The discussion will be based on the analysis of a number of films being produced in the region. The films chosen for the analysis are: Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa, Hanabi by Takeshi Kitano, Apur Sansar by Satyajit Ray, Salaam Bombay! by Mira Nair, Red Sorghum by Zhang Yimou, and Chungking Express by Wong Kar-Wai. The paper will examine how the variations of Asian culture are presented in these films.
Before going into any further discussion on the nuances of Asian culture, it is important to understand what culture means. A general definition of culture argues that the concept of culture can be best described as “a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behaviour. It is an abstract ‘mental blueprint’ or ‘mental code’.” Concepts and ideas of culture can be studied by means of exploring behaviour, customs, material culture (artefacts, tools, and technology), language, etc. of a particular community or region. So to say, culture is a learning process through which a community or society can be studied both at individual and collective levels. This process of learning one’s culture can be labelled as enculturation. One of the characteristic features of culture studies is that there is nothing like a ‘culture of one’, it is a collective possession shared by all the members of a society. Commonness in behaviour, customs and other traditional practices can be achieved by mutual construction of a culture by means of a constant process of social interaction. Besides, culture, language and thought are based on symbols and symbolic meanings. Apart from this symbolic nature, the definition of culture features arbitrariness and habitualness as culture is internalized and created by humans.
Coming to the more specific discussion of the Asian culture, it is characterized by the concept of cultural variation. Some of the most important ingredients of Asian culture are: Asian art,