As a rule, if in Kazakhstan they talk about Western culture, then this is only in a pejorative context, spreading demagoguery about its harmful influence on the younger generation, about some kind of replacement of traditional Kazakh values with alien and corrupting ones.
But in essence, this is nothing more than self-deception, and the roots of any cultural problems, and not only, must be sought in ourselves.
If we look a little into the past, we will understand that lively discussions of Western culture in the post-Soviet region were not a topic of recent years, moreover, they began as early as perestroika. Since that time, all kinds of conspiracy theories have grown, such as the rather famous “Dallas Plan”, which tells about the secret plan of the US intelligence services to replace real values with fake ones, with the goal of internal and moral decay of citizens, first of the USSR, then Russia and the countries of Other CIS.
It sounds quite comical, however, if we look at what many of our tradition heroes and witnesses of Western propaganda like to say in the face of various social and national activists and all kinds of yatis, we can find a very remarkable similarity of their rhetoric with those of conspiracy theories. But the most important thing that we can highlight here is that a large part of these people come from the same generation as Pepsi, that is, those who were born from the mid-1980s to the beginning of the 2000s. This generation was usually called the lost generation, accusing the contemporary youth of too fond of blaming it today. But, as practice shows, the worldview of people is not static, and it can change to the exact opposite. Therefore, it is inappropriate to think that today’s youth will always be as they are usually seen, while largely generalizing at the same time, which is also not worth doing.
However, can we talk about cultural expansion? Again, if we look at the historical experience, we can understand that the strongest forces dominate not only militarily, but also culturally. Over the past two centuries, Western powers have dominated the world, respectively, their cultural influence has been the greatest.
But culture, as an element of soft power, is not magically instilled by someone on purpose, and the process of its dissemination occurs somewhat randomly.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of the ideology of communism, an ideological and cultural vacuum arose in the post-Soviet countries, and if the rising current of American and European popular culture began to rapidly fill the preferences of the inhabitants of our country. States, then the ideological vacuum persists to this day.
The state is trying to advance the ideological agenda through various programs of spiritual modernization, most notably the Rakhuni Zangiro. It just doesn’t matter, partly due to the obsession with farming, partly due to the fact that in Kazakhstan there is a generational rift, that is, the generations simply do not understand each other.
Nor does the state abandon its attempts to influence culture by funding various types of films and television programmes. But such projects are usually met with an impressive audience. There is even an inverse relationship here, as a rule, the less the state intervenes in one or another aspect of mass culture, the greater its success. You do not have to go far for examples, such Kazakh rappers such as Scriptonite and Jah Khalil are known throughout the CIS, and not so long ago, musician Imanbek Zykinov gained world fame, becoming the first Kazakh to receive a Grammy award.
If we talk about the level of influence of a particular culture on our society, then the absolute leadership is occupied by European American culture, or Western culture in general. The cultural influence of Russia can then be distinguished, but it is mainly fixed in the Russian language. And last but not least, Asia has a cultural influence on us.
It is not for nothing that we even consider our two largest cities, Astana and Almaty, to be spiritually European.
However, it should be noted that in recent years, Korean pop culture has become popular among Kazakh youth, and it is possible that Chinese pop culture will gradually begin to permeate in the coming years, but it will not be easy to seriously change attitudes. Western European culture. And if we dig deeper, we will see that the same modern South Korean culture is the result of the synergy of local culture with Western culture, and there is not much left of traditional Korean culture.
But it is a mistake to think that the influence of Western culture poses some kind of threat to us.
The development of our domestic culture has always been influenced from the outside, first it was Arab culture, for several centuries it was replaced by Russian culture, and now Western culture is exerting influence. However, our culture has always adapted to any conditions and modernized, and the same is happening in our time.