Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7791 posts, RR: 23 Posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2218 times:
We hear the words "west" or "western world" in the media and other places. But what does "west" mean? most people refer it to Europe or north america as the "western world". But if you live in north america, then the west would be countries like Japan, China or other countries in Asia. And europe would be to the east of the US. Or the Australians would say the west is a place like South africa or another country to the west of Oz.
I think the term "west" is incorrect and outdated.
Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2155 times:
These labels have never been clearly defined. 'West' is as vague as the odd 'North' and 'South' labels that started to appear in the '70s: New Zealand suddenly became a 'northern' country, while Mongolia became a 'southern' one.
A better way would be to sort countries according to measurable factors: median personal/household income according to purchasing power, average life expectancy and so on.
Matt86 From Germany, joined May 2001, 254 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2145 times:
I think the term "west" is correct...
If you take the 0°W/E Longitude as the middle of the map (that's normal, or) , the US and the EU are on the west side of the former CCCP and the former CCCP is in the east of the US and the EU.
Turin_airport From Italy, joined Oct 2001, 278 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2132 times:
The definition comes from the european division after WW2.
All the western european countries (from UK and Portugal to Italy and West Germany) were under U.S. influence, while the eastern european countries were under U.S.S.R. influence.
So U.S. and their european allies were the western world (aka NATO countries), the others were the eastern world (aka Warsaw Pact countries).
Japan was a western country because it was under the U.S. influence, while China, Yugoslavia and few others were called "non-aligned countries".
PROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5439 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2123 times:
Today the "West" is not really a geographical term. It includes countries with developed economies, reasonably fair distributions of wealth, high levels of education and literacy, and democratic governments. Countries that belong to the "West" are the central and western European nations, especially those in the EU; the United States; Canada; Australia; New Zealand; and Japan. Questionable cases include Poland; the Czech Republic; Solvakia; Hungary; Solvenia; Croatia; Israel; Singapore; and South Korea.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
Hurricane From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1440 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2103 times:
Trust me on this: It comes from the western hemisphere. Western culture meant American culture. Gradually, as European and American culture grew alike, the term 'Western Civilization' grew to mean American/Canadian and European culture and lifestyle.
Seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9800 posts, RR: 17 Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2091 times:
I live only about 70 miles from the 'end' of the west and I still think of Japan and China as the East. Marco Polo journeyed to the east hundreds of years ago. I think the term that needs to be corrected, especially in the States is 'Orient.' Many people here use Oreint to describe China or Japan while I think of the Orient as Romania and Bulgaria. I mean, where does the Oreint Express go? China?
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2083 times:
Guys, I believe when we say West, we mean principally North America and Western Europe. "West" defines a certain lifestyle, culture and ideology, i.e., democracy, capitalism (for the most part) and freedom of thought and religion. It's a combination of geography and lifestyle. This means Mexico is a western country. So are Caribbean countries, obviously the U.S., Canada and all of Western Europe. South America's questionable, meaning I've not really seen those countries referred to as "western" in the press, but they very well could be.
Africa and Asia are definitely not western countries, because the culture and lifestyle are completely different, without judging. However, countries can be "westernized", or strongly influenced by the west, like Japan and much of Asia, while still retaining some aspects of their culture.
As for Australia and New Zealand, I don't believe they are classified as western countries per se, but they definitely have a western culture and way of life. I'm really not sure what the correct category for this region is.
Jessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 8 Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2053 times:
East and West are much older than WWII, It is basically differentiation between the European(Western) cultures and the cultures of Asia(Far East) and the "Middle East".
They are generally recognized by their pasts.
The Greek and Roman empires are thought to be the basis of Western civilization. Greece and Rome generally don't mean much to the "Eastern" cultures because they were not fundamental in the least.
I don't know enough about middle eastern and far eastern cultures to give their basis, but "Middle East" is now generally identified by arabs, who are predominantly Muslim. "Far east" Tends to deal with asian peoples.
Also, this mind set leaves out large parts of the world. Africa is "African" Americans are only counted as western culture because the Europeans destroyed what would have been called "Native American" culture.
Rickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2038 times:
Being in the East or West can sometimes differ from the geographical reality.
Just for example Praha and Brno (Czech Republic) wich are geographically in the northwest, or Ljubljana (Slowenia) wich is in the southwest of the "western" city of Vienna, are still very often described as "eastern European" cities.
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 2008 times:
The definition comes from the european division after WW2.
The term as we know it today was used well before WW2.
Trust me on this: It comes from the western hemisphere.
Again, the term was used before the western hemisphere was discovered (or re-discovered) by Europeans.
"West" defines a certain lifestyle, culture and ideology, i.e., democracy, capitalism (for the most part) and freedom of thought and religion
This is pretty accurate as to its current use.
Traditionally, when people speak of the "West" or "Western Civilization" they mean all the civilizations in Europe (and later the Americas) that descended from Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. This is where the term started: in ancient Greece, who viewed their own and the cultures east of them as the two significant cultures of the world. Thus: East and West.
Now, Hepkat's thoughts are more accurate: its pretty much the 'First World' states, mainly European in location or origin, and market oriented democracies.
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 56 Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 9 hours ago) and read 2001 times:
Arsenal@LHR: Technically Japan and Asia are east of North America, because much like the Atlantic has the Prime Meridian separating the Western Hemisphere from the Eastern Hemisphere, the Pacific has the International Dateline running practically dead centre down the middle of it, thereby splitting the Eastern Hemisphere (Asia/Australia) from the Western Hemisphere (the Americas). So while one must travel west from North America to get to Asia, the second they cross the International Dateline they go from being at the furthest point to the west on Earth, to the easternmost point on Earth. It's quite tricky really.
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 2 hours ago) and read 1975 times:
NZ767, I believe I ended by saying I wasn't sure which category you all fall in. Geographically you're certainly not Western, but I guess culturally you are defined as such. And, this world ISN'T just divided into West and Communists.
Toady From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 724 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1968 times:
Hurricane: I don't know if you meant it to sound this way, but your posting implies that European culture/lifestyle followed American.
Not really true; American culture (legal, social, political, religious) was forged by Europeans who brought it over with them in the early days of your country.
No big deal. The end result is the same - a common culture.