Cultural encounter effect the identityOne who represented of his own Country citizen
Cultural encounter effect the identityOne who represented of his own Country citizen. One out of many is a vehicle for exploring cultural encounters between two different countries, Bombay and Washington. Culture is like the way of life that the group becomes a community, where cultural encounter can be defined as exploration between two or more different cultures. They are common occurrence in human history. Their impact varies on cultures and individuals especially as they relate to questions of identity and self-worth. The cultural encounter in such a case becomes fundamental to one’s perception of oneself and the cultures to which s/he relates. Cultural encounters effect the identity. Although, people may change through it either to the worse or being good. It is used to refer to social relations, places and objects. It brings with them movement and change, whether as a result of tourism, migration, colonialism or war.
One out of many, is a short story written by the famous V.S Naipaul. The story talks about a young man named Santosh, an Indian cook. Who decided to leave his hometown India-Bombay and to move to Washington, the capital of the World with his employer to stay and work there. He also talks about the conflicts and struggles that he faced about his own personal identity, since he entered the airplane traveling to Washington. “As he moved to Washington with his employer, he saw the World as he never saw before. The short story frequently displays his confusion regarding his identity and culture, because, as a foreign newcomer in plural country, he becomes the representation of his country.”
https://mnrizal.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/what-is-my-identity/When Santosh being inside the airplane, he noticed some negative transactions towards him. Like the ‘airline girl’, “The girl at the top, who was smiling at everybody else, stopped smiling when she saw me.” (Naipaul, A World of Differences, pp263). She took him to sit at the back of the plane, far of his employer, where there was nobody else just him. He finds it comfortable, so he can spread his bundle around and no one may bother him. “That girl didn’t like me at all. She spoke roughly to me” (Naipaul, V.S., 2008. One out of Many. In L. Prescott, ed. A World of Differences: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 264). After that, the airline girl started ignoring him, and here is the first cultural encounter in the short story with Western people. He found how it’s miserable and he wished to be back in Bombay instead of being in Washington, Santosh felt scary about the new culture. “I wanted the journey to end but I couldn’t say I wanted to arrive at Washington.” (Naipaul, V.S., 2008. One out of Many. In L. Prescott, ed. A World of Differences: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.265). As he arrived Washington, he started comparing between the two countries and how Washington is far different than his country Bombay. Even about the ‘hubshi’ people there wasn’t many of them in Bombay maybe about two or three. Where they are many over here, “they were permitted to roam the streets freely.” (Naipaul, V.S., 2008. One out of Many. In L. Prescott, ed. A World of Differences: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, (p.266). Santosh looked down by many people on his journey to the west, for example the ‘airline girl’. He perceives that the ‘hubshi” people or African Americans, are still below to him.
While reading the short story I have founded how the author Naipaul is aware of the cultural encounters that is going on ‘One Out of Many’, where he seems to question the meaning of freedom on both a societal, and personal level. There are several important events that happen to the protagonist, Santosh. That he helps to shape his own sense of self-identity and bring some question freedom which he has in his own life. The author chooses to use the first person, so it will across the reader to experiences deeply on Santosh cultural experience. He started comparing between the both countries in many ways and in everything. Such as the clothes, he was looking at people around him what they were wearing and what does he too. His clothes lead to attention for those people around him were he was the only one wearing these domestic clothes. Santosh also seems awful about their clothes. He thinks that their clothes are formal clothes, people dress them while going to weddings. There’s another thing beside the clothes. Santosh have a lack of knowledge about foreign exchange between the US Dollar and the Indian Rupee. The difference in culture between Santosh as an Indian person and the people of Washington is another reason that made him feel uncomfortable by being here in US. When saw “many people who looked like my own people”, it doesn’t make him more comfortable. It disturbs him in a way that their accent and pronunciations are, way ,more different comparing with him.
https://mnrizal.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/what-is-my-identity/As Santosh came to Washington, he used to see many of ‘hubshi’ people every single day. It used to bother him a lot, which he thinks that it’s wrong that he lives with those people as in India they were few in numbers. According to Santosh, all black people are called ‘hubshi’. Being an Indian man, he says that in their religion they must not be mixed with ‘hubshi’ woman. They think that that if they get married from those ‘hubshi’ people their children will be born as a cat or a monkey. “It is written in our books, both holy and not so holy, that is indecent and wrong for a man of our blood to embrace the hubshi woman. To be dishonored in this life, to be born a cat or a monkey or a hubshi in the next!” But one day, he met a ‘hubshi’ women in a supermarket that seemed to be interested to him. This ‘hubshi’ woman has become a turning point in Santosh life and changed a lot of ideas that he thinks about ‘hubshi’ people. His friend Priya, is also an Indian man about fifty years old who lives in Washington and own a restaurant, were the restaurant is his World. He suggested to Santosh to have a simple life and to get married by the ‘hubshi’ woman, so it will lead to Santosh to become a citizen, a free man in a fastest way. “Santosh, you have no problems. Marry the hubshi. That will automatically make you a citizen. Then you will be a free man.” (Naipaul, V.S., 2008. One out of Many. In L. Prescott, ed. A World of Difference: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 291) At the end, Santosh decide to marry the ‘hubshi’ woman for him to gain the US citizenship. So, he marries her, and he became a legal citizen.
In my point of view is see that the writer V.S. Naipaul is experiencing himself through his characters in the story ‘One out of Many’. He sees himself in Santosh. I believed that Santosh is a selfish person, where he decided to get married by the ‘hubshi woman’ in order to have the US identity and to be free. It shows that the marriage is just a fake one where he didn’t marry her because he loves her. Even though, Santosh himself is a racist person about the ‘hubshi’ people.
Aukrust, Naquib, University of Oslo. 2003. Cross-Cultural encounters. online. Accesses 15 November,2018. Available from: https://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/research/subjects/cross-cultural-encounters/Naipaul, V.S., 2008. One out of Many. In L. Prescott, ed. A World of Difference: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 261-294
Rizal, Mnrizal WordPress Website. 2011. What is my identity. online. Accessed 15 November,2018. Available from: https://mnrizal.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/what-is-my-identity/