Noah GrublerProfessor Gianno Cultural Anthropology6 December 2017 Namesake The Namesake, a film inspired by the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, investigated the trouble of abandoning one’s birth nation and adjusting to the American lifestyle. As the film advanced, each of the three main characters Gogol, Ashima, and Ashoke experienced his or her own particular battles and adversity. In spite of the fact that the characters were tormented by their individual issues, every one of the three were all under dispute about Gogol’s name, the disconnection of family ties, and the diverse perception (within the family) of their Indian culture. One of the most constant battles in the family throughout the film was the exchange over Gogol’s name. Ashima, Gogol’s mom, contended that Gogol demanded in keeping his name when he was in kindergarten, and that he himself had declined to switch it. Ashoke additionally continually tried to convince his child to keep the name not on account of Gogol was his most loved writer, but rather on the grounds that he thought Gogol’s novels have literally saved his life. The explanation behind that is Ashoke named his child Gogol due to the fact that he was studying Gogol’s novel on his train ride. Then all of a sudden the train derails and gets into a devastating accident, Ashoke awoke biting the dust and bleeding out then he comes too and realizes that the book he was reading was in a lifesaving position as he grasped the novel to his chest. The movie concerns itself largely with being Indian and American at the same time. With making close ties with other Indian immigrants, sprinkling curry powder on the Rice Krispies, moving to a split-level suburban house, sending the children to college. Another key part of the film is illusting the differences of perception of society between first generation kids and their immigrant parents. This was shown various times throughout the film. For example when the family was in India while the kids were teenangers, Gogol, or Nicki, refuses to ride on the cart being pushed by a man because he found that human labor to immoral. Also while in India Gogol attempts to go out for a jog, his mother was not familiar with this American practice at the time and freaks out and sends one of his family members to follow him throughout the city. Gogol attends Harvard to study architecture in which he acquires a white girlfriend named Maxine , The culture gap is demonstrated when Gogol brings Maxine home to meet his parents, and warns her: “No kissing. No touching.” He has never even seen his own parents touch. But Maxine impulsively kisses his parents on their cheeks, right when they meet, this scares Gogol down to the bone. This is because they would prefer him to marry “a nice Bengali girl” and showing affection in public is certainly not what a Bengali girl would do. Soon after this Ashoke passes away from a devastating heart attack on a business trip in Ohio. After this gogol has a massive identity crisis and feels as if he has lost his identity as an American-Indian and has just become an American. Due to this he completely shaves his head and heads home to his family to serve as the man of the house. During Ashoke funeral I realized that while mourning people in the Indian culture wear white to grieve while Americans wear black. Maxine comes to the funeral in complete black outfit and asks Gogol if he wants to go on vacation to get his mind off all the grief he has ensued lately. Gogol does not react well to this and flips out on her saying that the only place he wants to be at the moment was right at home and he did not want to be involved with her anymore. After this trying to please his father’s wishes and get back to his traditional roots, Gogol contacts the girl who his parents were having arranged marriage discussions with when he was an adolescent. Her name was Moushumi. Looking back to it he was just trying to fill the whole of his identity. This is exactly what Gogol is searching for. All things considered, he is mourning, from the passing of his dad. Moushumi reenters his life exactly when he is looking to reconnect with his Indian roots. It’s fortunate she is Indian, at that point. She can identify with Gogol’s growing up with foreigner parents. Indeed, both of them have many things in what go hand and hand: they’re both Indian, they both have artisticy driven, they both have full cautious past with their remote names, and they both went to world class colleges.Throughout the movie I saw many small and big cultural differences being subtlety thrown around. For example, when she first came to America, Ashima, was fascinated that they had gas twenty-four hours a day. She also despite moving to the U.S. dressed the same as she did throughout her time in India. I thought this was interesting because her husband, Ashoke dressed more Americanized by wearing suites and classic American work clothes. Ashima had a very hard transition to becoming Americanized due to the fact that she was a stay at home mother with no kids. Having no outside contact besides your family as a migrant will definitely do some psychological damage. She became very lonely and depressed until she had her children which gave her purpose in life. While just before having her kid she had a major culture clash. This entailed when she asked for a longer garment, the nurse replied “Why? You do not want to hide those beautiful legs!” After she had the baby the doctor came into the room asking the new parents what they would like to name their child. The parents tell the doctor that they are waiting on the letter from Ashima’s grandmother who traditionally gets to name the child good name. The doctor then replied saying they cannot leave without giving the baby a name for the birth certificate. After this they give the doctor the babies “Ducknom” or temporary name which of course turned out to be Gogol. Apparently this is a very normal thing in Indian culture because Ashima stated “it’s okay some of my cousin were not named until they were six” His “good” name turned out to be Nicki.This film also laid out the differences between “Love” marriages and “Arranged” marriages. When Ashoke, Ashima first met they were awkward and reserved. But that ice melted as the relationship took its course.Gogol’s story is grounded in the marriage of his folks, Ashoke and Ashima, whose origination of affection is established in their common past in India. Portrayed by obviously characterized gender roles and no openly displayed emotion to each other, yet in addition a profound feeling of loyalty and togetherness, this relationship can be diverged from Gogol’s romantic pic life. While Gogol has serious, legit, and open sexual relationships with two distinct ladies through the span of the film outside of, none of the relationships were permanent. It was not enough Gogol and Moushumi were both Bengali, because it turned out that Moushumi was having an affair. After this Gogol cuts her out of life and says “I have never felt this free in my life.” While Ashima and Ashoke are each other’s exclusive sole mates in life, as prove by the initially meeting between them, which was organized by Ashima’s family. It was crazy to witness the contrast of love and arranged marriages. It seemed as if love marriages start with a spark and much affection but end in awkwardness and despair while arranged marriages follow the exact opposite pattern.All in all, I believe this was a fantastic why to end the semester the film truly went over a wide array of subjects which we touched on throughout the semester. These ideals included: the process of enculturation, which of course is when a child picks up culture he or she is born into. This is clearly shown through the life of Gogol and his sister growing up in America in an Indian household. It also shines a light on collectivism which encourages conformity and discourages people to stand out against the status quo in one’s culture. Gogol experienced this throughout his entire academic career he was scared if he expressed his Indian culture his peers would shune him. The movie also showed the differences the meaning of honor and success between the two nations. In America life is all about individual honor and success, i.e Gogol going to Harvard to become a successful in architecture after he achieved this he isolated himself and lived his own life barely keeping in touch with his family. While in India families have a much tighter niche and success is shared and celebrated throughout the families. Overall the cultural differences in daily life in India
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