Possession versus Appropriation

“It belong to dead cult, not for human being” (19).

     In the play Death and the King’s Horseman, Wole Soyinka explores the relationship of the dead ancestors with their living generations and future offsprings. This play is based on the life-style and culture of Yoruba city of Nigeria in 1964. At that time, Yoruba was under British Colonial, which serve as a vital role to drag the literary theme of the western African society—Indigenous versus foreign. There is a clash in interpreting Yoruba’s customs and traditions between the natives and the British. Hence, the concept of appropriation of other’s culture grasped by the British stands out to fight with the concept of cultural possession held by the Yourba’s people.

     What do you think, what could be the reason for Amusa to refuse talking about Elesin’s death with Pilkings when they were dressed in egungun costume? One of the reasons mentioned in the play is that the masquerade dress represented egungun men as “the reincarnated spirits of ancestors” (20).  Moreover, the dialogue mentioned above not only illustrates about Amusa’s fear of his ancestors’ power to subdue Yoruba people for violating the importance of dress, but also depicts the reality about appropriation.  In the play, Simon and Jane have used the sacred dress of Yoruba’s culture as an object for their entertainment. As Simon stated, “Well, I’ve got it on. And what’s more Jane and I have bet on it we’re taking first prize at the ball” (19). Hence, it is understandable that someone else’s culture or traditional equipments become a normal item to foreigners if they lack to understand its real meaning and significance. To take into an account, here Soyinka is not trying to show the cultural clash, but he wants us to realize the idea of taking away a sanctified thing and using for personal reasons especially when it is the things connected to someone’s culture.

     In the play, on one side, Amusa’s reactions demonstrate his anxieties regarding the misuse of his cultural dress connected to divinity, and, on the other side, the indifferent reaction shown by the foreign British. When Amusa saw Jane and Simon dancing in egungun dress, he “stiffens suddenly, his expression changes to one of disbelief and horror” (18).  It illustrates his concerns about the misusage of the costume. He was completely horrified because he knew the power possessed by that dress for conveying their ancestors’ warnings and messages. However, Simon and Jane are seemed to be relaxed because they take it as a normal dress which can be worn by anyone. Moreover, Simon confiscated the dress from the egungun men, and now, he claims to be his and uses it for personal reasons. This is a big gap between the indigenous and the foreigners in understanding the importance of one another’s culture and life-styles. Also, it describes the comprehension of others’ cultural values in two opposite ways, where, for Amusa, the cultural value is connected with upholding the ethical standards of his ancestors which is crucial to sustain his present and future living. Whereas, for Simon, the dress becomes a subject for amusement. Moreover, Simon isn’t concerned or unaware about the natives’ emotions connected with the costume.

      Therefore, taking possession to someone else’s property especially when it has religious and cultural value is similar as exploiting its importance. A person may take care of others society and people, what Simon does in the play, but if he violates their cultural identities, then he can never be able to adjust in that society to live a genial life.

My Ideal World

My ideal world would be a world free from religion discrimination. In my world, there will be the religion that people now follow, but without suppression and favoritism. People would be following their prayers, their culture and traditions, but they would also be the part of other religions’ events and practices.

My ideal world would not revise the doctrines from masculinity to femininity; however, it would add the great and historical deeds done by women in a very sophisticated way. The children of my ideal world would equally learn about Virgin Mary, Daughter Fatima and Mother Pattini as they had learned about Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha.

My ideal world would be a world with no gender bias. There would neither be patriarchic nor matriarchic society. Everyone will respect each other’s decision. There will be equal moral standard and independence. Both men and women will be honored for their duties; no matter if it is to nurture a child or to cut the stones.

My ideal world would allow each individual to take his/her personal decision. If a man can marry four wives then the women can also marry four husbands. If a wife jumps on fire after her husband’s death, then a husband also has to jump after the demise of his wife. Also, not only father can chant the rhymes on church but also nuns will have the same ability. Similarly, a woman could be a monk, priest or fakirs. There will be no set of rules to choose those holy people, but just the high level of their knowledge.

