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Daniel Schönbauer (ed.)

Postcolonial Indian Experiences

Teaching the Faces of a Rising Nation

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4293-9, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7205-9, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828872059

Tectum, Baden-Baden
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Daniel Schönbauer (Ed.) Postcolonial Indian Experiences Daniel Schönbauer (Ed.) Postcolonial Indian Experiences Teaching the Faces of a Rising Nation Tectum Verlag Daniel Schönbauer (Ed.) Postcolonial Indian Experiences. Teaching the Faces of a Rising Nation © Tectum – ein Verlag in der Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2020 eBook 978-3-8288-7205-9 (Dieser Titel ist zugleich als gedrucktes Werk unter der ISBN 978-3-8288-4293-9 im Tectum Verlag erschienen.) Umschlagabbildung: © Sophie Gnech Alle Rechte vorbehalten Informationen zum Verlagsprogramm finden Sie unter www.tectum-verlag.de Bibliografische Informationen der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Angaben sind im Internet über http://dnb.ddb.de abrufbar. 5 Table of Contents Daniel Schönbauer Introduction: Postcolonial Indian Experiences – Teaching 'the faces' of a rising nation……….…………………………..…..10 Pavan Kumar Malreddy The Idea of India – Pedagogical Perspectives….……………..19 Part A: From Empire to Globalization: HISTORICAL Perspectives…..38 Natascha Münnich An Invitation to Colonial India – Alice Perrin’s “The Rise of Ram Din"……………………………………………………39 Michelle Skruth Teaching Stories of Partition – Saadat Hasan Manto's "The Return"…………………………………………………..…..58 Kevin Kuypers Reading and Teaching Post-Independence India in Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things…………………..………………82 Marc Nöthen India as a Global Player: Akash Kapur's India Becoming in the EFL Classroom ……………………………………………..97 6 PART B: INSIDE PERSPECTIVE(S): CULTURAL 'FACES' OF PRESENT-DAY INDIA……………….………………………………………………………………….…..114 Christina Büttgen, Carolin Sampels & Christina Strackbein Approaching Bollywood: The Movie English Vinglish. Teacher's Guide……………………...………………………….…….115 Christina Kattwinkel Gender and Postcolonial India: An Analysis of Baburao Bagul's "Mother" in the EFL classroom…………...………………..133 Julia Falter, Sophie Gnech & Svenja Harzem (Inter-)cultural Enounters in Meher Pestonji's "Outsider"…..148 PART C: INDIA AS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY: DIASPORIC EXPERIENCES..….…..170 Alexander Gaiselmann 'America, exile and loneliness' – Reading and Teaching First Generation Indian Diasporic Experiences in Lahiri's short story "Mrs. Sen's"….……………………………………………...171 Laura Commer & Kira Gray Students Dining with Mr. Pirzada and Jhumpa Lahiri in the EFL Classroom…………………….…………………………….187 Lennart Krieger Finding an Identity in the Midst of Traditional Values and Cultural Pressure: What We Can (Still) Learn from Bali Rai's (un)arranged marriage…………………...……….….…………205 Sophie Gnech & Svenja Harzem East meets in Salman Rushdie's "A Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies"………………………………………………….….225 Carolin Bialecki "Hear Me Roar" – Saroo Brierley's Lion in the EFL Classroom…………....…………………………………………..242 7 Authors Carolin Bialecki (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Latin, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include In-Yer-Face Theatre and Literature of Madness. Christina Büttgen (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Social Sciences, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the TU Dortmund and the University of Leeds. Her research interests include Empirical Educational Research, Inclusion and Differentiation, Postcolonial Literatures in the English Classroom as well as Political Education. Laura Commer (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Biology, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include Children’s Literature and Fantasy Literature. Her bachelor thesis was on the topic “Harry Potter – A Hero of Children’s Literature?”. Julia Falter (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, French, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include Teaching English and French as a Foreign Language, and Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures. She also teaches English classes for adults. Alexander Gaiselmann (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Social Sciences, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. He spent a semester abroad at Swansea University in Wales. His 8 research interests include Sociocultural Linguistics and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Sophie Gnech (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, History, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. She has won the Queen’s Prize for her bachelor thesis on the different images of the hero and heroine in Beowulf and Tolkien. Her research interests include Gender Studies, British Literature from the 19th century to the present, Children’s Literature, and Young Adult Fiction. Kiray Gray (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Biology, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include Extracurricular Learning Environments as well as Ecocriticism, Postcolonial and Feminist subjects. Svenja Harzem (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, French, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn, where she is a tutor in English Literature as well as a research assistant in the Department of English (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). She spent a semester abroad at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès. Her research interest is Postcolonial Studies. Christina Kattwinkel (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, History, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn and works as a graduate assistant at the Department of Educational Sciences. She spent a semester abroad at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Lennart Krieger (B.A.) has studied English Studies and Philosophy as an undergraduate student at the University of Cologne from 2012 to 2017. During this time, he spent an academic year studying Modern Philosophy at the University of Warwick from 2014 until 2015. Since 2017, he is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Philosophy, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. His research interests are Anglophone Postcolonial Literature, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Postmodern American Literature, Dystopian Fiction, Modern Philosophy, Epistemology, and Metaphysics. Kevin Kuypers (B.A.) completed his bachelor’s degree in English, Social Sciences, and Educational Sciences at the University of Münster. He is now pursuing a Master of Education at the University of Bonn. His research interests include Linguistics and (Religious) Sociology. 