Throughout this course, I have come to realize that cultural productions often reflect the experiences of a group of people during a certain period of time. The productions, which could be literary, artistic, and even something that does not have a physical form, speak for their struggles, oppressions, but also the unique cultures developed by these people.

For example, under British colonial rule, the Jamaican Chinese and the local residents established a bond through the creation of the sound system. In this case, the sound system allowed the two ethnic groups to unite even with Britain’s deliberate efforts to segregate the two groups in order to sustain colonial authority. The creation of Reggae is also largely influenced by the sound system and the intermingling of race. Furthermore, I would argue that the Chiney shop is also a form of cultural production, for it is unlike other ordinary shops and plays a crucial role in Jamaican people’s lives. Another example is Japan’s attempt to assimilate the Okinawan people by forcing the aboriginal people to speak Japanese, preventing them from passing down their own language, traditions, and identity. Under such oppression, there existed cultural productions such as the essay “The Trends of Ryukyuan History” by Ifa Fuyu, in which he wrote: “no one can resist the trends of the times. Those who do not wish to die must obey” (Ichiro 122), narrating the helplessness in seeing the gradual demise of their culture and the violence that Ifa, as well as other Okinawan people faced during the time. To summarize, cultural productions offer a perspective into the experiences of the people during a time. They can also become a source of power that help people fight back authoritative suppression and express their attitudes.

In recent decades, younger generations in China started paying more and more attention to problems such as harassment between teenagers, sexism, and social pressures. Although I like music, I never actually considered listening to rap songs, because I thought that the main themes were always money, status, and girls (for male rappers). However, last year, I stumbled upon a Chinese reality TV show, which featured rappers. The rappers created songs that reflected these social problems, finding inspirations through their own teenage experiences and news on social media. It was the first time I realized that rap can also be so creative and meaningful. They can be used to reflect challenges we face in the modern society.