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Aufgabe 1

Aufgaben
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TASKS

1
Outline the information about how the parents and their children experience their stay in India. (Text A)
(30 %)
2
Analyze the DVD cover (Text B) and explain to what extent it reflects ideas of Text A. Give evidence from Text A.
(30 %)
3
Choose one of the following tasks:
3.1
“I'm scared, Goggles […].” (Text A, ll. 19/20)
Assess to what extent Sonia's and Gogol's reactions to India are typical of second-generation immigrants' attitudes towards their parents' homeland.
(40 %)
OR
3.2
Compare Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli's homecoming to India with that of another immigrant character from film or literature who returns home to visit his/her family. Assess the way they cope with their situations.
(40 %)
OR
3.3
At a youth conference back in the USA, Gogol gives a speech discussing the experience of living between two cultures. Using his personal experience as a starting point, write the speech including your general knowledge about living in two different cultural settings.
(40 %)
Text A: Excerpt from the novel
The Namesake
By Jhumpa Lahiri
Note: The Gangulis are first-generation immigrants from India to the United States.
Ashoke Ganguli teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He, his wifeAshima, and their American-born teenage children Gogol and Sonia are returning to Indiafor eight months.





5




10




15




20




25




30




35




40




45




50
[…]
On the final leg of the trip there are only a few non-Indians left on the plane. Bengali conversation fills the cabin; his mother has already exchanged addresses with the family across the aisle. Before landing she slips into the bathroom and changes, miraculously in that minuscule space, into a fresh sari. A final meal is served, an herbed omelette topped with a slice of grilled tomato. Gogol savors each mouthful, aware that for the next eight months nothing will taste quite the same. Through the window he sees palm trees and banana trees, a damp, drab sky. The wheels touch the ground, the aircraft is sprayed with disinfectant, and then they descend onto the tarmac of Dum Dum Airport, breathing in the sour, stomach-turning, early morning air. They stop to wave back at the row of relatives waving madly from the observation deck, little cousins propped up on uncles' shoulders. As usual the Gangulis are relieved to learn that all their luggage has arrived, together and unmolested, and relieved further still when customs doesn't make a fuss. And then the frosted doors slide open and once again they are officially there, no longer in transit, swallowed by hugs and kisses and pinched cheeks and smiles. […]
Ashima, now Monu, weeps with relief, and Ashoke, now Mithu, kisses his brothers on both cheeks, holds their heads in his hands. Gogol and Sonia know these people, but they do not feel close to them as their parents do. Within minutes, before their eyes Ashoke and Ashima slip into bolder, less complicated versions of themselves, their voices louder, their smiles wider, revealing a confidence Gogol and Sonia never see on Pemberton Road. “I'm scared, Goggles,” Sonia whispers to her brother in English, seeking his hand and refusing to let go.
They are ushered into waiting taxis and down VIP Road, past a colossal landfill and into the heart of North Calcutta. Gogol is accustomed to the scenery, yet he still stares, at the short, dark men pulling rickshaws and the crumbling buildings side by side with fretwork balconies, hammers and sickles painted on their facades. He stares at the commuters who cling precariously to trams and buses, threatening at any moment to spill onto the street, and at the families who boil rice and shampoo their hair on the sidewalk. At his mother's flat on Amherst Street, where his uncle's family lives now, neighbors look from their windows and roofs as Gogol and his family emerge from the taxi. They stand out in their bright, expensive sneakers, American haircuts, backpacks slung over one shoulder.
[…] Gogol and Sonia both get terribly ill. It is the air, the rice, the wind, their relatives casually remark; they were not made to survive in a poor country, they say. They have constipation followed by the opposite. Doctors come to the house in the evening with stethoscopes in black leather bags. They are given courses of Entroquinol, ajowan water that burns their throats. And once they've recovered it's time to go back: the day they were convinced would never come is just two weeks away. Kashmiri pencil cups are bought for Ashoke to give to his colleagues at the university. Gogol buys Indian comic books to give to his American friends. On the evening of their departure he watches his parents standing in front of framed pictures of his dead grandparents on the walls, heads bowed, weeping like children. And then the caravan of taxis and Ambassadors comes to whisk them one last time across the city. Their flight is at dawn and so they must leave in darkness, driving through streets so empty they are unrecognizable, a tram with its small single headlight the only other thing that moves. At the airport the row of people who had greeted them, have hosted and fed and fawned over them for all these months, those with whom he shares a name if not his life, assemble once more on the balcony, to wave good-bye. Gogol knows that his relatives will stand there until the plane has drifted away, until the flashing lights are no longer visible in the sky. He knows that his mother will sit silently, staring at the clouds, as they journey back to Boston. But for Gogol, relief quickly replaces any lingering sadness. With relief he peels back the foil covering his breakfast, extracts the silverware from its sealed plastic packaging, asks the British Airways stewardess for a glass of orange juice. With relief he puts on his headset to watch The Big Chill and listen to top-forty songs all the way home.
[…]
(769 words)
Source: Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. London: Harper Perennial, 2004, 81-82; 86-87.
Annotations
Lines
1
leg
stage of a journey
7
drab
dull, gray
8
tarmac
airport runway
8
Dum Dum Airport
old name of Calcutta's airport
19
Pemberton Road
the Gangulis' home in Massachusetts, USA
20
Goggles
Sonia's nickname for her brother
22
VIP Road
major thoroughfare connecting the city of Calcutta with the International Airport
24
rickshaw
two or three-wheeled passenger cart pulled by one person
24
fretwork
ornamental woodwork
26
precarious
dangerously lacking in security or stability
34
Entroquinol
drug for diarrhea and dysentery
34
ajowan
herb given to people in India to cure an upset stomach
40
Ambassador
Indian car, in production since 1958
44
to fawn over s.o.
to flatter someone or attend to someone excessively
51
The Big Chill
1983 American film
Text B: DVD cover
Aufgabe 1
Source: http://www.dvd-covers.org/d/98612-3/THE_NAMESAKE.jpg.[25 February 2014]
Aufgabe 1
Source: http://www.dvd-covers.org/d/98612-3/THE_NAMESAKE.jpg.[25 February 2014]
Annotation: Text on DVD cover
A Mira Nair Film THE NAMESAKE
The Greatest Journeys Are The Ones That Bring You Home

