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JU Univerzitet u Tuzli Filozofski fakultet Studijski odsjek: Engleski jezik i književnost Merima Ibrišimović

MAGISTARSKI RAD

THE ISSUE OF POSTCOLONIAL IDENTITY AND ACCULTURATION IN HANIF KUREISHI’S NOVELS: THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA, MY EAR AT HIS HEART – READING MY FATHER, THE BLACK ALBUM AND SOMETHING TO TELL YOU

PITANJE POSTKOLONIJALNOG IDENTITETA I AKULTURACIJE U ROMANIMA HANIFA KUREISHIJA: BUDA IZ PREDGRAĐA, OSLUŠKUJUĆI NJEGOVU DUŠU – ČITAJUĆI SVOGA OCA, CRNI ALBUM I DA TI NEŠTO KAŽEM

Tuzla, april 2014.

Rezime Ovaj rad namjerava osvijetliti djela Hanifa Kureishija kroz prizmu postkolonijalne teorije i pitanja identiteta imigranata prve i druge generacije iz Pakistana u Velikoj Britaniji. Istražit će se postojanje hibridnog identiteta i 'trećeg prostora' kod imigranata. Također će se obratiti pažnja na proces akulturacije, kroz koji imigranti neminovno prolaze, kao i na rezultate iste, koji variraju od asimilacije u društvo do svojevoljne separacije, ili, u ekstremnim slučajevima, segregacije. Istražit će se i validnost karakteriziranja Hanifa Kureishija kao postkolonijalnog pisca, kroz njegov status imigranta druge generacije i svjedoka promjena u engleskom društvu, a koje je interna imigracija donijela. Obradit će se četiri njegova romana: Buda iz predgrađa, Osluškujući njegovu dušu – čitajući svoga oca, Crni album i Da ti nešto kažem.

Ključne riječi: postkolonijalizam, identitet, hibridnost, akulturacija, mimikrija, 'englestvo'

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Abstract This thesis intends to shed light on the work of Hanif Kureishi through the lens of postcolonial theory and issues of identity in first and second generation immigrants from Pakistan to Great Britain. Existence of hybrid identity and ‗third space‘ in immigrants will be explored. Attention will be paid to the process of acculturation, which immigrants inevitably go through, as well as to its results, which vary from assimilation in the society to separation, or, in extreme cases, to segregation. Also, the validity of Hanif Kureishi‘s characterization as a postcolonial storyteller will be examined through his status of second generation immigrant and witness of changes in English society, brought on by internal immigration. Four of his novels will be analyzed: The Buddha of Suburbia, My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father, The Black Album and Something to Tell You.

Key words: postcolonialism, identity, hybridity, acculturation, mimicry, ‗Englishness‘

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Introduction

This Master thesis intends to explore the issue of identity and acculturation of Pakistani immigrants in Great Britain during the second half of the twentieth century, as well as the relation between immigrant communities and their former colonizer. Postcolonial theories are considered important even today, because English national identity is defined through imperialistic history. This theory still bears significant economic, social, political and cultural consequences, of which the most important is immigration of former subject peoples to Great Britain. Colonial theories used to associate Anglo-Saxon culture with the pride and character of the nation. However, these ideas have, through postcolonialism, been questioned, and English identity began to be understood as hybrid. In the second half of the twentieth century, Great Britain went through a particular cultural transformation, which includes the demise of the Empire, immigration of former subjects and multiculturalism. The very appearance of British society significantly transformed. In the postcolonial age, concepts of identity and national belonging become multifaceted, inseparable from each other and complex. Postcolonialism is viewed as the need of nations or formerly colonized groups to develop their identity, undefiled by Eurocentric concepts. Since diasporic peoples continuously negotiate their cultural identities, old attitudes about the notions of home, nation and country, it is important to discuss it over and over again, because the heterogeneous character of British society stimulates the birth of cultural identities which are neither permanent nor stable. It can be said that these identities are constantly in the process of transformation and never complete. The issue of identity is extremely important today, in a system where politics, gender identity, personal, national and international connections are constantly being reconstructed, especially because identities are viewed in a relational manner. Within the postcolonial context, examining the postcolonial culture and researching the issues of creating the concept of ‗postcolonial subject‘, is connected with theoretical framework of deconstructing the bipolar difference between the dominant West and orientalized East. In that sense, Homi K. Bhabha 4

Kureishi suggests that the dogma of nationalism is in conflict with the reality of today‘s multicultural England. All four novels are set in London.(1994: 4-12) dismisses the cultural. but. which makes him a witness and participant of these processes in first generation of immigrants. acculturation is the result of cultural contact. who inherited a rich literary tradition of narratives recognized as typically English. This Master thesis will inevitably encompass the concept of acculturation. as well as in second generation immigrants from Pakistan to Great Britain. He demands acceptance of contradictions in a pluralistic society within England. by an English mother and a Pakistani father. and incorporates English duality of national pride and political doubts. to which he himself belongs. Hanif Kureishi is considered as a postcolonial storyteller. 5 . Hanif Kureishi. His writing confirms that. presents English sense of humor. as well as in the novels themselves. was born in the London suburbs. The significance of this thesis lies. as much as in the choice of the author of four analyzed novels. In the root of his narrating. as individuals search for their identities. Acculturation and cultural contact can almost be considered as synonyms. in the narrow sense. where Kureishi problematizes the search for identity in his characters and introduces them to the world of acculturation. historical and national homogeneity and replaces them with heterogeneity and hybridity. the author. His writing bears witness to English sensibility and eccentricity. so must nations.

the skins of darkness. or fluid with a revolting chaos. the genders of unspeakable openings -. the evil is always disorder rather than unjust order. Since the aim of this chapter is to bring forth the characteristics and proponents of postcolonial theory. It has been evolving for millennia.1. anarchy rather than control. profound.” Catherine Keller. But they continue to be muted by the bellowing of the dominant discourse. according to Habib 6 . Every story exists only if it has audience. there are various theoretical critical approaches to literature and its meaning in a less individual sense. from Plato and Aristotle. darkness rather than pallor. not the silent. This is the area of literary theory and criticism. He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savages and senile peoples. This reader does not have to be a critical reader in order to form an opinion and share it in terms of yet another story. but they do form opinions as they delve into the story.1. 'God had made us master organizers of the world to establish system where chaos reigns. Postcolonial theory With a widespread audience of readers. However. they gather impressions and feel certain emotions.those Others of Order keep finding voice. Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming 1. up to today‘s contemporary literary theorists and critics. emotional and unintimidated mass of people. unopinionated flock of readers. an evil to be mastered. which. but rather a loud. a nothing to be ignored.' From the vantage point of the colonizing episteme. To plead otherwise is to write 'carte blanche for chaos.' Yet those who wear the mark of chaos. the stories come to life because of the inevitable interaction between the reader and the story. A reader is not necessarily a critic. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY AND ACCULTURATION “The abiding western dominology can with religion sanction identify anything dark.

the process of studying. Plato‘s opposition of philosophy to poetry effectively sets the stage for more than two thousand years of literary theory and criticism‘ (Habib. which led to postcolonial theory and those that succeeded it. M. There are various approaches to the history of literary theory. Literary theory employs knowledge outside the field of literary studies in order to arrive to new understandings of texts (The Saylor Foundation. and they all have commonalities. 2005: 10)). but only selected works be briefly mentioned due to their contribution to this area of study. where he states that ‗Greek philosophy begins as a challenge to the monopoly of poetry and the extension of its vision in more recent trends such as sophistic and rhetoric. Habib elaborates on Psychoanalytic Criticism. Feminist Criticism. many a theorist explored the development of literary theory through time. but also differ significantly. or philosophical approaches are followed in a systematic fashion while analyzing literary texts‘ (The Saylor Foundation: 1). finally concludes with the Twentieth Century.A. 2005: 2-11). Postcolonial Criticism and New Historicism. Deconstruction. literary theory is a form of literary criticism. Reader-Response and Reception Theory. in terms of social. and cultural environment.R. In A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present. political. With such a wide and colorful field of study. interpreting and understanding the meaning of a literary text. began the rise of literary theory. In A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (Selden. Other theorists took different approaches to this subject. the Early Modern Period to the Enlightenment. Formalisms. Structuralism. authors remain well within the 20th 7 . it is important to define literary theory as a concept. In order to discuss literary theories. He then continues exploring literary theory in the Medieval Era.(2005: 270) emerged with great intensity in the 1980s. aesthetic. scientific. In its basis. it is necessary to shed light on previous literary theories. systematic approaches to literary texts that impose a particular line of intellectual reasoning to it particular academic. and. the Later Nineteenth Century. 2011: 1-2). Habib sets out on a long historical journey through literary theory from Ancient Greek criticism. A multitude of authors have been theorizing about the history of literary criticism. From the employment of various schools of literary theory to the service of literary criticism. the Earlier Nineteenth Century and Romanticism. strictly said. where ‗literary theory proposes particular. Traditional literary criticism since the 19th century drew from social and natural sciences and is. In this chapter. Widdowson & Brooker.

Attention is paid to The history of feminist criticism. Cultural materialism. This overview of but a few authors who delve into the study of literary theory clearly shows numerous differences in approaches and accents on certain theoretical frames. Post-war Italian intellectual culture: from Marxism to cultural studies. Literature and the institutional context in Britain. moving on to Literary criticism and the history of ideas. 2007: 2-13) offers yet another classification of literary theories. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (Knellwolf & Norris. which delves into the 21st century. with one common goal (which persisted up to the 20th century): to bring civilized way of life to subjects who were considered barbarians. which. However. R. politics and language upon its subject. touching upon Fascist politics and literary criticism. as well as Interdisciplinary approaches. continuing on to Russian formalism and the Bakhtin School. the practice had been present from the dawn of civilization. beginning with History (Historicism and historical criticism). Modernism. the ‗German–French‘ debate: critical theory. Adorno and the early Frankfurt School. modernization. aesthetics and analytic philosophy and Ethics and literary criticism. Feminist theories. Structuralist theories. hermeneutics and deconstruction. moral formalism and F. The phenomenon of Postcolonialism is in itself very complex and inseparable from a long history of imperialism. modernity. Post-colonial theory. To the purpose of this Master thesis. Anthropological criticism. queer and transgender criticism. lesbian and queer theories. Postcolonialist theories. 8 . bisexual. Gay. exploring Marxism and literary criticism. there are also significant crossing points in the abundance of theories presented. Leavis. In both the Eastern and the Western world there have been empires which overtook vast territories. Gay. Poststructuralist theories. but also economic and cultural control in terms of ruling state imposing its cultural values. and concluding with Post-Theory. Before the term ‗imperialism‘ was coined in the second half of the 19th century. Then follow Readeroriented theories. authority. from the 11 th century B. Marxist theories.century. and empire that controls other peoples within their borders. New historicism. Literary criticism and psychoanalytic positions. represents an inevitable chapter in the history of literary theory. all the way to Criticism.C. lesbian. beginning their discussion in the 1920s with New Criticism. Also are included Marxism and poststructuralism. judging by its presence in all these works. the most important commonality is the exploration of Postcolonial theory. Postmodernist theories. Historically. which does not only imply power.

through empires of the Greeks. 2005: 270-276). New Zealand. Finally. a colonization whose horrors were expressed in Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness (1899). the common motive for colonization was enlightening the barbaric colonized peoples and bringing civilization to them. France. By the end of the nineteenth century. As Young states in his Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction: 9 . Between 1492 and the mid-eighteenth century. while the vast majority of the nation did not. and the Netherlands established colonies and empires in the Americas. Equatorial Africa. South Africa. impoverishing the colonized and bringing certain peoples to the edge of extinction. and India. Burma. with Chinese empires conquering territories and peoples. As previously mentioned. where imperialism is merely a necessary part of the struggle for survival of the fittest. however. 2005: 270-271). and other nations. more than one fifth of the land area of the world and a quarter of its population had been brought under the British Empire: India. Those nations that see themselves superior claim the right to subjugate the weaker ones. which extended their conquests up to the early 20th century. Italy. and the Sudan. and Japan also entered the race for colonies. In modern times. All these motives combined serve to paint a very plausible and reasonable picture as a cover for atrocities committed in the process. The most prominent goal of colonization was economic profit. France. Australia. was not the only motive for subjugating weaker nations. Another motive relates to various forms of social Darwinism. and Indochina. as natural competition dictates (Habib. and influence. the periods during and after World War II saw a struggle involving the countries just mentioned as well as a conflict between America and the communist Soviet Union for extended control. between the mid-nineteenth century and World War I. Germany. Needless to say. there were three major stages of imperialism (Habib. The next largest colonial power was France. In 1855 Belgium established the Belgian Congo in the heart of Africa. French West Africa. This. the East Indies. Canada. Spain and Portugal. Then. Germany. and various empires of Islam. power.imperialism thrived. 2005: 270-276). there was an immense scramble for imperialistic power between Britain. these imperialistic endeavors have survived into the present day in altered forms and with new antagonists (Habib. Italy. England. even though only small groups of colonizers actually profited. whose possessions included Algeria.

the colonized peoples expressed forms of both passive and active resistance. and Belgium). and. and much of the 20th century was marked by long struggle against colonial powers. postcolonial literature and criticism were born. Only near the end of the 19th century. incapable of looking after themselves (despite having done so perfectly well for millennia) and requiring the paternal rule of the west for their own best interests (today they are deemed to require ‗development‘)‘. the ―founding moment‖ of postcolonial theory was launching of the journal The Tricontinental in 1966. where the white race has been considered the model of civilization (mirrored in government. or feminine. postcolonial theorists still find inspiration in anti-colonial struggles of the colonial era. White Masks. In 1978 Edward Said published Orientalism. even at the cost of human lives (Young. resistance was shaped into coherent political movements. George Lamming‘s The Pleasures of Exile followed in 1960 and Fanon‘s The Wretched of the Earth in 1961 (Habib. economics. beginning with the independence of India in 1947. alongside with Gayatri Spivak‘s The Post-Colonial Critic in 1990. art. 2005: 271) produced other important works. this journal was the first joint endeavor of peoples of the three continents against imperial power. since seminal works of postcolonialism were published that year: Aimé Césaire‘s Discours sur le colonialisme and Frantz Fanon‘s Black Skin. the Netherlands. 2003: 2). During the period of colonial rule. Abdul Jan Mohamed. Benita Parry. Gareth Griffiths. science. childlike. France. The year 1950 is considered a landmark regarding postcolonial literature. The Empire Writes Back by Bill Ashcroft. 2005: 273-274). (Young. Since nations in Africa. In the aftermath of World War II in 1945 began the process of decolonization in the majority of territories under imperial power (Britain. and Helen Tiffin appeared in 1989. Postcolonial criticism has numerous aims: 10 . etc. In Robert Young‘s (2001: 5) opinion. Homi Bhabha. Both during and immediately after the struggles for independence from colonial rule. 2003:3-5). 2003: 2-3).Colonial and imperial rule was legitimized by anthropological theories which increasingly portrayed the peoples of the colonized world as inferior. (Young. literature. These theories that aided sustainability of west – non-west relation found root in white – nonwhite race dichotomy. Asia and Latin America are referred to as ‗the tricontinent‘ rather than ‗the third world‘. and Kwame Anthony Appiah (Habib. more recently. Apparently.). In 1958 Chinua Achebe published his novel Things Fall Apart.

2001). and the articulation of political and cultural identities (Young. political. there is only one economic system to which the world is adjusting. but is still in the framework od imperialism in its later sense – as the global system of hegemonic economic power. political and cultural domination. the conditions of world economics significantly changed from the 1950s and 1960s.…to reexamine the history of colonialism from the perspective of the colonized. 2001: 80). to analyze the process of decolonization. not its perpetrators' (Young. especially regarding free market economics. Postcolonial theories 'analyze the material and epistemological conditions of postcoloniality and seek to combat the continuing. Before the birth of postcolonial cultural critique as political and academic practice. and above all. but capitalist economic imperialism has become its successor. to participate in the goals of political liberation. the contestation of forms of domination. which includes equal access to material resources. and cultural impact of colonialism on both the colonized peoples and the colonizing powers. often covert. He states that the debate around it could be averted if the postcolonial was to be defined as that which comes after colonialism and imperialism. the era of communism may be over. Today. 2001: 67). Postcolonialism now provides criticism of the new world system to which the world adjusting. he goes further on to describe postcolonialism as a 'theoretical and political position which embodies an active concept of intervention within such oppressive circumstances' (Young. in his Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (2001: 60-63) gives a significant contribution to exploration of postcolonialism through examination of the history and use of the term itself. Therefore. 11 . The global situation of social injustice demands postcolonial critique – from the position of its victims. the term 'post-colonial' in the hyphenated from was used with a Marxist reference. to determine the economic. operation of an imperialist system of economic. dispersed worldwide through globalized organizations and practices (Young. However. Postcolonialism now provides criticism of the new world system and postcolonial struggles for true independence and autonomy share a very complex battlefield. economic and international relations discourse. the concept of 'postcolonial' was identified with Marxist practices in many newly independent states which employed different forms of Marxism. 2001: 63-69). As the time passed. Indeed. when the term 'post-colonial' was first used. which is still the case in political. Young.

race. The importance of these insights lies in their focus on the subjective. It is relevant to point out that. postcolonialism employs its correlation with contemporary writing.2. 1. while other voices insisted on adapting Western ideals to their own political and cultural ends. Class division and oppression are visible both in the colonized nations and in the West. ethnicity. Rather. 2005: 272). According to Habib (2005: 272-274). claimed that oppressive ideas stemmed from and were reproduced in the conventional literary and philosophical canons. the early voices of anti-imperialism placed accent on returning to indigenous literary traditions so as to articulate cultural heritage. personal experience is taken seriously. including exploitation of thirdworld countries. The radical groups which rose against Western oppression of workers. so this makes the concept of colonialism both internal to imperial powers and reaching into the colonized domains. even though the struggle for postcolonial discourse ‗extends over the domains of gender. Young (2001: 58-69) does not consider postcolonialism a theory. particularly because it does not lean on a single methodology in order to draw its conclusions. Exploitation of workers existed in both domains. blacks. there is one point of convergence of postcolonial dialogues – questioning and reexamining the literary and cultural canon in Western institutions. Precisely because postcolonial discourse encompasses a palette of dialogues within colonial powers and addresses a variety of forms of ‗internal colonization‘. in the narrow sense of the word.Since colonialism and imperialism were heterogeneous concepts and practices. and only a selected minority in imperial nations benefited from colonization. and class‘ (Habib. through a loosely employed term ‗multiculturalism‘. women. gays. which now had to be heard (Habib. 2005: 272-274). postcolonialism itself cannot be thought of as a unified theory with a single priority and position. politics and different theoretical practices in order to draw its own sets of conclusions and insights. history. hence the institutional origins of postcolonialism are in literary departments of academic institutions where the focus on the individual. as justification for suppressing the minority voices. Moreover.Acculturation 12 . neither the ‗tricontinent‘ nor the West can be considered homogenous and mutually opposed.