9 Pavan Kumar Malreddy (PhD) is a professor at the Department of English and American Studies (New Anglophone Literatures and Cultures) at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Currently, he is researching on armed rebellions in India, Burma and Nigeria. His research project includes World Literatures, Postcolonial Studies, and discourses of terrorism. Marc Nöthen (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education at the University of Bonn. His research interests include British Literatures and Cultures (with a specific interest in Picture Book Theory) as well as Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (with a specific interest in First Australian, Native American and Indian authors). Carolin Sampels (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Geography and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include the use of media in classrooms. Christine Strackbein (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, Geography, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include students’ conceptions in Geography class. Michelle Skruth (B.A.) is pursuing a Master of Education in English, History, and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. Her research interests include Minority Fiction: Postcolonial, African and African American Fiction. 10 Introduction: Postcolonial Indian Experiences - Teaching 'the Faces' of a Rising Nation Daniel Schönbauer (Brühl/Bonn) Introduction: Postcolonial Indian Experiences – Teaching ‘the faces’ of a Rising Nation India has been an Anglophone country of interest in foreign language education for some time (cf. Wandel 2013: 387). There are numerous reasons for teaching India. From the point of view of literary and cultural studies, Ellen Dengel-Janic, for instance, underlines that Indian literature has become an important part of world literature because of its vibrant heterogeneity of conflicted voices (cf. 2007: 150). Likewise, both Joybrato Mukherjee and Oliver von Knebel-Doeberitz (formerly Linder) representing the point of view of the teaching of English as a foreign language (TEFL) have used the metaphors of “the Indian Kaleidoscope” (Mukherjee 2006) and “the Jewel in the Classroom” (Lindner 2010) to illustrate the importance of India for the classroom. In fact, Teaching India by Oliver Lindner (von Knebel-Doeberitz) has been, notwithstanding, the most elaborate theoretically founded publication regarding the teaching of India ever since its publication in 2008. This interest to include India is representative of a common interest of EFL research to widen its focus in favour of appreciating cultures other than ‘mainstream’ British and American literature and culture (Wandel 2006: 87f. / Freitag & Gymnich 2005: 260). Despite these valuable demands to teach India in class, Reinhold Wandel, in 2013, criticised the matter as follows: “German EFL experts and teachers are too far removed from everyday Indian life and therefore lack both knowledge and experience of Indian reality” (396). He exemplifies his criticism by arguing that the teaching of India is often limited to a canon of traditional Indian literature. Following this 11 criticism, a Master of Education seminar at the University of Bonn in the Winter Term 2017/2018 focused on the current state of the arts when it comes to teaching India as a rising postcolonial nation and developed approaches to face the challenges expressed by Reinhold Wandel. Guided by an interest in interconnected major insights of postcolonial literary studies with the teaching of literature and culture, the participants explored the different ‘faces’ of postcolonial India. As a result, the edited volume at hand pursues two major objectives: (1) It provides a collection of articles dealing with different ‘faces’ of Indian postcolonial identity and thereby considers canonical as well as current issues in research on India; (2) The articles do not only seek to provide insight into where we are academically at, but also to be as concrete and critical as possible in terms of paving ways of why and how to approach these ‘faces’ in a literary-based EFL classroom. The present volume is divided into four parts. Following this introduction, Pavan Kumar Malreddy provides a survey on pedagogical perspectives to approach a teaching of the different ‘faces’ of postcolonial India, thereby focusing on structural, internal as well as external/diasporic divisions. In this context, he refers to a variety of texts, clips and images and presents possible suggestions of how to read, watch and teach them in class. The divisions sketched in his article set the base for the following subchapters, which follow a consistent structure: Based on one selected literary text, the articles analyse how these texts represent and (re-)construct postcolonial Indian experience(s) (WHAT?). They take the perspective of postcolonial literary and cultural studies as a base for an analysis from the point of view of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) (WHY?). Thereby, the articles discuss the chances and challenges when considering reading and teaching the respective text in class. Finally, teaching activities following the constructivist PWP-model open some perspective(s) of how to teach postcolonial Indian literature in class. The following articles are categorised according to the aforementioned divisions or ‘faces’ of postcolonial India: From Empire to Globalisation: Historical Perspectives The first set of articles is related to historical perspectives. Based on the understanding of the term ‘postcolonial’, which means “all of the culture affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day” (Ashcroft et al. 1989: 2), the articles focus on 12 colonial India, the period of partition as well as post-independence India. The first article by Natascha Münnich focuses on the colonial short story “The Rise of Ram Din” by Alice Perrin. In fact, “the genre of the short story was seen as especially well equipped to meet the programmatic demands and tastes of the colonial readership” (Dengel-Janic 2007: 138). Dealing with “The Rise of Ram Din” in class introduces students to a text whose author was one of those Anglo- Indian writers who “considered their works to function as a corrective to idealized and romanticized image of India and colonial life and thus wanted to present an alternative, more truthful image than the one circulating in the mother-country [i.e. Great