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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Past GT essay - Nowadays, more and more people don't wear their national clothes, and the clothes look almost the same all over the world. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Traditional costume, both national and regional, is universally recognised as an integral element of every single culture. Despite its importance to a culture and ethnicity, it is now less frequently worn by people because nowadays western formal and informal clothes are in vogue. I believe this is a positive development. A number of arguments surround my opinion.

On the positive side, when people wear similar clothes all over the world, they feel similar. It is well known that today we don’t belong to a big planet Earth, we are part of a small global village. This has led to merging of cultures and people tend to accept each other better if they look similar. Secondly, this global wear is very comfortable. For example, the traditional Indian sari is not easy to carry at times and so the work efficiency goes down. In the fast paced life of today, time is money and that is why jeans and T-shirts have gained popularity.

Furthermore, this global clothing has gained popularity because it is much cheaper in the long run. For instance, two pairs of jeans with different tops can last the whole year where as different sari or suit is required quite often. What is more, traditional costumes might not suit every circumstance. For example, exercise clothes are needed when people participate in physical exercise- and play sports. Western-style suits are used more broadly on formal occasions where people of different cultural backgrounds gather for serious issues, such as business. Dressing in a standard manner is a demonstration of respect, the key to mutual trust.

Opponents of this view say that when people stop wearing their traditional clothes, they lose touch with their culture and tradition; they lose their ethnic identity. What is more, this world is beautiful because of its diversity. If everyone looks the same, we also lose our diversity. However, I still feel that there are some deep-rooted values of our culture which cannot be lost even if we all look the same.

To summarise, I pen down saying that, people are wearing the same clothes all over the world because these clothes are convenient, cheaper and people feel the need to belong to this global village of today. If these clothes did not have these advantages, people would not have accepted them.

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