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Journal to the East - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: JOURNAL TO THE EAST Edward Said in his conical text, Orientalism, challenges the concept of the difference between the west and east. The difference in cultural practices between the two constitutes what he describes as Orientalism…
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Download file to see previous pages In Said’s argument, the Europeans brought about division of the world into two parts; the west and the east. This was on the concept of what they consider ours against theirs (Dyer 67). Using this idea, I will explore two issues about India. One of these is culture, which I will explore using Chasing the Monsoons by Alexander Frater and Jeff inn Venice, Death in Varanasi. In Chasing the Monsoon, Frater begins by detailing how he developed an interest in weather aspects. He grew up in New Hebrides with his missionary father. New Hebrides is a cluster of several islands located in the South Pacific. Some time back, the United Kingdom and France held the administration jointly. His father was always fascinated about the monsoon of India, and always talked about it. Likewise, Frater developed a fascination in it and decided to visit India and explore this phenomenon in 1987. Before detailing his own discoveries, he starts by taking us through a historical study of the monsoon. He cites famous researchers before him including Sir. John Eliot and H.F. Blandford. Frater starts his pilgrimage in Cape Comorin, the southernmost tip of the European continent. This is the place where the monsoon starts. It then makes sits way to the west coast via Calicut, Bombay, Trivandrum, and Goa. It then jets to Delhi (Frater 60). He then follows the monsoon in the eastern arm in Calcutta. He also follows the monsoon in the western arm in Shillong, Bangladesh and finally Cherrapunji. The latter is well known for receiving the most rain in the world. At the peak of the monsoon around July, the spot receives as much as 76 feet of rain. Occasionally, it receives rain in the range of 30 to 40 inches in a single day. Although Frater gives a few details about the science of the monsoon, his main focus is the effect the monsoon had on the local community. Especially so on the cultural effect, which I will look at. The onset of the monsoon rains in India is usually eagerly awaited and eagerly anticipated. Its arrival is celebrated with song, art, and poetry. Frater visited several famous palaces, pavilions, and gardens where the rich often sought recreation. One of the most powerful prayers of India is Prana. The prayer is directly compared to the monsoon. It is recited during the monsoon and is believed to be the reason behind the rich agriculture of India (Dyer 781). During the rainy season, the country receives enough rainfall to fertilize the orchards and farms. The prayer was composed in the Vedic era and refers to rain as the promoter of quality health, long lives, and human welfare. “May the rains come on time; may the earth bend with the weight of food grains”. History of India shows that the Monsoon have been since time immemorial been the central theme of almost all cultural practices. India has three religions; Baud Dharam, Sanatan Dharam, and Jain Dharam. They all express the concept of Monsoon in their art, dance, literature, and sculpture. First, there are numerous heritage monuments built by the followers of these religions. All of them bear animals, which are well fed, sensually endowed women, strong men, and lively birds. The gods and celestial beings are shown as wearing beautiful ornaments and of long hair. The sculptures portrayed in all temples dating many years back reflect this. Sculptures and images of the Buddha are never shown without hair or emaciated (Frater 90). This is also similar to the gods and goddesses of the Hindu. Animals are also portrayed as being fully fed and healthy. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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