and and it is only natural that it left its former subjects in a harsh situation. This is especially true for internal colonization. To define the ‗who‘ of postcolonialism in a more exact sense is virtually impossible. as is ‗Who is the post-colonial?‘. it refers to the period after the end of colonization. when Redfield. that is. The great European Empire‘s decline. citizens of the newly formed postcolonial nations. which were taken away from them. as well as how and when it came to exist as a theoretical framework. 1997: 13-14). theorists came to a single term. ‗a particular postcolonial phenomenon of large-scale immigration of groups from former colonies‘ (Childs & Williams. The classical definition of acculturation dates back to 1936. namely. even though it was historically extremely important. was not an evenly spread process. since there are groups and individuals who are still in search of their pre-colonial identities. 1997: 14). traditions and identities of the colonized. Therefore. Temporally. with the identities of both the formerly colonized or diasporic groups and the imperial nations unsettled in different ways by colonial and post-colonial histories. which led to decolonization on a massive scale in the 1950s and 1960s. not all the ethnic and cultural groups felt free. which both describes and facilitates this process of forging identity. the term post-colonial is self-evident. 1997: 11). The impossibility of achieving that aim leads them to attempt to construct new identities based on their current situation and the mere impossibility to take back what is lost (Childs & Williams. it is significant to shed light on who exactly belongs to the postcolonial. it cannot be said that the nations underwent decolonization at the same time. and especially those who emigrated from their mother-countries to the former Empire center via internal immigration. In An introduction to post-colonial theory. Childs & Williams state: ‗Who is the post-colonial?‘ then becomes temporarily or partially unanswerable: to the extent that major reformulations are taking place. is still left unanswered. Colonialism itself did not respect cultures. and even in the newly born countries free of colonizing power. are left with a heavy burden of either unsuccessfully attempting to regain their lost identity or building a completely new identity to accommodate the circumstances at hand. When such a vital question. attempts to define or circumscribe in advance the content of that Who? are premature (Childs & Williams. Linton & Herskovits stated that ‗acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of individuals 13 . For this particular situation.Upon establishing what postcolonial criticism is.

showing little interest in communicating with other cultures. the concept of acculturation has become placed within individual‘s psychological realm. the individual firmly maintains his/her cultural heritage to a degree. or simply segregates them. if individuals wish to maintain their heritage and identity while avoiding interaction with other cultures. Berry & Sam (2006). from the point of view of non-dominant groups. 2006: 27) Through widely spread immigration. but still interacts regularly with other groups. Firstly. Marginalization is rarely a choice. if the individuals have no interest in maintaining their cultural heritage and wish to constantly interact with the dominant group. and refugees and indigenous peoples who did not seek acculturation. most of these contact situations result in the development of societies that have more than one cultural. Thirdly. Opposed to this. which can be dominant or non-dominant. if a member of non-dominant group feels profound loss of inherited values and wishes to maintain them. and that is the process of adaptation. so people with various cultural backgrounds live together and form cultural groups that are not equal in power. One of the major contributors to the research about acculturation. In this case. individuals or groups become marginalized when the dominant group tries to force assimilation upon them. rather. linguistic or religious entity living in them. while participating in a larger social network. These four strategies are based on the assumption that individuals in non14 . These power relations gave birth to ‗mainstream‘. Even though Berry & Sam (2006: 30-33) makes a distinction between immigrants who voluntarily participate in acculturation process. which may be more or less difficult for certain groups. he still finds common ground among these cultural groups. if an individual does not reject his/her original culture. As a result. that is called integration. Fourthly. Following initial contact. that is separation. claim: Acculturation is a process of cultural and psychological change that results from the continuing contact between people of different cultural backgrounds. (Berry & Sam. most acculturation has taken place in societies that are culturally plural. marginalization is taking place. ‗minority‘ and ‗ethnic group‘. Berry & Sam differentiate four acculturation strategies. as part of their identity.having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups‘. Berry & Sam use the term ‗cultural group‘. More recently. many societies have become culturally plural. assimilation strategy is at work.

1. This. Before colonization. These people had something to go back to – their roots. that was experiencing monumental changes in the second half of the 20th century in terms of demise of the Empire. common set of values and beliefs indigenous to their geographic and cultural space. however. such as language. Undoubtedly. 2006: 29-31). completely new post-colonial circumstances brought about a new mind-frame. value cultural diversity in a multicultural society. which could lead to assimilation. they had traditions. Postcolonial identity In a society. or. since now they did not know what and where ‗home‘ exactly is. Integration. albeit less luxurious. being in the position of the colonized. language. is only possible when both the dominant and non-dominant group accept each other. The ‗white man‘ did not exercise his imperial power any longer. marginalization. and the ‗brown man‘ was to be considered as equal with the former colonizer in Britain. leisure time activities and certain freedom from strict religious and traditional norms. such as Great Britain. When the strategy of separation is taking place under pressure from the dominant group. who never even tasted the luxury of profiting from the Empire‘s colonies. formerly colonized peoples were faced with a more complex situation. 2006: 15 . dominant groups do not always grant that freedom. they adopted some of the new values. segregation (Berry & Sam. During the flood of internal immigration in 1950s and 1960s. was hardly the case. and express minimal levels of prejudice. separation. They found themselves in a surrounding of white people on their home territory and could not label them as invaders anymore because co-habited as citizens of the same country now. familiar lifestyle.3. in extreme cases. Those who emigrated from their homelands to Britain experienced culture shock. it becomes segregation. both in their newly formed homeland countries and in Great Britain as immigrants. these people were exposed to another language (English is still widely used in India). Immigrants were in a position where they underwent the process of acculturation. on the other hand. integration. racism and discrimination (Berry & Sam. and they never lost their identity as citizens of Great Britain. and were degraded to the level of second-class citizens. another culture was imposed on them. However.dominant groups are free to choose how they wish to acculturate. The minority that profited during colonialism was now in a position to reclaim the ‗old‘ identity of being no different from average people. During colonization.

while appearing to exist objectively. Even though immigrants were no longer 16 . they were seen as unfamiliar. even though there were no actual colonizers and colonized. that is. and therefore Westerners formed a mindset of ‗us‘ vs. China. and the French and Italian experiences in various regions of the Orient. One of the first and most relevant authors who elaborated on imperialism. … the Orient for Europe was until the nineteenth century a domain with a continuous history of unchallenged Western dominance. 1994: 140-142). the space in-between these two categories continued to exist. the issue of postcolonial identity in postcolonial subjects is articulated through theoretical destruction of bipolar distinction between the dominant West (First World) and orientalized East (Third World). its doctrine and consequences. After decolonization. leaving their homeland behind. 1978: 54). this universal practice of designating in one's mind a familiar space which is "ours" and an unfamiliar space beyond "ours" which is "theirs" is a way of making geographical distinctions that can be entirely arbitrary. strange. historical and national homogeneity is replaced with heterogeneity and hybridity of the Third World (Bhabha. Cultural. postulated in his Orientalism (1978) the difference between the East (the Orient) and the West. These immigrants. which they call "the land of the barbarians. since immigrants were in a position to call Great Britain ‗home‘." In other words. ‗them‘. Precisely in that space. Said. Politically. and Japan. that it was difficult for them to assume any other role in Britain. still aware that they had left their ‗real home‘. […] It is perfectly possible to argue that some distinctive objects are made by the mind. To the purpose of this research. the Portuguese experience in the East Indies. who moved to Britain. immigrants from India.30). The issue of this postcolonial identity becomes more complicated during the process of acculturation. […] It is enough for "us" to set up these boundaries in our own minds. This is patently true of the British experience in India. which evokes animosity from the very first encounters with immigrants after decolonization. are taken into consideration. Pakistan. A group of people living on a few acres of land will set up boundaries between their land and its immediate surroundings and the territory beyond. have only a fictional reality. and that these objects. "they" become "they" accordingly. particularly the first generation. According to Said. the historical flow of colonization was not the only factor that influenced identities of formerly colonized peoples. Edward W. and both their territory and their mentality are designated as different from "ours. were used to being treated as the colonized for so long." To a certain extent modern and primitive societies seem thus to derive a sense of their identities negatively (Said.

The mere idea that the Oriental world owes its identity to the imperialistic knowledge of it put the decolonized Oriental in a position with no ‗self‘. and there are Orientals. be it deliberate or not. childlike. postcolonial perspective aims for hybridity. examining postcolonial culture and researching the issue of creating the postcolonial subject is articulated around the theoretical framework within which there is deconstruction of bipolar difference between the dominant West (First World) and orientalized East (Third World). This relation is very complex. because generated out of strength. Knowledge of the Orient. Homi Bhabha (1994: 218-219) rejects cultural. as well as colonized space. Yet what gave the Oriental's world its intelligibility and identity was not the result of his own efforts but rather the whole complex series of knowledgeable manipulations by which the Orient was identified by the West. so rebuilding their reputation. their internal affairs rigidly controlled. "normal. in a sense creates the Orient. their blood and treasure put at the disposal of one or another Western power. The former dominate. facing racism and mockery. Within the postcolonial context. and. They came with the burden of feeling inferior. Immigrants arrived to Great Britain with a mixed sense of identity. depraved (fallen)." But the way of enlivening the relationship was everywhere to stress the fact that the Oriental lived in a different but thoroughly organized world of his own. cultural. 17 .subjects of the Empire and were physically free to live and pursue their goals in Britain. a world with its own national. virtuous. historical and national homogeneity and replaces them with heterogeneity and hybridity of the Third World. proved to be dangerous. fragmentation and cultural decentralization. His postcolonial discourse defines the term ‗hybridity‘ as a metaphor that points to a cultural mix in a society. Hybridity. 1976: 40). […] The Oriental is irrational. the latter must be dominated. and epistemological boundaries and principles of internal coherence. which usually means having their land occupied. they invested much energy and time in search of identity. and his world (Said. the Oriental. in addition to setting goals for themselves and their families. In that sense. they were still looked upon as inferior to Westerners. very simple ideology led to it. Thus the two features of cultural relationship I have been discussing come together. thus the European is rational. proving to their new environment that they were wrong in the first assumptions. "different". Creating this antonymy in the Westerners‘ mindset. were inevitable parts of immigrants‘ lives and culture. which may belong to the West. but at the same time. mature. There are Westerners.

which tends to contest the assumption that Third World countries are ‗the exotic Other‘ and represents desire to demonstrate that hybridity occurs in First World countries. Hybrid identities present significant challenges for the construction of community. solidarity in large-scale communities is established primarily through ‗othering‘: that is. 18 . identities in a more global world are too multiple and overlapping to make sustainable ‗us‘/‗them‘ divisions into discrete communities. as much as in ex-colonies (Bhabha. It unsettles the mimetic or narcissistic demands of colonial power but reimplicates its identifications in strategies of subversion that turn the gaze of the discriminated back upon the eye of power. relocates power. question unstable authority and points out that colonial discourse is never under control of the colonizer. drawing neat distinctions and oppositions between ‗in‘ and ‗out‘ groups. 1994: 62-65). In this tradition. Jan Aart Scholte also discusses hybridity and hybrid identity. it is the name for the strategic reversal of the process of domination through disavowal (that is. …Hybridity is the sign of the productivity of colonial power. Bhabha believes that hybridity in actuality becomes site of expressing resistance toward dominant culture that attempts to enclose and regulate the system toward certain hegemonic tendencies. It displays the necessary deformation and displacement of all sites of discrimination and domination. but anarchy and chaos which stem from the encounter of these two cultures. a negative transparency (Bhabha. Hybridity becomes a key term in postcolonial theory and cultural studies. making its objects at once disciplinary and disseminatory or. is more than a juncture of these two spaces. the production of discriminatory identities that secure the 'pure' andoriginal identity of authority). For the colonial hybrid is the articulation of the ambivalent space where the rite of power is enacted on the site of desire. in that sense. 1994: 153154). However. How can deep and reliable social bonds be forged when individuals have multiple and perhaps competing senses of self – and indeed often feel pretty unsettled in all of them? How can populations – including those united in disadvantage – fix a ‗we‘ when so many people are polycultural? Hybridity can hardly be reconciled with a communitarian approach to forging social cohesion and advancing political struggle. in my mixed metaphor. Hybridity is the revaluation of the assumption of colonial identity through the repetition of discriminatory identity effects. In his book Globalization: A Critical Introduction (2005). its shifting forces and fixities. Hybridity.according to Bhabha.

encounters and collisions between races. 1994: 215219).Under conditions of hybridity. for example. It is in this space that we will find those words with which we can speak of Ourselves and Others. as done in territorialist–nationalist times of old (Scholte. […] It is significant that the productive capacities of this Third Space have a colonial or post-colonial provenance. For a willingness to descend into that alien territory – where I have led you – may reveal that the theoretical recognition of the split-space of enunciation may open the way to conceptualizing an international culture. In a world of widespread hybridity. mass migration and interracial relations create a hybrid postcolonial world of ‗hybridized‘ identities. race or other dimensions. the in-between the space of the entre that Derrida has opened up in writing itself – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture. based not on the exoticism or multi-culturalism of the diversity of cultures. histories of the 'people'. it is impossible to follow the communitarian formula with clarity and consistency. Under these circumstances. 1994: 218). Thus. which is hybrid and multifaceted. 2005: 253). nationality. Hybridity takes into consideration the reality of migrations all over the world. persons who belong with ‗them‘ in one respect belong with ‗us‘ in another. individuals who are bonded together when they emphasize a national aspect of their identity readily find themselves affiliated with other circles when they emphasize class. in accordance with race. gender. It makes it possible to begin envisaging national. And by exploring this hybridity. but on the inscription and articulation of culture's hybridity. this 'Third Space'. Therefore. class. According to Scholte (2005: 250-255). anti-nationalist. the postcolonial subject becomes fundamentally heterogeneous and ambivalent (Bhabha. To that end we should remember that it is the 'inter' – the cutting edge of translation and negotiation. Such identity yields separation into groups that become communities in themselves. where ‗… the non-synchronous temporality of global and national cultures opens up a cultural space – a third space – where the negotiation of incommensurable differences creates a tension peculiar to borderline existences‘ (Bhabha. gender. the community faces challenges when it comes to an individual‘s identity. ethnoses and cultures in this global multicultural world. we may 19 . …the void of misgiving in the textuality of colonial history reveals the cultural and historical dimension of that Third Space of enunciation which I have made the precondition for the articulation of cultural difference. In this hybrid postcolonial world. it becomes difficult to construct a community of people who are polycultural and have multiple senses of self. etc.

1994: 56). Now they needed to speak. For him. the sign of a double articulation. but not quite‘ (Bhabha. a difference or recalcitrance which coheres the dominant strategic function of colonial power. its difference. a complex strategy of reform. stasis – and the counter-pressure of the diachrony of history-change. If I may adapt Samuel Weber's formulation of the marginalizing vision of castration. intensifies surveillance. difference – mimicry represents an ironic compromise. which. 1994: 107-108). that the discourse of mimicry is constructed around an ambivalence.elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of ourselves (Bhabha. Bhabha introduces the term Third Space as a hybrid space. an identity already compromised through colonization. Mimicry is. Mimicry is also the sign of the inappropriate. regulation. so it was only natural that they acculturate. the in-between space. He 20 . in order to be effective. even though it bears the connotation of individual‘s striving to be the same as the rest of society (the masters). which establishes new authority structures and political initiatives. The manner in which they strove toward self-realization is complex in the sense that they arrived to Britain with a certain set of values. in postcolonial subjects. but not quite. which "appropriates" the Other as it visualizes power. it was imminent for them to become split subjects who were able to create their own histories. As he defines Third Space. Bhabha also introduces the concept of mimicry: Within that conflictual economy of colonial discourse which Edward Said describes as the tension between the synchronic panoptical vision of domination – the demand for identity. tradition. then colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed. and poses an immanent threat to both "normalized" knowledges and disciplinary powers (Bhabha. its excess. 1994: 85). not knowing whose language precisely. Which is to say. recognizable Other. The authority of that mode of colonial discourse that I have called mimicry is therefore stricken by an indeterminacy: mimicry emerges as the representation of a difference that is itself a process of disavowal. mimicry must continually produce its slippage. continually produces difference of the Other in relation to the dominant. Since internal immigrants in Great Britain reside in this Third Space. is to be ‗almost the same. as a subject of a difference that is almost the same. it is a space where the system of meanings becomes ambivalent and articulates the idea of splitting of the self. sense of belonging. 1994: 127). thus. mimicry. Bhabha makes an important point since he places accent on individual identity. however. as well as discourse between colonizer and colonized (dominant and subaltern class) in the period of postcolonialism (Bhabha. and discipline.

who now has a mirror-caricature to deal with. that is. the result is a ‗blurred copy‘ of the colonizer that can be quite threatening (139). de-colonialization.also believes that mimicry is a postcolonial strategy to create the people who know that ‗to be Anglicized.” Kenneth C. To this end. according to Ashcroft et al (1990: 209) is that those Others who mimic the ex-colonizers can never achieve a complete image of their masters. but merely resemblance and repetition. Much of this is due to what Mary Louise Pratt (1991: 8) calls ‗the contact zone‘ in which ex-colonizers. 1. through internal migration. 1994: 125). assumptions. institutions and values. Mimicking is more likely to result in a deformed image of the original. This suggests that Bhabha‘s mimicry is by no means representation. multidimensional and diasporic. Kaleta. Hanif Kureishi: A Postcolonial Storyteller During the second half of the twentieth century. As Ashcroft et al (1990) state: When colonial discourse encourages the colonial subject to ‗mimic‘ the colonizer. of authority‘s constructed and assumed guise. is the menace of mimicry‘. is emphatically not to be English‘ (Bhabha. Hanif Kureishi as a postcolonial storyteller “It is undeniable that the green isle that is forever Shakespeare’s England now also belongs to Hanif Kureishi. Rather. In the postcolonial era. the former colonizer. The reason this mimicry is threatening. by adopting the colonizer‘s cultural habits. Bhabha (1994: 130) concludes: ‗A sudden awareness of inauthenticity. the notion of identity became blurry. British society was well on its way to becoming multicultural. As much as mimicry is beneficial for the colonizer. because he is able to distinguish the obedient subordinates from those who are not. immigrants and minorities 21 . it still threatens the image of the colonizer. From the demise of the Empire. the result is never a simple reproduction of those traits.4. Great Britain has experienced a cultural transformation.

