Sandralala

Diaspora

Posted on: October 14, 2008

Ibo Diaspora

Ibo people were influenced by the new institutions such as school, market, church and court that were established by the white people. These institutions were designed to serve one purpose: to convert Ibo people into Christians. It was a deliberate work of missionaries to change the Ibo culture and assimilate African Americans into white culture.

In the beginning of missionary establishments, not many Ibos were interested in Christianity. Many of them did not understand the concept of one God, and thought Christian church will not last long. However, as time passed, a few people began, especially the those who weren’t welcomed by the Ibo society, to convert to Christian. Later on, even the men of titles began to believe in Chrstian God.

As the number of converts increased, conflicts arose between Ibo people who sticked to their tradition and the converts who changed their view. Some converts were openly shouting out that Ibo Gods were not real. In response, Ibo people excluded the converts from their community. In the end, the conflicts worsened and there were bloodshed involved.

These changes in Ibo people were negative because traditional Ibo culture was lost. Peaceful society was interrupted by white missionary and ended up being separated into two conflicting group. The assimilation to new ideas and religion was too abrupt and forceful; it was not a beneficial process for Ibo people.

This is  the reason why the novel is called Things Fall Apart. Umuofia was in chaos because of the clash between new ideas and old beliefs of Ibo culture. As people began to convert to new belief system, the Ibo laws and traditions were losing its power. The social structure and organization were breaking down and things were falling apart. This idea relates to the poem Second Coming, which is where the title Things Fall Apart originates from. In this poem, there are two conflicting forces that break the peace and bring chaos, just like Ibo culture and Christian culture clashed in the novel. Chinua Achebe chose Things Fall Apart as the title of the book to portray the fall of traditional African society, organizations, beliefs, and rules (everything the African culture was based on) as they clashed with the new western culture that came with white missionary.

Korean-American Diaspora

Korean-American diaspora is happening very fast these days as there are more communication between the two countries.  There are many ways that Koreans contact with American culture:

1. Internet

Internet is probably the easiest ways to contact another culture. People just type any country and off they go into a whole new culture. Through internet, Koreans, especially teenagers, listen to American songs, look at pictures of American celebrities and read English news papers. They are affected by American culture, and you can often see Korean teenagers dressed up like an American celebrity on the street, listening to pop songs.

2. International Schools

The number of international Schools is increasing as more students plan to study in the States and learn English to ‘survive’ in a global world. International Schools provide environment that is very similar to American schools; everything is in English, and students learn about American history and culture. Most of the students are affected by the diverse culture of America and tend to be more open-minded than non-international Korean students. They listen to American songs, watch hollywood movies, dress up like American celebrities, and discuss about hot issues in the States.

3. Shops

Probably more than one-third of clothes in shops and department stores are American brands. There are pictures of western models posted up here and there. As the number of American brands increase, more Koreans are trying western styled clothes. Now days you can spot many Koreans wearing similar clothes to American celebrities and trying out new styles that were once considered ‘too extreme’ in Korean culture.

There are more contact points of Korean and American cultures such as TVs, news papers and movie theaters. Though some might say Korean-American diaspora is causing traditional Korean culture to fade away and lose identity, I think it is good that people are communicating with a different culture and taking in new ideas. It is a global world, and it wouldn’t be good if Koreans only stick to traditional culture instead of exploring western culture. It is a positive change that Koreans are starting to open their mind to diversity of ideas and perspectives.

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  • Alice: Very insightful. I shall take your advice :]
  • Mr WordPress: Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts' comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

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