Caught in the Storm

Topics: Africa, Mali, Culture Pages: 1 (316 words) Published: December 15, 2001
Caught in the storm is story detailing the clash between traditional African culture and the imposed European culture in Mali. During the eighteenth century Europeans started to impose their traditions and styles of life in West Africa. This sometimes caused problems within the community of the people. People started to behave european like, studied languages of their colonial rulers. This story highlights the struggles of the people that was cuased by the intervantion of the Europeans with the West African's culture. Kids started to attend colonial schools and often would go on to live and work in Europe. Kany, a young Malian girl was attending one of this colonial schools in Mali. Kany wishes to marry the young man she fell in love with while attending the colonial school. Instead, her father wishes her to marry the man he has chosen for her, a prosperous businessman, as the tradtition of their people dictates. Arranged marriagies appear a lot in all kind of cultures as well as in Mali culture. Parents, who believed to be older and wiser arrange marriagies for their kids. This concept is in one way understandible but in the other seems to be unfair to the arranges. This conflict is resolved through mediation and compromise among members of both the colonial influenced younger generation, and the older generation who cling to their traditional beliefs. Although older generation is the one who was always before making all the decisions and resolved conflicts, this one goes farther and touches both the older and the younger generations. The conflict between Kany and her father sybolizes the conflict between the two cultural systems present in laterday colonial Africa. Caught in the storm is the perfect description of the novel, because it portraits the most difficult problem of other culture influence, by which the people don't know what to do and which side to take.
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