adapting to new living conditions. represented (albeit as hybrid identity for immigrants) and spoken. 1998: 18-20). even though he never actually lived in Pakistan. often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power. slavery. His cultural background was uncommon. which showed even in his childhood. I use this term [contact zones] to refer to social spaces where cultures meet. geographical dislocation. One of the literary voices that has been speaking from within the contact zone is Hanif Kureishi. and the consequences of those experiences are significantly visible in his fiction. He does not speak Urdu. and encouraged Hanif to pursue writing. such as colonialism. As Pratt claims. laughter is the way to fight racism he sees everywhere. there are specific elements of narratives that are recognized as ‗English‘: an English mystery. ―Interview‖ in Kaleta. For him. He uses graphic language in an extremely funny way. His response to racism was intensified due to his heritage: as an Anglo-Pakistani. As Kaleta (1991: 1-3) notes. to a Pakistani father and a British mother. which he readily accepted at an early age (Kaleta. His humor carries the terrible truths about today‘s society and its pressing problems (Kaleta. He was born in England. 1991: 3). 1998: 1-3). you have to express yourself somehow‘ (Dougary. who always remained a writer of novels that were never published. when friends of yours become skinheads and go out Paki-bashing and you don‘t have anyone to talk to about your feelings and you‘re far too nervous to confront your friends directly. clash. He was a journalist before emigrating. re-shaped. or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today (Pratt. Kureishi‘s adolescent years are closely related to the racially charged seventies. and grapple with each other. In these contact zones identity is being shaped. an English thriller. while the rest of his family moved from India to Pakistan. and his origin is Pakistani. an English comedy. Hanif Kureishi was born in 1954 in South London. but he did not grow up within the Muslim tradition. 1991: 34).all go through processes of change of power relations. because he immigrated to England. ―‗Englishness‘ is an identifiable storytelling sensibility‘ (1). His father called himself Pakistani. which Kureishi inherited as an 22 . but also an Englishman. but not raised within the Church of England. Hanif Kureishi is characterized as a true English writer with regard to several significant points in narration style. but still pointing out that he is talking about important things. he is Asian. His biting comic style was born out of frustration and despair: ‗When people insult you.

Today. I think. 1998: 1-18). if a person must redefine their identity. Everything I write is soaked in Englishness. And that's very English. writing about England and all that that implies. many of us. even if the characters are Asian or they're from Pakistan or whatever. In Hanif Kureishi‘s case. Asia. all with these strange names and some kind of colonial background.. 1998: 1-18)). they still enjoyed great popularity and gained wide readership. His demand is that inherent contradictions within English pluralistic society are accepted. so must nations. the mixture of seriousness and humor. As much as English culture was imposed in the colonies. Characters in his fiction illustrate the overlapping of similarities and 23 . it's all been about England in some way. if individuals must reinvent their identities.Englishman. is probably English. These traditional characteristics underlie Kureishi‘s writing and through them he acknowledges his strong national identification. Timothy Mo. Salman Rushdie. pluralistic society he knows. and North America. expose and confront nationalism. they also must redefine. his writing mirrors that particular English sensibility. since the society is a paradox of intertwining communities. Most of the pop music and the interest in pop music's a very English thing. since English language was imposed on the colonized. his stories state that. The specificities of English literature were carried far from England during the time of colonization. I think English literature has changed enormously in the last ten years. there are many. so was colonial literature introduced into England. Ben Okri. because of writers from my background—myself. but still. Also the comic tradition. the influence of 19th century English literature is significant worldwide. eccentricity and regard for words. 1998: 3) When Hanif Kureishi talks about Englih writing. But we are part of English literature. I've always written about England. and English society is in reality multicultural. I suppose (Kaleta. to Africa. In this sense. His writing is founded on the English awareness of class distinction. becaus e it is a part of other cultural traditions as well. Even though literary works from England were not translated for the dominated peoples. You know. From his Anglo-Asian perspective. Even today. he demands a new definition of his nationalism (Kaleta. his stories shed light on a distinctive new national identity (Kaleta. usually London. after the demise of the Empire. Kureishi writes that. reflecting their individual and national traits. Australia. England‘s literature carries other specificities. Whatever I've written about. Kaleta (1998: 1-18)) describes Kureishi‘s fictional characters as if they emphasize the irony of multiple realities that are woven together to create the cosmopolitan. he believes that nationalism is only a dogma..

The communities change. due to strategic planning and a specific point of view regarding the colonized peoples. an Anglo-Asian artist whose ‗opposing cultures [lay] him open to abuse from both. in the way and here to stay‘ (Kaleta. It is hybridity that generates his stories and drives his characters in search of their identities. he is distanced from English society by his skin color. 1998: 5).differences in the society. it is of utmost importance to view his writing in its traditional context. However. In order to appreciate Hanif Kureishi as a storyteller. Empire‘s legacy: postcolonial immigration in Great Britain European imperialism had been present in different times and places throughout history. This fluid mutability. gender. Hanif Kureishi is. economic. and religious separations define distinct communities in his stories. according to a British newspaper article. ‗involved. the divisions are fluid.. class. His fiction relies on the readers‘ ability to recognize both the conventions of literary history and the politics and philosophy of today‘s dynamic urban society. political. liquid storytelling (Kaleta. a trend spotter not trend setter… he is like a boulder in the stream of cultural and political change: awkward and obstructive. as well as within contemporary experiences. He has a unique insider/outsider point of view. race. provides Kureishi with an appreciation of humanity in his characters. Kureishi changes course easily. Kureishi‘s storytelling reveals characters who know who they are and dream who they want to be. 1998: 4-5). social and cultural divisions remain. Being aware of his individualism. He divides and then divides and changes again in his dynamic. but also his art. yet separate‘ (Kaleta. As much as he is an Englishman. Glass and liquidity are essential elements of Kureishi's stories themselves. Yet he remains the same. 1998: 4). As with life on either side of glass windows.. culture. as an apparent inconsistency in his perspective. as Kaleta claims. as well as in the minds and perception of its members. Kureishi acts as an observer of the society. Although sometimes transparent. which ultimately becomes a crucial element in his writing. 24 . His insider/outsider position results in the universality of his fiction. 2. racial.

the colonial powers did not take into account that their imperial expansion would result in a complex and powerful colonial culture within counter-colonial resistance. These resistance projects were rooted in many different ‗indigenous local and hybrid processes of selfdetermination to defy, erode and sometimes supplant the prodigious power of imperial cultural knowledge‘ (Ashcroft et al, 1995: 1). When the colonized peoples actually saw meaning in their theorizing, criticizing and storytelling, a particular kind of literature was born – the literature of the ‗colonized‘, not the ‗colonies‘. Ashcroft et al (1995: 1) suggest that the term ‗post-colonial‘ should be reconsidered, because it implies all the complexities of the colonial process from the first contact, including the mixture of local experiences, imperial language, cultural encounters. According to these authors, the term ‗post-colonial‘ should be restricted to ‗after-colonialism‘ or ‗after-Independence‘. ‗Postcolonial‘ as a term reflects the fact that previously colonized societies have not yet solved their issue of identity merely by gaining independence. In some way, these societies are still colonial subjects in terms of varieties of neo-colonial domination, internal divisions based on race, language or religion and, particularly, indigenous peoples who underwent internal migration are treated unequally. After the Second World War, there was a wave of immigration from excolonies in England (the ‗center‘), which Ashcroft et al call ‗a colonialism in reverse‘, thus implying a new sense of what it means to be English. ‗… all these [occurences] testify to the fact that post-colonialism is a continuing process of resistance and reconstruction‘ (Ashcroft et al, 1995: 3-5).

2.1. Postcolonial experience – Indian and Pakistani communities and their migration to England
‗India's democracy is truly extraordinary. ... India's political system owes much to the institutions put in place by the British over two hundred years ago. In many other parts of Asia and in Africa, the British were a relatively temporary presence. They were in India for centuries. They saw it as the jewel in their imperial crown and built lasting institutions of government throughout the country--courts, universities, administrative agencies. But perhaps even more importantly, India got very lucky with the vehicle of its independence, the Congress Party, and its first generations of post-independence leaders, who nurtured the best traditions of the British and drew on older Indian customs to reinforce them‘.

25

Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World (2009)

British presence and in India during the 19th century contributed largely to changes in physical, economic, social, even domestic framework of towns and cities across the subcontinent. India was introduced to British-mediated colonial modernity, with its administrative offices, hospitals, hotels, schools, etc. These dramatic changes in India represented a replica of life in England, and stretched over every aspect of life, including work space. English, rather than Persian, was used as lingua franca in official institutions, such as courts of law, offices of railroads and telegraphs. With these infrastructural changes came institutional and architectural changes, along with British administrative practices. Imperial-style buildings became suitable for offices and British working standards. Office work and its routines defined daily life in British India, just like Imperial-style buildings dominated public space. British concepts of time, efficiency and order organized life in India (Walsh, 2006: 35). With such evident evolution in the Indian subcontinent, the British progressed from simply governing a country to westernizing it through economic and political reforms. This desire to improve the condition of India stemmed from English belief that their governing system is the best common sense had to offer. The British believed that it was their duty to advance Indian civilization, which had its hidden agenda: to use the advancements they brought in order to profit from Indian trade. For the colonizer, an economically prosperous dependent civilization, presented fruitful ground for achieving British economic stability. In the meantime, the Crown was unaware that it was preparing ground for educated people of India to seek independence. Attempts of the British Raj toward education and civil liberty were constantly interrupted by the desires of Indian nationalists, who learned much about the character of the British Empire. Appeasing active, anarchic forces in India required pragmatic solutions and consolidation of the British rule. This gradual process, however, was interrupted by aftereffects of two World Wars and the nationalist movement headed by Mohandas Gandhi. Britain, worn out as it was, began to make compromises regarding their political principles and lost its will to battle the obstacles in its imperial rule (Walsh, 2006: 178-179).

26

Independence advocate Mohandas K. Gandhi (also called Mahatma or Great Soul), regrouped the India National Congress Party around 1920, by organizing mass civil disobedience movements to protest British colonial rule. Finally, on August 15, 1947, India became independent from imperial rule. Due to hostility between Hindus and Muslims in British India, the Crown partitioned it and created East and West Pakistan, where population was mostly Muslim. On the day India became independent, so did Pakistan, which led to mass migrations of Indian Muslims to Pakistan and Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs to India. Furthermore, disputes that arose in Kashmir, Jammu, as well as other states, resulted in secession of former East Pakistan and Bangladesh became its own country in 1971 (Walsh, 2006: 179). Today, Pakistanis form a global diaspora which emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War, following the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. There are numerous Pakistani communities in the United States, Canada, Norway, Australia, and in postcolonial developing countries, especially the Middle East and Gulf States, Malaysia, Indonesia, and East and southern Africa (where many arrived before partition). The earliest and by far the largest and most prominent Pakistani community is in Great Britain. Immediately after the Second World War, Pakistanis were recruited to Britain to assist the reconstruction of British economy, fulfilling the low-skilled work positions abandoned by the local population. At first, single young men from rural parts of the Punjab immigrated, and, very soon, followed a large wave of immigrant students who wanted a British education. Most skilled factory workers arrived through chained migration, following their relatives, but many were also recruited by agents who found them jobs in Britain. The first arrivals, therefore, were either skilled laborers or educated people. Even though Pakistani immigrants are viewed through their origin, the first generation‘s st rongest bond is with Britain. After all, they share common ground: knowledge of English, passion for cricket, respect for democratic institutions (Ember et al, 2005: 475). The second wave of immigration followed during the 1960s, a stream of migrants from West Punjab, who used the compensation Pakistani government awarded them and migrated to Britain. These immigrants were far less skilled or educated, with little or no experience in urban living and working. Many came from impoverished backgrounds and settled in Yorkshire and Lancashire, working in cotton mills. They succeeded in this industry, but after some 20 years, it

27

collapsed. Ultimately, many immigrants moved to London. There was one more important wave of immigrants – doctors recruited to the National Health Service (Ember et al, 2005: 868). One significant matter marked the first generation of immigrants to Great Britain. As there were national and religious splits between Pakistan and Bangladesh, they were reflected in Britain. There were splits in mosque management committees, albeit not violent. This shows the connection between diasporic institutions and national affiliations. Nevertheless, even if there were differences amongst immigrants, they still shared the same culture and tradition, so they were faced with similar ethnic and racist prejudice and stereotyping by the British (Ember et al, 2005: 476). Patterns of migration in England changed when immigration laws introduced a work voucher scheme in 1962. Before that, immigrants were defined as British subjects and were allowed to enter Britain at will. Now immigration was limited, first to males as laborers, and in 1969 to married couples or nuclear family reunions (including children under the age of 18). Since Pakistan allows dual nationality, most Pakistani immigrants applied for British citizenship and brought their wives and children, in fear of losing entitlement to the British passport. At this point, what was planned as temporary immigration of laborers who can earn money and go back home to their families, turned into a process of permanent settlement. Immigrants slowly planted roots in England, which led to a ―myth of return‖, a term coined by Badr Dahya, a social anthropologist who studied the early years of Pakistani immigration and settlement. This myth of return altered marriage patterns and had economic consequences in terms of investment policy. It continues to affect Pakistanis as diaspora holding on to strong ties with the subcontinent (Ember et al, 2005: 477).

2.1.1. First generation of immigrants as postcolonial subjects

According to Castels (2009: 23-33), India was perhaps the most valuable asset of the British Empire. The status of people in colonial India as subjects of the British Crown helped integrate the Empire, but also opened the door for mass migration after 1945, allowing British citizenship to all those who lived in the British Empire. As mentioned previously, a vast number of workers immigrated in response to labor demand and were automatically considered British 28

because of work opportunities and cheap housing. In public discourse. which restricted family reunions. which became very diverse in their functions. Indian migration was restricted predominantly to single men who lived and worked together. Integration thus meant recognizing the existence of distinct groups. police. but after the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962. rather than on entrenched racism in the white population. Even from the 1950s. was based on a high level of state intervention through antidiscrimination legislation and policies. Their intention was not to settle in permanently. due to the shift from labor migration to family settlement. 2009: 23-33). In an effort to create ‗good race relations‘. segregated from the white population. but. family reunion and social welfare (Castels. were also focused on education goals. the 1960s and 1970s brought significance to Indian associations. defined primarily on the basis of 'race' (Castels. or on situations of economic disadvantage or competition for jobs and social resources. The race relations approach. and micro-management of intergroup relations by social bureaucracies. conflicts between majority white population and immigrants took on political importance in Britain (Castels. and immigration of families of existing migrants was allowed. and immigrants would in the future be in the same position as any other people in the world. usually in rural areas. this opened the door for settled immigrants to create families with British women. At the beginning. labor immigration became limited. Since the Nationality Act of 1981 removed entitlement to British citizenship for peoples of the Commonwealth. until the 1971 Immigration Act. 2009: 23-33). This had a the effect of changing from temporary labor immigration to permanent family settlement. as a way of developing mutual respect and forming quality relations in multi-racial schools. This created specific urban neighborhoods. 2009: 23-33) The previously realized chain migration led to concentration of Indians and Pakistanis in certain areas. along with emphasis on traditional values. as well as other Indian groups. such conflicts were largely blamed on racial and cultural differences. with the introduction of the idea of ‗multicultural education‘. They were mainly religion-based. after which immigration slowly declined. 2009: 28) Despite and because of racism and discrimination immigrants were faced with. which emerged in the late 1960s and the 1970s. a 29 . (Castels. Immigration from India and Pakistan peaked in the late 1960s and 1970s.citizens. and local authorities. Schools played a significant role in integration policies during 1960s and 1970s.

the grow up with the tradition and cultural heritage of their parents. while the second group comprises children born between 1954 and 1979 in Britain. forbidding discrimination in publics spaces and leadin Britain toward an increased multicultural society (Castels. so their mind-frame regarding affiliation to the home country is very complex. while. In many industrialized countries. extent of assimilation to British lifestyle to which they were exposed. They were born and raised in England. 2010: 209233). In the UK. which still does not provide higher employment opportunities (Dustmann & Theodoropoulos. however. Their academic and economic achievements vary in different countries.1. but they still feel affiliation with Great Britain. 2009: 23-33). relatively little is explored regarding the second generation. On the one hand. Second generation of immigrants as minority population While the assimilation and economic activity of first generation Pakistani immigrants is a well-studied area. The first cohort comprises individuals born between 1954 and 1979 outside Britain. These groups are called second generation ethnic minority immigrants and British born ethnic minorities. If the first generation of immigrants faced the problem of reconsidering national affiliation.series of race relation acts were introduced. 30 . Nevertheless. on the other hand. respectively. second generation immigrants are undoubtedly a growing population. This new generation can no longer consider their parents‘ homeland as their own home country. Dustmann & Theodoropoulos (2010: 209-233) conducted a research on two groups of second generation immigrants in Britain. who constitute a large percent of manual labor force. reports indicate that children of immigrants tend to have higher education than children of natives. Studies from the USA and Canada show a positive outlook when it comes to academic success of second generation immigrants in comparison with their peers of from native-born parents. 2. conclusions are less positive. their children found themselves in a very different situation. The second generation minority immigrants are viewed as outsiders. 2004: 78).2. they live in a society with a completely different culture (Rogers & McLeod. This is possibly the case because of numerous disadvantages of immigrant communities. as well as making conscious decisions regarding their new environment. so the assimilation of the children of first immigrants is of great interest.

