Cross-Cultural Identity Analysis

Topics: Family, Mother, Marriage Pages: 6 (1349 words) Published: September 14, 2015


"Compare the ways in which cross-cultural identity is explored in Alice Pung's Unpolished Gem and Mira Nair's The Namesake"

The struggle to find self identity within the upbringing of two different and contradictory cultural groups is the main theme for Alice Pung's memoir Unpolished Gem and Mira Nair's film The Namesake. The main characters for each, Alice Pung and Gogol Ganguli respectively grow up the children of immigrants from developing to western countries who are torn between respecting, participating and identifying with traditions from their parents countries or fully immersing themselves in the identity of the western country they were born in. Pung and Nair explore this confusion through the assimilation of main characters and the effect this has on their parents, the experience of intercultural dating and how it can be a symptom of rejection of culture and parent’s wishes. The significance of a name in developing a cross cultural identity is also...

The pressure for second generation immigrants to assimilate in all ways to the culture of the country in which they were born is a significant factor in the formation of a person’s identity. Intercultural romantic relationships are also used as a defense mechanism to avoid fully participating in the traditions of a person’s culture as noted by Gogol and Michelle’s relationship. Intercultural romantic relationships can also awaken a person to their insecurities in their identity, as shown with Alice and Michael’s relationship. The significance of a name is also discussed as a symptom of identity crises such as with Gogol’s change of his name to something “more American”. A name is also evidence of a cross-cultural identity as with Alice, who is called Agheare by her family but Alice by the wider...
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