“A rich celebration of family values. The Namesake is near perfect.”
– Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Teilaufgabe 1

$\blacktriangleright$ Outline: How do the parents and their children experience their stay in India?

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du skizzieren, wie die Eltern und ihre Kinder den Aufenthalt in Indien erfahren. Das heißt, du sollst grob zusammenfassen, wie sich die Gangulis in Indien fühlen. Eine genaue Analyse ist nicht gefragt. Es geht vielmehr darum, die wichtigsten Punkte herauszuarbeiten, Details musst du nicht nennen.

In dieser Aufgabe ist es wichtig, dass du auf die Unterschiede zwischen den Eltern und den Kindern achtest. Deine grobe Zusammenfassung sollte ergeben, dass die Eltern sich in Indien wohlfühlen und ihre indische Kultur betonen, während die Kinder von der indischen Kultur entfremdet sind und sich nach Amerika zurückwünschen.

Teilaufgabe 2

$\blacktriangleright$ Analyze the DVD cover (Text B) and explain to what extent it reflects ideas of Text A, giving evidence from Text A.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du das Bild analysieren und erklären, inwieweit sich Text A im Bild widerspiegelt. Dazu sollst du Zitate von Text A benutzen, um deine Aussagen zu belegen. Es ist also wichtig, dass du herausarbeitest, was das Bild dem Leser sagen möchte. Dazu gehört auch, dass du das Bild genau beschreibst und dabei auf kleine Details eingehst. Deute, was diese Details bedeuten. Text A sollst du als Vergleichsmaterial hinzuziehen. Stelle dir immer die Frage, ob der Text dasselbe aussagt wie das Bild. Am Ende sollst du zu einem Fazit darüber kommen, ob Text und Bild übereinstimmen oder nicht.

Achte darauf, dass das Cover zwei Bilder zeigt! Das obere Bild bezieht sich auf die Ankunft in Indien und die Fremdheitsgefühle der Geschwister. Vergleiche das mit l. 15-30. Das untere bezieht sich vor allem auf den Schluss des Texts, also l. 41-52. Achte auch auf Kleinigkeiten: Im oberen Bild fehlt z. B. der kulturelle Unterschied zwischen den Geschwistern und der indischen Familie. Das untere Bild zeigt Gogols Unsicherheit über seine kulturelle Zugehörigkeit, die im Text weniger stark betont wird (l. 43-46).