2.1. ethnic identity involves conscious positioning of oneself toward both inherited ethnicity and the predominant one. economies and social structures after colonization. From the legacy of the Second World War to the end of the twentieth century: work force from diaspora. first immigrants from India and Pakistan arrived due to demand for skilled laborers. Muslims from India were forced to move to Pakistan. even though their foreign name. or at least that was their plan. skin color implies a ‗hyphenated‘ Britishness (96). which was now divided into India. while Hindus from Pakistan immigrated to India. which inevitably affects its notion of identity. cultural identity is ―not fixed. 2004: 153).This minority immigrant population is caught in an ‗in-between‘ situation of sorts. Mostly young men immigrated to Britain. 31 . cultural identity is extremely fluid. in extreme cases. construction of identity can be divided into three categories: national. separation. 2. who were now British citizens. or. The changes in their home country. as a temporary solution. were one more reason for emigration.2. These two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Pakistan and Bangladesh. came a need to restructure their new communities in rural parts of England. The children of immigrants are considered to have a British national identity. Finally. since people can assume different cultural aspects and achieve assimilation. it‘s always fluid‖ (415). but they evoke constructs of hybridity (Rogers & McLeod. eventually. As Rogers & McLeod (2004: 136) claim in The Revision of Englishness. As Stuart Hall states in an interview with KuanHsing Chen. assimilate. contributing to both their and British community. After the textile factories business collapsed. This was a tumultuous period for both countries. Following chain migration and permanent settlement of Indians and Pakistanis. and. many immigrants gravitated toward London and other big cities to continue working. ethnic and cultural identity. family structure and contribution to multicultural Great Britain As discussed above. the citizens of which found themselves in a position to reconstruct their identities. They already knew the language and were able to earn money to honorably go back home to their families. Social position of postcolonial immigrants from India and Pakistan 2. accent.

when it comes to trade. both as owner-entrepreneurs and as professionals. Colonial connection between India and Britain ensured close interaction at all levels. Today. Members of the Indian immigrant community mostly own small or medium businesses. the unemployment rate in Indian community is considerably lower than in other immigrant communities. so the community has reached ssignificant economic prosperity and plays a crucial role in key sectors. They are already playing a significant role in bilateral trade with India and indeed in UK's global trade with the rest of the world. Even though Diaspora in Britain does not have the same economic and political strength as it does in the US. finance. and a significant percentage of hospital doctors. the fourth generation Indians have invaded virtually all fields of repute and expertise. with 32 . India now appears to the Western world as a computer-savvy. etc.Today. with a per capita income of 15.860 Pounds a year stands among the highest earning groups in the UK. The Indian community now accounts for 40% of the retail sector. A century ago. The Indian community. it has obtained significant leverage which contributes to closer economic and political connection with the UK. This income is higher than the national average. some of the achievers feel that the glass ceiling has only cracked and has yet to be fully removed to enable the full flowering of the talent of the Indian community and its optimal contribution to its host country (Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora). Its interests are diversein amost all areas of commercial and industrial activities (engineering. travel. intelligent and dynamic nation. according to the Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora from 2002. In addition. They have a significant business presence across diverse sectors of manufacturing and services. PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) dominate the ‗cash and carry‘ stores and retail trade. Today. media. saints and fakirs. India has now become the leading investor in Britain. India was the land from where Western countries would get factory workers and farm laborers. general practitioners and consultants are from the community. From being stereotyped as a land of snake charmers. The close of the 20th century took Indians from one end of the stereotype to the other. This means that the National Health Service largely depends on the services of doctors from India. Britain is the first economy which has an Indian community that truly represents its diversity. manufacturing. trading. which has contributed to the development of Indian community in Britain. However. There are approximately 300 important NRI businessmen today and approximately 150 prominent and rich Indians (NRIs and PIOs) in the UK.). pharmaceuticals.

which are managed by Indian-origin professionals. Also. Though decisions to trade with a country or company are not taken on emotional considerations but on realistic. Confederation of Indian Organizations. With regard to family structure in immigrant community. since immigrants live in a dominantly white environment with its own ideologies and marriage expectations. Indian Forum for Business. Consistent with the Pakistani tradition. Migration from Pakistan was predominantly male. difficult jobs that white men would not take. the role of the individual within the family. as well as gender divisions. but these change over time. with many young men from poor rural areas. India Group at the London Business Schools etc. the 2001 UK Census showed that Pakistani men were least likely of all minority ethnic groups to marry outside their ethnic group. There are at least 15 prominent PIO commercial organizations in Britain. Indian companies have invested over 250 million Pounds in the UK and created hundreds of jobs in the country. Women would arrive to Britain as dependents. which was to be regarded as a family affair and 33 . who settled in rural environment or declining economy and industry areas (this includes parts of London. different cultural contexts in Pakistan and Great Britain shape expectations in family structure. Given the significant proportion of the Indian community in the population of the UK and their contribution to the UK. economic ones. Almost all of the 50 Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the UK incorporate ‗Asian‘ units within them. where they were used to domestic life and husbands as breadwinners. there is important potential for the Indian Diaspora to contribute to India's trade and bilateral relations with the UK (Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora). the PIOs knowledge of the home country and its culture as well as their family links are generally considered as an advantage and attraction. They accepted low-paid. This shows a high marriage rate. Indian Development Fund. its status. the discussion regarding marriage migration in Britain revolves around the manner in which the family is constructed. PIOs have strong affinity and links with India. from a completely different culture. such as Indian Development Group (UK) Ltd. women got married at a very young age (around three quarters of women were under the age of 25). as well as industrial North-West England). The legislation involved in marriage migration played a significant role in forming families.about 125 Indian companies located in and around London. In addition.

34 . adding to British multiculturalism. in accordance with western ideology and norms. Another discouraging fact is that wives of Pakistani men do not work. etc. The Indian community maintains a dynamic socio-cultural life in the framework of numerous organizations and associations.honor. hence they do not contribute to the country‘s economy. marriages out of love are more common (Dale. and continues to. The immigrant community is culturally very active in organizing numerous cultural and religious festivals to maintain ties with the motherland. have served to help the immigrants cope with adjustment to the new country. With permanent settlement of immigrants came their culture and tradition. despite of the language barrier. The economic contribution of Indian and Pakistani immigrants in Great Britain did help the country. organizations based on regional or ethnic alignments. Hindi films and ethnic television is very important for the Diaspora. and committees that manage them were formed. It has been gaining more popularity with mainstream audiences. These marriages were business transactions. who take into consideration various factors: family interests. There are several types of these organizations: religion-based organizations. particularly for future generations. Nowadays. according to the Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora from 2002. who will be able to learn about their roots. The Hindi cinema is not limited to immigrant communities any more. in addition to preserving the family‘s honor. this exchange happens on a regular basis through presentation of immigrant artists in Britain. If the daughter showed signs of misbehavior. Their contribution to multicultural England is immense. there is a trend toward nuclear family and employment of women. Their explanation is that men from ‗back home‘ do not allow their wives to work outside the housekeeping chores and raising children. and best interests of the future child. but not the country‘s income. Even though there are no official cultural exchange programs. parents would arrange a marriage earlier. social and economic status. The younger generations who grew up in Britain decline arranged marriage and. Many temples and mosques were built. usually arranged by parents. organizations with a political orientation. Cohabiting partnerships were very unusual. however. 2008: 1-12). Religious and cultural organizations. even with the restrictive family arrangements that increase population. It should be noted that in these marriages. children were very important and the average family consisted of at least seven family members.

who begin to be considered as incapable or unwilling to work. does not prohibit or discourage women from working.2. They found that immigrant women‘s economic activity is extremely low. but also from Bangladesh. especially in Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. technical barriers (in terms of family tradition) and their own upbringing which taught them that women should not work. Apparently. role in society and cultural contribution In their book Immigrant.2. This argument is very strong. as a faith. social activism or work. nor to work. women who arrive from Pakistan are more open-minded. However. still preserve that belief. These authors also found through their research that immigrant women would like to have a paid job. Twenty or 30 35 . 2009: 47-49). even though they are facing discrimination. the majority of women who are now not in a position to acquire high education or work. This leads to dangerous stereotyping of immigrant women. religion and family in immigrant communities. but official survey also show that it is possible to balance work.2. Diaspora women: status. Female: Triple Paralysis? (2009: 25-28). A smaller number of women who came to England after their husbands at a young age. primarily from Pakistan. they attend English classes and seek job opportunities (Hart Dyke & James. but even now. will pass their wishes on to their daughters and influence them. Islam. be it through education. Hart Dyke & James (2009: 47-49) concluded from a survey conducted among immigrant women that working is not in accordance with their religious views and care for their family. The tradition in Pakistan does not allow women to have high education or skills. because they are mostly confined to the home. Stereotypes and prejudice will most likely be present for years to come. Women have a key function in restrictive gender roles within their communities. religious views are intertwined with tradition. in this case. Hart Dyke & James explore stereotypes and challenges facing immigrant Muslim women. and yet they do not have the opportunity to represent their culture and break the stereotype of oppressed Muslim women. They could be ambassadors of their culture. They never learned English or participated in society. Muslim. However. A stereotype about the South Asian communities is that they are stuck in a time warp and can‘t think beyond setting up a corner shop. Women who came to England to get married have limited education and social experience.

How did it feel to be published when your father was never able to see his work in a novel form? As his son I was pleased with my success but guilty. He wrote furiously. (Conversation with Hanif Kureishi for Inpapermagzine) Hanif Kureishi is a second generation immigrant from Pakistan. but 36 . but now their aspirations and confidence have grown along with the maturity of the community. Postcolonial identity as a concept in the novels My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father and The Black Album 3. pouring all the anger into words. being newly arrived. had mixed race parents and friends in bands so literature and pop music were my influences. Frustrated with his mediocre success in Britain.1. I grew up in the ‗60s. My kids today understand their world better than I do and what‘s happening u nderneath. I was writing about contemporary stuff. and I would agree. It was the same for me when I was growing up. 3. I didn‘t have the chance to talk to him about it. velvet trousers. who was born in England. First and second generation immigrants‘ search for identity in My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father In My Ear at His Heart (2004) you write about finding your own father’s unpublished work in the attic. 2009: 27).years ago they may have not had much money. he hovers between the lost world of his roots and the new world where he has not realized his potential. but his father came from Pakistan with a desire to become a writer. an increase in resources and a feeling that they are more established in the UK‖ (Hart Dyke & James. He thought he was a better writer. rock ‗n‘ roll and what was happening with race and religion.

moved and disturbed. switching occasionally. probably.1. the last of which is titled An Indian Adolescence. Hanif realizes that about his father: I think I am writing this book in the way he wrote his. but I do anticipate being shocked and. Although dad‘s book is written in the third person. Hanif Kureishi senses a distinct aura of scrambled identity. and attempt to piece together as much as he can of his father‘s personality. The first generation: reshaping identity The first generation immigrants to Great Britain already had a sense of identity in previously colonized India. visible through the mixture of first and third person narrator. It 37 . where he‘d worked most of his adult life. Will it be dreadful.1. by ‗mistake‘ into the first. Kureishi remembers that his father was ill most of the time while he was writing this book. I guess. a bypass. hoping the thing holds together. if not in the detail. He is therefore compelled to read his father‘s book as a personal narrative. Now. a masterpiece. his 50-year-old son finds his unpublished novel and takes the reader into his father‘s world of going through the birth of Pakistan. and how I might respond (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. after his heart surgery. describing the life of his father written in his unpublished novels. when he was no longer employed in the Embassy. 18) Kureishi writes this book as a sort of a memoir. moving to England and living there constantly in search of his identity. Pakistan. End of Thirties‘. I have little idea what to expect from dad‘s novel. When they arrived to England. they were faced with a clash of cultures. which left them no choice but to reshape their identities in the new surroundings. too much. written. 17). and wonders what exactly he might learn about his father: I am sure that ‗An Indian Adolescence‘ was his last novel.none of his works was published. 3. like any mind (My Ear at His Heat – Reading My Father. with a subtitle ‗Past Recaptured. Almost immediately upon starting to read his father‘s unpublished work. as a sort of collage. than in the feeling. or something in between? Will it tell me a little. and later. divided and split though it may be. or just the right amount? Why hesitate now? I wonder whether it will contain some sort of message for me. I have to say it seems inevitable that I will read his stories as personal truths.

Mahmood. Like many other immigrants of his age. He was very attached to his home in India and a leisure lifestyle. 29) Further evidence of his father‘s sense of invisibility as a first generation immigrant in Britain is also seen through his father‘s attempt to place himself at the center of the novel. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. which might reveal more than he intended to. The rel ation between a life and the telling of it is impossible to unravel. I will be reconstructing him from these fragments or traces. It is also an invitation to have others see him. ‗An Indian Adolescence‘ begins with a kind of loss. as it might any novelist. which did not include only a geographical area. while removal men pack up the family belongings. whatever my father has made. Often. Colonel Murad. neem.annoys me. when his family moved to Bombay. The father. there is no denying the trickster‘s fingerprints are all over it. It is this ‗overflowing‘ I am compelled by.‘ (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. writing isn‘t always a reflection of experience so much as a substitute for it. wondering what will happen to them all. chatted. Sixteen-year-old Shani – my father‘s nickname was Shanoo – is alone in the house in Poona with his mother. peepul and the spreading Banyan. Their words gain their own life. a sort of independent momentum. attempting to locate his ‗self‘ in these imaginings or scatterings. But what exactly will I see? People always say more than they mean to. a kind of daydreaming. under them he had studied. He has bought a soap factory. so even this first major change in his life had a long-lasting effect in a series of relocations. as though you‘ve just written down what happened. but also culture and the sense of ‗self‘. to have my own work reduced to autobiography. Today he is away in Bombay with his other son. an attempt to say something about his life by way of a story with himself at the centre. ‗As he walked. Still. has recently resigned as an Army doctor and is now intending to go into business. or that he has done an elemental but traditional thing in trying a selfportait. Shani walks through the house and into the garden. where they are organizing the new accommodation. an ‗instead of‘ rather than a ‗reliving‘. Whatever sort of book dad has written. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. joked and ate raw mangoes with his friends. mango. He touched the trees – tamarind. 38) 38 . and was sad that he was leaving them. he tries to reshape his identity through a selfportait. 31) It is immediately shown that Rafiushan Kureishi feels cultural loss at a young age.

‗Poor Pritchard was never made to forget he was working class. which was hurtful. even though Hanif‘s father was much better than Omar in playing cricket. run by English teachers. the feeling of defeat and inferiority he had tried to overcome by becoming a writer. Perhaps father wanted to begin a new life. The theme of class. they moved to Pakistan and made new lives for themselves.‖‘ (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. It gives the natives the wrong impression of us. without his own language. 44) After the separation of Pakistan from India. even though many English people considered themselves superior. seems to be as fresh and potent as ever. run by English teachers.Shanoo (as Hanif‘s father was called) experienced what it means to deal with racial. it was made clear that. But it doesn‘t work: at the end of his life he writes this ‗novel‘ in which his competitiveness. In his new school. His brother Omar was a successful sports radio commentator about cricket. called Ted Pritchard. Dad says. Rather. His family did not have high hopes for his academic success. 51) 39 . discontinuous with the old. but also served as motivation to make a new life in Britain. even though he was fourteen thousand miles away from England. there was still a working class amongst British on Indian soil. he did not accomplish success in the sports area. is a cockney from Walthamstow. Shani had once heard another teacher say. ―I wish old Ted wouldn‘t roll his cigarettes in public. The history teacher. and decided to go to study in England. … he retreats to the London suburbs. class and social diversity. and the feeling of failure which accompanies it. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. However. and by having me become one. like those people in films who attempt to make a new identity by pretending to be someone else – usually someone they‘ve murdered. I wonder whether this is ‗the wound‘ he seemed to be nursing when I was a child. and the Indian boys are fond of him. without religion of the past. the English public school he attends. most of Shanoo‘s family did not want to go to England. or ambiguity as to one‘s social status – questions about when one can identify with a group – continues as Shani finally arrives at ‗Brooadfields‘.

He was in a low-status job with a small income. 177-8) To state even more firmly that his father did not opt for separation within British society. his socks were bright. my father began his own family or empire. Hanif‘s father achieved less than his brothers. When it became hard going. He had a low-paid job at the Embassy. not only how someone like him ended up there. In terms of worldly success. it would have been different (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. and lost passion even for his family. 60) However. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. but he did not feel belonging.Rafiushan Kureishi shows that he was deprived of identity altogether. It seemed to mystify him. guiding – rather than the remote figure he describes Colonel Murad as being. he liked to represent himself as trapped. He did not enjoy support from his family. or wouldn‘t integrate – as though difference is unbearable. he liked to suggest. At home he could be the father he wished he‘d had – involved. or that people can only like those who are the same as them – this couldn‘t be said of my father. and feels the need to construct it on his own terms. and how stuck he felt. So. his shoes had ‗snazzy‘ little chains or buckles attached to them. his father was absent and very strict. my father spent a lot of time coaching me at cricket. his cufflinks dazzling. attentive. in England. Kureishi adds: If one of the complaints about Asians was that we didn‘t join in. my father did less well than almost all the other brothers. commuted by train to and from work. but how he came to believe it was the only life possible for him. He complained about how much it bored him. in economic and social sense. Dad went to work in pink or purple shirts. and Shanoo wanted to correct that in the new country. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. He did want to acculturate in England. 116-17). his ties were often psychedelic. and he made it mystify us. […] In the late 50s and early 60s. He felt invisible and tried to compensate for that through his appearance. Dad 40 . spending several hours a day en route. in our little garden in the suburbs. showing me how to hold the bat and ball. Without a family. and throwing balls so I could practice catching and fielding. teaching me the shots.

