Culture

How Asia understands democracy through pop culture

by Isabella Chua

The etymology of “democracy” stems from the Greek word dēmokratia, which is the composite of dēmos “the people”, and kratia “power rule”. This aligns with our understanding of democracy, as an ideal: the power of the people, the will of the majority, and their freedom of choice, speech, right to vote, and so on. But did you know that “majority rule” was a pejorative term used by democracy’s Greek critics? The original meaning of dēmokratia in classic Greek is less politically charged; it simply means the capacity of the people to do things.

Who cares about democracy?
Can I interest you in an  “Asian style democracy” with a side of “Confucian democracy”?
Is ___ a democracy?
This is what democracy looks like part I (according to mostly America)

Data taken from Ahrefs.com

This is what democracy looks like part II (Asia’s response)
Democracy, localised
Understanding democracy
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at hello@kontinentalist.com
Isabella Chua / Writer

Isabella loves to dig beyond what is ‘commonsensical’ or ‘natural’ to us, by looking at the larger forces (or even accidents), that may have structured these beliefs. A writer at Kontinentalist, she's particularly interested in social issues - religion, crime, identity, and food. While she strives to stay curious about the world by listening to podcasts and taking classes, she's happiest when eating pastries, cakes, and drinking tea.


Credits
Illustration / Joceline Kuswanto
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