India … has been globalized for a long time. Seventeenth century Indian culture mixed influences from the Mughals, Persia, China, the Arabic world and Europe, among other sources. Food was globalized, too. The potato, tomato, and chilli pepper—critical ingredients in many Indian dishes—came from Mexico and the New World. Yet, these influences no longer feel “global” since they have been part of the Indian diet for so long. The reality is that an older globalization is being replaced by a newer globalization, not that a pure “Indian culture” is being destroyed by “global culture”.
Cowen refers later in the piece to critics of such cultural globalization—but who are these critics? Everyone I see around me has embraced these cultural influences, with actions if not words, and I think only ivory-tower intellectuals and politicians who thrive on cultural nationalism make a fuss about it any more. Me, I’m a fan—for I wouldn’t be me otherwise.