If the absence of belonging is considered to be the immigrant‘s particular bugbear. Self-expression as an artist was the most important thing and its own justification. they are their own masters. scientists. Writers are beholden to no one else. despite his efforts to assimilate. how should I live? Well. for Hanif Kureishi finds: … writers have to find good readers. In this notion of my father‘s. doctors. which gave him a sense of liberty. and being dependent – on his brothers. father thought that being a writer was the cure for doubt. Further reading of his father‘s work allows Hanif Kureishi to conclude that Shanoo was completely lost in the British society. But he did join in the English way of life (117). dad was fascinated by another kind of belonging. The vocationalists were artists. you will receive a painful and complex response… just how talented do you believe yourself to be? Do you really 41 . which he considered as something with deep meaning. and those who didn‘t. anyone who was fortunate enough to be ‗called‘ to a fulfilling task. the right way of life. there were two sorts of people – those who knew what they wanted to do. He kept pondering on themes of identity. friends who can grasp what they‘re trying to do. Throughout his life dad seems to have been preoccupied with the question: how do you find something to do which carries its own meaning. devoted parents. if you tell someone you are intending to become an artist. 142) This new independence led Kureishi‘s father to believe that he finally had a vocation. Those who had something definite to do every day would be cured of internal disarray. or mother – made dad crazy. for instance. he found a way to eliminate all doubt through writing. politicians. 142-3) It must have been difficult for Shanoo to decide on writing as his vocation. Finally. that was impossible. My father was the latter but he wanted to be the former. and which cannot be doubted as a value? This question also becomes. which might be called a vocation. that is significant in itself. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father.never attempted to become an Englishman. he wondered what to do that carries some kind of meaning. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. This is essential because often.

74). if the colonizing British in India were one sort of problem. an official at the Embassy and a writer. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. instead of living. without the burden of mimicking British societal features.. He suffered racism both in India and England and it was not possible for him to reach fulfillment in his identity. he began to write about those who lived (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. For him. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. 42 .believe the others are that interested in you? . Shanoo Kureishi was aware that he would never become an Englishman. 147) Kureishi‘s father tried to claim an identity that would be only his own. but he spent a quarter of a century in search for himself. He worked with Pakistanis and didn‘t endure the kind of persistent and degrading racism that some of us knew at school and on the street. 152) As father was aware. with no tangible results or fulfilment. writing two books. Dad never went to Pakistan. 208) This new goal of becoming a writer gave Rafiushan Kureishi the illusion that he knew what he was doing in his life. which were published. even though he wrote about the ‗homeland‘. not even for a holiday. due to then still present racism and limited opportunities for immigrants. That was the distance he liked. But he was. his prop. and in his burgeoning ambition as a writer. the English in England were another. He lacked support and attempted to find it in me. reading and writing about his country were enough. which had both required immigrants and collaborated in their persecution. My father had been bullied and suffered racism in India and in Britain. But it didn‘t make him a victim in his mind. confidant. rejoining his family would be too difficult. in the mornings and weekends. brother. Father must have had to put up with a lot of this. but this new persona. the kind which made you lose faith in the rationality and justice of the British political system. My father found his own satisfaction in books. He never saw his mother again. His two books even got published. made him flow further away from his family.(My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. an unforeseen one. about the ‗homeland‘ the rest of his family had moved to.. and to disconnection with his roots in the homeland. from the immigrant‘s point of view.

If my father was a foreigner in Britain. In yet another novel Kureishi‘s father wrote in the 1980s. ‗It was rare for an Indian to be in the team. Made Captain of English boys in an English school in Imperial India!‘(My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. He remembered the hurt racism brought. without giving him any insight into his present state of mind. this book represents how strange he feels to himself. but doubt it. is to forget difficult bits of yourself. belonging and identity. The Moulvi attempts a ‗cure‘ by reintegrating him into his world. At fifty father was still trying to create the life he imagined was ahead of him. and he was not even able to finish his novel adequately without returning to the past. like Colonel Murad. by making him oart of the community again. the Moulvi can only threaten and punish him. […] what the Moulvi cannot do is translate Yusef‘s suffering into terms which are helpful to him. ‗The Redundant Man‘. If disobedience and therefore separation is Yusef‘s curse. To rejoin the group. Using the language of religion. We discover that the letter which father has been concealing carries the news that he has been sacked as captain of the cricket team. he even more fiercely describes how he does not belong anywhere. as if Yusef‘s problem was that he‘d become too individual. 247-8) What is obvious from Kureishi‘s father‘s writing. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. the family. is that he still felt very much attached to his home country. This is a remedy – of sorts. Father‘s book doesn‘t end so much as slow down and stop. I wonder whether there are any other pages missing. the brotherhood. I was twenty and had left home. 158-9) 43 . in his own sense.When my father was fifty. ( My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. too focused on himself. He has refused to accept the racialist abuse of the white players. the Moulvi can only tell him how to behave in the future. But it doesn‘t work. so that Yusef feels guilty. its provenance. rarer still to be captain. angry and despondent. its origins. but also did not find comfort in calling England his home. He distanced himself from the Muslim religion. He is so incapable of comprehending what is occurring in his chaotic mind that he is almost delirious. its nature. 102-3). which illuminate his condition. At this point. Shanoo Kureishi is a man devoid of the sense of home. He had won the respect of the boys and teachers alike. if he got the words in the right order.

for instance. Father told his story – wrote novels – but if there was no one to hear him. the conclusion can be drawn that first generation immigrants faced life-changing circumstances in England. by what his work has become in my head. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. is only possible when your life begins to seem almost unbearably strange to yourself. in my retelling. He is offered nothing between materialism or belief. This. they did not even exist. Hanif Kureishi sees his father‘s personality scattered between India. or ambition. He‘d be surprised and annoyed. the words he applies to them cannot dissipate them.Yusef cannot go home – where would that be? – and he cannot find a satisfactory emotional and economic position in England. … I am. but words without a reply can feel futile. These are the only words he has. The feelings he has are too powerful. and without the communication with the audience. become the subject of conversation. but still attempting to find his identity. about the feeling of redundancy. Pakistan and Britain. He gives his father the gift of recognition and visibility by reading and publishing his work. lived with. but in this case. aware of the challenging situation he lives in. Hanif Kureishi is glad that he found these manuscripts which show that his father was a great thinker. They‘ve turned out. Father has at least received from me what he wanted when he sat down to write each morning: his stories have been read. This does not implicate that all first generation immigrants experienced the same difficulties. by how little dominion he has 44 . In this case. or writing. pored over. It is as disturbing as watching a parent have a breakdown. The writer speaking from himself in this mood is stuck. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. What he needs is to have his words recognized in ways which seem liberating – liberating because they generate movement and new thoughts. glad I read them. with no sense of belonging or fulfilment. glad I found these books of my father‘s. Kureishi‘s father was on the verge of nervous breakdown due to inability to find his identity. to mean more than he thought they meant. 159) These two novels were never published. and they‘re not good enough: they‘re on a loop. there is something more urgent he has to get down. of course. Nothing like culture. 222) From Shanoo Kureishi‘s writing. amazed even. what independent meaning did his stories have? Is this like talking to yourself? … Speaking is preferable to silence. and of ‗uselessness‘. My father hardly bothers to fill out Yusef‘s story.

which allowed him to look into his own desires. sitting still and listening. 11) Hanif Kureishi. genetics is not equal to a person‘s identity.over the fate of his words. explore politics behind culture and reconcile his Pakistani heritage with his Englishness.2. However.1. But that is the fate of any form of expression and what happens to parents as they turn into the myths of their children. This fact alone makes Hanif a cultural hybrid. 271-2) 3. exploited those opportunities to be free of any kind of shackles and embraced an open-minded lifestyle. If you wanted to work in the theatre. ambitions and excentricities. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. In 1974 I was supposed to be at university. It was the first time I‘d lived with anyone not my parents. in fact. since I was five. Once we hitch-hiked to the Lake District. That was the idea. […] Morecambe was far from London. gays and blacks were beginning to speak a new or undiscovered rendition of their history. experiment with his goals in life. otherwise we‘d walk on the cliffs and the sand. as I did. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. After all. 15) 45 . and Hanif Kureishi spent most of his youth in search of his identity. as a youngster. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Second generation: search for identity Hanif Kureishi‘s father was a first generation immigrant to Great Britain who got married to an Englishwoman. a run-down freezing seaside town not far from the Heysham Head nuclear power station. a particularly ideological time of aggressive self-description. and listen to music. it was impossible to escape the argument that culture was inevitably political. Lancashire. He grew up in a more liberal surroundings than his father and was able to contemplate about his ‗self‘. even as he puts his side of the story. but didn‘t feel like attending classes. I came to some sort of self – and political consciousness in the 1970s. Women. I was. I‘d been at school. writing and living with my girlfriend in Morecambe. Except that you leave home and recreate your home life in another place.

rather than class. At other times they sound like Little Lord Fauntelroy. and was also a victim of and witness to racism. it doesn‘t follow that I live in an entirely dull world. we were either copying from the blackboard or attempting to follow ‗dictation‘. in its own way. this.Kureishi can be said to have become assimilated in the British society. If I like to think I live an ordinary bourgeois existence. metalwork and technical drawing. ‗Hush your mouth there. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. 46 . to make friendships. and he is also and Englishman who gladly accepts and enjoys the norms of England‘s society. His children especially witness the multiculturalism of Britain. We were aware that we were existing in a very banal dictatorship. which is what I believed about our family life in the London suburbs. mostly through his writing and occasional visits to his family. 44-5) Kureishi was not satisfied with the education he received in secondary public school. He would find ways to indulge in his desires. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father.‘. is where we have currently decided to argue about what differences mean. 71-2) This. Perhaps race. or even ideas of ‗good‘ behavior. bwoy. 35) He is also aware of the significant changes Britain has undergone from his youth onward. […] I live in London. might be described as educational. with their large families and servants. did not discourage Hanif from having an outgoing mind frame. the city I always yearned to be part of. At the time I was at a newly built suburban secondary modern school which put the emphasis on practical subjects such as woodwork. I was alarmed when I overheard one of their au pairs imitating their middle-class accents. Britain is such a mélange of accents now … When my sons return from school they can sound Jamaican. We were not even oppressed by the imposition of moral or religious axioms. There is plenty to claim my attention. even when I walk to the shops in the neighborhood where I have lived for two years – most of which was built for the prosperous middle-class. they say. Youth was treated as a problematic bunch of delinquents which needed to be disciplined. When not doing ‗practical‘ learning. however. in the mid-Victorian boom. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Our class and position in society was made pretty clear from the first day. He is connected with his Pakistani roots.

For me. he decided to get educated. the remnants of racism could still be felt. students still had cachet. The lecturers and students were indistinguishable and they were. I preferred being a student to being a pupil. showing that there is more meaning and interest in the world than you might have thought. and finally realized that he would enroll in art college. having sex with the girls and messing about. He had been writing with his father since he was a boy. The next day I heard that an Asian kid. mistaken for me. had been picked up by the boys and beaten so badly he‘d ended up in hospital (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Learning started to seem important when I figured there were things I needed to know in order to survive. If it was a relief to be there – if I felt my life would always. Despite this. he had lost interest in education. Reading a novel was like being with a fascinating person who was showing you their world. playing Screaming Lord Such and Deep Purple. my first college girlfriend wouldn‘t introduce me to her parents since she knew they‘d go berserk if they discovered she was going out with an Asian. and colleges were as much playgrounds as institutions. and we kept off the streets where possible because it was dangerous. The art college was more like a university than a school. philosophy was another kind of concentration. naturally enough. One time we were chased by the local bad boys. Yet information was exchanged and enthusiasm encouraged. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Theories seemed ways of 47 . His parents worked and we‘d hang out at his house all day. now. He had a car. Later on. abused and beaten up for being a ‗Paki‘ were far less than they had been at school . they were making the revolution. It seems that Hanif Kureishi experienced his fair share of racism when he was younger.I was good friends with a local Sikh boy. be different – it was because the chances of being spat on. 186-7) No matter how liberal the art college was. Had I stayed on I might have been destroyed by racism. sexually involved. He roamed around seeking a purpose in life. 151-2) At this point. I had recognized that the reading of fiction can increase the possibilities of consciousness. I began at last to find my way in education. and burned in the metalwork shop. where I‘d been locked in a room in the woodwork shop and attacked with chisels. when his assimilation process was well under way. and we both had English girlfriends. but escaped because we knew our way around. and started to think of it as an inseparable part of his identity as an Anglo-Pakistani. and it remained his passion.

read the paper. marijuana and LSD. ‗Drink and drugs all week. but better questions. but the deeper subconscious issues he himself was not even aware of. This led him to further exploration of his surroundings. restless and even unhappy. depositing myself in a kind of spiritual limbo. I‘d excluded myself from something important. but not the obvious easy questions regarding his lifestyle. 192-3) While he was reading fiction and philosophy. plus a visit to the mosque.creating more categories of apprehension. […] when I said no. It had already occurred to me that that which made me who I was. at the end of the day I liked slipping into the darkness and the early-evening quiet of any pub where no one could disturb me. and escaped the parents. was unavailable to my consciousness. During that time. he was surpised. my English grandfather had gone to the pub most lunchtimes. it always seemed to be ‗Suffragette City‘. as I had in church as a child. reading the pink racing paper and the Daily Express. You met friends and strangers. or. drugs. but also religion. It was cheap and the only place for older teenagers to go. or at least looked at them.picked up girls. I liked to go with him. (I look at my diary. along with an inability to engage with or use 48 . Soon I was going to some pub or other most nights. that it didn‘t make sense to me. He tried to connect with his Muslim origins. heard music on the jukebox – it always seemed to be Bowie. where young people would go to the mosque and express their extremist attitudes. rather. So. nationality or acculturation. I found ideology and fundamentalism. I might be confused. He lived in a world where religion was taken for granted. there were many fundamentalist groups in Britain. living in West London and trying to write. as well as the kind of life he wants to live. Kureishi experimented with drinking. People talked in pubs. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. the questions about his identity emerged in his conscious mind.‘) […] he [my cousin] asked me whether I was Muslim. I found that it is not answers you find here. scored speed. and young people holding extreme. as though. saddened. saw bands and even plays. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. but I had no idea why. irrational and violent views. either in Bromley or in Beckenham. which says. foolishly. (233-4) I didn‘t find music. 203-4) During these years of searching for his identity. even though he did not believe in a fundamentalist system that included religious violence. One of the ways I got to know London was by way of its pubs. It wasn‘t long after father died that I started going to the mosque. sitting in the public as opposed to the more salubrious saloon bar. stories or community. In Bromley. and there was no TV.

1. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Even the definitions of these terms have been brought to question. prejudice and racism Stereotypes. with the addition of defining the category being prejudiced against.‘ (Dovidio et al. 2005: 30) debates on these concepts and even their just use in certain cases.2. (Dovidio et al. there has been much debate around these terms. bullying. a born Englishman. Being fifty will be.the most basic forms of reasoning. 2005: 90). ‗discrimination can be defined as the differential treatment of individuals. prejudice and discrimination have existed as integral part of human history from the dawn of civilized world. as it once did. considering that we live in a globalized society. It may be directed toward a group as a whole or toward an individual because he is a group member. A classic definition of prejudice was provided by Allport in 1954. but they do express prejudice aginst women occupying certain social positions (Dovidio et al. was all. who claimed that ‗prejudice is an antipathy based on a faulty and inflexible generalization. survived racism. mostly because I have grown fonder of the world the longer I‘ve been in it. Cultural stereotypes. In legal 49 . For example. It may be felt or expressed. Behavior. 2005: 89). I am convinced. more than ever. It was puzzling: there was no attention to the inner life. 250) 3. (235-6 Hanif Kureishi. but it may also result from ethnocentric feelings that are devoid of animus‘. and grew up with a firm British identity which allows for a strong connection with his tradition. based on their membership in a particular group. Such treatment can often be motivated by prejudice. it had been politicized. the hardest birthday I have had. rather than thought. there is still plenty I want to do but it doesn‘t seem a matter of survival. Accordingly. some people do not have prejudices against women in general. exclusion. Contemporary psychologists agree with this definition in general. Nowadays. The British and their outlook on immigrants in the novels My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father and The Black Album 3.2.

writes about Indian and Pakistani immigrants in Great Britain. 152) However. Kureishi becomes aware that his father. as well as their tradition from homeland. 50 . prejudice and racial discrimination are present. Hanif Kureishi. Hanif and his friend were chased in the street simply because Hanif is Pakistani. He worked with Pakistanis and didn‘t endure the kind of persistent and degrading racism that some of us knew at school and on the street. acculturation in British society. but escaped because we knew our way around. and this is where stereotyping comes into play. the kind which made you lose faith in the rationality and justice of the British political system. which had both required immigrants and collaborated in their persecution. One time we were chased by the local bad boys. the gang that was after them beat another boy who looked like Hanif.( My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. mistaken for me. as well as the experience of immigrant community. cultural stereotypes. My father had been bullied and suffered racism in India and in Britain. 2005: 211). But it didn‘t make him a victim in his mind. 151-2) This is a clear example of both racism and stereotyping. based on their membership in the group. his father did not experience racism. Inevitably.terminology. had been picked up by the boys and beaten so badly he‘d ended up in hospital (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. He enrolled in art school to acquire freedom and to learn. stereotyping and prejudice as a child. as a postcolonial storyteller. When he reads his father‘s unpublished novels in My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. discrimination is often determined by presence or absence of intention (Dovidio et al. while Hanif was subject to racially driven attacks in the street or at school. Racism was so severe that Hanif Kureishi needed to change environment in order to survive. in these narratives. to a higher or lesser extent. When they escaped. their lives. Stereotyping may be defined as ‗a generalized belief about the characteristics of a group‘ (Dovidio et al. The next day I heard that an Asian kid. as a first generation immigrant. Stereotyping represents attributing certain characteristics to individuals in a group. He speaks from personal experience. experienced racism both in India and Britain. 2005: 106).

been waiting to try it out. where I‘d been locked in a room in the woodwork shop and attacked with chisels. Riaz‘s presence calmed everyone.‘ Riaz replied with considerable aggression for him.‘ ‗Come along. and burned in the metalwork shop. then?‘ he asked. who takes the battle against racism seriously. ‗Collect your warm clothes.‘ Chad said. ‗You should be with us. stereotyping and prejudices. is a student in Kent. be different – it was because the chances of being spat on. Chad uncoupled himself from Shahid. ‗But I – ‘ Hat said.‘ Shahid felt he had no choice but to slip on the black puffa coat his mother had given him. who call each other brothers and sisters. who offers him a sense of belonging to a community for the first time in his life. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. ‗Protection racket. He is not yet aware of all the implications of belonging to Riaz‘s fundamentalist group. Chad composed himself. patting his shoulder. parents of his girlfriend stereotyped him. ‗Many others from college have also agreed to join us. the main objective of the group becomes to protect a Muslim family that is constantly under attacks by racists.‘ said Riaz. and. He had anyhow. 51 . invites Shahid to take active part in this situation.‘ ‗We‘re not blasted Christians. tonight. Chad. As events develop. Despite this. where he meets a Muslim fellow-student Riaz – a religious activist. ‗There‘s something else I haven‘t had time to tell you about. Shahid.‘ ‗Shahid‘s always with us. He said. ‗What are we doing. my first college girlfriend wouldn‘t introduce me to her parents since she knew they‘d go berserk if they discovered she was going out with an Asian. Hanif Kureishi was faced with racial discrimination at the old school. as well as their religion.If it was a relief to be there – if I felt my life would always. ‗Honest people abused.‘ ‗What are you talking about?‘ Riaz looked at Chad and then at Shahid. which consists of intelligent young people. At college. Defence required. she did too. 186-7) Again. Shahid. The Black Album presents a particular approach toward racial discrimination. Had I stayed on I might have been destroyed by racism. The protagonist. in a way. now. on the basis of his origin and skin color. and they must defend themselves.‘ Hat said. because it provides the reader with a very violent fundamentalist group of Pakistani Muslim young people who have strong beliefs that they are under constant attack by the dominant population. Our people under attack tonight. Are you available?‘ ‗For what?‘ ‗There‘s an emergency on. abused and beaten up for being a ‗Paki‘ were far less than they had been at school. where he was even physically attacked.

