A few weeks ago, I and a friend of mine were listening first to some nice songs by the Swedish folk-rock band Garmarna and then to "Voice of Compassion" music arrangement [I am not sure what it is, a concerto, or simpy uncategorized] by H. Alizadeh, an Iranian Musician. The similarities between the texture of the melodies and in fact some melodies themselves were very interesting to observe.
Garmarna uses folk music from Scandinavia reclothed in rock and electronic music to create a dark and menacing world of distrust, violence and "natural" misanthropies. The overall effect can sometimes be spellbinding. The "Voice of Love" piece, which accompanies the famous "Ney-Nava" [a mystical composition for the Ney, the Iranian reed Flute, and the classical orchestra, also by Alizadeh] is a classical composition narrating the story of the tragic Earthquake in North of Iran a few years ago.
We listened to some of these pieces over and over and were forced to admit that the similarities were profound and of possibly a very ancient origin, maybe back to the time when the Iranian culture was still a part of the Indo-European tribes still undecided were to settle down.
Then there came the moment of truth, that the real similarity is that most of the folk and regional cultures share the same fate: they will soon be eliminated by the global Hamburger culture, the lowest form of what many think of as American culture. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the true American culture, has been the first victim of the Hamburger culture.
I sometimes like to amuse myself with the fact that Iranians, along with few other nations, are among the luckiest, as they have salvaged a considerable amount of their ancient culture after various occupations [from Helenization that followed the Conquest of Persia by Alexander the Macedonian, Invasion of Arabs, and the Mongolian invasion as the major ones]. My amusement is transformed as soon as I remember that the Persian-Shi'ite culture that dominates the Iranian plateau, has already eliminated many other Iranic cultures such as Median and Parthian and even the dialects and languages associated with these groups have vanished.
I do not want to haste into conclusions or recommendations, as it would be simply out of place for me, but let me ask you what you think about this "Cultural Natural Selection"? Do you also feel it? Or maybe the globalization of culture does not necessary mean the Hamburger culture? Have your say!