Do you still remember when was the last time you visited a “mama shop”? 2 days ago, 2 months ago or no longer anymore? Well, I would not even be surprise if you told me you do not have a clue of what a “mama shop” is now.
Ever since the early 90s, when Singapore was first introduced to the western culture, our lifestyle has started changing profusely. We were heavily influenced and affected by the westerners’ way of living. We started dressing like them, eating like them, talking like them and even living like them. It was not a bad thing but it is a sad truth that now, a lot of our Singaporean cultures have started disappearing.
Many years ago, groceries were bought mainly from the nearby neighbourhood mama shop. Rice, snacks, drinks, several daily necessities all could be found at one place and it was so much more convenient and comforting to buy everything from there. The relationship between the neighbours and the mama shop was also something to compliment about. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew each other and they had such a strong bond. They were so closely knitted that even paying the next day for the items bought today could also be done. The trust between each other was there and there was no need for any prevention against thieves. However, as time evolves, all of this closeness started to drift apart due to the great influence.
Supermarket chains started surfacing and the number of convenience store has been rising ever since then, taking over more and more mama shops. In fact, now if you were to realised, in every five to eight blocks around the neighbourhood, there will be a convenience store. They are everywhere around!
Now, that all these stores are governed by a particular company, it is also very difficult to foster a close and personal relationship with the particular store. It is not like the good old days anymore. Moreover, times have changed, so have the people in the neighbourhood. Many people come and go so often that there is barely any closeness and trust among neighbours too.
However, all these changes did not just happened over time but they were actually caused by the effects of cultural studies. This happens when two or more cultures are being exchanged and imitated, just like the western and Singapore’s culture.
Similarly to what I have learned this week about the cultural studies perspective, after reading this article, I now have a better understanding of cultural studies and the impacts it have on others. It has also showed me that communication need not always be direct; some other forms of communication can take months or years to be brought across.