The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Globalization: An American Import

Posted by iusbvision on October 9, 2007

After taking a shower on a given morning, you may wear an Indian cotton shirt, and then you have to answer your Korean cellular phone as your friends call from  Mexico on their vacation.     

While you wait for water to boil in a Chinese pot, you eat some Chilean grapes. After you drink your Italian cappuccino, you drive in a Japanese car to IUSB. In your Taiwanese backpack, international business textbooks and Thai notebooks and perhaps, an American pencil, are inside.      

Globalization is everywhere, South Bend included. For example, the Meijer on Grape Road has become one of the icons of globalization. You may be surprised how much of the merchandise in American supermarkets is originally from foreign countries. The foreign food section is growing every season, and now they have a whole section for Asian, European, and Mexican food. They have a nice collection of sweets, seasonings, staples, and some instant foods from Germany, Japan, Thailand and many other countries. Moreover, some local people buy foreign food from the Saigon Market downtown and the Oriental Market on Grape Road. There are many other international supermarkets around South Bend.    

However, it may be passive-globalization if people only buy foreign products and enjoy tasting foreign food. They may feel they are having a cosmopolitan outlook when they consume foreign products, but they are just consumers in the global business. On the other hand, active-globalization occurs when people become more creative with their own interests by adapting new ideas from the world.    

World famous designers, like Thakoon Panichgul, adapt foreign traditional arts into their collections. In the fashion industry, it has become very popular to study and adapt foreign skills. For example, he has adapted Shibori, a traditional Japanese folded and dyed fabric printing technique, into his sportswear for the next spring collection. He found new abilities of mixing Western and Asian cultures with his endless imagination and vitality, thereby creating new fashions.       

On the IUSB campus, some professors teach how important it is to be active in those global situations like Thakoon Panichgul does. In economics, sociology, and even English classes, those professors require students to interview international students about their cultures and influences from America. Through the interviews, the students build up their international communication skills and find new inspiration from learning different cultures. The professors believe that their students will have a chance to be the next entrepreneurs in working with people from all over the world.         

Moreover, every Wednesday at three o’clock at the Jordan International Center, which is located on the Hildreth Street, there is an international meeting open for all students. At this meeting, participants talk about different cultures, religions, and everything in between; in addition, there are many other international events sponsored by Latino and Chinese Student Unions and the International Office.      

The students may find new inspiration through those international experiences on campus and become more successful in global situations. However, in an ordinary life, people always receive inspiration when they communicate with other people, no matter where they are from. Perhaps, the most important fact is that communication will allow people to create great things in the world.   

Naoko Fujimoto 

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