Times When Two Cultures Come Together English Literature Essay

Culture is defined as the historically transmitted and interrelated web of values, premises, norms, belief systems and behavioural forms that differentiate one human group from another. Culture is manifested in music, picture, literature, theatre, sculpture and movies, shortly in all facets of life. It influences the manner we perceive the universe, the manner we attribute intending to our environment. Therefore diversenesss and struggles are normally seen when people from different cultural backgrounds encounter each other. In this paper I would wish to analyze this cultural contact based on a film called ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding ‘ .

The 2002 romantic comedie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding ‘ is a great illustration for picturing cultural differences between the US and the Grecian civilization. It shows how differences in civilizations may impact the lives of people through the chief character of a 30 twelvemonth old Greek miss Toula. Bing brought up in the US by a traditional Grecian household, Toula has to hold a individual intent in life: to get married a Grecian adult male and have as many Grecian kids as she can. Compare to her sister who has been married for a piece and has 3 kids, she is perceived to be seen unfortunate due to her making 30 and still being individual. Her male parent continuously reminds her to get married shortly because she started to look old. Toula is stuck with all of the Grecian values in her life. She is working in the family-owned eating house and has no free infinite for herself. From the clip she was a kid, determinations sing which school she would go to or where she would work are all determined by her household. However ; being raised in an American civilization that is wholly different from Grecian civilization resulted her to be unsated with her life. The accent on individualism, being able to be independent affected her positions as good. The realisation of this uncontentment climaxed after run intoing Ian while working at the eating house. When Ian enters her life, she began to recognize that she wanted to populate her ain life and she starts to do her ain picks. With her female parent ‘s aid, she gets the permission for

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taking computing machine categories at college which she may subsequently utilize for concern. The blessing of the male parent comes tardily because he thinks that metropolis is a unsafe topographic point to travel. Even when her female parent insists on this permission, he responds: ‘if a miss is adequate intelligent, why bother traveling to school. ‘

This quandary of socialization procedure which Toula experienced is examined scientifically in Cigdem Kagitcibasi ‘s book of ‘Family, Self, and Human Development across Cultures ‘ every bit good. In her book, Kagitcibasi explains that the aspirations of striplings have are influenced by the dominant society when there is a cultural contact between the civilization of relatedness of cultural minorities arising from collectivized societies and the civilization of discreteness of the individualistic dominant society. In the civilization of discreteness, liberty is extremely valued because it is functional and adaptative in mundane state of affairss. When these minority striplings prosecute in a societal comparing procedure, they see that their equals who belong to the civilization of discreteness enjoy more authorization than they do. On the other manus, being related with their parents satisfies their demand for heat and security and it does non make a struggle. However ; in some instances where parents lack adequate instruction, parents see autonomy as a mark of discourtesy or separation. Therefore they may non give liberty to the kid. Here we can speak about a ‘culture slowdown ‘ in which the traditional point of position in the household of mutuality still continues despite the fact that it is non functional in the urban, technological society. This civilization slowdown creates a struggle where the autonomous-related ego and the household theoretical account of psychological/emotional mutuality that striplings favor collides with the heteronomous-related ego and the household theoretical account of mutuality that parents value. Because the first one is more adaptative in an in-migration context, it is likely that it will be the instance ( Kagitcibasi, p.324 ) . However this passage would be tough merely as it is observed in Toula ‘s battle.

As it is examined above, autonomus related ego is more adaptative in an urban lifesetting as it is the instance with Toula in the film. Autonomous related ego is a construct that is established by Kagitcibasi that satisfies two basic demands which are autonomy and relatedness. Although the mainstream psychological science has ever thought autonomy as being separate, Kagitcibasi notes that these two are distinguishable constructs which are independent from each other. Autonomy refers to wilful bureau, being governed from outside ; whereas being separate or close is about the relationship with others. This type of ego is more compatible with an in-migration context where there is urban lifestyle affecting instruction and work. Because urban lifestyle requires single determination devising, in other words liberty is needed for taking enterprises. However near self other and kinship dealingss continue to be, excessively. Therefore it is more adaptative to hold independent related ego. But the procedure for migratory households with traditional life style to accept the displacement towards this type of ego takes clip.

After acquiring the blessing of her parents, Toula ‘s distinction procedure towards the independent related ego begins. She gets herself a new hairstyle, abandons her spectacless and starts to have on make-up. Furthermore she manages to happen new contacts and becomes more outgoing and societal. She quits working in the household owned eating house. Alternatively, she starts to work at the touristry bureau agency of her aunt. In her new occupation, she feels much better, particularly after acquiring the attractive force from the cat, Ian, whom she met at the eating house. After a piece, Ian and Toula starts to day of the month in secret but as Toula finds out that the cat she was woolgathering of is non-Greek, things began to be disputing for both of them. As Toula is fighting with how to do her household accept Ian who is a ‘foreigner ‘ , Ian finds himself confronted with the household of his love where things are wholly different from his ain. As opposed to Ian who has merely two cousins, Toula has twenty seven. When Ian asks her what she does in her free times, she

responds that there is no free clip for her ain because the drawn-out household is together all the clip. In add-on to that, Toula ‘s household is really proud of their Grecian heritage. Her male parent invariably states that all of the words have roots from the Grecian linguistic communication and he overemphasizes that there are two types of people, foremost the 1s who are Grecian and secondly the 1s who want to be Grecian. Furthermore, her household tries to continue their Grecian individuality in all facets. Their house is designed in Greek manner and there were Grecian statues and illuminations all over the topographic point. They engage in every traditional pattern that a Grecian household might hold. They celebrate gay yearss in Grecian manner ; they dance and eat with Grecian relations. They send their childs to Greek schools so that they get the Grecian civilization. The household besides has a patriarchal construction where the male parent is the caput of the household and where the female parent helps with the attention and support of the family.

