Popular Culture Essay Example

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Popular culture is the influence of attitudes, perspectives, ideas, social life and even lifestyle which started in the late 19th century and it affects our everyday life. It entails all things that are around the mass media. The mass media has affected people way of life and what they believe is the best food according the traditions. The study of the popular culture helps us to understand where it began and what are considered to be common conceptions and approach methods. The popular culture brought about divisibility in the culture where we have folk, popular and high. This made the society to be divided into classes (Hobart 8). The popular culture is aimed to the mass or popular market using the mass media. It can also be as a result of an industrialized society which symbolises both observable products and practices which are produced in masses using the current technology for duplication, distribution and mass production which makes them to be accessible to the population. Mass market is considered to having specific cultural practices and technologies.

Food culture

The Southeast Asia relies heavily on agricultural food and fishing. It has long coastline and this makes fish the most preferred source of protein compared to the other sources. Rice is considered to be the staple food in the area. Popular culture has been embraced by the citizens but has not affected the food people eat and the reasons behind it (Hobart 17). The people in Southeast Asia are used to frying food or steaming because it is easy and economical and most of them are concerned with ease of preparation, economy and nutrition in relation to their food. Those homes in Asia that follow the traditions they use mat when eating food and the modern ones use chairs and tables. People are used to eating food using their hands which makes them to feel the food texture and they have to wash their hands after and before the meals (Heryanto 33). The food is served in a plate which is kept at the centre of the mat. Some families have embraced the current lifestyle where the family is served the food in the dining table and each member his plate. The change in the lifestyle is determined by the culture and the religion one believes in.

Food culture in Southeast Asia

Majority of Southeast Asia have not changed their food culture because of religious and ethnic preference. These two factors are main opponents of the popular culture in the country. The citizens have strong beliefs about the food they eat and religion. For example Muslims do not eat pork and they are not supposed to drink or eat during the month of Ramadan. Hindus, according to their beliefs they are not supposed to eat beef and the cows are sacred. Most of the Hindus are vegetarians. Chinese people have their own belief about Taoist traditions that the combination of food should follow the healing and medicinal properties (Heryanto 33). They are foods which are regarded to be ‘hot’ which should not be taken by people suffering from blood pressure and pregnant women e.g. ginger and chilli peppers. Some other foods are considered to be ‘cool’ e.g. the eggplant and they can be taken by people with high blood pressure. Wheat is also largely consumed in the Southeast Asia. Buddhists also do not take meat because this will involve killing an animal which is against their beliefs as well as fish. They have not changed with the popular culture but the larger group which observes this are the monks (Jurriens 23). The popular meals that you will find in Southeast Asia consist of fruits, vegetables, fish, rice and spices. The common flavourings are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon grass, turmeric, fish sauce, garlic, onions, chilli peppers and ginger. The people who follow traditions offer some foods to the gods so that they will never lack food to eat.


Despite the influence by the media, the Southeast Asia has not changed the way people belief and the food they eat. They have held their beliefs intact without compromising to the change in technology. The way these people relate and belief is very different from the other countries and most of them follow traditions. Most of the recent activities have been affected by the popular culture and the members of society are adapting to it. This change the way people conduct themselves and also the way of life. Initially the pop culture was being rejected by the religion because it was perceived as if it was to change the people behaviour and make it bad. Southeast beliefs might not change despite the influence of pop culture.

Work cited

Heryanto, Ariel. Cultural Studies’ significant others: The case of Indonesia. 9th ed. Indonesia,


Hobart, Mark.”Entertaining illusions: how Indonesian elites imagine reality TV affects the

masses”. Entertainment media in Indonesia. 7.2 (2006): 4-18.

Jurriens, Edwin. “Television dreams: simulation, for a new reality of Indonesia”. Popular

culture in Indonesia, 6.1 (2011): pp. 5-25.