The family had been harried – stared at. but the question remains whether the racism in society brought on these attitudes or these people are simply exaggerating. George Rugman Rudder. ‗Excellent question. which only strengthens the fundamentalist aspirations in Riaz‘s group. The father of the family had been the man talking to Riaz when Shahid had gone into his room. Riaz had arranged for the family to move to a Bengali estate. which is what we doing right here now.‘ said Chad. as they charged downstairs. The wife had been punched.‘ ‗No degradation of our people.‘ ‗How can we be different?‘ Shahid noticed Nina and Sadiq move away from one another. 80-1) It may be concluded that this kind of enthusiasm is an overreaction. We will fight for our people who are being tortured in Palestine. spat on. Shahid and other boys and girls from the college. they find themselves in a dark neighborhood. Until the family moved. It was beneath the strutting lads to get involved in lowly harassment. Afghanistan. to a spiritual and controlled conception of life. we can resist. ‗Living in all this … decay. At all hours the bell had been rung and the culprits said they would return to slaughter the children. not thinking what we can use them for. 100) During the time the group was protecting the Bengali family. We work for others. ‗They wear aftershave. Chad reckoned the aggressors weren‘t neo-fascist skinheads. but it wouldn‘t happen immediately. he would guard the flat and seek out the culprits. Chad shows elements of stereotyping the British people. carrying his briefcase. ‗however they try to corrupt us. 138-9) There is also open racial discrimination toward women wearing hijab. Through his contact on the council. called ‗Paki scum‘ – for months. 52 . ‘ (The Black Album. ‗We don‘t turn the other cheek.‘‗If we stick to this. ‗We have journeyed beyond sensation. along with Hat. But we are armed. We regard others on the basis of respect.‘ Chad was gratified by the enquiry. These hooligans were twelve and thirteen years old.though the effect was rather undermined by the fact that he was. As the group progresses toward the family in need of their protection. But we people have made ourselves different.‘ Chad said. as usual.‘ Shahid listened attentively: a terrible torment was working itself up in his mind. They arrived outside a flat which belonged to a Bengali family who had attended Riaz‘s ‗surgeries‘. Inside they are filthy and bankrupt. Kashmir! War has been declared against us. Chad said. The husband had been smashed over the head with a bottle and taken to hospital. ‗Anybody who fails to fight will answer to God and hell-fire!‘ (The Black Album. Chad. and finally attacked.‘ ‘ (The Black Album. Lighted matches had been pushed through the letter-box.‘ ‗Yes. So Riaz had taken action.

that is significant in itself. I was twenty and had left home. father thought that being a writer was the cure for doubt. When my father was fifty. I‘ve noticed that you like wearing tight trousers. shown somehow. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. since it has become a home for the immigrants with different cultural background. religious. had little success in constructing his identity. and being dependent – on his brothers. 115) Stereotyping. and tried to rip my scarf off. At fifty father was still trying to create the life he imagined was ahead of him. and which cannot be doubted as a value? This question also becomes.2. ‗Chad. His father.She went on.‘ ‗I do. 142) Identity needs to be voiced. not Dubai. Self-expression as an artist was the most important thing and its own justification. Great Britain is a multicultural society. how should I live? Well. Kureishi finds that his father often pondered on that question of identity.‘ ‗But we women go to a lot of trouble to conceal our allures. they are their own masters. or mother – made dad crazy. In My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. as a first generation immigrant.‘ (The Black Album. yes. for instance. Hanif Kureishi‘s work shows the existence of prejudice on the side of immigrants as well. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. Writers are beholden to no one else. if he got the words in the right order. even through writing. Yesterday a man on the street said. this is England. but racial. as if we were the dirty ones.2. Throughout his life dad seems to have been preoccupied with the question: how do you find something to do which carries its own meaning. 247-8) 53 . gender and other kinds of intolerance still exist as a side-effect of rapid growth in diversity of cultures. Surely you‘ve heard how hard it is to wear the hijab? We are constantly mocked and reviled. ―Englishness‖ as battlefield of identities Being a participant and witness to identity formation after immigration from Pakistan. racial discrimination and prejudice has been present in the British society. when it comes to first and second generation of immigrants. which he tried to express in writing. Hanif Kureishi notices in his work that the struggle for postcolonial identity takes place in England. 3.

The former. saw bands and even plays. that was impossible. Both these elements are important in the protagonist‘s life. I liked to go with him. Hanif Kureishi speaks from his experience of an assimilated immigrant and shows that all the benefits of freedom and experimenting in his surroundings actually serves a purpose – to find one‘s identity. Soon I was going to some pub or other most nights. it always seemed to be ‗Suffragette City‘. and escaped the parents. People talked in pubs. heard music on the jukebox – it always seemed to be Bowie. but he tried to assimilate in the English society. who offers him an insight into horizons of ―Englishnes‖.He was well aware that he could never be a proper Englishman. living in West London and trying to write. It was cheap and the only place for older teenagers to go. because of the sense of belonging and unity. In Bromley. In The Black Album. the latter. or that people can only like those who are the same as them – this couldn‘t be said of my father. But he did join in the English way of life (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. or wouldn‘t integrate – as though difference is unbearable. the second generation of immigrants had a right to claim English identity. reading the pink racing paper and the Daily Express. If one of the complaints about Asians was that we didn‘t join in. One of the ways I got to know London was by way of its pubs. However. 203-4) Kureishi managed to find his identity as a writer in England. at the end of the day I liked slipping into the darkness and the early-evening quiet of any pub where no one could disturb me. marijuana and LSD. and there was no TV. 117). So. You met friends and strangers. Dad never attempted to become an Englishman. sitting in the public as opposed to the more salubrious saloon bar. or at least looked at them. 54 .picked up girls. because of freedom to explore his identity. the reader is confronted with a complex situation where a young man is torn between his allegiance to his fellow-immigrant brothers and an alluring experience of having an affair with a typical British open-minded woman. since they were born and raised as British citizens. while keeping in touch with his homeland traditions. scored speed. (My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. read the paper. my English grandfather had gone to the pub most lunchtimes. either in Bromley or in Beckenham.

past the bicycles and piles of unclaimed mail in the hall. I have observed you before. ‗Have you eaten? When I am thinking and writing I forget for hours to eat and then I remember suddenly that I am ravenous.Shahid‘s initial impression had been that Riaz was in his forties. Sniffing the air. 55 . He immediately feels sexual desire toward her and yearning for everything she represents. for. But this gentle way was surely deceptive. fuck and frolic on the beach at dawn and haul themselves home at lunch-time. he could see that Riaz was at most ten years older. to fetch a jacket and scarf. He‘d wanted to start going out again after splitting up with his girlfriend. He had first met her because of a club on the Brighton seafront called the Zap. Riaz spoke to him as if it had been some time since he liked someone so much or understood anyone so well. you are. ‗In the past few days my mouth has been watering for good Indian food. ‗Come. but walked rapidly in a straight line. After knocking on her door. who had barely received or been able to give an amicable smile in the weeks since he‘d started at college. ‗Let‘s go.‘ Shahid was led willingly. but for reasons he didn‘t understand. You are my fellow countryman. kindly. bookwormy eyes. (The Black Album. balding man spoke. so one evening a friend said he‘d drive him down to the most vigorous place he knew. and out into the street. 8-9) Shahid also meets Deedee Ozgood. Are you like this?‘ Shahid.‘ ‗Naturally you miss such food. as they shared friendly exchanges and confirmed they were both studying at the local college. was warming. Her office was only three times the size of a telephone booth. Pinned above the desk were pictures of Prince. Knowing it was time to take the initiative.‘ ‗Where?‘ He placed his hand on Shahid‘s arm. his teacher at the university and a very liberal woman.‘ ‗Well … not quite. It was Shahid‘s first time. Early in the morning he fell into conversation with a black London kid who reckoned he‘d been taught by a great woman.‘ ‗Have you? What was I doing?‘ Riaz didn‘t reply. as if he‘d look right into him. They hugged and kissed and stroked one another with an Elysian innocence. Shahid had never heard music so fast. with a fastidious manner and weak. Everyone wore Lycra cycling shorts and white T-shirts imprinted with yellow smiling faces. he observed Shahid intently.‘ ‗Oh. he thought she was a student. The man decided something. he went to find her in London. in the moment before she introduced herself. They‘d dance all night. but when the sallow. which made Shahid feel both pleased that someone was taking an interest and also a little exposed and tense. He said. The man had to have something formidable in him. if he had one. yes. When Shahid had wrapped himself up and they began walking. but I‘m not certain where to go. Riaz turned and instructed him. the electronic beats went like a jackhammer. It was so cool kids from London used to bomb down to it on the last Saturday night train. down two flights of stairs. They seemed to be embarking on a journey.

But he was afraid that enquiry would expose him to some sort of suspicion. not wanting to disappoint his brothers. This was an adventure in knowing. And when Shahid did relax he grasped that faith. He is dedicated to Riaz‘s cause. Observing the mosque. wild sex and all the forbidden fruit he longed to try. he had demonstrated what to do. Shahid. but also unwilling to give up his freedom. clearing a space on the floor. woman. Fortunately.( The Black Album. in which all he saw were solid. is very determined in religious views. ‗All limitations are prisons. He could at least discuss his doubts with Hat. Then. 34) Slowly. Chad. Shahid felt strong connection with his Muslim friends. She introduces him to clubbing and drugs. obedient Muslim and fit in with his brothers. he felt a failure. he had. Shahid felt he had passed the point when he could question Riaz about the fundamentals. material things. explained parts of Islamic history. Jew – brandishing whichever features they could claim. though. Shahid was afraid his ignorance would place him in no man‘s land. He desperately wanted to be a good. let it happen. black. he always felt like he was betraying one or the other. Now. 106) 56 . (The Black Album. who said.‘ (The Black Album. with a quote beneath it. he would be blessed. but he still could not pinpoint where exactly his identity lies. for hours. Shahid begins to lead a double life. He discourages Shahid from listening to music. Shahid is in a very difficult position. not to worry. gay. 102) Undoubtedly. and looking along the line of brothers‘ faces upon which spirituality was taking place. but also holding on to his British freedom with Deedee.Madonna and Oscar Wilde. But first he had to know them. their past and what they hoped for. Understanding would surely follow. which represents a British lifestyle. as it is Devils‘s work. With his affiliation to his brothers. along with the essential beliefs. coming out as a man. Hat had been of great help. wanted to belong to his people. Shahid frequently fell into anxiety about his lack of faith. These days everyone was insisting on their identity. could not be willed. like love or creativity. He had to follow the prescriptions and be patient. too. sitting beside him. as if without a tag they wouldn‘t be human. One of the brothers from Riaz‘s community. Several times he had interrupted his studies to visit Shahid‘s room with books. even to a point of becoming a racist himself.

his actor Pacino. 122) It is no wonder that Shahid was easily drawn into this world. they were runners. to the latest clubs – Moist. For some this was an excuse for laziness. the Masters of Enlightenment. without which he wouldn‘t leave his bathroom. handing out smudged flyers for raves. going to L‘Escargot. in hooded sweats and baggy jeans. His barber shook his hand. She tried to enter it. and accept his cheques. The girls wore short skirts or white Levi‘s. assistant editors. A lot of the kids. looking out of place. Raves were held in fields beyond the suburbs or in warehouses beneath the railway arches. In Chili‘s hand were his car keys. music video extras. egotist. with which they had accounts. their clothes and language. his drug dealer would come to him at all hours. he was young. later that night. ask questions. In one corner was a pack of rougher kids. who invited him into a world of openly expressed desires. She said they‘d go tonight except there was an Asian punk band she wanted to catch. As it was. his accountant took him to dinner. They were waiting for minicabs. (The Black Album. his suits were Boss. the guys were in black or blue jeans. He immediately found that he profoundly enjoyed the lifestyle Deedee had to offer. particularly if they couldn‘t see what it was for. Many of them regarded the white elite culture as self-deceiving and hypocritical. freedom and the English way of life. young directors who‘d be going on. There were some smarter kids in business suits who had finished work and would get cabs down to Soho later. showing off his flashy clothes and cars. intelligent and adventurous. were wasters. (The Black Album. The music her students liked. his underwear Calvin Klein. how they danced. Alastair Little or the Neal Street Restaurant. It wasn‘t a pleasure telling people that culture would benefit them. (The Black Album. it was theirs. At least he wasn‘t smoking a joint. With others it was genuine: they didn‘t want to find the culture that put them down profound. Chili drank only black coffee and neat Jack Daniels. they were constantly being informed of their inferiority. the Future or Religion. 144) 57 . some wore black leather jackets over black polos or crew necks. Deedee explained. who represented everything he despised about England – a womanizer. pretending to write scripts. But some worked in pop and low-budget film. Ray-Bans and Marlboros.On his other shoulder was the image of his brother Chili. There were a couple of Goths in posthumous make-up. extend it. a living way. with holes in the knee. they made so much money from selling Ecstasy. They went to a pub. 47) At the center of Shahid‘s identity crisis was Deedee Ozgood.

if you want it to survive. he can relax and be himself. due to his brother‘s incompetence at running the family business. They looked across at one another as if to say. Precisely at this point. He didn‘t know what to say. He goes to see Deedee. the air outside seemed to be clearer. to take over the business. was not an option.However.‘ she said.‘ he said. he feels like an Englishman. Go back home and dedicate yourself to helping her and the travel business. As much as he feels connected with his immigrant brothers and sisters. Who else is there. one he had gratefully sloughed off. Acculturation as the result of cultural contact in the novels The Buddha of Suburbia and Something to Tell You 58 . 201) This. It wouldn‘t be long before they were walking down to the sea. then you become in charge of the family. (The Black Album. There was somewhere she fancied for lunch.‘ she said. and finally.‘ What would happen to him and Deedee if he became the manager of a travel agency in Kent? How often would they meet? More darkly. he was caught up in a situation where. Acculturation and British society in The Buddha of Suburbia and Something to Tell You 4. ‗Until then. without fear of disappointing someone else. He was being dragged back into an earlier self and life. in the midst of his exploration of identity. for Shahid. ‗Yes. which meant coming back home. what new adventure is this? ‗Until it stops being fun. ‗From now you head the business your father and mother created.‘ She laughed at the idea. Zulma. He didn‘t have to think about anything. If that scatter-head has gone crazy. after a long struggle. 287) 4. his search for identity ends. ‗This is what you must do. The freedom he had come to London for was being snatched from him. what would she think of him? What would he think of himself? (The Black Album. He looked out of the window. but you?‘ It hadn‘t occurred to Shahid that this would come up. he was asked by his sister-in-law. after all. ‗you‘d better take it in.1.

which could last an entire day. carrying their traditions from the Periphery.1. Like many Indians he was small. (The Buddha of Suburbia. with delicate hands and manners. At the sun's first smile he would pull off his shirt and stride out into the garden with a deckchair and a copy of the New Statesman. balanced perfectly. The considerable muscles in his arms swelled up and he breathed energetically. at the center of family drama with his first generation immigrant father. a new breed as it were. 9) In this novel. His balls and prick fell forward in his pants. inevitably experiencing a sort of culture shock which followed the displacement of immigrants from India and Pakistan.The issue of acculturation of immigrants upon cultural contact with the British in their country has been previously explained as an inevitable process for immigrants. He was standing on his head now. but Dad was also elegant and handsome. which may have various results. Kureishi places the protagonist. He was as proud of his chest as our next-door neighbours were of their kitchen range. and I am an Englishman born and bred. 4. balanced perfectly. who survived the shock of finding themselves in a new environment. My name is Karim Amir. His stomach sagged down. He was broad and strong too: when young he'd been a boxer and fanatical chest-expander. (The Buddha of Suburbia. making Indian food and tolerating Karim‘s father‘s meditations. I am often considered to be a funny kind of Englishman. playing the leading role. who did her best to accommodate to his Pakistani tradition. He married an Englishwoman. The considerable muscles in his arms swelled up and he breathed energetically.He was standing on his head now. His stomach sagged down. Karim. Haroon. moved to the Center (Great Britain). 10-11) 59 . beside him most Englishmen looked like clumsy giraffes. The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) encompasses both the first and second generation of immigrants. almost. from the South London suburbs and going somewhere. having emerged from two old histories. I reckoned that his chest was the one area in which he'd been forward-thinking. He told me that in India he shaved his chest regularly so its hair would sprout more luxuriantly in years to come. who were in a new surrounding and starting a new life in a white-dominated environment. Shock and imbalance of the Other The Other. But I don‘t care – Englishman I am (though not proud of it). His balls and prick fell forward in his pants. or Diaspora.1. and desperately seeking recognition as British citizens.

as roadsweepers. not knowing how to live. lived in a dentist‘s office. Like Gandhi and Jinnah before him. This was the great undiscussed grief of his life. He turned to Eastern philosophy to acquire piece of mind. He remained out of focus throughout his life. However. women he could love as he should have loved the mother to whom he never wrote a single letter. married an Englishwoman and worked a low-paid job as a clerk. and the area was derelict after being bombed to rubble during the war.if they had water at all. But Dad had no idea when he set off that he'd never see his mother's face again.' he'd say. 42) He was misinformed when he came to England and deeply shocked by all the negative things about British people no one ever told him. London. (The Buddha of Suburbia.' But rationing was still on. shopkeepers and barmen.At this point. dustmen. though. Haroon‘s first experiences in Britain were less than satisfying. 60 . pushing away the staple diet of the working class. the Old Kent Road. His mother knitted him and Anwar several itchy woollen vests and waved them off from Bombay. Haroon was already beginning to feel ever more alienated from Englad. making them promise never to be pork-eaters. ate moldy bread and never got a chance to live outside the suburbs. 42) Undoubtedly. And when Dad tried to discuss Byron in local pubs no one warned him that not every Englishman could read or that they didn't necessarily want tutoring by an Indian on the poetry of a pervert and a madman. Dad was amazed and heartened by the sight of the British in England. was a freezing shock to both of them. Dad was sent to England by his family to be educated. He'd never seen the English in poverty. 'Nose drippings more like. there was never enough to eat. It was wet and foggy. He and his friend Anwar came to England in order to get an education and go back home having achieved something. He'd never seen an Englishman stuffing bread into his mouth with his fingers. He thus had no wish to learn more about this country. (The Buddha of Suburbia. explained his helpless attachment to women who would take care of him. and Dad never took to dripping on toast. Dad would return to India a qualified and polished English gentleman lawyer and an accomplished ballroom dancer. I reckon. He discovered the smell of lower-class suburbia. 'I thought it would be roast beef and Yorkshire pudding all the way. and. people called you 'Sunny Jim'. he never learned his way around Britain. and no one had told him the English didn't wash regularly because the water was so cold . as Haroon permanently settled in England.

