Jan 25, 2009

1979: What has changed over these 30 years?

Posted by: Marian Salzman In: modern life

2104823471_e068a5dea7_oAm pulling together a quirky look-see over what has really changed these thirty years, beyond the obvious inventions: from the ‘net and personal computing to Viagra and new modes of birth control. What do you associate with the greatest changes? Please post away and give me your view of these three decades of bold change. In my dialogue with people via Facebook, someone reminded me that Barack Obama was in high school in 1979. I was but a Brown University student myself, using an IBM self-correcting typewriter. That was then. Wow. What has changed? Here are some thought starters: Mrs. Thatcher had just come into office, Afghanistan was recently invaded by the Soviets (remember them), the Shah had fled Iran…

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    The Muslim world has become a lot more orthodox. My Iranian-Armenian girlfriend at that time had to cover up when she returned to Iran after the 1979 revolution. When I first went to Malaysia in 1981, no women in KL or Melakka or Borneo wore Islamic headgear. When I lived there in 1997-8, most did. A Pakistani friend now aged around 55 says his country was much more liberal in his youth than it is now - ordinary women used to wear bathing costumes!

    Thirty years ago or so my friend Anthony was studying Chinese in China - woken every morning by patriotic tunes blaring out of the public address system in a country that had virtually no contact with foreigners. When I visited friends in Berlin, the train through East Germany was inspected by armed troops with fierce dogs.
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