a foreign culture with the hope of becoming superiorlike them; 3) At extreme ends, attempting to assimilate physically, culturally and intellectually,in order to become superior foreigners in ones’ native country. CMS derived fromColonialism.What is colonialism? Colonialism was practiced between 1500 to 1754. It was carried actively anddeliberately under the guise of discoveries and mercantilism which were pretexts forimperialism. During that period, Europeans discovered (invaded) Americas and colonizedthem. The same fate was shared by Asia which was colonized by Portuguese, Dutch, English,and French. Colonialism was called discovery. But what was there to discover? The Americasand Asia existed alongside Europe all along. If Europeans didn’t know about their existence,then, it was their ignorance. But the fact that after so called discovery, these Europeanscolonized Americas and Asia, makes it now a historical confirmation that discovery was justa pretext for imperialism. Though Colonialism is now a past historical era, its positive andnegative influences remain in all the former colonized countries. Among these influences isCMS.What are the implications of Colonial Mentality Syndrome? Gabones in her article entitled, “COLONIAL MENTALITY: A FILIPINO HERITAGE?” talksabout the implications of CMS in Philippines. She writes that as “David and Okazaki (2006)conceptualized colonial mentality among Filipinos and Filipino Americans as a form ofinternalized oppression, characterized by a perception of ethnic or cultural inferiority. Itinvolves an automatic and unreasonable rejection of anything Filipino and an instinctive anduncritical preference for anything Western or foreign.” Does Pilipino alone face CMS? Theanswer is, of course not, judging from the implications of CMS. What are examples ofimplications of CMS especially in certain former colonial colonies?
  2. 2. When there is a rejection of one’s cultural identity as inferior in comparison toforeigners (especially Caucasian or Western), it leads to a cultural identity crisis. As withpersonality identity crisis, cultural identity crisis can have similar repercussions. Let me demonstrate it in a fictitious example. Mr. S who is an Asian is send to a Western country called A when he is about to go to college. His parents believed that Western education is superior because they themselves suffer from CMS. While in A, he faced acculturative problems and was treated as a second class human being whose intelligence and aptitude was considered inferior because of his Asian descent. In order to adapt, he picked up A’s culture, habits and accent. He tried to be more Western than Westerners, to be accepted by them. Then, it happened. One day, a Caucasian teacher told him unceremoniously, hey S, you think that you are an A. You got it wrong friend. You are nothing but *3@*% ..., but a *&^%$#. It was like a thunder strike to Mr. S. All his efforts to be a Westerner didn’t make him a Westerner. At that instance, he hated himself for trying to be a Westerner. But he blamed the Westerners for his predicament. Upon his graduation, he decided to go back to his country. When he returned home, his parents paraded their “Western educated” son among their family members, relatives and friends. To please his parents, he continued his Western life style while hating Westerners and Western ways. He couldn’t adapt to his former Asian culture because of the expectations of his parents and those around him. He was not allowed to be himself. His Western put-on show had to go on. Cultural identity crises have overt symptoms. I have seen in certain upper class bars inCountry T, the common laughable sights of young adult Ts who attempt put-on Westernairs. In their efforts to portray Western behaviours, they made themselves to look more likeAsian clowns in Western garments. I also observe marketing exploitations of CMS in certain Asian “International”educational institutions. Parents who are suffering from CMS are promised “Western bias”educational structure, process, content and standards for their children, in exchange forexorbitant tuition fees. All that are needed in executing this subtle marketing exploitation isthe presence of enough Caucasian faces that erroneously represents internationality andquality. But, the top of the cream for parents who are suffering from CMS will be that, at theend of the day, their children’s degrees will only be usable locally. CMS when exploited doesmake money for unscrupulous business persons. Thanks to CMS, we have Asian women who are bleaching their skin to haveCaucasian-like looks. One should see some these women when they are older, they looklike, what the Chinese once called, “white devils.” Thanks to CMS, we also see more Asianwomen competing to expose as much as possible their mammary glands in public functions,while snipping away as much cloth from their rear ends. They want took like certain
  3. 3. Western H… W… stars. And yet, there are persons who think that half-naked indigenoustribes’ women are uncivilized. I think the days will come, when fashion designers in Asiawon’t have much designing to do. They will become more of expert snippers. Thanks to CMS, certain Asian teens think that their fathers are senile old men whodon’t understand modern sexuality when they grope their girlfriends in their presence.Thanks to CMS, certain countries are becoming more westernised than their former colonialmasters while suffering from worst social and cultural diseases (problems). These examplesare overt symptoms of CMS that has been associated with superiority, quality and progress.Are they? Former colonial subjects (especially Asians) need not lose their Cultural identities toprove their personal or professional worth. Their personal and professional worth lies not inmimicking the West but by being their original selves in creating their own progress,standards and qualities in life, play and work. Are you proud of whom you are or are youputting on a show?Author: Email Contact Info: Author’s Blog: Author in EzineMark: Author in Articlebase: nadarajan/128499/newestReferences:Gabones,