Teilaufgabe 3.1

$\blacktriangleright$ Assess to what extent Sonia's and Gogol's reactions to India are typical of second-generation immigrants' attitudes towards their parents' homeland.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du bewerten, inwieweit die Reaktionen von Gogol und Sonia typisch sind für die Kinder von Einwanderern. Du sollst also Text A mit deinem Wissen über die kulturelle Identität von Einwandererkindern vergleichen. Am besten arbeitest du mit pro und contra. Du kannst entweder zuerst all das auflisten, was das Verhalten der Geschwister als typisch ausweist und dann all das nennen, was sie von anderen Einwandererkindern unterscheidet. Du kannst aber auch nach jedem pro-Argument ein contra-Argument bringen.

Achte darauf, dass Sonia und Gogol aus einer recht wohlhabenden Familie stammen, perfekt Englisch sprechen und sich der amerikanischen Kultur angepasst haben. Ihr Verhalten kann nicht typisch sein für die Kinder armer Immigranten, die in der Schule diskriminiert werden und die im Freundeskreis wenig Englisch sprechen. Gogols und Sonias Reaktionen sind aber typisch für eine zweite Generation, die sich voll integriert hat, aber die Kultur ihrer Eltern als fremd empfindet. Weise aber auch darauf hin, dass Gogol sich nicht völlig sicher ist, wo er hingehört, was wiederum typisch für Kinder von Immigranten ist!

Teilaufgabe 3.2

$\blacktriangleright$ Compare Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli's homecoming to India with that of another immigrant character from film or literature who returns home to visit his/her family. Assess the way they cope with their situations.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du Mr. und Mrs. Gangulis Rückkehr nach Indien mit einem Charakter aus einem Film oder einem Buch vergleichen, der ebenfalls seine Familie im Ausland/seiner ursprünglichen Heimat besucht. Am besten wählst du ein Werk, in dem Kulturgegensätze und Identitätsfindung eine größere Rolle spielen, damit du das Werk mit dem Ausschnitt aus The Namesake besser vergleichen kannst. Im Vergleich sollst du beurteilen, wie der Charakter und die Gangulis mit der Situation umgehen: Ist ihr Verhalten nachvollziehbar? Findest du, dass sie sich richtig verhalten? Diese und solche Fragen solltest du in deinem Text beantworten.

Punkte, die du untersuchen solltest, sind:

  • Annahme der Kultur in der Heimat
  • Einleben in die Familie
  • Selbstverständnis/Identität
  • Gefühle

Teilaufgabe 3.3

$\blacktriangleright$ Write a speech, imagining you were Gogol who is speaking at a youth conference. Discuss the experience of living between two cultures. Use Gogol's personal experience as a starting point. Include your general knowledge about living in two different cultural settings.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du eine Rede schreiben, in der du als Gogol auf einer Jugendkonferenz diskutierst, wie die Kinder von Immigranten das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen empfinden. Bei der Diskussion ist es wichtig, Argumente/Tatsachen gegeneinander aufzuwiegen und dann zu einem ausgewogenen Urteil zu kommen. Greife dabei auf Text A zurück, indem du Gogols Meinung zum Thema anhand von seinen Reaktionen im Text ableitest. Auch sollst du dein Wissen über das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen insgesamt einbeziehen. Achte auf einen feierlichen Stil, der trotzdem zu einer Jugendkonferenz passt und benutze typische Redefloskeln („dear listeners“ usw.).

Der Inhalt deiner Rede ist relativ frei. Sie sollte aber Gogols Gefühle von Fremdheit, seine amerikanisierte Lebensweise und auch seine kulturelle Unentschlossenheit thematisieren. Setze das in Bezug zu den Schwierigkeiten von Einwandererkindern, ihr Familienleben mit ihrem schulischen Alltag zu vereinen. Du kannst dafür argumentieren, dass das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen für die Kinder von Immigranten besonders schwer sei. Es ist auch möglich, Schwierigkeiten und Vorteile gegeneinander abzuwägen – achte hierbei aber darauf, dass Gogol in Text A fast nur Schwierigkeiten erlebt. Du müsstest dann Gogols Erfahrungen von den Erfahrungen der zweiten Einwanderergeneration im Allgemeinen abgrenzen. Wir haben uns für die erste Möglichkeit entschieden.

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Themen:

Ethnic diversity
Personal relations in their social context

Textgrundlagen:

Jhumpa Lahiri: The Namesake, London, Harper Perennial 2004, 81-82; 86-87.
“Text on DVD cover” from: Mira Nair: The Namesake. The Greatest Journeys Are the Ones that Bring You Home.

Teilaufgabe 1

$\blacktriangleright$ Outline: How do the parents and their children experience their stay in India?