Toula ‘s household fits into the theoretical account of mutuality as it is described in Kagitcibasi ‘s book. The theoretical account is associated with close household dealingss and is frequently characterized by patrilinear household constructions ( Kagitcibasi, p. 136 ) . Toula ‘s household besides has strong familial dealingss, they celebrate everything together with the drawn-out household, cousins wholly work at a household owned eating house in order to lend family jointly. As it is expected from Toula, this type of household construction demands birthrate every bit good. Furthermore, the kid ‘s dependance is ensured by obedience-oriented socialisation and autocratic parenting as it is the instance with Toula. Even making her 30s is non adequate to do determinations sing herself entirely. Still she needs the blessing of her male parent, is purely controlled when she comes place tardily. This type of socialisation promotes ‘loyalty ‘ and ‘interdependence ‘ as it is seen in the film.

As opposed to Toula ‘s household which values mutuality, Ian ‘s household is characterized in the theoretical account of independency which is the typical theoretical account of the western individualistic, atomic household that is found in the industrialised societies ( Kagitcibasi, p. 139 ) . This household theoretical account values interpersonal independency. The household exists in atomic construction and low degree of birthrate is common. Socialization patterns enhance the independent ego where there is less control in childrearing. That ‘s why Ian ‘s household does let the matrimony at first sight and does non interfere with the procedure. Furthermore, Ian lives entirely and has no sibling or twenty seven cousins like Toula which is seen in household of mutuality.

The differences sing the values and beliefs are largely seen through making the terminal of the movie where the two households start to run into and interact. When Ian ‘s household comes for a dinner which was supposed to be a quiet dinner for run intoing each side, they are shocked when they see the crowd which is waiting for them. Every individual member of the drawn-out household was invited for the dinner and the dinner turned out to be a party where everyone eat, dance and sing Greek vocals which is common in Grecian civilization. As opposed to Toula ‘s crowded household, Ian ‘s household comes to dinner with merely the atomic members of the household composed of female parent, male parent and Ian.

As the nuptials readyings accelerate, Toula ‘s relations continue to step in in every individual item. For illustration ; Toula ‘s female parent has already prepared the nuptials invitations by herself and did n’t inquire Toula ‘s sentiment about whom to ask for. Her nuptials frock is already planned by her cousin and the topographic point of the nuptials is arranged by Toula ‘s household, despite of the fact that Ian ‘s household thought a nine would be O.K. . As it can be predicted, matrimony from the position of Toula ‘s Grecian household is merely non about unifying two people, but it is the connection of two kins. As opposed to this, matrimony can merely be a ‘consumer determination with useful value shared with associates at a nine ‘ ( Denny Wayman & A ; Hal Conklin, 2002 ) . On

the twenty-four hours of the nuptials, Toula ‘s household intervened in all the inside informations every bit good. When Toula has noticed that she has a hickey on her face, all her female relatives help her to cover it with a foundation.

Last I would wish to stress some of the similarities between Grecian civilization and Turkish civilization that I have observed throughout the movie. In the movie Toula ‘s household reminds me of the traditional Turkish household with extended household ties in rural context. The development of the related ego is assured with obeisance socialisation and control. Though non being in a rural context, Toula ‘s household is committed to their values and traditions so purely that they do non allow their girl be free like the people in the American civilization. Toula finds herself in a complete quandary where she wants to alter things in life but out of regard she can non exert it easy. Another similarity that I have observed is the Grecian traditions which are besides common in Turkey. For case ; cordial reception is extremely valued in Turkish civilization, excessively. When a invitee comes to see a Turkish household house, the host household offers delightful repasts to bask their clip. When Ian foremost visits Toula ‘s household, although he responds that he is non hungry, Toula ‘s female parent says: ‘Ok I make you something to eat. ‘ The construct of the nuptials is besides similar in the manner that all the relations even the 1s who live far are invited to the nuptials ceremonial. After the ceremonial, they celebrate the twenty-four hours with dance, eating and wishing a happy life merely as in the Turkish civilization. They dance sirtaki which is a popular dance of Greek beginning merely like the Turks who dance ‘halay ‘ . They besides have the traditional desert baklava like the Turks and utilize the same word ‘portakal ‘ for orange.

Last, Turks besides give nowadayss to the freshly wed twosomes merely as it is seen in the film where Toula ‘s male parent has bought a house near to them. Buying a house near the parents ‘ besides shows that ‘loyalty ‘ and being close are extremely valued in Grecian civilization where there is a civilization of relatedness.

In decision I would wish to emphasize that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a great film which conveys the message that no affair how different two civilizations may be, there is a cosmopolitan facet of humanity in all over the universe. Though history is filled with great atrociousnesss, wars and hurting ensuing from differences among civilizations, the hope for our hereafter may rest in us being able to love and accept one another because of these differences. The scene right before the movie ends besides summarizes this position absolutely. Before the visitants all are dancing and vocalizing, Toula ‘s male parent provinces in his address: ‘You know, the root of the word Miller ( the family name of Ian ) is a Grecian word. Miller comes from the Greek word “ milo, ” which means “ apple, ” so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word “ portokali, ” which means “ orange. ” So, okay? Here this evening, we have, ah, apple and orange. We are all different, but in the terminal, we are all fruit. ‘


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