Sneek peek at thoughts from my second paper...
I am going to start off this post with the comments my good friend Matt wrote on my previous post on Identity in India: "Think about your high school football games. It is a rare time when all the students, parents, and teachers come together from their separate cliches and groups to cheer for their collective high school team and against the rival school. The students are part of their individual groups (seniors, juniors, jocks, nerds, etc) primarily but in battle (at the football stadium) the groups are united. This is another situation where Religion parallels sports in the US."
I really liked this comment and between this and the Hindu chapter we read, it got me thinking on identity. How do people of diverse backgrounds come together under a common identity?
Globalization has played a big part in increasing identity awareness. Just has Hindus have been able to rally around a national identity based upon religion, people rally around their own when they feel threatened. As Rithambra said in Kakar, the Hindu's are "fighting for the preservation of a civilization, for his Indianness, for national consciousness, for the recognition of his true nature" (157). A somewhat familiar theme here. The notion of defense has come up with our class before. It is in defense of a religion that people find it easier to validate violent actions.
However, it is also an important idea to talk about. When people feel threatened by an out-groups entrance into their sphere of power - by a foreign force, foreign ideas, foreign competition, or perhaps a rival high school - the "dimensions of ethnicity stand out in sharp relief and the individual becomes painfully or exhilaratingly aware of certain aspects of one's cultural identity" (150). The defense of one's culture, convictions, and inner-self is certainly enough to encourage community with others who feel the same way. It is the inherent attack on someone's sovereignty as an individual which goes down to the basic level of human survival.
If you are no longer yourself, are you yourself anymore?
Thus to defend against a common enemy helps one keep who they are. Though in sport this individual sovereignty is not under threat as in other cases, it serves to highlight how being in a community can define your identity thus create the conditions for intense communal defense against "the others".
Globalization has been bringing up these intense battles over identity. All around the globe, people fear of their own connection to land, and culture will be diminished by foreign entities. As in the case of Anders Breivik, he identified with a Christian Europe, and to not act, would be failing himself.
...End paper preview