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du skizzieren, wie die Eltern und ihre Kinder den Aufenthalt in Indien erfahren. Das heißt, du sollst grob zusammenfassen, wie sich die Gangulis in Indien fühlen. Eine genaue Analyse ist nicht gefragt. Es geht vielmehr darum, die wichtigsten Punkte herauszuarbeiten, Details musst du nicht nennen.

In dieser Aufgabe ist es wichtig, dass du auf die Unterschiede zwischen den Eltern und den Kindern achtest. Deine grobe Zusammenfassung sollte ergeben, dass die Eltern sich in Indien wohlfühlen und ihre indische Kultur betonen, während die Kinder von der indischen Kultur entfremdet sind und sich nach Amerika zurückwünschen.

In the given excerpt from Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake (published 2004), the immigrant family Ganguli visits its relatives in Calcutta, India. In contrast to their parents Ashoke and Ashima, the siblings Gogol and Sonia experience their stay in India as alienating, while Ashoke and Ashima are glad to reunite with the Indian branch of their family.

Before their airplane lands in Calcutta, Gogol's and Sonia's mother Ashima begins to open up to other Bengali people, talkatively exchanging contact data (l. 1-2). Gogol, though, does not feel as comfortable and is aware that there will be no Western food during their stay (l. 4-6). Leaving the airplane, he feels repulsed by the Indian air (l. 8-9)
Being warmly welcomed by their Indian relatives, Ashoke and Ashima experience a very emotional, relieving reunion with their family (l. 15-16). Clearly feeling home, they change their behaviour, becoming disinhibited and livening up (l. 17-19). Their children are less enthusiastic, feeling uneasy, distanced and reserved (l. 16-17). Sonia feels alienated and is scared by her parent's changed behaviour (l. 19-21). While driving to his mother's flat, Gogol experiences being out of place (l. 22-30).

During their stay, the parents are at one with their family and ancestors (l. 38-40), but their children do not adapt as well and get sick – according to their relatives, this is due to their unfamiliarity with Indian life (l. 31-32). Consequently, Sonia and Gogol are both happy to return to the USA (l. 35-36). Gogol is a bit undecided about his feelings, but finally, he feels relieved and enjoys the flight back (l. 49-52). However, Gogol is sure that his mother will be sad leaving India (l. 47-48).

Teilaufgabe 2

$\blacktriangleright$ Analyze the DVD cover (Text B) and explain to what extent it reflects ideas of Text A, giving evidence from Text A.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du das Bild analysieren und erklären, inwieweit sich Text A im Bild widerspiegelt. Dazu sollst du Zitate von Text A benutzen, um deine Aussagen zu belegen. Es ist also wichtig, dass du herausarbeitest, was das Bild dem Leser sagen möchte. Dazu gehört auch, dass du das Bild genau beschreibst und dabei auf kleine Details eingehst. Deute, was diese Details bedeuten. Text A sollst du als Vergleichsmaterial hinzuziehen. Stelle dir immer die Frage, ob der Text dasselbe aussagt wie das Bild. Am Ende sollst du zu einem Fazit darüber kommen, ob Text und Bild übereinstimmen oder nicht.

Achte darauf, dass das Cover zwei Bilder zeigt! Das obere Bild bezieht sich auf die Ankunft in Indien und die Fremdheitsgefühle der Geschwister. Vergleiche das mit l. 15-30. Das untere bezieht sich vor allem auf den Schluss des Texts, also l. 41-52. Achte auch auf Kleinigkeiten: Im oberen Bild fehlt z. B. der kulturelle Unterschied zwischen den Geschwistern und der indischen Familie. Das untere Bild zeigt Gogols Unsicherheit über seine kulturelle Zugehörigkeit, die im Text weniger stark betont wird (l. 43-46).

The DVD cover of The Namesake. The Greatest Journeys Are the Ones that Bring You Home expresses the insecurity conveyed by Gogol in Text A, showing him and his sister Sonia as neither belonging to their Indian ancestors' culture nor fully to American society.

The DVD cover consists of two different scenes which are divided by the film's title in the middle. The scene above the title depicts Sonia leaning her head on the shoulder of her brother. Both are encircled by blurred pictures of urban life, leaving open to the interpreter whether those are photos of an Indian or a Western city. The scene beneath is a composition of three pictures, one being the front of the Taj Mahal on the left, the middle one being Gogol who is walking towards the reader and the right one being a photo of Manhattan. At the bottom of the DVD cover, there is a review by Steven Rea, taken from The Piladelphia Inquirer, saying “a rich celebration of family values. The Namesake is near perfect.”

