CHAPTER II: CULTURAL DIVERSITY
are, at almost every point of our day, immersed in cultural diversity: faces,
clothes, smells, attitudes, values, traditions, behaviours, beliefs, rituals”
is like a garden brimmed with various kinds of alluring flowers (ethnic
groups). Everything belongs to one garden, it doesn’t mean everything is same; everything
has its own unique quality within them i.e. everything is divergent in nature.
Same way human beings are same as a species, but they diverse in colour,
personality, physical appearance and most importantly culture.
Cultural diversity cannot be explained in a single term,
it can understand only by complex and it has been measured through generalization
of an individual, group, family or community within a society based on the
race, language, dress, gender, sexuality, food and drug , religion, traditions
and local patriotic sporting, nurturing or hunting affiliation.
Cultural diversity makes every country richer by making
it the most interesting place in which we live. Plurality of culture plays a
vital role in dress, food, art, literature, language, religion and the way of
living of people in National culture. India is the perfect example; in India we
prefer western wears which are much more comfortable than our traditional
wears. We use pants, shirts, skimpy nighties and even foot wears which is based
upon the other cultural context.
habit plays a vital role in every country. Food habit of people differs from
each other according to their climatic and body condition. Even though the
immigrants, migrants from different parts of the world accepts the food of the
host nation some prefer their customary food.
But now both the Indian immigrants and the Indian citizens in US entice
towards the western food habits. Now in India we make our food much more
delicious by adding Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, German, French and
American food and its flavours. For the past few decades the American
restaurants like Dominos, McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut sprouts every nook and
corner of the world and providing all junk and western food. Those restaurants
create a complete reformation in the food habit of other nation. The taste buds
of Indians too stick to the flavours of them.
both reflects and shapes society. Culture shapes language and then language
shapes culture. Little wonder that the words we use to talk to each other, and
about each other, are the most important words in language: they tell us who I
am, they tell us who you are, and they tell us who ‘they’ are.
Language plays a vital
role in every culture, language and culture are interconnected. Scholars believe thousands of languages
spoken by people today are developed from few common languages. When people
begins to migrate throughout the world, to contact with other groups they
formed different languages. Like language art also varies from place to place.
For a ceremonial dance, West Africans carve a mask out of wood and decorate it
with copper, early American Indians used to wear ornaments made out of sea
shells, feathers and animal bones all over the body. People made their art much
more creative and imaginative out of local resources.
People of different nation attempts to fix their roots in
any place wherever they go they adapts its climate, food, culture, values and
political policies. Cross-border population flows through migration and
immigration, this leads to increase diversity in societies. This diversity or
plurality often refers to the existence of disparity of behavior, traditions
and customs. According to the US census bureau, the 2009 population in America
16% Hispanic or Latino Origin (may be of
13% African American
1% American Indian/ Alaskan Native
0.2% Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
There are many ethnic
groups in US, due in large part to its immigrant population; each of these
groups contributes to America’s cultural heritage. From African Americans to
Russian Americans, the US is one of the most diverse nations in terms of
culture. US got the 85th rank in the list of countries ranked by
ethnic and cultural diversity.
Chandrakant Yatanoor’s India’s
Contribution to American Heritage, he illustrates that cities like New
York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas has the largest
concentration of Indian immigrants. Each city has more over 150,000 residents
of Indians. Among other cities New York has the largest of about 250,000
Indians. The Indians settle in different cities as, large office going people,
some sprout up everywhere to sell saris, every fifth doctor, every third
computer expert, every fifth engineer and motel owner are Indians. Information
technology has its firm root in California. It has the greatest population of
Indian millionaires than anywhere else. Being the brainy people Indians has
umpteen numbers of opportunities in US.
Cultural diversity leads to the country’s workplaces and
schools incorporate with different culture, race and ethnic groups. The people
of National culture can learn many things from ethnic groups; this will help us
or the people of Nation to understand different aspects within the world in
which we are living. Cultural diversity makes every country much stronger and
improves them to compete in the new global economy. It also brings the
piecemeal change in language skills, advanced way of thinking, creative and
practical solutions to arduous problems and negotiating skills.
Every good thing has its dark side; cultural diversity
too has its own darker side. It is often said that immigrants poses a culture
threat to National identity. Immigrants have their own histories, customs,
traditions, values and ceremonies. They come and settle in the host nation with
all those values imbued within them. The citizens of host Nations feel that immigrants
abduct their job opportunities and poses security threat. The trust upon immigrants
and migrants is contracted.
every country the citizens sees the immigrants as parasites which benefits upon
the host nation. Everytime there is a
problem in workplace between the citizens and the immigrants. Citizens of the
particular nation often complaints that immigrants steal their job opportunities
most probably the immigrants become the higher officials in most of the workplaces.
This diversity also arises social tension, for instance in Europe the tension
between the minority Muslims and the secular majority community is frequently attributing
the contrasting Islamic and secular values.
diversity of culture leads to various problems, the impact of alien culture is much
worse than other social issues. The intrusion of alien culture leads to
cultural crisis for generation to generation the impact is increasing
gradually. The reformation of culture happens everytime with the national
culture and also to the host or the sub culture and also in language. The younger
generation fascinated towards alien culture, the impact is seen in the way of
life, language, religion and cultural values. This novel Portable Roots depicts some of the problem which arouses from that
impact. Gowri is the main character who is the emblem of cultural diversity.