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Cultural Identity Essay

Decent Essays
In growing up in the position of the ‘other’ in society, Smith provides an empowered stance of identity exclusively through the demonstration of cultural hybridity, as evidenced by Millat and his gangster crew, the Raggastani’s. As Millat becomes increasingly connected to a swaggering identity highlighted by Western popular culture, his sense of belonging becomes established with the multicultural mix of South Asian and Caribbean teens he hangs out with: “It was a new breed, just recently joining the ranks of the other street crews. Becks, B-boys, Nation Brothers, Raggas, and Pakis; manifesting itself as a kind of cultural mongrel of the last three categories. Their ethos, their manifesto, if it could be called that, was equally a hybrid thing” (193). Here, Smith uses the Raggastani’s as a symbol representing the emerging identity of a multicultural London transformed by the migration of formerly colonized populations from South Asia and the Caribbean. Their mission, to put the “invincible back in Indian, the Bad-aaaass back in Bengali, the P-Funk back in Pakistani” (193), is about taking their identities which have been devalued in Western society and linking them together through a collective sense of approval. As a productive example of cultural hybridity taking place, they are a direct contrast with the forms of difference and racial purity that the Chalfen`s represent, and the resistance of letting go of traditions that their parents uphold. The group tries on a series
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