Essays caribbean cultural identity

Daly-Novoa 10 However, mimicry, like all other constructs, is framed within rules. No gesture, according to this philosophy, is authentic, every sentence is a quotation, every movement either ambitious or pathetic, and because it is mimicry, uncreative. Africa is not waiting there in the fifteenth or seventeenth century, waiting for you to roll back across the Atlantic and rediscover it in its tribal purity, waiting there in its prelogical mentality, waiting to be awoken from inside by the returning sons and daughters There is no fifteenth century mother waiting there to succour her children And identity is far from the way in which we think and hear them and experience them.

One of the most obvious signs of mimicry in the Caribbean is through language.

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There is also mimicry within the education superstructure, which uses language in the form of text to impart knowledge. Bosch, however, presents a drama that takes place in what appears to be a Spanish sea While there is some focus on the Mesoamerican groups, African slavery and Indian Indentureship, there is a great focus on the regional revolutions of the Haitian, Spanish-American, Cuban revolutions, and global events such as the American, French and Russian Revolutions, the World Wars, and recently, a focus on the Nationalist movements under Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. This has produced a Trinidadian history student who is more versed in European history than in their local history, which hinders initiatives to eke out a cultural distinctiveness.

It is difficult to identify a practice within the Caribbean that cannot be traced to our historical vestiges. For instance, I was once convinced that a practice in Trinidad where men walked around with small birds in cages, crafted from wood and wire, was unique to the Caribbean. Within the Trinidadian context, this deduction seems relevant since one of the reasons men with birds congregate is to encourage their feathered-friends to sing.

There is also a false consciousness within Caribbean society that since Emancipation and Independence, the islands have somehow deflected any attempt to influence their culture. The fact remains, that even though slavery and indentureship have been abolished, new and variant forms of these systems have emerged in the 21st century. Basically, global mass media has been labelled as the culprit, using the electromagnetic spectrum to brainwash West Indians to think that places like America and Europe, and white people, is what we should be like.

Unconsciously or not, Caribbean people continue to mimic European or American customs because they have come to believe that this is better than what is being produced in the Caribbean. Proper English is seen as better than local dialect; the Catholic religion is better than the Open Bible faith; Shakespeare is better than anything a Caribbean poet can produce, and so on.

Despite evidence of caricature among cultural practices within the Caribbean, there are elements of distinctiveness. We should be different, and West Indian. Within the forest of Caribbean Cultural Studies Specific theories can form canopies, which keep Caribbean difference impenetrable. Many theorists assert that there are certain preconditions that engender the existence of a distinct Caribbean cultural identity.

Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity Sample

Amidst this was the dominating force of the imperial powers pressuring the subordinate groups to adopt European culture as an avenue to civility and social acceptance. For a people emerging from tutelage, cultural distinctiveness may be used to justify demands for independence. Secondly, Nettleford xvi identifies cultural globalisation as a precursor to the emergence of a Caribbean distinctiveness. I refer to such areas as religion, the arts and private philosophies about self and society.

The Caribbean Identity Essay

Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean retreated to these areas with rich results In my own experience, I have witnessed this. How yuh know? These things may be so familiar that they become easy to overlook as signs of Caribbean distinctiveness. This takes place where the elements of caricature clash with a desire for distinctiveness.

Essay on The Caribbean Identity - Words | Bartleby

Hall Wrestling with the Angels fully supports this stance when he states that any theory worth pursuing should be one of struggle. But there was such a moment for every individual American, and that moment was both surrender and claim, both possession and dispossession.


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The issue is the claim. We are ugly, but we are here! Daly-Novoa 18 These forces, while they striped the immigrant groups of large chunks of their culture, had the unintended effect of individualism, which transcended into the creation of a distinct Caribbean identity. Trinidadians will concoct any reason to have a fete: in a blackout, leh we lime, we go knock some cyard; somebody died, we go lime by de wake; Carnival done, nah we go lime in Manzanilla for Ash Wednesday cool down; de party done, nah it have las lap; it have a coup, leh we throw ah fete or two an make everybody feel nice.

Trinidadians have the unique ability to turn any tragedy, in local, regional and international news, into some form of entertainment. I have recently heard some picong among friends that they would like to host a fete for Carnival. Walcott also writes of Carnival, which does not fall into the category of mimicry since it is constantly evolving. Caribbean distinctiveness can also be seen in the process of Creolisation. Pearce caribbeanculturalstudies. Language in the Caribbean has been creolised, with an accompanying modular change from being a point of mimicry to one that carves out a distinct Caribbean cultural identity.

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Wha de bomboclat! Come out ah di road batty boi! Dat what make us who we are In America they will say motherfucker, but we say bomborasclat. Dat sound so pretty These may not be as emboldened as the European and American cultures but nonetheless, they exist, sometimes in isolated enclaves that make their discovery a little more challenging.

Nonetheless, key examples of a distinct Caribbean cultural identity include their creolised languages, their experiences of struggle and spirit of survival and in simple every day tasks. Caribbean cultural identity is difficult to pinpoint, but regardless, when we see it, we know what it is. Works Cited Barker, Chris. Best, Lloyd. Norman Girvan and Owen Jefferson. Mona: New World Group Ltd. Danticat, Edwidge.


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Nigel Bolland. Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers, Fanon, Frantz. Girvan, Norman. Gloor, LeAna B. Daly-Novoa 22 Hall, Stuart. New York and London: Routledge, Stuart Hall and Paul Du Gay. Lamming, George. Lewis, W. Linton, Ralph. The Cultural Background of Personality. New York: D.


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