My ideal world would be a world where homosexuals will live a life without embarrass or dissatisfaction. The people would have free rights to divorce and marry a widowed. There will a common place to worship and show the devotion towards our almighty. Children and adults will not be assigned as high caste or low caste. Neither will there be enslavement nor boss classification; people will maintain their vocation with their interest and financial condition. Nevertheless, they would have a place where all these professionals and menial workers would come and share their ways of working to understand each other’s hard work.

At last but not the least my ideal world would be a world with no violence. Only peace will be found in each nook and corner of the earth. There would be a smile on each individual face wherever they go or whatever they do. Besides, it would be a world where animals and plants are equated as human beings and their living is valued.

Men Hair dos

Most of the women think that men are left behind when it comes to hairstyle. However, it is not the case; for example, we might have seen the hairstyles of the famous football player, David Beckham. He has worn all different kinds of hairstyle including short trimmed hair, punk, formal and long curly hair until now, and above all  his hairstyle is liked by many people, and some of them have  copied too.  Therefore, today I would like to mention some of the famous hairstyles that many men possess.

 

 

 

 

 

Spikey hair: Spikey hair is considered to be a fashionable and new hairstyle. Men of all ages prefer the spikey hairdo, and it is often well-liked. This hair style has become popular among men because it is easy to make spikes with hair gel within few minutes. Moreover, as spikey hair appears wild and sexy, it is liked by many women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long hair: Mostly rock stars keep their hair long. Whether the rock stars of 60s or of present days, most of them possess long hair. One common reason for rock star to keep long hair is to head bang; also, their hair can swing with the music adding fun to their theatrics. On the other side, the men who aren’t rock music idols keep long hair either to show their affection towards the rock music or just to be with the fashion of hippies and freaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Braids : Men make braids because they want to give a desgin to their head. Mostly African are seen with braids. The African having thick hair make braids in order to manage their hair easily. However, if a man is applying for some professional jobs, then he has to cut the braids off. Moreover, man with braids are rarely found in any office or reputed work institution. On the other hand, Bob Marley, a famous ragee singer, is world wide famous for his braids. He has become the inspiration for many African as well as other countries boys to do the same hairstyle. Therefore, music lovers especially reagee fans keep braids.

 

 

 

 

 

Curly hair: Men usually do not prefer curly hair, but many of them are born with it. Many men cut their hair and make it short while others make it wavy. Wavy look is considered as sex appealing look. Therefore, many men prefer to make hair slightly curl when they go to party or club if they have intensions to approach a girl for a date.

Classified Lies

Social Lies
Jenisha (employee): Boss, your flowery shoe matches with your dress. You look so pretty.
Boss : Thank you Jenisha.
{Results: Boss can choose Jenisha among others while promoting the employees}.

Husband: No honey, you still look young, and this dress suits on your figure.
Wife: Oh really! Thank you dear. I too think in that way. Few gray hairs will not make me look old.
{Result: That night, at dinner, wife will cook special dinner for her husband}.

Girl on a party: Your new hairstyle is hot.
Boy: I am glad you liked it.
{Result: Boy will have soft corner for her from that night onwards}.

Peace Keeping Lies
Mother: Where did you buy this? I only gave you $150, but it seems it cost $400. Did you again borrow money with your friends?              Daughter: No mom, these pair of shoes were on sales. I bought it for $100 only.
{Result: Mother will look at the shoes and she will  it on her own feet}.

Girlfriend: How can you forget my birthday?
Boyfriend: Baby, how can I forget your birthday? I was about to call you and give you a surprise with a cake and chocolates; unfortunately, all the cakes were out of stock in GEC shops.”
{Result: Girlfriend will forgive him for this time}.

Protective Lies
Dad: Does your friend smoke? He smelled horrible when he passed near by me.
Son: No dad, actually his father smokes, and he has been hanging out with his father for the whole day.
{Results: Dad will generate a positive attitude towards his son’s friend}.

Conservative Uncle: Is your teacher gay?
Niece: No, he isn’t. He is just pretending to be like Brittany Murphy whose biography we are reading about.
{Result: Conservative Uncle will not interfere again when niece is taking her classes with the teacher}.