The upper part of the cover conveys Gogol's and Sonia's uneasiness after having arrived in Calcutta. Sonia is searching her brother for comfort, leaning her head on his left shoulder. This calm and intimate photo is starkly contrasted by the blurred and anonymous pictures encircling them, which convey the feeling of motion and restlessness. Just as the siblings cannot encompass the new impressions of Indian culture, the reader is not able to pin down the various pictures encircling Gogol and Sonia. Thus, the siblings' feeling of rootlessness is passed on to the reader.
This part of the DVD cover reflects how alienated Gogol and Sonia feel after their arrival in India (l. 15-21). As in the text, Sonia seems to be scared, seeking Gogol for support. This corresponds to Sonia taking her brother's hand in the text (l. 20-21). The gesture might differ from the text, but Sonia's intention stays the same. The encircling blurred pictures are equivalent to Gogol trying to grasp all the new impressions while driving to his mother's flat (l. 23-30). As Gogol in the text, the reader might have a feeling of being ushered (l. 20). Also, the reader is able to identify with Gogol's feeling of anonymity. In the text, Gogol fails to perceive his relatives as autonomous individuals, rather seeing them as “these people” (l. 16), clearly being distanced to them. In the picture, however, we cannot see any other person than the siblings, the impersonal and rushed blurred pictures being the equivalent to their feeling of dissociation. What the cover does not reflect, though, is the cultural contrast between the siblings, who have been brought up in America, and the Indian people.

The lower part of the cover expresses how uncertain Gogol is about his cultural identity, whereas in the given excerpt from the novel The Namesake, Gogol is clearly relieved to leave India (l. 49-52). The picture of the DVD does, however, not contradict the given excerpt, as Gogol seems to feel connected to the Indian branch of his family: He calls his Indian relatives “those with whom he shares a name if not his life” (l. 44-45). Also, his relief is stated to replace his initial sense of parting (l. 48-49). The photo of the Taj Mahal on the left represents the Indian part of Gogol's identity, whereas the photo on the right is a symbol of his self-perception as an American youth. The DVD cover conveys how Gogol fails to connect the different parts of his cultural identity, experiencing them as contradictions. The difference between the DVD cover and the excerpt is that one emphasizes his rootlessness and insecurity, while the other one stresses his relief to return to familiar cultural surroundings.

All in all, the DVD cover is able to sum up and visualize Gogol's feelings of anonymity, dissociation, and alienation from his Indian ancestry, clearly stressing his rootlessness.

Teilaufgabe 3.1

$\blacktriangleright$ Assess to what extent Sonia's and Gogol's reactions to India are typical of second-generation immigrants' attitudes towards their parents' homeland.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du bewerten, inwieweit die Reaktionen von Gogol und Sonia typisch sind für die Kinder von Einwanderern. Du sollst also Text A mit deinem Wissen über die kulturelle Identität von Einwandererkindern vergleichen. Am besten arbeitest du mit pro und contra. Du kannst entweder zuerst all das auflisten, was das Verhalten der Geschwister als typisch ausweist und dann all das nennen, was sie von anderen Einwandererkindern unterscheidet. Du kannst aber auch nach jedem pro-Argument ein contra-Argument bringen.

Achte darauf, dass Sonia und Gogol aus einer recht wohlhabenden Familie stammen, perfekt Englisch sprechen und sich der amerikanischen Kultur angepasst haben. Ihr Verhalten kann nicht typisch sein für die Kinder armer Immigranten, die in der Schule diskriminiert werden und die im Freundeskreis wenig Englisch sprechen. Gogols und Sonias Reaktionen sind aber typisch für eine zweite Generation, die sich voll integriert hat, aber die Kultur ihrer Eltern als fremd empfindet. Weise aber auch darauf hin, dass Gogol sich nicht völlig sicher ist, wo er hingehört, was wiederum typisch für Kinder von Immigranten ist!

The Gangulis from Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake, published in 2004, are a perfect example for the struggles of migration and cultural adaption. Although Sonia's and Gogol's father Ashoke is a successful academic, their children experience similar confusion about their cultural identity as other second-generation immigrants do.

Gogol and Sonia are the children of a financial privileged father. Unlike some other second generation immigrants, they do not seem to have experienced poverty and discrimination. Having “expensive sneakers” and “American haircuts” (l. 30), they look exactly like non-immigrants do, so they have adopted American lifestyle and culture. They have been brought up in America and, thus, maintain American habits, favouring American food (l. 5-6) and enjoying American pop-culture (l. 51-52). Therefore it has to be stated that the USA means home to Sonia and Ganguli. Just like other second-generation immigrants, they have not experienced migration, so being American is part of their identity. Because of that, their attitude towards India is extremely different from that of their parents. Their mother is emphasizing Indian tradition, changing her dress to a sari (l. 3-4), whereas Gogol is repulsed by the Indian air, clearly feeling uneasy (l. 8-9).

