Towards Understanding Identity, Culture and Language

Author: T. Sai Chandra Mouli (Osmania University, India)
Speaker: T. Sai Chandra Mouli
Topic: Language, Community, Ethnicity
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


Knowledge of self is at the core of all human endeavours. In the quest identity assumes significance. It acquired greater relevance and respect on account of Postcolonial concerns.
‘Class’ emerged as the basis of a person’s identity. Subsequent to liberation of colonies from alien rule, postcolonial concerns gained ground. Focus on indigenous ways of life adds new dimension. Social, cultural, psychological and economic structures became the basis of one’s own view of identity. These dynamics are applicable to languages that flourished, perished or are on the verge of extinction. In India, regional, linguistic, religious diversity add to the complexity of the issue in addition to several subcultures that exist. Culture is not an independent variable. Historical factors, political developments, geographical and climatic conditions along with economic policies followed do contribute to a larger extent in fixing the contours of a country’s culture. Institutional modifications also sway the stability of national culture. Cultural transmission takes place in diverse ways. It is not unidirectional and unilateral. In many countries culture models are passed on from one generation to another through recitation. The learners memorize the cultural expressions without understanding meaning or social significance of what is communicated to them. Naturally, this practice results in hierarchical patterns and hegemony of vested elements. This is how norms of ‘high’ and ‘low’ are formed and extended to written works and oral/folk literatures respectively. This presentation focuses on the identity, culture and language of indigenous people in Telugu speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in South India.


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Keywords: Identity, Culture, Folktales, Orally, Language, Self.