The English language in the post-colonial society Essay
The English language in the post-colonial society, 496 words essay example
English language, introduced by the British colonizers is a culture carrier and it has transfused to the locals that some acquire it as their first language instead of their mother tongue. The lan-guage of the colonizers symbolizes supremacy and power to many. Li An admits that she can only speak English and she resembles a beggar without arms and legs in the street without it (Lim, 2001). She is the descendant of Chinese ancestry yet she wears the thoughts and culture of a westerner. She is the hybridized product of the colonial discourse as it is uncommon for a Chinese to not speak one's mother tongue but the language of the colonizers. When British col-onized Malaysia, many English medium schools were built as well as the wide usage of the English language amongst the elites and scholars, the policies and language of the colonial discourse had subconsciously transfused into the culture and values of the locals. Besides that, second Mrs. Yeh also portrays hybridity in the story. She is not a Christian, yet she displays euro-centrism by celebrating many Western holidays like Christmas, Easter, Valentine's and personal birthday. Of all the Chinese religious festivals, she celebrates only the Chinese New Year (Lim, 2001). It is surprisingly odd for a Chinese to not celebrate the occasions of Chinese traditions but of the western's.
Nativism is a course of action taken by the natives to pre-serve their culture in a colonized country. It can also be viewed as a superior attitude of the na-tives towards new comers (Pandya, 2013). In the novel Joss and Gold, the characters, Abdullah and Samad try to eradicate any form of remnants from the past colonial discourse and strive to reconstruct an independent nation free from the practices and parameters of imperialist coun-tries, a nation that unites and presents an image of homogeneity to the world. To construct a new nation of a post-colonial society, one major concern for them would be the repudiation of the colonizer's language, English. Li An was encouraged to speak the national language instead of the language of the bastards (Lim, 2001). 'Bastards' here refers to the British colonizers who had left Malaysia since independence, or western imperialists in general. Thinking there is not much use in learning English now that the colonizers are gone, thus Abdullah advises that the use of national language, which is Malay, would seem fitting. English Language should have left with the colonizers after Independence in 1957. In the story, the politically radical Malays, like Abdullah and Samad are fighting hard to safeguard Malaysia from being westernized through the Eurocentric practices of the people. Western's ideas and practices corrode the idea of con-structing a nation of homogeneity. Nativism is clearly depicted when Abdullah writes in one of his editorials that those who disagree with the national idea of an independent Malaysia should be sent back to China or India (Lim, 2001), it indirectly painted the image of the indigenous Malay's unwelcoming attitude towards other races based on their homeland.