For second-generation immigrants, it is difficult to strongly relate to their ancestors' culture, even if they are aware of their cultural heritage. Many second-generation immigrants experience cultural contradiction each day, as their everyday life is divided into social interaction with other American youths in an American society and their family life. This mostly relates to children of relatively poor and not fully adapted first-generation immigrants, however.
Gogol and Sonia do not seem to be as accustomed to Indian culture as other (and poorer) second-generation immigrants might be. Their reaction to their family's reunion, though, is typical of children of well adapted immigrants that do not emphasize their culture at home. They struggle to understand their parent's clinging to their ancestors' culture and their feeling of connectedness to the Indian branch of their family (l. 15-21). Children of immigrants are often not as close to their family abroad as their parents, so Gogol's and Sonia's confused reaction is typical of their generation: For them, it must seem odd that their parents react so warmly to people their children do not know very well (l. 19-21). This cultural distinction is typical of some well-adapted immigrant families. For immigrants experiencing discrimination in their daily life, their ancestors' culture is very important, as they are denied integration into society. Second-generation immigrants who are discriminated against tend to dissociate themselves from Western culture and stress their own traditions.

Gogol's relief towards the end of the given excerpt is typical for second-generation immigrants who identify themselves rather with the country in which they have been brought up. However, many second-generation immigrants do have patriotic feelings towards their parents' origin. Gogol is fully americanized, but it is typical of the children of immigrants to move in different cultural settings, possessing a complex national identity instead of abandoning their cultural heritage.
Gogol is not just relieved to leave India, however. His insecurity about his feelings is very typical of second-generation immigrants who experience a contradiction between their self at home and their self as integrated children of immigrants. Whereas first-generation immigrants are aware of their tradition and often self-assured about their cultural identity, their children struggle to find a distinct cultural identity themselves, feeling unsure about where they belong to. Gogol acknowledges that his Indian relatives are “those with whom he shares a name if not his life” (l. 44-45), he knows that his family abroad is an important part of his identity. Due to the fact that this part of his identity is in a way hidden to his friends and his “official” self in America, Gogol feels enstranged from his parents' culture and aware of its importance at the same time. Children of immigrants often learn very early to differ between different cultural settings and may often struggle to combine those instead.

The siblings' reactions to India do fit to the general characteristics of second-generation immigrants. The second generation is said to be more accustomed to the culture of their surroundings than their parents, sometimes strongly identifying themselves with the culture of their friends. However, the siblings do not seem to know Indian culture very well, whereas many second-generation immigrants uphold the traditions of their family at home. As children of a very successful father, Gogol and Sonia are fully americanized and are unusually enstranged from the origins of their family. Also, their attitude differs from the attitude of second-generation immigrants who are discriminated against in their everyday life and who rather identify with their parents' culture.

Teilaufgabe 3.2

$\blacktriangleright$ Compare Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli's homecoming to India with that of another immigrant character from film or literature who returns home to visit his/her family. Assess the way they cope with their situations.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du Mr. und Mrs. Gangulis Rückkehr nach Indien mit einem Charakter aus einem Film oder einem Buch vergleichen, der ebenfalls seine Familie im Ausland/seiner ursprünglichen Heimat besucht. Am besten wählst du ein Werk, in dem Kulturgegensätze und Identitätsfindung eine größere Rolle spielen, damit du das Werk mit dem Ausschnitt aus The Namesake besser vergleichen kannst. Im Vergleich sollst du beurteilen, wie der Charakter und die Gangulis mit der Situation umgehen: Ist ihr Verhalten nachvollziehbar? Findest du, dass sie sich richtig verhalten? Diese und solche Fragen solltest du in deinem Text beantworten.

Punkte, die du untersuchen solltest, sind:

  • Annahme der Kultur in der Heimat
  • Einleben in die Familie
  • Selbstverständnis/Identität
  • Gefühle

For Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli from Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake (published 2004), visiting their family in India means keeping their cultural identity alive. Having been brought up in India, being Indian is an important part of their identity. Sinan Al Kuri from the documentary Mein Vater. Mein Onkel from 2009, though, has been brought up in Germany. Visiting his biological family for the first time, he meets a culture he would have adopted if the war between Iraq and Iran had not separated the family. Whereas the Gangulis hold up their traditions, Sinan Al Kuri has yet to learn about his family's set of beliefs.

Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli are not nervous travelling to India, knowing they will be welcome and finally being able to see their family again. Mrs. Ganguli already stresses her Indian identity on the flight, changing to a fresh Sari and chatting with fellow Indians (l. 1-4). Clearly, she enjoys herself and looks forward to her stay, feeling comfortable. For her, India and Indian culture are a familiar environment, and thus, she does not have any problems adapting to her surroundings.
For Sinan, things are different. He has been adopted by a German woman who has fled from Iraq during times of war. Never having met his Iraqi family, which lives in Dubai now, he actually leaves familiar surroundings. He voices great anticipation to meet the people that are part of his identity, yet whom he never knew in his life, but also, he is nervous about his stay in Dubai. These feelings manifest themselves in inner unrest and the need for bringing a close friend with him to Dubai. Clearly, visiting his family means also emotional stress to him, so he needs to have a German friend at his side. But still, he is aware that his Iraqi family is his roots and that he is obliged to see them. In comparison to the Gangulis, Sinan's feelings are ambivalent and he is not as comfortable.

Being welcomed by their family, Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli change their identity, becoming Monu and Mithu (l. 15). They “slip into bolder, less complicated versions of themselves, their voices louder, their smiles wider, revealing a confidence Gogol and Sonia never see” (l. 18-19). For them, who have seemingly never lost contact to their family, it means no effort to behave as in earlier times. Opening up, they show character treats their children do not know – their identities as Indians and as Indian immigrants are clearly separated. What makes it easier for them to integrate into their Indian family's life is also scaring their children, who feel enstranged by their parents. Where Mr. and Mrs. Ganguli succeed as family members, they fail as parents, not helping their children to adapt to their new surroundings.
Sinan, an actor who is prepared to react quickly to all kinds of scenarios, is more careful not to hurt someone's feelings or make someone feel uncomfortable. In spite of the fact that he has never had any contact to his Iraqi family, the reunion with his mother and father does not seem to be all too difficult for him. He is as touched as his parents are, not shying away from hugging and kissing them. Neither does he get in conflict with the culture of his family, which frankly tells him that they wish him to be a Muslim, to speak Arabic and to marry an Iraqi wife. Having been brought up in Germany, Sinan does not know very much about Iraqi culture, but he is clearly fascinated by his family's set of beliefs, even if he does not share his family's opinion in every regard. Because of his open-mindedness, his family accepts him having a different culture, and so they voice joy over the benefits of learning from each other.

The Gangulis take their stay in India as a chance to confirm their own identity. Using different names, following Indian habits and praying for their ancestors (l. 38-40) are means to stress their roots and maybe to compensate the stress of living in a different country. Their family's identity is their identity, too, so coming back to India is highly emotional to them, as they feel at home there. Their behaviour is thus typical for people who have emigrated during their adulthood, they are able to seamlessly transform into their earlier selves.
Sinan visits his family with the knowledge that this encounter will change him, but he also seeks a confirmation of his identity, too. He wants to be accepted by his family and tries to be a part of their everyday life for three weeks, in which he succeeds. Making clear that he does not want to adopt his family's cultural identity completely, Sinan manages to be himself while being able to integrate into the lives of people he has never known. Although he does not change into a wholly different person, he accepts his Iraqi roots through the love for his family.

In sum, Sinan is able to adapt to his family's lifestyle in a similar manner as the Gangulis, even if he sees his family for the first time. Not transforming into a different self, he is a bit distant to his relatives, but he succeeds in being accepted by his mother, his father and his brothers, which is astonishing for his situation. The Gangulis are used to their family's culture, so they do not have Sinan's difficulties adopting a culture they do not experience in their everyday life. Both can serve as an example that family ties are stronger than geographical distance – and that cultural borders are not so strong as one might believe.

Teilaufgabe 3.3

$\blacktriangleright$ Write a speech, imagining you were Gogol who is speaking at a youth conference. Discuss the experience of living between two cultures. Use Gogol's personal experience as a starting point. Include your general knowledge about living in two different cultural settings.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du eine Rede schreiben, in der du als Gogol auf einer Jugendkonferenz diskutierst, wie die Kinder von Immigranten das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen empfinden. Bei der Diskussion ist es wichtig, Argumente/Tatsachen gegeneinander aufzuwiegen und dann zu einem ausgewogenen Urteil zu kommen. Greife dabei auf Text A zurück, indem du Gogols Meinung zum Thema anhand von seinen Reaktionen im Text ableitest. Auch sollst du dein Wissen über das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen insgesamt einbeziehen. Achte auf einen feierlichen Stil, der trotzdem zu einer Jugendkonferenz passt und benutze typische Redefloskeln („dear listeners“ usw.).

