Nature vs. Culture

This binary thing has been going on and is often remain in an irony state where we no longer able to differentiate the both of them. Nature refers to non-man made, something that relates to wilderness, grow on its own and live on its own. Culture refers to humanity, knowledge and something that is man-made. However if you say technology is culture then where do we get our mechanical parts? Do we just create a mobile phone just as it is? We need the energy (power) from the environment, we need the source from nature and more importantly, we still rely on nature for survival. Culture can be plastic surgery, medical, transport, music, films and many more. But how could all these started without going through the phase of sourcing from the nature?

You might wonder why I have to go all the trouble of differentiation. It is a crucial fact because nature has changed so much due to culture. At the same time, we can no longer realise which dominates which. Nature can be something mysterious, spiritual and unknown while culture can be something familiar, habits and norms that has been part of us. Why do humans go hiking in the mountains? Why do we need to unwind and escape to the nature space (beach, national park, garden, and beach) from ‘stress & reality’ from the culture (urban space: city, shopping mall, work, home, school)? Nature then becomes the utopian whereas culture was seen as malicious, pessimistic and definable. You like nature because nature seems to be something that you haven’t come across. You may hate nature because culture provides you too much temptation (comfort).

I wish to emphasise this binary because we are living in the grey line of nature/culture. We may hope to bring nature back but it is quite impossible due to culture, civilization, modernization, commercialization and capitalism. You may be using green bags to do your grocery shopping, you may be a vegetarian and diligently do recycling but if you are driving a car, sitting in an office with air conditioning and using comfortable public toilets that you will probably never know where will all these lead to after flushing. It is very ambiguous, you are aware that global warming is hitting us slowly, but at the same time we do not wish to let go of culture and neither do I…How sad…


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