Britain]” (ibid.). Representing (and thereby criticising) a stereotypical colonial power relation between a master and a servant, the story offers the chance to analyse how (colonial literary) stereotypes are constructed and to become aware of the imbalance of power in colonial India. The most traumatic event of Indian history, however, is the Partition of colonial India into the (Muslim) state of Pakistan and the (Hindu) state of India in 1947. The trauma of Partition, the history of nationalism and the problems of coming to terms have been of relevance in Indian as well as Pakistani literature and culture until today and serve as explanation for the ongoing conflicts between the two nuclear nations (cf. ibid.: 149). One of the most prolific authors reflecting these effects of Partition is Saadat Manto. “The Return” taken from his short story collection Mottled Dawn is the literary text Michelle Skruth analyses in terms of its suitability for the EFL classroom. Since trauma, violence and war are part of human existence, one cannot avoid discussing such sensitive topics in the EFL classroom. In her article, Michelle Skruth argues in favour of analytically teaching such texts since trauma and violence represent the limits of the intercultural paradigm of cultural relativity in terms of asking students to have empathy with (almost) any ‘other’ perspective they face. In the following, this section also considers perspectives of postindependence India. Arundhati Roy is, notwithstanding, one of the most famous representatives of this phase of Indian literature. Her debut novel The God of Small Things reflects a phase in the development of Indian literature marked by “a turn to postmodern techniques, metafiction, cosmopolitanism, and a focus on marginalized groups within Indian society” (ibid.: 143). This, at first glance, seems to be quite a challenge for the classroom. Kevin Kuypers elaborates on this hy- 13 pothesis and discusses to what extent the novel’s aesthetically complex representation of postcolonial Indian experience could be overcome for teaching purposes. Even though his article is the only one in this edited volume concluding that a consideration of the selected text represents too much of a burden to teach in class, he underlines the necessity of a critical analysis of any piece of literature from the point of view of literary and cultural studies as well as EFL teaching prior to methodological considerations. Ever since the beginning of colonial trade relations in the 16th century, India has been shaped by global developments, which accelerated in the 20th century when especially the influence of Western companies drastically changed the country: “India is succeeding in branches which the West and Japan had hitherto regarded as their hegemonic asset, namely the advantage of being on the cutting edge of technological progress” (Lindner 2010: 59). In this context, one oftentimes speaks of the ‘Americanisation of India’. It is, therefore, safe to say that India is one of the most important global players. This ‘economic’ face of Indian postcolonial identity is the focus of Marc Nöthen’s article on India Becoming by Akash Kapur, who introduces the reader to his experiences of the change of the rural India he lived in as a child towards a Western-influenced global India he had to face after his return to India after having studied and worked in the U.S. These experiences represent a useful resource to discuss the effects globalisation has had on the Anglophone postcolonial world. Inside Perspectives: Cultural ‘Faces’ of Present-Day India After having elaborated on historical developments of postcolonial Indian identity, the focus shifts towards ‘inner faces’ of the country. Despite India’s growth of (economic) self-confidence, the country is characterised by religious, social and cultural contradictions (cf. Lindner 2010: 59). It is the aim of the articles in this section to elaborate on the literary representation of these tensions. In this regard, Bollywood is regarded a carrier of Indian culture, and people not only in India, but worldwide are interested Bollywood productions (cf. Krämer 2008: 107). Being increasingly influenced by Western culture, Bollywood, therefore can be regarded as transcultural phenomenon, which is worth introducing in the EFL classroom. English Vinglish, in this context, is a relatively new production which builds on common stereotypes and skilfully deconstructs these aesthetically intertwining Western cinematic elements with typical features of Indi- 14 an Bollywood films because such an approach “can heighten pupils’ awareness of the remarkable ideological implications of film texts that most people dismiss as harmless entertainment” (ibid.: 115). Following this idea(l), Christina Büttgen, Carolin Sampels and Christine Strackbein provide a thoughtful critical reading of selected parts of the film and student-centred activities to actively work with the film in class. When elaborating on the challenges post-independence India must face, literature dealing with the situation of women is inevitable since “the exploration of how women are defined by social, political and economic forces is central to Indian women’s writing in English” (Dengel-Janic 2007: 145). The short story “Mother” by Baburao Bagul does not only criticise gender roles but also hierarchies of family structures. Reading and teaching this short story in class offer students the chance to deal with perspectives, which were not adequately represented in colonial discourse: women and Dalits. Thereby, the story exemplifies the idea of ‘postcolonial feminism’, which is, however, “not only occupied with essentializing and universalizing tendencies in Western feminism, but also addresses options of political activism and the question of who may speak for whom” (Wandel et al. 2007: 215). The analysis of this short story provided by Christina Kattwinkel helps learners to become aware of the necessity to “take local contexts into account without losing sight of the complex global situation in order to avoid undue homogenization” (ibid.). Her article, in fact, is a valuable starting point for further necessary investigation on the state of gender issues in today’s postcolonial world. When asking students about their association(s) towards India, they will most likely stick to stereotypes and limit India to colonial exoticism, post-independence poverty and precarity as well as food, clothes and cinema which especially loom large in the Indian diaspora. This “cliché-ridden (mis-)perception of the subcontinent” (Mukherjee 2006: 143) is a fruitful base for a cultural approach to question and overcome cultural stereotypes. One short story, which