Friday, 19 July 2019

Noble Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka at Chandigarh University

Globalization is inevitable yet it should be controlled to protect our local culture: says Noble Laureate Prof. Prof. Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka world renowned writer, poet who has been awarded with Noble Prize in 1986 in the field of Literature- the first to be won by any African was today at campus of Chandigarh University to interact with the students of School of Language and Literature. The interactive session began with the lighting of lamp ceremony to which the noble laureate said, “This is a very beautiful ritual as the light or torch symbolizes existence of civilization as lighting of lamp is same as that of lighting to lives through literacy and I come from a country where I understand its importance so therefore I will copy this tradition to my native place, Abeokuta, Nigeria”. On his first visit to India, he said, “I think I have learned something and enriched myself with a new thought that will help me in my personal growth as an individual, as a human being”.   

While replying to the question of a student, Whether Globalization is taking us back to the era of colonization? The noble laureate said, “Globalization is inevitable and it has is presence ever since the origin of society due to religion or trade between civilizations that existed in early era”. On the positive side of globalization has resulted into sharing of ideas and processes while on the negative side the process is turning the population of third world countries as a cheap labor market for the highly developed societies of the world. Cultural globalization is the most pernicious form because culture also rides on technology and when technology comes from outside (developed nations) and it proliferates it our lives such that we cannot do without it then it dilutes out identity. So we can’t avoid globalization but we can control it by preserving our individual cultures because it is a question of cultural security which will preserve our true essence despite of new technology entering our lives. Globalization should be multi-directional traffic and not just one way traffic where powerful cultural values take over weak cultural values just because they have strong economies.      

On the question of maintaining purity of language in the modern society, Prof. Soyinka said, “Language is tool which is used to communicate the thoughts and ideas from one society to another and when it gets communicated then there might be change in the essence of what you really want to communicate”. With times and changing technology  language also tends to evolve by adding new vocabulary or words but the purity of language needs to be maintained because when a language dies then a society on a whole looses a culture. There are many languages which are on the verge of extinction which means they are not being taught to the younger generation anymore so how will we know about the richness of the cultures that the people who once used to speak those endangered languages use to practice in their society. With end of one generation the language will also die in such cases and it is dangerous for the society.

“It is very difficult to teach creative writing as a subject but according to me the best way to improve writing skills for the budding writers is to share their writings whatsoever be it poetry or philosophy or literature with their own peer groups and then let there be critics who will criticize your language, vocabulary or thoughts which will improve the talent of writing” said Prof. Soyinka. This method is any day better than a teacher teaching the method of creative writing.   

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