Cultural syncretism occurred in some societies, in the course of history. The introduction of new cultures in some societies would change the shape of the societies in a number of ways. Western Europe became the power house as it used to dominate the other countries and nations around the world. European domination in Africa and Americas was well received, and did not face the resistance met in India and China. The success of the Europeans in Africa and Americas could not be replicated in China and India.
In Africa and the America, there were various tribes with divergent views; therefore, it was easy to dominate them because they did not have a common unifying ground as a people. For example, although the Aztec tribe dominated in the Southern America; however, they had made many enemies through waging war on the neighboring villages. They used wars to capture individuals who would be duly sacrificed for rituals. This is something their neighbors never approved. This was not the case in India and China where there was a common unifying ground, and it was not easy for the Europeans to gain acceptance.
Another factor is the fact that the majority of the Americans and Africans had accepted Christianity, while Indians and Chinese had their own established religions that had spread throughout their people prior to the entry of Europeans. The fact that Americans and Africans shared the same religion with Europeans made it possible for the westerners to blend well with them. Another advantage was tribal backgrounds, which divided the people thus making them easy to control (Allen & Skelton, 2013).
On the other hand, India and China opposed the westerners because they were deeply rooted to their beliefs and values. India and China were too ethnocentric as compared to Africans and Americas. They had strong traditions as well as rituals. They practiced their own religions such as Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism. On the other hand, the Europeans (or the westerners) practiced imperialism based on Christian values. This was strongly opposed in India and China. China, for example, focused on articulation value of social, ethical and political values, thus they would not accept something superficial that would not benefit China as a country. In addition, capitalism did not make inroads in both China and India because of the established socialist values. It, therefore, became hard for the Europeans to ‘sell’ Christianity and capitalism as alternative ways of life in China and India. Their ideologies were miles apart and there was no common unifying ground among them.
In conclusion, India and China opposed cultural changes that were introduced by westerners (or the Europeans) since both communities had already embraced strong beliefs before the arrival of the Europeans. On the other hand, Africa and Americas accepted the changes because the communities divided their power thus making it easy to influence them. Their lack of organization made it easy for Europeans to conquer and dominate them for many years. In retrospect, cultural syncretism in Africa and Americas was successful, but failed to take root in India and China.
Allen, T., & Skelton, T. (2013). Culture and Global Change. London: Routledge,.
Marcus, G. E. (1992). Rereading cultural anthropology. North Carolina : Duke University Press,.