Tribal people in the modern world

18 Feb

Recently there was a show on TV here that showed a tribal family who live in the jungle of a small tropical island.  The tribal family were brought to Japan to stay in the home of a regular Japanese family and to experience life in Tokyo.

Needless to say, the tribal family were overwhelmed with Tokyo but overall they really loved it here.

It made me think…
It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century there are still people in the world who live like it’s the “Stone Age” but in South America, Africa, some tropical islands and other places, there are people living in trees or huts who hunt for their food and have no electricity, indoor plumbing, “real” medicine or other modern amenities.

Should we introduce these people to the modern world? Would their life improve with television, internet, telephones, public transportation, fast-food, hospitals, clocks, shopping malls and all of the other things that make the difference between “first world” and “third world” countries?

In Japan, America and other first-world countries, we grew up with those things and most of us couldn’t live without them. I would find a weekend camping trip without toilets, air conditioners, and supermarkets difficult…so I know I could never give them up and live like the tribal people do.
But they grew up in their world and that’s all they know so of course they don’t miss or desire cell-phones or other things that we use every day. But what if we showed them how much easier and convenient our lives are? Wouldn’t they like it better? Or would they prefer their “simple” lives?

And what if all of the world’s tribal people left the jungles and entered the “real” world?
Would it affect the economies and lives of the rest of us? If so, would it be a negative affect?

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14 Responses to “Tribal people in the modern world”

  1. Anonymous July 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    see all the points are correct

    Like

    • tokyo5 July 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

      Which points, specifically, do you agree with?

      Like

  2. musings February 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    I really struggle with that question. It seems cruel to not help those who might benefit from modern cures and conveniences. Would it make them happier? How can we know?

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 24, 2012 at 12:45 am #

      >Would it make them happier? How can we know?

      I wonder the same thing.

      Like

  3. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 22, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    tokyo5 :
    >for us these things are luxury because we USE them, …a guy living in a forest…isn’t going to see any purpose
    I see your point…but I still wonder.

    I’m very much a ‘keep tradition’ kind of person, for example over the years you’ve been living in Japan you can see how the influex of Western culture has changed the Japanese way of life and tastes in both positive and Negative ways, I generally see such abrupt change as negative, but if done over time and correctly, it can be a good thing I suppose.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 24, 2012 at 12:39 am #

      >I’m very much a ‘keep tradition’ kind of person

      I agree that the traditions of a culture shouldn’t be lost. It’s a shame when they are.
      But, just because people become more “modern” doesn’t necessarily mean that they will forget about their traditional culture.

      Like

  4. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 21, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Sorry I should have split that up a little better, its a big wall of text now, a few typo’s too.

    Like

  5. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    >should we, at least, let them make an “informed decision” about which way they’d like to live?

    In my opinion no, if they want to explore outside where they live then they can, but forcing something on them is different. Of course offering them the choice sounds logical, but its essentially throwing another culture at them, it would probably be the most terrifying and at the same time mesmorizing experience of their lives, introducing law would be difficult, In many of these tribes a small dispute can end in death for one party, they would have rules and laws that in their mind are logical and perfect, however for us it could result in a multiple murder, of course im not saying its 100% wrong, but I think it would do more harm than good.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      >In my opinion no

      I see your point. But I think that if I was a member of a tribe like that and I discovered that the rest of the world has electricity, plumbing, etc…I’d probably wished someone had told me about those luxuries sooner.
      Maybe.

      Like

      • Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 21, 2012 at 12:52 am #

        I think it would take them a while to see them as ‘luxuries’, they might not stay awake once it gets dark and thus see no need for lightmbulbs, if there way of life has no need for electrictiy thent hey wouldn’t see that as a luxery either. I guess what im trying to say (badly) is for us these things are luxury because we USE them, we CAN and WANT to use them, for a guy living in a forest using leaves as clothing and a waterfall as a shower he isn’t going to see any purpose in electricity or a sewing machine for exampel. Of course things like lighters would have an instantly practicle purpose, but humanity in general survived thousands of years without electricity, I mean look at the might Roman empire, they had so much but by our standards they didn’t have much at all in retrospect.

        Like

      • tokyo5 February 22, 2012 at 12:04 am #

        >for us these things are luxury because we USE them, …a guy living in a forest…isn’t going to see any purpose

        I see your point…but I still wonder.

        Like

  6. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    It is a little surreal when you think that people live in places where no man has ever been before (modern man I mean), the way they must view the world around them must be so diferent to us in everyway.

    There have been quite a few tribes that have moved to cities and many of them die, because they all get sick really quickly because their bodies aren’t used to the polution, foods and generatl way of life, some have even died because of it.
    I also think many succumb to drugs and alcohol, things that don’t really exist in their world in quite the same way, they may not know the downsides nor know of the health issues (both mental and physical).

    I do find it facinating though, there are some tribes who know about modern man and civilisations but instead choose their simple life, this happens in papa new Guinea, there is a tribe that lives close(ish) to a city but still chooses to live their life the traditional ways, but they do occasionally buy materials such as metal and cloth from the city folk, its a nice blend of the 2 life styles. They know what they’re missing out on, but they can also see how modern life has ruined just as much as its created.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

      >there are some tribes who know about modern man and civilisations but instead choose their simple life

      That’s interesting. If they know about the “modern” world but still decide to live their traditional way, that’s one thing…but I wonder about the ones who don’t know—should we, at least, let them make an “informed decision” about which way they’d like to live?

      Like

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