Where are you from? A new perspective of globalization
CanadaSri Lanka — Student VolunteeringUniterra
A day at my workplace (tea center):
I greet the customers: “Ayubowan! (Sinhalese) / Vanakkam! (Tamil)”
“Where are you from?”
They are being confused.
I said “Chinese face, right?”
I said: “Hong Kong is my origin.”
They eased their confusions when I made a relationship about myself and Asia. As I am working at the tea center, facing both local and international tourists every day, the above scenario happens all the time. Same conversation, same confusion. However, the local Lankan’s confusion teaches me an important lesson on how raising of globalization. A Chinese face doesn’t mean the person is from China, because there is something called migration.
Besides migration as a movement of globalization, international trading is another type of globalization.
Remember I made a post on how globalization and Nuwara Eliya linked to me? A HK/Canadian guy went into a Taiwanese…
“A Hong Kong/Canadian guy went into a Taiwanese found (T&T) and Canadian owned (Loblaws) supermarket in Canada, bought a Japanese brand tea drink with the tea original from Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.”
It reminded me a post I made on facebok before I came to Sri Lanka. The increasing international trade created more interactions between nations. The Canadian consumers can now get a variety of products instead of only domestic. The Ceylon tea leaves transformed to a bottle drink and being sold in a Canadian supermarket.
The drink is sold CAD$5.99 (Rs. ~750) but how much of the revenues going back to the tea farmers? The globalization, on the other side, shows the exploitation of the developed countries to the developing countries. Each day the farmer picks around 18 kg of pekoe leaves and earn Rs 820. And the salary is used to support the whole family living. While we are in Canada enjoying an authentic tea, my question is do these tea farmers enjoy the benefits of exporting their tea leaves to worldwide? The answer is not really. There is a large proportion of the revenue of a bottle of tea drink goes to the transport, manufacturing, marketing, etc. Only less than 2% of the revenue goes to the farmer. While the developing countries gained the access of the global market to sell the cheap goods, the company relies on the market and the frontline labours can only continue working, or even work longer time.
Globalization is a big machine; it is going fast, and no one can really stop it. The corporation in developing countries should consider whether they can maintain the business in the fast changing market, but not over-relying on it. Otherwise, it is not business sustainable. In addition, the government shall set up proper and ethical labour regulations, as well as social safety nets to prevent worker exploitation.
Seeing the changing and complex, international market and the influence of the globalization, as the Sustainable Research and Marketing Officer at the Hayleys Kelani Valley Plantations PLC in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, I ask how do we maintain our business in both ethical, environmental, and economic sustainable and my mandate is to conduct research on sustainability, eco-tourism, and marketing.