Are there modern cultures wherein nostalgia doesn't exist?

Or at the very least, isn’t a major component.

I’ve heard it said about African-Americans, although I can’t vouch for it.

What do you mean by “nostalgia”. Been in many countries, in the mid east and S Asia they don’t have a "hey the seventies are back like craze, but then 3 years ago they had a sudden explosion of hookah or sheesha smoking, something that was once seen really quaint.

How far back counts as “nostalgia”? There is a difference between nostalgia for old traditions, a “retro” appreciation of a time a couple generations ago, and a idealization of a culture’s perceived golden age.

In Cameroon people really liked the idea of progress, but they also deeply valued their traditions and mourned the ways that traditional life is fading. I think there was quite a bit of nostalgia, even though nobody realistically wanted to give up the few modern conveniences they had. I don’t think the “generation ago” nostalgia really existed much- in the 1950’s people in my village regularly didn’t wear clothes. There isn’t enough separation from “ancient tradition” to "modern times for that kind of nostalgia to pop up.

In China it seems like a lot of recent times are a bit traumatic for people to recall, although there is no end of nostalgia for much earlier times. Like half the TV shows on are historical dramas.

India seemed to have plenty of nostalgia- even the sort of “Just a generation or two ago” nostalgia we experience in America. I recall hearing lots of modern remixes of classic Bollywood songs, for example. I have the impression (I might be wrong) that there is even the idea of “retro” saris.

I can’t believe the idea that African-American culture doesn’t have nostalgia. For one thing, a lot of African-American clothing styles have strong retro influences. And music with sampling in it incorporates a lot of old R&B and funk stuff. Hell, I can think of a quite a few songs that are explicitly about being nostalgic for “back in the day.”

I gotta say, I think nostalgia may be universal.

I suppose I haven’t thought through fully what I mean by nostalgia. In some cases it is yearning for the simplicity and certainty of one’s childhood, manifest sometimes by a fetishisation of childhood toys or television shows. There is the lamenting of dying or dead traditions, the breaking with the past. There’s the literary or mediated notion that it would have been better to be alive in a previous era. There’s also the generalised ‘malaise’ that one’s society, culture is past its sell-by date.

That happens everywhere. Except perhaps in Dubai or Singapore, of all the places I have been people have had that idea.

Well, there used to be one, back in the good old days…

The nostalgia people have nowadays is nowhere near as good as the nostalgia that we used to have.

Now that was REAL nostalgia.