A daughter: Mom, why doesn’t dad come to visit us?
Divorcee mother: No honey, he is just too busy with his official works.
{Results: Daughter will develop a positive attitude towards her father}.

Trust Keeping Lies
Ayush: Do you know why Rohan proposed my girlfriend?
Bijay: Hey Ayush, Rohan never knew that you two were dating each other.
{Result: There is less chances of fight taking place between Bijay and Ayush}.

Teacher: Do anyone know why Seema is absent on this class, but she was there in Ms. Zena class?
Students: Sir, she suddenly fell sick, so she went to health center to take some rest.
{Result: Teacher will mark sick instead of absent in the attendance sheet}.

Willy Loman’s Journal (ACT TWO)

9 February 1949.

I am happy today. My son, Biff, is heading to start his own business. I will definitely celebrate his initiative tonight. Now, I will have all the things
that I have always wanted.  Now that my son has agreed to comply, I am sure I won’t have all these junkyard anymore. Also, when I die this house won’t be owned by strangers; instead, my grandchildren will live and grow here. Now, I think, I should retire my travelling business. I can sit in one place, and I will sell merchandise through phone calls as Dave Singleman used to do in his eighties. Oh! He was the man; he was the hero. He used to make sales in thirty-one countries without travelling, so I have decided I will do the same. I will meet Howard tomorrow and talk to him
about this. Ha! He will be pleased to offer me this job that’s for sure.

10 February 1949.

Why life always treats me the same? I hoped-in fact-I was sure to get the job like Dave, but Howard, my so called boss, fired me. I will be penniless. My wife will suffer again; she will suffer from poverty and disgrace. I know a poor and dumb person will never get respect in the society. I will not have any richness to show them. Moreover, my son has failed his attempt to ask loan from Oliver. I am ashamed to say that my son is worthless.  I always thought that Biff would be more successful and richer than Bernard, but I see the opposite. I don’t know what he will do with his life without business. Oh Lord! Give me some advice. Show me some ways to heal this problem.

(After few minutes)

Yes, I will do it. I will kill myself. I see no other way better than this. My accident will be ransom to recover my family’s poverty. Linda and Biff will get 20,000$ from my death and car insurance company. With this money, Biff can start his own business and earn his living. Linda can also live with this money for some time, and as Biff starts his business, he will accommodate her with the expenses. Yes, I am going to this. Today, when I will pass the little bridge, I will speed up and smash with the railing. This time I will succeed in committing suicide, but this will never be called as a suicide. It will be called as an accident. Oh Lord! My wishes have failed many times. I dreamed to own business larger than Charley, but it has never been true. I dreamed about Biff becoming rich and settled, but he has lost all this confidence and charm. Therefore, Lord, I deeply want this wish to come true. As a living man, I cannot do any great things to my family, but my death will sure make some good to them. Amen.

Willy Loman’s Journal (ACT ONE)

I am Willy Loman. I am married to Linda Loman, and I have two sons, Biff and Happy. Can you imagine that my sons, whom I have tried to put my whole life, talk behind me? My elder son doesn’t like me, and my younger son is too young to understand me. Biff says I am fake, and Happy says I am sick. All I want is Biff  be a prodigy as I used to be; I want him to establish a business and settle down. Is this something wrong? Is it bad for a father to expect something good from his son? I am not wanting something which is impossible. I know my son very well; I know Biff has all the qualities to knock down any business person in the market. He has the leading and conquering potentiality since childhood. In school he used to be the football coach favorite student for his initiatives. In his teenage, he won scholarship from three universities, and above all, he was made the high school captain. Therefore, if he tries to start his business, then I can garauntee that he can make million dollars in a very short period of time. I always wanted to own a business; a business larger than Charley’s (Charley, my neighbor), but I couldn’t do it. I am too old to have the same zeal as I used to have in my adulthood. Therefore, I want my son to continue my dream and  keep my name.

