Is Second Life too Western?

Who hasn’t come across the grand American Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Veteran’s Day, Mardi Gras, Pride Festival, Canada Day, and Happy New Year celebrations in clubs and bars!? Most seasoned SL Residents have. I must not forget the big Second Life Birthday celebration every year!

How about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr? You can hardly ever tell in SL if it’s the season for a non-American celebration. However, there are clubs and sims where people from their respective other cultures observe some of their significant times.

What I find offensive is the sole prioritization of the major Western celebrations at Second Life hubs and clubs that are popularized by people from all across the globe. Not just the West. I have had many friends inworld from Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, and Indonesia who I met at different clubs. Some of them work as hosts or DJs at those clubs where nobody cares about their festivals. Let alone decorating the place to show respect to their regular visitor/worker from another culture for any of their periods of celebration.

I believe that the enriching Americanization in the developing countries and some developed ones should also be blamed for the lack of respect towards the non-Western lifestyle even in a virtual world. I have observed people from the Eastern world widely promoting the big American celebrations in Second Life and enjoying them in good spirits. The same people don’t complain when hardly anyone wishes them a happy time during one of their own country’s festivals. Many don’t realize this absence of equality inworld.

And, years ago as a noob, I imagined Second Life was free of real world problems. Well, at least a Breast Cancer Awareness Party or a Relay for Life concert unites us all inworld.




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