fits this context particularly well, is Meher Pestonji’s “Outsider” analysed by Julia Falter, Sophie Gnech and Svenja Harzem. Reflecting the perspective(s) of young adults, the selection of this story is of interest for the classroom in terms of identification with the perspectives provided in the story. Their suggested teaching activities take the students’ interest and lifestyle into consideration and thereby reacts to the criticism put for- 15 ward by Reinhold Wandel arguing that the everyday life of young Indians is hardly considered in class (cf. 2013: 396). India as a Global Community: Diasporic Experiences The final section of this edited volume focuses on Indian diasporic experiences. In fact, the Indian diaspora is one of the world’s largest diasporic communities. Authors such as Salman Rushdie and Jhumpha Lahiri underline Ellen Dengel-Janic’s statement “that authors of the Indian diaspora focus particularly on issues relating to (multiple) identity, transculturality and the difficulties of belonging (2007: 147). This is in accord with the experiences of members of the Indian diaspora in the 21st century. In fact, globalisation and global exchange have resulted in a new understanding of ‘India’ and an overcoming of secondgeneration identity construction(s) based on the binary dichotomy of ‘West’ and ‘East’ or ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. Instead, there is an “intense desire to overcome feelings of aloofness, trauma and loss […] by a longing for reconciliation of what was left behind with what is possible in the present” (Alam 2013: 248). In this regard, the so-called ‘myth of return’ has turned into an appreciation of India as a fluid, transcultural global community, which, in turn, also reflects the reality students will likely have to face in their (future) lives. Nevertheless, dealing with (Indian) diasporic fiction has also been a focal point of criticism. For instance, Reinhold Wandel comes to the ironic conclusion that “India […] seems to be situated somewhere in the outskirts of Leicester or in London’s East End” (2013: 388). He thereby wants to criticise that limiting India to its diaspora results in a neglection of “India proper” (ibid.: 389); thereby also questioning the authenticity of a limitation of postcolonial Indian identity to its diasporic centres. The first two articles focus on short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, one of – if not the – most famous representatives of the American Indian diaspora. As put forward by Laurenz Volkmann, Lahiri’s (short) fiction is of particular interest for the classroom since she herself “not only [reflects] […] processes of identity formation” but also “[serves] a need of both critics and readers for literature or the media to provide aesthetically pleasing images and fictional conceptualizations of […] global identities” (2008: 18). Especially her short story collection Interpreter of Maladies illustrates the dichotomous construction of diasporic identity torn between “a sense of loss” on the one hand and a “sense of gain” (ibid.: 19) on the other hand. Alexander Gaiselmann (“Mrs Sen’s) and Laura Commer & Kira Jil Gray (“When Mr Pirza- 16 da Came to Dine”) illustrate that both the short story as well as the short story collection can be used to critically deal with incidents of cultural misunderstandings and conflicts in class. On top of that, the authors highlight that these stories help to introduce typical problems of the Anglophone postcolonial world in class: questions of belonging, immigrant experiences as well as possible resistance to processes of assimilation (cf. ibid.: 20). After having elaborated on literary examples of the American Indian diaspora, the article by Lennart Krieger elaborates on one novel, which has already found its way into the German EFL classroom: Bali Rai’s (un)arranged marriage. In fact, arranged marriage is a topic students are likely to associate with India because of its stereotypical representation in media and films. Whilst from a Eurocentric perspective this concept is likely to be met with criticism, the concept is rather positively connoted in India itself. Using the novel in class, combining it with other examples of (literary) texts in form of a textual framework and addressing arranged marriage in class, the “students are able to reflect on their own stereotypes and prejudices and to discuss similar situations in their own culture” (Mukherjee 2006: 145). Despite Reinhold Wandel’s criticism of a hidden canon of Indian literature, Salman Rushdie is still one of the dominant authors of Indian literature. Though almost all his novels do not stand the criterion of appropriate length which is manageable for young learners, his short stories collection East/West represents a valuable resource to introduce his very own style of writing and inherent criticism of Indian post-independence identity to the classroom. In this context, Sophie Gnech & Svenja Harzem use the (famous) short story “A Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” to illustrate that reading and teaching Rushdie in class is, indeed, possible and enriching in terms of making his implicit criticism in the story explicit to the learners. Their activities provide a reasonable approach to not only analytically but also creatively deal with this story. Carolin Bialecki’s article on the autobiography Lion, which has recently been adapted for a film, concludes this section. Introducing such an autobiographical experience in class fulfils a central demand by Reinhold Wandel arguing for “authentic reports, tales recounting exemplary and typical situation, conflicts, real-life experiences, biographical sketched etc. conveyed in vivid and graphic modes” (2013: 395). Since there has hardly been research on the benefits of autobiographical texts, this article provides a precious starting point for fur- 17 ther academic elaboration. In fact, Carolin Bialecki succeeds in providing both a convincing reading of the construction of this specific example of diasporic identity and a sensitive approach to dealing with the cinematic representation of the traumatic experience of an adoptive boy living in Australia after accidentally getting lost in India. Last but not least…. I would like to thank all contributors for their patience during the editorial process and the effort they put in the (re-)writing of their articles. It was an honour to work together with you in the winter term 2017/2018 and I will always positively think back to our common discussions. Next, I thank Sophie Gnech, Svenja Harzem, Milena Niesen, Fabian Richartz, Alina Tary and Sofia Ullah for their invaluable help during the editing process and reading of the manuscript. Without their help, this publication would not have been possible. Finally, I am most grateful to the Department of English, American and Celtic Studies at the University of Bonn for their generous financial support for the publication of this edited volume. November 2019 Bonn/Brühl Daniel Schönbauer Works cited Alam, F. (2013). The Mythos of Return and Recent Indian English Diasporic Fiction. In Krishna Sen & Rituparna Roy (Eds.), Writing India Anew. Indian English Fiction 2000-2010 (pp. 247-257). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Ashcroft, B. & Griffiths, G. & Tiffin, H. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures. London and New York: Routledge. Dengel-Janic, E. (2007). South Asia. In Lars Eckstein (Ed.), English Literatures Across the Globe (pp. 133- 157). Paderborn: UTB. Freitag, B. & Gymnich, M. (2005). New English and Postcolonial Literatures im Fremdsprachenunterricht. In Wolfgang Hallet & Ansgar Nünning (Eds.), Neue Ansätze und Konzepte der Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik (pp. 259-276). Trier: WVT. 18 Krämer, L. (2008). Bollywood in the Classroom. Opportunities and Problems of Teaching Popular Indian Cinema. In Oliver Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 107-123). Heidelberg: Winter. Lindner, O. (2010). India: The Jewel in the Classroom. In: Maria Eisenmann, Nancy Grimm & Laurenz Volkmann (Eds.), Teaching the New English Cultures & Literatures (pp. 59-72). Heidelberg: Winter. Mukherjee, J. (2006). Unity in Diversity: the Indian Kaleidoscope in the EFL Classroom. In Werner Delanoy & Laurenz Volkmann (Eds.), Cultural Studies in the EFL Classroom (pp. 143-151). Heidelberg: Winter. Neumann, B. (2009). Fictions of Memory im Fremdsprachenunterricht: Literatur- und Kulturdidaktische Perspektiven auf Literarische Inszenierungen von Erinnerung und Identität. In Wolfgang Hallet & Ansgar Nünning (Eds.), Romandidaktik. Theoretische Grundlagen, Methoden, Lektüreanregungen (pp. 353-370). Trier: WVT. Volkmann, L. (2008). Interpreter of Maladies / Interpreter of Cultures. Interand Transcultural Aspects of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Stories. In Oliver Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 17-34). Heidelberg: Winter. Wandel, R. (2006). Still some way to go…Indian English Narratives in the German EFL-Classroom. In Bern-Peter Lange & Mara Pandurang (Eds.), Mediating Indian Writing in English. German Responses (pp. 86-109). Jaipur: Rawat. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom – Issues and Problems. In Jana Gohrisch & Ellen Grünkemeier (Eds.), Cross/Cultures: Readings in Post-Colonial Literatures and Cultures in English (pp. 387-398). Amsterdam: Rodopi. Wandel, R. & Bartels, A. & Sutter, M. (2007). Women and Postcolonial Literature in the EFL Classroom. In Helene Decke-Cornill & Laurenz Volkmann (Eds.), Gender Studies and Foreign Language Teaching (pp. 209- 226). Tübingen: Narr. 19 The Idea of India - Pedagogical Perspectives Pavan Kumar Malreddy We often hear people saying: Oh yes, the idea of India existed in the Vedic period, it existed in the Gupta period, it existed in the Mughal period, and so on. I would beg to differ with that. We don’t really know how people saw themselves with regard to questions of ‘Am I state? Am I nation? Am I country? (Romila Thapar in Conversation with Spivak, History for Space 2019, n.p.) In a letter to Charles Freer Andrews in 1921, the Bengali literary legend Rabindranath Tagore wrote: “my India is an idea and not a geographical expression. Therefore I am not a patriot” (Tagore 1994: 294). Almost a century later, the “idea of India” finds its resonance in the realities of post-independence nation-making, internal ruptures, external influences, and the blurred cultural boundaries – “shadow lines”, as Amitav Ghosh calls them – between India and other South Asian nations at large. It thus comes as no surprise that Romila Thapar, perhaps one of the most celebrated historians of India, goes on to question: When did the idea of India come into existence? One can’t date it, of course, because one can seldom date ideas with precision. Ideas have a way of wandering around backwards, and so on—you can’t pinpoint them. Let me begin by saying that it’s a modern idea, a concept which I think emerges in colonial times (2019: n.p.). Yet, this imaginary cartography of India has been the source of myriad Orientalist ideologies, making the “idea of India” even more difficult to render into disciplinary pedagogies. 20 Teaching India, in that sense, becomes a counterintuitive exercise given that it is – and has always been – an object of endless epistemic deferrals. In the context of Euro-American classrooms, it is prone to three peculiar constructions: 1) India as a singular national culture; 2) India as an object of Oriental yearns and exotic amalgamation of languages, religions and cultures, and 3) a rapidly changing nation – New India – with an expansive diasporic community, extreme economic disparities, immense technological potential, gendered social hierarchies, and archaic social customs that ceaselessly collide with one another. While engaging with these constructs, this chapter aims to provide tentative insights to teaching India to Euro-American students both at basic and advanced levels through a series of prompts consisting of images, film clips, commentaries and vignettes by prominent Indian writers, feminists and theorists. The inherently fragmented nature of this approach would not only help students to absorb the complexity of India projected through a wide spectrum of metaphors and symbols but would also expose them to the difficulties of deducing a linear narrative or a discourse of national culture without falling prey to the fractures, disruptions, ellipses, and misrepresentations imparted therein. In particular, the chapter focuses on the three principle divisions and disruptions produced by various actors, actants, and stakeholders to the mantle of postcolonial India: 1) the structural divisions enabled by India-Pakistan partition; 2) the internal divisions that constantly unsettle any claims for homogeneous national identity; and 3) the external projection of the affinity, polarity, and diversity of Indian identities in the diasporic discourses. But before I delve into the intricacies of these divisions, two significant historical events that are central to the processes of postcolonial nation building in India merit further attention: The 1857 Sepoy Revolt and the Kashmir dispute. These would serve as a “warm up” exercise to the students. 