My family says that I am going mad,and I talk to myself. I do not talk to myself. I just see the beautiful memories that had once made me feel so proud and pleased. I am so deep into it that I see the people talking to me and-of course-encouraging me. I like being in these moments because these moments and the people praise my hardship that I have done until now. The real world is totally opposite to my imaginative world. Today my sons do not believe me; I am neither charmed nor well known like before, and the most important I do not make enough money to show my richness. All these affairs has demoralize me and made me feel like a dull man and an inarticulate salesman. I feel likedying. I even tried killing myself. How a man like me who had once lived like a king is now assailed by his own sons and ruined by his own business live peacefully? I only see dying as the best option, and I think
I will try to do it successfully one day.

I, You and They on “Dead My Old Fine Hopes”

Haiku are also known as Hakku and Haiki in Japanese poetic styles.  It is believed that Haiku were first written in the mid 17th century. The ancient Haiku poems included 17 syllables dividing into three lines of five or seven syllables in each poem (Miner 570). In other words, the ancient as well as modern Haiku now consist of 5-5-2-5 syllables comprising four lines poem, and 5-7-5 syllables as three lines format. Miner, the author of Pound, Haiku and the Image, anticipates that Japanese people are fond of flora and fauna; therefore, the four seasons and other natural elements are used as metaphors to express the mood of the poem (570). Furthermore, the persons inexperienced to Japanese language will get a hard time to understand the Haiku, so most of the Haiku are translated in English so that people whole over the world can comprehend the essence of the poems (571).

Today I would like to present my analyses on the Haiku “Dead My Old Fines Hopes” in 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons’ point of views in a particular situation.

I have lost all my aspirations to live happily with my husband. My hope to achieve love from him is not alive like before, and my circumstances abducted me to dream further. Therefore, now all my desires lack interest. However, deep in my heart I know this is not my long term bad luck. As the dried trees bloom again in spring, my hopes and dreams to live happily with my husband will be fresh and I will find my correct way to get through my difficulties.

Daughter! You tried very hard to get good grades. You studied all night, but you have failed. You dreamed of becoming an architect, but gradually your drawing is losing its life. They are no more vivid as before. However, your will shine again in the next term because this is not the end.  As exams are like a season that comes again and again, and your hard work will be recognized which will build your dream once again.

They pray most of the time and wish for peace in their country. Sometimes their wishes do not become a reality; instead the results are drastically opposite. Then they lose all their hope. Their dreams to live with harmony become dry or fade away. Nevertheless, deep inside their heart they know that wars are not for lifetime; it is like a coldness of winter night which will vanish as the summer approaches. Similarly, their dreams for living in serenity will come true with the time.

Miner, Earl. “Pound, Haiku and the Image.” The Hudson Review Vol. 9 (1957): 570-84. Web. 26 May 2011.

 http://www.jstor.org/stable/4621630?seq=1

Vasanta Moon’s “Untouchables” in Nepal

The introduction of Vasanta Moon’s novel, Growing Untouchable in India, talks about the untouchablility practices in Nagpur community of India.  The autobiography  presents the reality of how people within a single religion, Hindu religion, are divided into castes and sub-castes, and how“high” caste people impel the “low” caste ones to practice the untouchablility. The Brahmans are regarded as “high” caste people because they have superlative knowledge about their traditional and ancient literacy. Whereas, some people of the same religion are called Mahars or Dalits, “the untouchables”. The Mahars are discriminated because of their “impure” occupation. Their occupations were mostly related to polluting entities, which were societies “dirty” chore. However, Moon’s gives the detail about why the Mahra had to choose the low status work in the society. The history of Mahars discrimination started during the British invasion. The British compelled Mahars to avoid the governmental official duties; snatched their power for owing land, and stopped them from communicating messages to others.  Moreover, they were treated as “inferior village servant.” On the other hand, the other people were provided high governmental status job and religious work; thus, they felt to become the high caste people.