I sweated with embarrassment when he halted strangers in the street to ask directions to places that were a hundred yards away in an area where he'd lived for almost two decades. Mum often said Eva was a vile show-off and big-mouth.over twenty years . I put my ear against the white paintwork of the door. in a deeper voice than usual. as a Civil Service clerk. but not intimately. 37) 61 . (The Buddha of Suburbia. through his Indian roots. Eva had been to the last concert the Cream played. the thing that made me realize that 'God'. instead of bringing stability into her husband‘s life. even as badly paid and insignificant a one as him. and now he was putting it back in spadeloads. God was talking to himself. She was eccentric. was the queer sound I heard coming from his room as I was going up to bed. but she was the only person over thirty I could talk to. She did Isadora Duncan dances in our front room and then told me who Isadora Duncan was and why she'd liked scarves. achieved quite the opposite: she was too simple and boring. She liked the Rolling Stones's first album. 15) He met a very extravagant upper-class English woman named Eva in his fifties. Yet still he stumbled around the place like an Indian just off the boat.and for fifteen of those years he'd lived in the South London suburbs. 20) Karim‘s mother was a quiet woman. He was hissing his s's and exaggerating his Indian accent. and asked questions like. was instability incarnate. on the other hand. and her liveliness offerd Haroon a new lease on life. Yes. The Third Ear Band sent her. was seriously scheming. to be less risibly conspicuous. she loved life. he'd just have to know these things. and even I recognized that Eva was slightly ridiculous. and. He'd spent years trying to be more of an Englishman. Why? (The Buddha of Suburbia. Eva. most importantly. 'Is Dover in Kent?' I'd have thought. Haroon finally felt needed and wanted. At least she didn't put armour on her feelings like the rest of the miserable undead around us. open-minded. as an employee of the British Government. In the playground at school before we went into our classrooms Charlie had told us of her latest outrage: she'd brought him and his girlfriend bacon and eggs in bed and asked them if they'd enjoyed making love. She was inevitably good-tempered. who. as I now called Dad.Dad had been in Britain since 1950 . He was speaking slowly. The other thing that happened. (The Buddha of Suburbia. as if he were addressing a crowd. with her meditation sessions she organized in her house with Haroon and putting her husband in a mental institution. or she was being passionate about something.

' 'We don't like it. they never talked to anyone else. of self-understanding. We're with Enoch. also felt that label of unwanted and ivisible immigrant on his back. the size of a matchbox. At the weekends I'd test him on the meaning of analeptic. Their daughter Jamila experienced different kind of personal instability. except for his mingling with English girls. Or with wogs.Haroon Amir seeked attention.' 'Where?' 'Coming to the house. I'm sure. agitated minds and real selves in a way. He wanted to talk of obtaining a quiet mind. He knew that he was not wanted. 62 . making sure to learn a new word every day. 'She doesn't go out with boys.' I said sullenly. He simply needed to be visible. usually women.' 'Have there been many?' 'Many what.' said Hairy Back. a large target indeed.' 'Oh well. He'd look at me and say.' (The Buddha of Suburbia. and it did not matter to him how he was going to get it. 'We don't want you blackies coming to the house. frutescent. often they didn't leave their houses until he was walking by. 'You can't see my daughter again. even though it involved much exploration of his environment and himself. On these twenty-minute walks he was joined by other people. listening to the Tony Blackburn Show on Radio One. of being true to yourself. 'You never know when you might need a heavyweight word to impress an Englishman. 'However many niggers there are. Karim. where he caught the eight-thirty-five to Victoria. who also worked in Central London. And he always carried a tiny blue dictionary with him. Beneath all the Chinese bluster was Dad's loneliness and desire for internal advancement. However. If you put one of your black 'ands near my daughter I'll smash it with a 'ammer! With a 'ammer!' (The Buddha of Suburbia. you little coon?' 'Blackies. he had a goal. boyfriends. I often walked to the commuter station with him in the morning. I heard them speak of their lives. got married to an Indian princess from the homeland.' 'Got it?' 'Yeah. they changed their route too. who came with him to England. clerks and assistants. If he took a different route for fear of having stones and ice-pops full of piss lobbed at him by schoolboys from the secondary modern. the more he seduced them. 48) Haroon‘s son. The more Dad didn't try to seduce them. He needed to talk about the China-things he was learning. we don't like it. but mostly he was tolerated in society. On the train Dad would read his mystical books or concentrate on the tip of his nose. They didn't even notice me and the transistor radio I carried. 66) Haroon‘s friend Anwar. secretaries.' Hairy Back said. polycephalus and orgulous.

and I noticed that his toenails rather resembled cashew nuts. and all this led her father to decide to find her a husband from the homeland. but she never actually experienced intimacy with anyone. would take Jamila in after school and give her tea. she thought. 84-5) Jamila was mimicking the new feminist English lifestyle. as well as singers popular in France. Miss Cutmore. 92) Anwar disregarded Haroon‘s concerns and made the decision to marry Jamila to this man. Jamila declined. She was strong-willed. and I learned nothing about sex. Karim was the only man she was close with. he was desperate and stopped eating. Through these calls Anwar's brother in Bombay had fixed up Jamila with a boy eager to come and live in London as Jamila's husband.immediately!' (The Buddha of Suburbia. It was all pretentious. His skin looked yellow and his eyes were sunken. and I lost none of my fear of intimacy. His lips were dry and flaking. and borrowing records of Ravel. of course. Jammie wasn't afraid of just strolling straight into the Men's and locking the cubicle behind us. like Billie Holliday. though he couldn't have run for a bus in the last five minutes. As a dowry. Next to the bed was a dirty encrusted pot with a pool of piss in it.. he also had his own best interests in mind – he needed a helping hand in the store him and his wife Jeeta were running. Baudelaire and Colette and Radiguetand all that rude lot. There was a library next to the shop. Very Parisian. a colour television and. Of course. which could have led to his death. causing a dramatic turn of events in her family. which is when she and I started having sex every couple of weeks or so. and for years the librarian. and wore feathers. the ageing boy had demanded a warm winter overcoat from Moss Bros. Those books must have been dynamite or something. Anwar was sitting on a bed in the living room. When she refused. neither did she plan to get married. because we even did it in public toilets. and thinner than I'd ever seen him. He was wearing a frayed and mouldy-looking pyjama jacket. Miss Cutmore had been a missionary in Africa. having suffered a broken heart in Bordeaux. I'd never 63 . (The Buddha of Suburbia. for God's sake. a bomb-site or a derelict house.Jamila was more advanced than I. was opinionated. read a lot. but she loved France too. He was unshaven. Then she got this thing about wanting to be Simone de Beauvoir. but consulted Dad. an edition of the complete works of Conan Doyle. when we could find somewhere to go usually a bus shelter. At the age of thirteen Jamila was reading non-stop. each of them seeming to lie in a bruise. Except that this boy wasn't a boy. Anwar agreed to this. Dad thought the Conan Doyle demand very strange. mysteriously. He was thirty. 'What normal Indian man would want such a thing? The boy must be investigated further. For some reason his mouth was hanging open and he was panting. which wasn't his normal bed in its normal place. not the slightest thing about where and how and here and there. in everyway.

'Out somewhere beautiful. but these days. 94) It was certainly bizarre. about his unsweet victory. away from Jeeta and Jamila. helped by there being a fire escape outside her bedroom and the fact her parents were always so exhausted they slept like mummies. I chewed speedily to get rid of it. Little did her father know that he would only make the situation worse by bringing this man into his family. he inevitably took me aside . or as nervously loquacious. Through her mother's staunch and indulgent love (plus the fibbing extravagances of her wonderful imagination). sherbet fountains and the opportunity not to work . He anxiously expected the future son-in-law to arrive. where we sat on wooden boxes like skiving factory workers. but mainly because of Anwar's indifference. I'm convinced he drew me aside. or at least bashful. There had been years of smoking. Jamila had got away with things some of her white counterparts wouldn't dream of. I can take that woman' . Words weren't his natural medium. So all he could do.seen anyone dying before.for an extended ear-bashing. or perhaps he was pleased about his victory over the women. 124) 64 . (The Buddha of Suburbia. The shop needs decorating.' he told me jubilantly. when I went to help out in the shop.blackmailing me with samosas. I want some boy who can climb a ladder! Plus I need someone to carry boxes from the wholesaler. (The Buddha of Suburbia. I'd never known him believe in anything before. Recently Princess Jeeta and Jamila had been in funereal moods. drinking. sexual intercourse and dances. 102) After this drastic step. so it was an amazing novelty to find him literally staking his life on the principle of absolute patriarchal authority. was celebrate it with me.' (The Buddha of Suburbia. Whatever the extent of his self-inflicted frailty. poor bastard. but I was sure Anwar qualified. not for a second allowing Anwar to enjoy the pleasure of his tyranny. because he was ashamed. Would they never understand the fruits of his wisdom? ‗Things are really going to change round here with another man about the place. into the store-room. Perhaps it was something to do with his not having a son and now having gained one. Jamila finally agrees to the marriage. Uncle Anwar behaving like a Muslim. I'd never seen him as good-tempered as he had been recently.he meant his wife . Anwar was staring at my steaming kebab as though it were a torture instrument. Anwar had been extraordinarily exuberant about Changez's arrival. When Changez arrives he can run the shop with Jamila.

there and everywhere. thank you very much. Though I knew a remarkable plumber with only a stump for a hand who worked for Uncle Ted. you complete cunt. bone and sinew melted together. In fact. after a glance. I'll do the same for you some day. He had become an English citized. too. The penis here. Anwar was happy that his victory would now change the lives of his wife and his own. Changez was the only one who was. the man on top. a small fist. Changez's left arm was withered in some way. ironically enough. pointed anxiously at Changez's arm.' (The Buddha of Suburbia 207-8) Even though he was living a life of permanent crisis. I just have to put up with all the humiliations that fall on my head in this great country! It's been difficult. He would have the son he never had. for no reason. They weren't speaking English.When Changez finally arrived. whou would become his permanent companion. had he four Mohammed Ali arms I doubted if he'd know what to do with a paintbrush. and stuck on the end of the attenuated limb was a lump of hard flesh the size of a golf ball. the woman here. He. gratis. with only a tiny thumb projecting from the solid mass where there should have been nimble. but Anwar. 65 . Anwar tried to laugh too. Jamila made up her mind she didn't have sufficient women friends. and Jamila will be married. I was puzzled. then?' 'Only recently. or with a toothbrush for that matter. to the point where she became good friends with Shinko. I couldn't see Changez decorating Anwar's shop with one arm. Jamila was indifferent to this. so I didn't know exactly what was said. I can tell you. after all. Anwar was getting to know Changez. but the girls it didn't phase out at all. followed by a little step to one side for a better angle. and smiled and nodded and touched him constantly. It was bloody embarrassing at first and all. He did not work at all.‘ 'And what did you do?' 'Nothing! What could I do? They were instant friends! They were discussing all the subjects usually kept under the pillow. since Anwar-saab has become insanely mad. followed by a concerned closer study. (The Buddha of Suburbia 127-8) Jamila‘s husband was a great disappointment to her and her family. He didn't seem in the least displeased with him. ashamed of Karim. was quite satisfied. on the other hand. You told her about Shinko. He soon realizes that the long-expected son-in-law had little to be desired. Since Jamila refused any intimate contact with him. so she went to call on Shinko's house. as these two girls sat there right in front of my nose. It looked as if Changez had stuck his hand into a fire and had had flesh. 'Is Shinko a friend of Jamila's. Changez waggled the hand a bit and laughed without self-consciousness. shop-painting. the vagina there. box-carrying fingers. Some time passed before Anwar noticed that his much-anticipated son-in-law wasn't the rippling physical specimen he'd expected. he found a prostitute named Shinko.

Miriam. 'to think about me too much. just as I wouldn't eat horse's scrotum. 'Why would I want to go there again? It's filthy and hot and it's a big pain-in-the-arse to get anything done. yaar.' And my father was too involved with things here to consider returning. none of the characters in this novel found a way out of initial shock of living in England.' Anwar grumbled.' he sprinted into the bathroom and washed out his mouth with soap. (The Buddha of Suburbia.at the same time. and whose fortunes and fears rose and fell according to the daily news. particularly among second generation immigrants. Yet if one of the Right‘s candidates tried campaigning anywhere near 66 . Perhaps it was the immigrant condition living itself out through them. who became a popular actor. as they aged and seemed settled here. Maybe there were similarities between what was happening to Dad. who were attacked often on the street.Unlike everyone else he thought me quite deviant. If I went anywhere it would be to Florida and Las Vegas for gambling. He was shocked when I took off my shirt in the street to get some damn sun on my tits. Most characters have already found their identities and experience no crises or instability. 'And look how you dress.' (The Buddha of Suburbia 153) Upon experiencing all the identity crises and instability. with his discovery of Eastern philosophy.' I replied. (My dad never touched the pig. this whole country has gone sexually insane. loudly expresses her identity. What does your father say? Doesn't he discipline you very hard?' 'My father's too busy with the woman he ran off with. as he crunched greedily into it. though I was sure this was conditioning rather than religious scruple.' he often said. 'I didn't know you liked smoky bacon. 'Your father should go back home for some years and take you with him. 103) The novel Something to Tell You (2008) depicts a multicultural collage in Britain. either. Anwar even scoffed pork pies as long as Jeeta wasn't looking. or at least to be resisting the English here. Anwar and Dad appeared to be returning internally to India. For years they were both happy to live like Englishmen. screaming from his frothing lips that he would burn in hell. after not being able to assimilate into the society. 'India's a rotten place. were their target. to test this. Muslims. like a gypsy vagabond.) Now. and Anwar's last stand. they find themselves not liking India. Haroon and Anwar start to resist everything English in their older age. It was puzzling: neither of them expressed any desire actually to see their origins again. 'You are very daring and non-conformist.' 'Oh God. The area was gang-ridden. Jamal‘s sister. But once.' he said. when I offered him a smoky bacon crisp and said. except Karim. The two first generation immigrant friends. Perhaps to a remote village. and political parties of the Right were well supported.

pretending to be with a friend. as well as catalogues for art shows. movies and girls in the bar. and I‘d talk to her when she came to the house. Mother had always seen a lot of Billie. (Something to Tell You. but no one ever came to the house. finds a lesbian companion and continues to live with her. What I couldn‘t say to Mother was that. but she was pleased I‘d learned how to get about the city. When I looked it up in Time Out. after a long period of solitude. Now she wanted to see a film about a painter. Miriam would shoot out of her chair and rush outside yelling.‖ Mother said once. Mother had been living with Billie. Sometimes we found programmes for dance shows or theatre plays. she was sensual. I had to warn her that a three-hour black-and-white film in Russian might be too much for us. Mother could only admit how little she knew me or where I‘d got to. ―She lives more in the world‖ was my reply. I‘d fancied Billie. and even younger. it turned out to be Andrei Rublev.‖ Bushy. On a handful of occasions she stayed out all night.her house. She was aware of her body. and I thought how wonderful this city is that a man and his mother can sit in a building between Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament watching such a great work. 67 . looking at shows. a woman of the same age whom she‘d known since she was eight. ―I‘m a Muslim single-mother Paki mad cunt! If anyone‘s got any objection. ―You prefer her to me. who. to ―a place called the ICA. As far as I was aware. but she was adamant. she moved well. Since around that time. Invisible. Miriam and I smirked and guessed she‘d been with someone we called Mr. That was about three years ago. as a teenager. (Something to Tell You. I‘m here to hear it! ‖ She‘d be waving a cricket bat around her head.‖ Did I know where it was? I had to admit I had spent some of my youth there. After Father. it also shows the liberation from conventions. Mother had devoted little time or attention to sexual passion. irrationally spending money. dragging at her to get inside. 169-70) Even though this kind of lifestyle that Jamal‘s mother lives may be considered as a sign of personal crisis and instability. We were the only two in the cinema. I should have realised something was stirring in Mother when one day she said she wanted to go to the cinema. she never took up with another man. 18-19) The only exception is Jamal and Miriam‘s mother. with her kids and ―assistant. or something like it.