1.1 Prompt, Headline: 1857 National Revolt After presenting the prompt on a slide, the students should be directed to research on the headline for ten minutes using their electronic devices, or an article on Indian history provided by the instructor. The students should be assigned to the following tasks: 21 1. find out what happened in British India in 1857 • when the students respond, then redirect them to find out how many religious groups participated in the events of 1857 2. find out a map of British India in 1857 • when found, reorient the students to list the types of sovereign powers present in British India Instructors’ follow up: The above prompt as well as the tasks will ensure that the students are exposed to one of the major events in British India that shaped the history of the subcontinent, one that also reveals that complex communal convergence and divergence in colonial India, with Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs both fighting for, and fighting against the British Raj. The 1857 Sepoy Revolt (also known as ‘Nationalist Revolt’ or ‘the Mutiny’) broke out in Central and Northern India, specifically in Calcutta, Oudh, Meerut and Jhansi. The revolt was led by Indian soldiers (sepoys) of the East India Company, who were not only influenced by the growing anti-British sentiments amongst native princely rulers, but also by the rumour that cartridges of the newly introduced Enfield rifle – which the sepoys had to unseal with their teeth – were coated with a wax drawn from a mix of cow and pig fat. Since Muslims do not eat pork and cows are sacred for Hindus, it was believed that the sepoys collectively revolted against the East India Company. This example also exposes students to the vexed problem of postcolonial India; the communalization of conflict between Hindus and Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs (which also corresponds to India and Pakistan). The Sepoy Revolt example highlights the communal bonds, rather than the divisions, among Hindus and Muslims in colonial India. It further testifies to what Cynthia Talbot calls the colonial construction “of social strife (which) were labelled as religious due to the Orientalist assumption that religion was the fundamental division in Indian society” (1995: 693). This is largely due to the fact that the British attempted to valorize any political resistance from the Indian peasants, sovereign rulers, or tribal groups as religiously-motivated, thereby communally orchestrated violence rather than an ideological or politically motivated one – a view objected by many literary and cultural critiques on India (Guha 1983). Such colonial discourses of communal construction also provide the link to the next prompt; the Kashmir dispute, and the self-perception of Indian Hindus and Muslims in 22 postcolonial India who “see themselves as distinct religious communities, essentially two separate nations occupying the same ground” (Talbot 1995: 693). Once the students find out the map of British India in 1857, which is located on Wikimedia1, the instructor should then direct the students to list the number of princely states, provinces and sovereign powers present in India at the time of the Sepoy Revolt. The instructor should then draw attention to the fact that while the state of Kashmir with a Muslim majority was ruled by a Hindu king, the State of Hyderabad with a Hindu majority was ruled by a Muslim king. The active cultivation of such asymmetrical power relations by the colonizer is touted to be one of the major factors in the development of communal identities in postcolonial India. At the same time, the students will have gleaned by the impression of the map, with the instructor’s guidance, that India as a nation-state is also a colonial construction, for in 1857, there existed only a collection of sovereign states, colonial enclaves, and disputed areas stretching across the vast terrain touching Iran in the West and the Bay of Bengal in the East, that would later become India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As Romila Thapar aptly reminds us, “with each conquest, the boundaries change until, finally at the end of the nineteenth century, the entire subcontinent is painted red – that is the India of the British Empire” (History for Space 2019: n.p.). 1.2 Reading, The Kashmir Dispute The instructor should circulate a short article published in The Telegraph (link in the works cited) and give the students five minutes to find out 1) origins of the Kashmir dispute; 2) different stakeholders in the dispute; and 3) its present status. Given the readability of the article, the students would most likely draw out the appropriate answers, of which the instructor should highlight the following points on a slide/PowerPoint: • Kashmir was one of some 650 remaining princely states at the end of British reign in the subcontinent (1947), ruled by a Hin- 1 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_revolt_of_1857_states_map. svg. 23 du king named Maharaja Hari Singh, who had the choice either to join India or Pakistan, but he chose to remain neutral • Both sides, India and Pakistan, were making their own attempts to persuade the king to join their respective countries, but Hari Singh, fearing a military attack from Pakistan chose to cede Kashmir to India • India and Pakistan fought a first war in 1947, which resulted in a UN resolution in 1948 allowing the people of Kashmir to decide their own fate through a “free and fair” plebiscite, i.e. whether to choose India, Pakistan but not necessarily remain independent • In 1949, another ceasefire was agreed with “65 per cent of the territory under Indian control and the remainder with Pakistan”. Subsequently a ‘Line of Control’ was drawn between Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir • In 1957, Kashmir was formally ceded into the Indian Union with a special status (Article 370, which was repealed in 2019 by Narendra Modi’s government) • In 1965, a war broke out again, and in 1971 another one, when India extended military support and aided the separation of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from the West (now Pakistan). As these details would ascertain, the dispute over Kashmir at the end of the British reign has shaped the formation of young nations and national identities across three countries – India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – while Kashmir itself remains in a limbo, suspended in a nonnational realm of deferred identities. The very fact that Kashmir was always subject to the discourses of belonging either to Indian or Pakistan, Hindus or Muslims, liberators or “terrorists”, underscores a postcolonial point that seeks to preserve the autonomy and agency of the colonized natives, while simultaneously