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Culture and Identity in Circular Breathing, New Accents and Looking for Alibrandi

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Wider communities and culture has taken a big part in our lives by shaping the perceptions of the individuals and the languages. By exploring unique ways in the following poems ‘Circular Breathing’ by Jaya Savige and ‘New accents’ by Ouyang Yu it shows how it has shaped different individual’s perception and the wide society. It shows how cultures and their own language struggle to fit in the wider communities. Jaya Savige’s ‘Circular Breathing’ has shown an unique idea of cultural identity as mentioned earlier the use of Third Space and in New Accents, we can see how Ouyang Yu has used unique techniques to shape the cultural Identity. These themes can be compared to the movie “Looking for Alibrandi” by Kate Woods.

Culture thrives and continues to grow when in contact with other cultures. As we go in-depth with ‘Circular Breathing’ we are able to understand how the poet has shaped the cultural identity and the unique language which was utilized. Jaya Savige has shown how diverse is an Aboriginal culture in abroad countries. It gives us an example in the quote “There’s a man with the dreadlocks playing a didgeridoo”. As we start to see Jaya Savige has implemented the use of The Third Space despite the fact that the poem is written in the third person,apart from the final stanza. Cultural hybridity was also used in the poem which allows individuals to mix between the wide communities as for example Australia and Italy. The poem discusses about the busker who is representing his own identity abroad and highlights his connection with his culture in some extent, however, the busker is presenting his skills by playing the didgeridoo which stood out in the public and attracted all the pedestrians. Although, the busker was struggling to fit in the Italian community as it differs from the Aboriginal community from the Italian community. Furthermore we can relate this text to a similar poem which portrays the tension between different languages and cultures. The poem ‘New Accents’ by Ouyang Yu also has shown unique cultural identity and the tension between languages and cultures. “New Accents” is primarily about how citizens in the poem tend to unintentionally create ” funny words” due to their mispronunciation of certain words. The poem consists of how people struggle to speak the language which is the representation of tensions in languages as well as how their pronunciation varies as shown in the quote “C from canton talked about criminal cases as if they were cri-mi-nal” This demonstrates the tension in language and how the poet has effectively shown tension in a unique way.

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By exploring different tensions in culture, identity and language, we are able to better understand the power of language and how our identity can influence others and vice versa. By this, we can influence the tensions between culture and language. By exploring the movie ‘Looking For Alibrandi’ we can see how the director Kate Woods, has shown two different aspects of cultures which is the Italian heritage and the Australian culture. She was originally brought up in Italy and labelled as a ‘Wog’. However her true instinct tell her that she is struggling to find out how she was brought up and who she originally belongs to. Throughout the film her true cultural identity becomes evident as she meets new people and discovers new things. She also then realises that her true cultural identity does not consist a mixture of Australian and Italian culture. The tension can be seen in Josie’s life as she struggles to fit in her true identity and being brought up in Australia makes it harder for her to accept her true cultural identity. We can see this in the quote “This might be where I come from but do I really belong here?” An example showing the tension in Josie’s life is when the first scene came up which was about the traditional ‘Tomato Day’. Although at the start Josie was embarrassed of being the part of the tradition because her friends didn’t like it and told her to stop being a part of it. The idea can be seen when the character speaks “You might think this is all quirky and cute, but I actually find this really embarrassing”. Josie’s thoughts about culture is further explored when she says “‘In Case, you’re wondering this Tomato Day or as I like to prefer to it the National Wog Day”.

Sharing your feelings with others can help people to connect with the wider community. This can be explored in the movie ” Looking for Alibrandi” and ‘New Accents”. This theme is seen in the movie “Looking by Alibrandi” when Josie says “Maybe Nonna’s right. We are all cursed why did I think I could have changed anything?” this displays how Josie tries to connect with the wider community and tries to forget her past and move. However, she is pulled back. This can be further explored when she asks her mom “I just want you to tell me how you wanted your life to turn out when you were 17” this can show how she wants her mom to share her feelings with her. In contrast, this theme can also be explored in the poem “new accent” when the poet states “What a wonderful Anguish that I’ve spent all these years” this shows the mispronunciation of the word English and it shows that he is trying to say “English” but there is a double meaning Anguish (his way of saying English), as well as it means struggle captures perfectly. The experience of migrants when they try to speak English gives us an idea of how people struggle to speak the language and how Josie struggled to fit in between Italian and the Australian culture.

By reflecting on our ideas and techniques we are able to discover how individuals have tensions between cultures and languages. By this we can allow individuals to have a better understanding of cultural identity and languages and how Circular Breathing, New Accents and Looking For Alibrandi gives us a better idea of tensions in following our true identity, other individuals perspectives and how characters struggles to fit in different cultures.

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