Sky Burial

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Sky Burial' demonstrates that a person's identity is defined more by circumstances than by culture of origin.' Discuss.

Culture is a very important and highly influencing aspect of both the Chinese and Tibetan lifestyles. Shu Wen, a young Chinese doctor, was brought up under strict Chinese culture with deep religion and ideology but she chose to leave it and her whole family behind for the love of her husband, Kejun. Shu Wen is a prime example that a culture may influence, but does not necessarily define ones identity.

Circumstances of Shu Wen's husbands death, changed the entire outcome of her life. Because of the news of Kejun's supposed death, she went in search to find answers of what really happened to him. Her identity as a Chinese woman was changed completely. When Shu Wen met with the Tibetans, and began living with them, adopting their ways of life, she was transformed.

Shu Wen was forced to make choices in her life, her culture told her that she had to be against the Tibetans, but the situation Shu Wen was in, and the Tibetan people she had grown to love did not allow her to do this. Shu Wen accepted the Tibetans and was only ever there to help them, even though befriending the Tibetan's meant that Shu Wen was going against her own countries beliefs. The war between Tibet and China was a clash of two ancient cultures, two cultures that Shu Wen had adapted to. Living with the Tibetans opened Shu Wen up to different ideas and ways of doing things, ways in which she grew to love. Shu Wen kept her old Chinese culture, by writing in her journal everyday, but changed her language and way of dressing to fit in with the Tibetan people. She began to transform into a true Tibetan.

Shu Wen changed as a person due to her surroundings, the people she met and the life experiences she had. Her Chinese culture was not responsible for the person she ended up to be. Her culture did not make her naïve, nor did it make her a strong, driven young woman,...
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