Der Inhalt deiner Rede ist relativ frei. Sie sollte aber Gogols Gefühle von Fremdheit, seine amerikanisierte Lebensweise und auch seine kulturelle Unentschlossenheit thematisieren. Setze das in Bezug zu den Schwierigkeiten von Einwandererkindern, ihr Familienleben mit ihrem schulischen Alltag zu vereinen. Du kannst dafür argumentieren, dass das Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen für die Kinder von Immigranten besonders schwer sei. Es ist auch möglich, Schwierigkeiten und Vorteile gegeneinander abzuwägen – achte hierbei aber darauf, dass Gogol in Text A fast nur Schwierigkeiten erlebt. Du müsstest dann Gogols Erfahrungen von den Erfahrungen der zweiten Einwanderergeneration im Allgemeinen abgrenzen. Wir haben uns für die erste Möglichkeit entschieden.

Dear listeners, I am most honored to be allowed giving a speech at this special occasion. My name is Gogol Ganguli, and I am the son of Indian immigrants. For many of us American youths, ethnic and cultural diversity is something we experience daily. I have always been aware that immigrants and their children have a different relation to diversity than those whose ancestors came to America many generations ago. I beg you to pay me some attention, as my speech may unveil the feelings many of us “second-gens” hide even from their best friends.

Many of you may not know it, but being a child of immigrants does mean struggle. It is not only discrimination or poverty, which I fortunately have not experienced so far. This struggle is quite personal, it is the struggle for a distinct identity, the struggle for connectedness and finding out who you are and where you belong. You may laugh, looking at my American sneakers and my American haircut. I do not seem to be any different from other American youths, I listen to American music, watch American movies and love to eat American food at school. I share the same interests with my friends. I am, in conclusion, an American, a part of American society. But can you imagine how confusing it is to enter home and cross a cultural border? My parents are Indian by heart, you would recognize my mother by her traditional Indian dress. It is hard to change your behaviour each time when leaving home or coming back again. Family and society are two different worlds to me, each having its own rules.

For me as for other children of immigrants, it is hard to understand our parents' set of beliefs. We live a double life, but we are not accustomed to the cultural setting of our mothers and fathers. This is not only sad, as we know we possess a cultural inheritance that we should be proud of. This difference is also a source of alienation towards our own parents, and I can tell you that is is a horrible feeling to experience your parents as strangers. Also, this does make you feel as a stranger in school, too. Our parents and our family abroad are those with whom we share a name and a life. We are obliged to acknowledge that we are, also, part Indian. But we do not show it to our friends, we have to hide parts of our identity in order to not to confuse them as we confuse ourselves. Sure, they know that my parents are Indian and I like to buy them Indian comics during a trip to India, but I cannot follow Indian habits in school without switching to the other Gogol, the Gogol only my family knows.

Me and many other second-generation immigrants feel caught between two cultures and two identities. I cannot turn my back on my parents and pretend to be the same that I have always been. Neither can I embrace Indian culture as my parents do, my American upbringing has shaped my personality, too. I feel obliged to emphasize my family's origin, but I know that I am in a way an outsider to my cultural heritage. When me and my sister express our feelings, we often use the English language. We even use it to distance us from our Indian relatives if we want to be personal. Speaking two languages and being formed by two cultures is not just a benefit, it is very hard to find a distinct self between those opposing poles. I know American society is open to cultural difference, many of us Americans possess hyphenated identities consisting of both American and foreign parts. But it is ourselves who have to find out who we are and how to cope with cultural contradiction. I will never be fully Indian or fully American. Sure, the USA has always been my home and will ever mean home to me. But where does my soul belong to? With all those accepting and tolerant friends here, I feel ashamed to struggle with accepting myself. I feel afraid to alienate myself from my friends emphasizing my Indian origin, but I am also afraid of disrespecting my parents.

In the USA, discussion about immigration focuses on the struggles to integrate immigrants and their children and the economic costs of immigration. But to understand why even children of immigrants do not feel fully American, their opinions and experiences must be heard, too. The search for identity is not a problem of our times, it is a problem of a second generation that will always be there. Thank you for listening.

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