'The things that are going to happen to you this evening are going to do you a lot of good. 'We'll do some floor work. and thrust his tongue out. One by one people fell silent. They may even change you a little. witnesses the cultural exchange that takes place between the English and immigrants. The woman in the shirt said. Everyone looked keenly and expectantly at him. being a hybrid himself. a leg there. it will be like driving a car with the handbrake on. Over the one remaining light.' someone else said. In The Buddha of Suburbia.' After some basic yoga positions he had them lying on their backs. He was going to wing it. when Haroon holds his lectures and séances in meditation. then their wrists. ankles. 'So why don't we relax?' she said. Japanese fashion. in order to reach your full potential as human beings. peculiarly. You must not resist. If you resist. the British have also acquired some of Indian and Pakistani culture. Meanwhile Dad wasted no time in removing his shoes and socks. lifting a loose arm here. and then . it becomes quite obvious how much the British are drawn to Easter culture. breathing out.1. their ears.' They raised their arms. The Path. 'Now. testing them for tension.4.' He paused. 'Raise your arms. stretch down to your right foot. Eva turned to my father and bowed to him. yes. He seemed to know he had their attention and that they'd do as he asked. she draped a large diaphanous neck-scarf. (Something to Tell You. popping his eyes like a gargoyle. and Haroon continued to coah the British people in Eastern philosophy and yoga for quite a long time. As much immigrants have adopted the British lifestyle. 24-5) These mystical séances were very popular. leaving the room illuminated only by a pink glow.' […] Dad sat down at the end of the room. 68 . toes. Please sit with your legs apart. I was sure he'd never done anything like this before.2. Eva smiled at everyone.' They parted their legs. Her movements had become balletic. foreheads and. 'So why don't we?' 'Yes. The nervousness he'd shown earlier appeared to have disappeared. though the two men near me glanced at each other as if they wanted to laugh. One man flapped his hands like loose gloves and opened his mouth as wide as he could. Mutuality of cultural influences Hanif Kureishi.I should have guessed it his shirt and clean string vest. To his soft commands they were relaxing their fingers one by one. They nodded their agreement. Dad spoke slowly and with confidence. Their eyes were on him. guiding them towards the modern British lifestyle. or make you want to change. The British also influenced Pakistanis in a very direct way. 'My good and deep friend Haroon here. But there is one thing you must not do. he will show us the Way. He padded around the circle of dreamers.

(Something to Tell You.‖ They have been aware of one another for years. with an opennecked shirt. 'Closer. I suggest. and a thick brown belt. (Something to Tell You. All our separate existences are being altered.Charlie was lying on his back on the attic floor. She couldn‘t be rougher.' 'You've got to wear less.' I. since each of the cultures had something to offer which the other one wanted. ―But he‘s like Tigger. Charlie?' 'Dress less. who wanted only to be like Charlie . we‘re all dissolving into one another!‖ she said. Everyone in the house but me was practically in heaven.' he said. have conceived a passion for each other. especially when it is not imposed on anyone. indeed shaken. Henry. though she was always considered ―bright. but did not have. never.' 'Wear less. I say unlikely because these are quite different kinds of people.' 'No.' He put his hand on my arm. There is something else going on in my life now. Forget the headband. maybe in pink or purple. Charlie. ―You and Henry sound so similar to one another. I sunbathed under his face.‖ she said. I took the joint from him.' I ripped my headband off and tossed it across the floor. He is a theatre and film director.' He got up on to one elbow and concentrated on me. Levi's. His mouth was close. by this unlikely liaison. who you would never think of as a couple. removed my boots and lay down. 'Come and lie beside me. a brazen intellectual whose passion is for talk. Charlie lay back with his eyes closed and real sartorial understanding in his mind. ideas and the new. maybe in a very modest pink or purple.‖ ―Oh God. and my best friend. and who could have predicted it? My older sister. ―Now it‘s you who is beginning to sound like him. whatever it is. In Something to Tell You. Yes. I would never go out in anything else for the rest of my life. almost an incest. as cool in every part of my soul . (Something to Tell You.' 'Forget the headband?' 'Forget it. and would willingly have urinated over every garment. Or have you changed?‖ I said. you tend to look a bit like a pearly queen. there is evidence of direct and profound cultural exchange between the protagonist‘s sister Miriam and his best friend Henry. 16) This continuous mutual cultural exchange contributes to multiculturalism. she has sometimes accompanied me to his shows. 29-30) This kind of cultural exchange was on a voluntary basis. 139) 69 .' 'You see. 'Levi's. and you were never so outgoing. Miriam. 'Now. with an open-necked shirt. you're not to take this badly.tattooed his words on to my brain. While I contemplated myself and my wardrobe with loathing.as clever. 'For your mum. Karim.

4. along with the foxes. creating a ‗hybrid home‘ for immigrants. I have lived on the same page of the A–Z all of my adult life. in the old city in Marrakech. I could only reply that I‘d come all this way just to be reminded of Shepherd‘s Bush market. they always return to London. often slept in the park.2. At lunchtime I liked to stroll twice around the tennis courts like the other workers. I was asked if I‘d seen anything like it before. as their home. (One time. parrots and luggage. crocodile-skin shoes. Cultural encounter – hybrid identity London in Kureishi‘s Something to Tell You represents a space of intercultural encounter. for now it is a space of constant intercultural dialogue. Creating hybrid space in Something to Tell You 4. narrower. The poor lived in the same houses divided up into single rooms. This area. also beauty parlours. estate agents and restaurants had begun to open. When I had more time. as well as illuminated 3-D pictures of Mecca and of Jesus. which I took as a positive indication of rising house prices. ―snide‖ CDs and DVDs.2. Jamal sees London as is permanent home and feels comfortable there. Even though characters travel to Karachi. after the hangings at Tyburn. The prosperous lived in five-storey houses. New delis. (Something to Tell You. Henry called it ―a great Middle Eastern city. Now the area was a mixture of the pretty rich and the poor. Bombay. at night. near Marble Arch.1. drug dealers on bikes waited on street corners. carrying their possessions in plastic bags. their hybrid identities continue to grow and flourish in this constant cultural exchange. who were mostly recent immigrants from Poland and Muslim Africa. The newly arrived immigrants. I liked to walk up through Shepherd‘s Bush market. than North London‘s Georgian houses. the bodies were brought to Shepherd‘s Bush Green to be displayed. keeping their milk and trainers fresh on the windowsill. 26-7) 70 . Alcoholics and nutters begged and disputed in the street continuously. I heard once described as ―a roundabout surrounded by misery. between Hammersmith and Shepherd‘s Bush. they foraged through the dustbins for food. it seemed to me.‖ Someone else suggested it might be twinned with Bogotá. Hijabed Middle Eastern women shopped in the market. London can no longer be observed simply in geographical terms. scratchy underwear and jewellery. where you could buy massive bolts of vivid cloth.‖ Certainly it had always been ―cold‖ there: in the seventeenth century. New York. with its rows of chauffeur-driven cars parked alongside Goldhawk Road Station. Since most of the characters are Pakistani immigrants.

‖ she told him cheerfully. dragging at her to get inside. ―My daughter likes you. learning to play various instruments. half-idiot she used to be called. manages to negotiate her identity between being a Muslim woman and living an eccentric life. and something I was proud of. That is how George Cage. George Cage. alone with her children. in the hope that it would turn her into someone I could like. with her kids and ―assistant.‖ No wonder I became an intellectual. She‘d also have fistfights in our local pubs. in the past two years we had become close friends. He moved to New York in search of his place in entertainment business. He became very popular in Britain with his pop music. ―Not real bikers. I used to wish she‘d get a good smacking. Muslims. ―I‘m a Muslim single-mother Paki mad cunt! If anyone‘s got any objection. a gay songwriter and performer was born. often reluctantly. he stayed at his uncle‘s in India for two years. with the sheen of health. The area was gang-ridden. and deals drugs and stolen goods. before she decided the swaggering Kent boys were too straight for her. curses all the time. who were attacked often on the street. I‘m here to hear it!‖ She‘d be waving a cricket bat around her head. or at least understand. The mongrel dog. Miriam would shoot out of her chair and rush outside yelling. She had people‘s ―respect‖ and. ―Builders in leather. A month I think she lasted. with both men and women.‖ Bushy. who had by now come in. It seems funny now. It had been quite a feat. although we‘d always seen each other. 35-6) One more character. Mustaq was a closeted homosexual. self-proclaimed as ‗half-Indian and half-Idiot‘.Jamal‘s sister Miriam. (Something to Tell You. But no one wanted a war with Miriam. Half-Indian. After his father‘s death. negotiating his hybrid identity all the way to being a close friend of Mick Jagger.‖ she called them. I had begun to go regularly to her house. was a songwriter and performer. Yet if one of the Right‘s candidates tried campaigning anywhere near her house. seemed to know who George was and was thrilled. 299) 71 . were their target. She lives in a dangerous neighborhood. often. When Jamal and Mustaq‘s sister Ajita were dating. Miriam. maybe exploited the opportunities of cultural exchange to the fullest. and political parties of the Right were well supported. Mustaq. that. very insecure and unfulfilled. their love. and whose fortunes and fears rose and fell according to the daily news. ―When I‘m angry I feel at my best. but as a teenager she‘d been a Hells Angel. To me he looked kind of shiny. I was close enough to the modern world to recognise that this fellow. the brother of Jamal‘s old girlfriend. success and vacuity which comfort and sycophancy gives people. (Something to Tell You. back in the 1970s.‖ she explained to me once.

lives in a dangerous neighborhood and mimics the way of life in that particular area in order to survive. 305) 4. He was muscly and wanted you to acknowledge it. mimicry is merged with hybridity. a couple of black Premiership foot-ballers—one in a white fur coat—who stirred more excitement than the pop stars. Bhabha claims that this process is never complete. Miriam. (Something to Tell You. which does not represent mere imitation of the behavior of the dominant group. but certain cases may be distinguished. Labour Party researchers and. as though it were soundproof. in an alley off Wardour Street. George‘s house had a luxurious hush. Jamal‘s sister. the man he was intending to ―marry‖ when civil partnerships became legal. Alan was wearing a sleeveless tee-shirt and shorts. in behavior or attitudes. George Cage introduced Henry and me to Alan.George Cage‘s house in Soho was tall and narrow. ―Even the brothels are multicultural now. at all times. Mimicry as means of resistance is very useful. Cultural. his ―future wife‖ and boyfriend of five years. In Kureishi‘s Something to Tell You. Oriental staff offered trays of drinks and sushi. but also imitates her surroundings.‖ Henry noted. to my surprise. He used one hand to carry. while not allowing it to enter the minority‘s space. Despite its location. It also includes acquiring attitudes and temperament. but that is where imitation stops being productive. pop stars. The minority group always yearns for something it lacks and finds new manners of imitation in order to achieve it.2. with white socks and sandals. historical and racial issues are always present to distract the process of full transformation. Bhabha also believes that mimicry allows an individual to appear as the one he imitates. the individual is always in search for what he feels he is lacking. She does not denounce her Pakistani origin. The decor was white. 72 . Expensive dogs sniffed the guests‘ crotches. Be-ringed queens from the East End mingled with upper-class young men in priceless suits. In his late forties. which the dominant group has. There were good prints on the walls.2. painters. with a seductive decadence that stated there were few experiences he had eschewed. Mimicry as means of resistance As Homi Bhabha suggests (1994: 121). Oriental and black women. a glass of wine and a thin joint. since it allows the minority to resemble the dominant group. sandwiched between a film-cutting studio and a walk-in brothel offering Russian. He was goodlooking. mimicry is a complex concept.

though. followed by an underdressed teenager with her hair scraped back—the ―Croydon face-lift‖—pushing a pram. so much so that I liked to call her an ―entrepreneur.Miriam lived in a rough.‖ at which she scoffed. tenacity and knowledge of others. jeans and polished boots. ten-pin bowling alley or tattooist. 34) A good deal of Bushy‘s chauffeuring was on behalf of Miriam and her crew. quite a feat.‖ I‘d say to her after she tried to show me another fish or flag down her back. (Something to Tell You. drinking sweet vodka smashes from the bottle and tossing them into gardens. And among these binge-mingers. now pregnant. briefly. He drove Miriam—usually accompanied by a caravan of neighbours. mainly white neighbourhood in what used to be called Middlesex—recently voted Britain‘s least popular county—though every place is becoming London now. he continued mimicking the white rich and famous. The law was naked Power. (Something to Tell You. had become a veritable illustration or mural. debtors and doggers hurried Muslim women with their heads covered. physiotherapist. 42-3) Miriam was a more capable criminal than my former pals and accomplices Wolfgang or Valentin. particularly as her size increased. to be avoided and ignored. cigarette smuggler. a man I didn‘t quite recognise who‘d come in towards the end of the evening was brought across 73 . Her success had required cunning. had a flying fish on her inner thigh. children and animals—to her fortune-teller. in his clothing. (None of her five children were allowed tattoos. he changed his name to George Cage. The typical figures on the street were a young man in a green bomber jacket. (Something to Tell You. were not on good. once she‘d stopped cutting herself. they still do it in Britain. a completely western name. as Indians played cricket during colonization. Other girls in microminis drifted sullenly about. Also. architecture. the city stain spreading.) Miriam herself. and who desired what. and she kept herself. from a passing interest in pornography—once. After he became rich and famous. When I decided to leave and was looking for my coat. my profession—that Scarlett.‖ She knew when to sell. She liked to say she‘d never appeared on any government computer. veterinary surgeon. However. pulling their children. therefore. ―More pictures than the Tate. her family and several neighbours just about alive by it. boys on bicycles circling them. yet again mimicking British enthusiasm for their national sport. 45) Mustaq has also been mimicking the West in order to fulfil his dreams of becoming a singer and entertainer. or even respectful. Most prominently. food. it was true that she had spent years building up her ―business. gay marriage. choice of housing. She and the law. aura reader. the eldest girl. terms. as though this liberated her. I knew.

Alan would suddenly start into an upper-class accent. ―You know.‖ said Mick. or George Cage. as though he were a camp actor playing himself too seriously. George knew everything about Indian cricket. going to test matches around the world together. explaining that they were cricket pals. (Something to Tell You. One place they‘d gone to at four in the morning. He and Mustaq had met in a bar. (Something to Tell You. but as more of Mustaq‘s friends came over. like a chameleon. and no one else took any notice. 306-7) 74 . I became aware that he was exactly as he had been. They still sometimes went to bed at ten and got up at two to trawl rough gay bars in the early hours. (Something to Tell You. as much as Mustaq. There didn‘t seem to me to be any reason why Alan should feel alienated in Mustaq‘s world. Mustaq could fit in. tries to act as a white successful man. but Alan could never do the same.‖ the aimless. absurd.‖ Alan had always felt at home in these places. Alan‘s world. superior. except that all his gestures were slightly exaggerated.‖ and Mustaq had found a place there too. I‘d always wanted to be a young American. which is the purpose of resistance. 298) Mustaq kept up his mimicked appearance when he met Jamal after so many years. lost. I loved being onstage and was never afraid. pinched. ―He wants to meet you. with what he considered to be his ―people. Mustaq seemed used to it. and in New York I found other boys to perform with. But you must be too tired to talk now. aware perhaps that this was always the risk you ran with rough trade. he said. only to be told they were ―too early. a stoned Lady Bracknell. unfulfilled and ―perverted.to me by Jagger.‖ As I listened to him. his partner Alan notices the imitated gestures and feels threatened by Mustaq‘s connection with his own ‗people‘. 301) However.

which proves that Kureishi‘s characters went though the process of acculturation. Analysis also showed that search for identity and different cultural stereotypes. My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father. prejudices and racism exist in the characters‘ struggles to acculturate in Great Britain. as well as the existence of acculturation processes which lead to its creation‘. The Black Album and Something to Tell You in the light of postcolonial theories and comparative exploration. it was proved that the hypothesis is correct. with the resul ts varying from assimilation to separation. due to involvement of first and second generation immigrants in Great Britain.Conclusion The main hypothesis of this Master thesis was as follows: ‗Postcolonial literary theories serve as a suitable frame for proving the existence of hybrid identity within the works of Hanif Kureishi. Through the analysis of Kureishi‘s four novels: The Buddha of Suburbia. The analysis also showed that Hanif Kureishi is indeed an observer and a participant in British society. but he never moves away from his Pakistani origin in his writing. Hybrid identity in the third space was also found in the novels. It was proved that the process of acculturation exists in Kureishi‘s work. 75 .

1. Diaspora women: status.2..2....2.. Postcolonial identity as a concept in the novels My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father and The Black Album……………………………………………………………. Postcolonial theory and acculturation…………………………………………………….2.35 3.1. role in society and cultural contribution………….. Empire‘s legacy: postcolonial immigration in Great Britain……………………………...1... Social position of postcolonial immigrants from India and Pakistan………………....1. Acculturation………………………………………………………………………..1...30 2..... Postcolonial theory…………………………………………………………………....44 76 .34 3.6 1..29 2.. Postcolonial identity…………………………………………………………………15 1.. Hanif Kureishi as a postcolonial storyteller…………………………………………21 2.35 3... First generation of immigrants as postcolonial subjects……………………. Postcolonial experience – Indian and Pakistani communities and their migration to England………………………………………………………………………………25 2....1... From the legacy of the Second World War to the end of the twentieth century: work force from diaspora..6 1.....1....28 2.2.....1.4 1...24 2... Second generation of immigrants as minority population………………….Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………….30 2.... First and second generation immigrants‘ search for identity in My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father………………………………..12 1.2.... family structure and contribution to multicultural Great Britain…………………………………………………………………. The second generation: search for identity………………………………….... The first generation: reshaping identity………………………………………36 3..3.1..4..1..2...

The British and their outlook on immigrants in the novels My Ear at His Heart – Reading My Father and The Black Album………………………………………….1.57 4.48 3...2.3.2.1.1....2.. Mimicry as means of resistance………………………………………………71 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………. Acculturation as the result of cultural contact in the novels The Buddha of Suburbia and Something to Tell You………………………………………………………………………………….. Mutuality of cultural influences…………………………………………….57 4.1.1.2.2. ―Englishness‖ as battlefield of identities…………………………………….. prejudice and racism………………………………….74 Contents…………………………………………………………………………………………. Acculturation and British society in The Buddha of Suburbia and Something to Tell You…………………………………………………………………………………..1. Shock and imbalance of the Other………………………………………….52 4.. Cultural encounter – hybrid identity………………………………………….. Cultural stereotypes.2.68 4.66 4.58 4.75 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………77 77 .2.2.48 3.2. Creating hybrid space in Something to Tell You……………………………………………………………………………………68 4.

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