I was astounded to know that Indian caste systems were similar to Nepalese caste systems. We Nepalese also have caste systems in which Brahmans are regarded as upper class people, and Dalits are regarded as lower caste people.  Talking about the untouchablility, still there are some remote villages in Nepal where the designated bottom caste people are not allowed to enter specific temples or even touch the holy places. As Moon explains about the Dalits who are deprived from social, economical, and political rights,  we find  similar kinds of inequalities in some places of Nepal. It is also true that the government of Nepal has promulgated the law against the untouchablility practices, but it is not completely stopped. In context to Nepal, the examples of untouchablility practices are: if a Dalit touches a Brahman, then the Brahman becomes impure and dirty like Dalits, for which he has to purify himself with some religious rituals. Another example is the water; if a Dalit touch the drinking water or even the source of the drinking water, then the water is referred as contaminated, and the Dalit is punished and disgraced badly in front his inhabiting society. Therefore many of the Indian concepts of untouchablility match with Nepalese societies of untouchables which make me curious to know further details about Moon’s biography on untouchablility.

My Joy Luck Club

           Last Thursday when I saw the movie, The Joy Luck Club, I quickly recognized the differences in the movie and novel scenes. The differences were prominent which made me to concede that the novel provided more inner meanings than the movie. In the movie, Ying-Ying killed her son while bathing him; whereas, in the novel Ying Ying did not give birth to any son; instead, she had aborted him during her pregnancy. Also, the ending was somewhat twisted, Jing Mei was supposed to land on China by air, but she took ship to move to China to meet her twin sisters. Moreover, I realized that the intricate details which enhance the beauty of story were lacking in the movie. For example, in chapter, “Scar” when An-Mei sees her mother in Popo’s house, she watches her mother carefully and describes the beauty of her mother comparing the facial structures of her aunt and Popo. These types of minor details helped the readers to understand she still had a positive attitude towards her mother in spite of hearing many bad things from her aunt and grandmother. Furthermore, the rituals of the red candle were not shown in the movie which have reflected the most essential theme in the novel for women discrimination. As expressed in the chapter, “The Red Candle,” any woman was not allowed to remarry even if their husband had left her or died.

            On the other hand, the ending of the story was quite boring. If I were the director, I would definitely show the moments when the twin sisters would see the precious gift and imagine their mother’s love. I would further extend the movie to show how Jing-Mei was treated in China; was she appraised indifferently, or as a foreigner who looked like a Chinese? My aggrandized movie would also visualize the culture of China to show whether the culture was modernized or not from their mother’s past time to the daughter’s present time. Furthermore, to make the ending more interesting and attractive, I would show how Jing-Mei would fall in love with a typical Chinese man, and they would also communicate in “Can you spouse me?” type of communication. Moreover, the story directed by me would end with Jing-Mei getting married to a handsome Chinese man, and her mother-in-law would be her new mother, new Suyuan, to pass her the feather which carries all of the mother’s good intentions.

Communication in a Relationship

I wonder how communication affects a relationship. I have heard people saying healthy relationships need love, care and responsibility among individuals. A relationship can also be defined as a bond that needs true commitment and adaptation for change within people. There is a number of topics mentioned by several counseling agencies to enhance relationships in human lives. Out of these topics, communication is the main point which has been repeated again and again. Furthermore, a chapter “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers,” in Times magazine, communication skills are considered as one of the best techniques for a strong relationship. It terms the speaking ways between men and women as  “cross-cultural” indicating it as diverse cultures possessed by differnt people. Furthermore, it says that communication is one way to resolve conflicts between two individuals or groups. The article highlights the fact that couples face inconsistency in their relationships due to lack of the communication culture, the culture is how a man and a woman is raised up in a society. I found this very persuading when I contemplated  the chapters of The Joy Luck Club.

In the second section, “The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates,” of the novel The Joy Luck Club, each of the daughters, Waverly Jong, Lena St. Clair, Rose Hsu Jordan, and Jing Mei Woo, didn’t talk much with their mothers which created huge misunderstandings to acknowledge love of their mothers. As being born in a different culture, this difference in communication can also  be termed as ‘cross-cultural’ communication. As mothers’ ideas and thoughts seemed to be totally different from their daughters to view life, this affected their relationship status. On the other hand, the article, “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers,” says that relationships are highly likely to be strong and healthy if the theory of keeping a relationship is taught in schools. Similarly, if the daughters of the novel The Joy Luck Club were taught how to love and understand others in their schools, then they would have really understood their mothers emotions and feelings, by which the novel could show more about mothers and daughters intimate relationship.