acknowledging the entangled histories, and indispensable power structures of colonialism. The instructor could then lead the quandary of Kashmir as the defining feature of postcolonialism. Of the many working definitions on the subject, perhaps Stuart Hall’s definition is best suited for the purpose of the current discussion: So, postcolonial is not the end of colonisation. It is after a certain kind of colonialism, after a certain moment of high imperialism and colonial occupation – in the wake of it, in the shadow of it, in- 24 flected by it – it is what it is because something else has happened before, but it is also something new (Hall in Drew 1999: 230; emphasis in original). In view of this definition, it is possible to read the occupation of Kashmir as a kind of colonialism – either by India or Pakistan – were we to give its aspirations for autonomy and independence due consideration, the same aspirations that fueled the desire for independence in the two countries from British colonialism. In a sense, the postcolonial condition of Kashmir could be read as a legacy of both “something else” and “something new”; a toxic blend of British colonialism, and the internal colonialism of India and Pakistan. The instructor could apply this view/definition of postcolonialism – i.e. a mix of old structures of dominance and oppression that shape the new ones – to postcolonial India as well. In other words, postcolonial India itself is a reflection of many microcosmic Kashmirs, which are characterized by unfulfilled nationality questions, unresolved class, caste and tribal divisions, indigenous ambitions and struggles of ethnic secession. In order to further the various textual and medial examples of these fractured and fissured identities in the subsequent sections, two key theoretical underpinnings of postcolonial nationalism in India call for a closer scrutiny: (a) Homi K. Bhaba’s (2004 [1994]: 51, 207—08] distinction between pedagogic and performative nationalism Pedagogic: nation states, largely dominated by elites and educated classes unleash nationalist symbols such as national anthems, clothes, food, monuments etc. Performative: since the people, who are the subjects of the nation, are never singular but diverse, they receive these nationalist symbols and perform them in diverse ways (b) Partha Chatterjee’s (1993, 51-131) distinction between derivative and generative nationalism Generative: The opposite of derivative; nationalism generating from within the nation 25 Derivative: Nationalism that is not born out of inner life or inner desire for a nation, but out of anti-colonial, anti-British ideologies; often resulting from the imitation of the nationalist ideologies in Europe by the Western-educated leaders in India. The elite, who initially concede the inferiority of the colonized state to the colonial one (“moment of departure”), embark on modernizing the nation by amassing the mass support of diverse indigenous masses (“moment of manoeuvre”), but eventually abandon the latter’s aspirations and desires once nation-building process becomes complete (“moment of arrival”) As both the theorists imply, a continuation of colonial legacy between inherited history and new beginnings, between pedagogic nationalism and performative forces, and between derivative and generative discourses, postcolonial India remains a competing narrative of an incomplete nation one that not only inhabits but actively cultivates fractures, fissures, divisions, including diverse claims of nationalities within, of which I shall highlight three variants below: 1) structural; 2) internal; 3) and external/diasporic. 2 Structural Divisions 2.1 Reading & Discussion of Saddat Manto’s Story “Toba Tek Singh” (1955) Set during the partition of India and Pakistan, Saddat Manto’s famous story offers a fitting extension of the Kashmir dispute. The story, as well as the very process of partition, deals with the structural divisions within India. These pertain not only to the physical division of a nation, but also the mental construction of ideological walls on either side of the fractured space. The story is set in a lunatic asylum in Lahore. Although the author states that the story takes place after some three years of India-Pakistan partition, there is an inner timelessness to the story given that most characters are lunatics who have “no idea what day it was, what month it was, or how many years had passed” (n.p.). Hence, it could be argued the story might even be set in the interregnum between the commencement of partition on 14 August 1947 and the announcement of the boarders of each country (“Radcliffe Line”) three days later. The story itself revolves around a bizarre idea conceived by the officials on both sides of the border: to exchange the lunatics who claimed or deemed to belong to the other 26 country. The protagonist of the story is a Sikh lunatic called Bishan Singh, but his fellow lunatics call him ‘Toba Tek Singh’ because of his obsession over his hometown by the same name. At a border post between the two countries where the exchange of the lunatics was to take place, Toba Tek Singh makes a frenzied but fatal move to find out whether his hometown went to India or Pakistan: […] he stopped in the middle and stood there on his swollen legs as if now no power could move him from that place. Since the man was harmless, no further force was used on him. He was allowed to remain standing there, and the rest of the work of the exchange went on. In the pre-dawn peace and quiet, from Bishan Singh’s throat there came a shriek that pierced the sky […] From here and there a number of officers came running, and they saw that the man who for fifteen years, day and night, had constantly stayed on his feet, lay prostrate. There, behind barbed wire, was Hindustan. Here, behind the same kind of wire, was Pakistan. In between, on that piece of ground that had no name, lay Toba Tek Singh (n.p.). Given the metonymical mirroring in the story, i.e. the place Toba Tek Singh is being replaced by the person Bishan Singh, who becomes synonymous with the place, it is possible to read that what “lays” between the “piece of ground that had no name” is not necessarily Bishan Singh, but his hometown – the place itself – Toba Tek Singh. Seen from this perspective, the allegorical death of a town on a “piece of ground” that essentially belongs to, and is separated by, the ground beyond the barbed wire denotes a structural violence in which both the nation’s body and the nation as body could be moved from a borderless entity to entrapped fence, from a place to non-place, and from a ‘piece of land’ to no-man’s land. 27 2.2 Discussion of Images 1 and 2: Sadhus and Capitalism