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Title: Identity Crisis in a Cross-cultural Paradox: My Experience
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS, Vol. 6, March 2019, p 161 - 167
Authors: Bhutia, Sonam Choden
Keywords: Identity
cultural preservation
identity crisis
multiple identities
intercommunity marriage
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: “Identity” is a sum total of perceptions one accepts, imbibes and is fostered on by the society. It is related to both ascribed and acquired social constructs like caste, class, religion and language. Though caste, class, religion are important components of a person’s identity it is through language that the unique ethnic, social, religion and cultural identity is expressed. Language in both written and spoken form is the factor that binds other components of a person’s identity and it is crucial for cultural preservation. Related to the issue of cultural preservation, one finds the role of language especially in case of Tibetan identity. Despite the Chinese insistence that Tibet has always been a part of China, the Tibetan religion, customs, culture and language preserve distinctive features supporting the right to self-determination and independence. In exile, Tibetans under the guidance of His Holiness Dalai Lama have been successful in keeping their identity alive. However, in the recent times, the fear of losing their identity is specially felt when there is a shift away from Tibetan language; with many scattered around the world the Tibetans are under pressure to adopt languages other than their mother tongue. Sociologically, it is stated that endogamous marriage helps in preserving racial purity and culture. Tibetans marrying outside the community face many challenges of which one is the problem of identity. As a daughter of Tibetan father, a Bhutanese mother and the wife of a Sikkimese Bhutia, the confusion arises as to where I, as an individual, stand and face Identity crisis in certain situations in my everyday life. Starting from my experience as a person faced with multiple identity “tags”, the paper attempts to bring forth issues and dilemmas of identity faced by children of mixed parentage. It also highlights the challenges and issues of identity that come up in inter-community marriages.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 06 (March 2019)

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