Kishore Mahbubani: : Is the East-West Narrative Dead?

Kishore Mahbubani: Well, the first start the reason why I used the East - West paradigm is because the West has dominated world history for 200 years, and that’s been the prevailing narrative for 200 years. That narrative is coming to an end, so it’s important to emphasize that is one narrative that is coming to end. Now, the East you are right is absolutely diverse and it is remarkably diverse. I mean China and India, we mentioned a very different, but what most Western minds don’t realize is that in previous centuries there were a lot of connections among the Asian countries, fairly deep connections, I illustrate this in my personal case. Now, I am ethnically Sindhi, Sindh is a province in Pakistan and my religion, I was born in a Hindu, okay, yet when I grew up the script that I learned to write with as a Hindu, to write Sindhi, is a Arabic script, and it shows the connection the Hindu Sindhi’s have with the Islamic world in the Arab world and in Persia, and, at the same time, when I traveled to East Asia, when I go to Japan, when I go to Korea, when I go to China I still feel a sense of cultural affinity, because I can, I feel like I can understand the Buddhist cultures that prevail in those societies, because Buddhism came from India, and I have some Buddhist influence in my life too a child. So, I can see that in my personal case, if I can personally feel connected with West Asia, I can feel personally connected with East Asia that is an illustration of how Asia comes together in many ways that is not understood by the West.

Recorded on: 2/28/08

 

 

Mahbubani adapts the old East-West narrative.

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