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Should We Preserve Individual Cultures in a Globalizing World?

American Idol has never seen this kind of philosophical debate! In the European song contest, Eurovision (the same contest that launched ABBA) the French are un peu mad that their candidate will be representing the country singing a song that's mostly English.

In response, the head of a group dedicated to preserving French against the growing use of English said, "a song represents the soul of a country. It appears logical that a song representing France be a French song sung in French." Making his argument he went on to denounce cultural "uniformity" and the "hegemony" of the English language in the modern world. But statistics show contest preference to English language songs — they've won 22 times since 1956. Perhaps proving the encroachment, this year more than half of the contestants—25—will sing in English.

The debate raises an important question. To see the conflict,

. Our world, thanks to the internet, easy plane rides, and economic interconnectivity is becoming smaller and smaller. The It's a Small World ride, while admittedly stereotypical, paints a silly but broad stroke sketch of the distinct cultures we might be sacrificing to globalism.

The French, with their Academie Francaise, a group dedicated to the preservation of the French language, are kicking out English words like email, supermodel, and Wi-Fi to help keep the culture and language pure. Is this the right move? Should countries become more proprietary and defend their cultures against the creep of influence from outside? Is diversity what makes our world unique, or is it the ability to evolve with changing times?

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