Image 1 Image 22 The two images above bespeak of another structural divide in the Indian society, particularly in the context of economic liberalization in the 1990s as well as the market capitalism of the post-millennial era. The first image, which came into the media limelight from an anonymous source in the late 90s, is symbolic of the sheer polarities of tradition and modernity, destiny and desire, fate and future that characterize postcolonial India. The guru or Godman, who is holding a cell phone, shatters Orientalist myths about India, as, for instance, advanced by the French anthropologists Louis Dumont (1970) who argued that Indian society lacked individuality given the hierarchical and ideological pre-eminence of the Hindu religion. The juxtaposition of a Sadhu and a cell phone, as seen in the picture, not only suggests that presence of an ascetic individual on the fringes of Hindu ideology and its hierarchy by means of withdrawing himself “from the world in order to pursue his salvation” (Srinivas 1984: 153), but also his penchant for what is otherwise the hallmark of post-millennial individualism; the possession of a cell phone. The second image represents a related paradox, albeit one more closely associated with commodification of spirituality. The promotional image of Patanjali Ayurved – a series of food and cosmetic products – claiming to possess some natural divinity privy to Hinduism and its land – featuring one of its founders, Bhabha Ramdev, is indeed a glaring testimony to the aggressive marketing of the spirit of 2 Images taken from the following sources: Image 1: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/7593567/In dia-has-more-mobile-phones-than-toilets-UN-report.html. Image 2: https://inc42.com/buzz/patanjali-ecommerce-baba-ramdev/. 28 “new India” by select ideologues, institutions, and political bodies in the post-millennial era. Sure enough, the Patanjali Ayurved, which capitalizes on the ancient traditions and practises of yoga and naturopathy, and features products as wide ranging as peanuts, chips, ‘fairness creams’, and ramen noodles, is currently valued at $1 billion. These postcolonial, or rather post-millennial paradoxes are perhaps best summed up in the vignette that follows the image below: 2.3 Discussion of Image 3: A Tale of Sarees and Bikinis Image 33 The image above, captured on a popular beach in Goa, enunciates yet another structural divide between the value of modernity and tradition, native and the foreign, including the discourses of public safety and risk, as evinced a mooted debate in the local parliament. One faction of the parliamentarians, ostensibly representing a Hindu nationalist party, proposed the banning of bikinis in Goan beaches as they are not suitable for Indian culture, whereas the other faction proposed the banning of Sarees and Salwar Kameez – both native attires for Indian women – for they are not be suitable for swimming and even pose the risk of drowning (Chunha 2014: n.p.) While the examples above help the students define the structural divisions that shape the idea of postcolonial India by which the notions of national self and the foreign other, indigenous and exploitative, and traditional and modern are constituted, the following section 3 Image taken from the following source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wiki pedia/commons/a/ae/Women_with_sari_at_Colva_beach_%28Goa%2C_India %29.jpg. 29 focuses on three specific examples of the divisions internal to the sociopolitical fabric of India. 3 Internal Divisions 3.1 Reading and Discussion of Mahasweta Devi’s “Douloti the Bountiful” (1993) Devi’s story is a tragic tale of a 14 year-old young tribal girl named Douloti whose life is dictated by “upper caste” men who sell and resell her for a fistful of rupees that she inherits from her father Ganori Nagesia, as debt. Due to her father’s failure to repay the debt from a local baniya named Munbar, Douloti is sold as a bonded labour to the baniya trader. A local Brahmin named Paramananda Mishir proposes Ganori Nagesia that he would pay off his debt (to Munbar) in exchange for his daughter’s hand. Eventually, Ganori Nagesia marries his daughter off to Paramananda and breaks free of his indebtedness. But Rampiyari, the housekeeper and manager of a whorehouse, where Douloti is sent to work by her newly-wed husband, spares no thought for the fathers who resell their daughters in the name of marriage (Collu 1999: 54): “Your fathers! They blow me away. The animal says marriage, he’ll marry a Dusad, Dhobi, Chamar, Parhaiya girl? Brahmans? Who burn harijans? They catch you to make you a kamiya now they’ll eat the fruit of your womb” (Devi 1993: 59). The above quote serves as a hermeneutical grid to unravel the internal divisions of Indian social organization, particularly those of the caste system – an endogamous social unit tied with occupational guilds in which a person’s identity, status and occupation in a society are ascribed by birth (see Srinivas 1987; Omvedt 1988) – its preservation under the colonial rule, and its reification by the postcolonial Indian elite as well as its relationship to the tribal people of India. At this stage the students can be directed to conduct a short research task (using online resources) with the following terms from the story: Nagesia, Parhaiya (tribal people) - Who are they? What part of India do they come from? - Are they part of the caste system? Chamar, Dusad, harijans (Untouchables) - What is the place of the untouchables in India? 30 - What is the justification for its existence? Brahmins, Baniya (names of castes) - What are the functions of theses castes in colonial and postcolonial India? Upon the completion of the task above, a subsidiary task emanating from the discussion on castes and tribes in colonial and postcolonial India could be used to familiarize the role of two important figures in colonial and postcolonial India, and their respective positions on caste and tribal divisions within the nation: • Birsa Munda • B.R. Ambedkar These tasks provide the cultural as well as analytical context to understand the fateful end of Douloti’s life near a hand drawn map of India in front of a crowd gathered to celebrate India’s Independence Day: Filling the entire Indian peninsula from the oceans to the Himalayas, here lies bonded labour spread-eagled, kamiya-whore Douloti Nagesia’s tormented corpse, putrefied with venereal disease, having vomited up all the blood in its desiccated lungs. Today, on the fifteenth of August, Douloti has left no room at all in the India of people like Mohan for planting the standard of the Independence flag. What will Mohan [the local schoolmaster] do now? Douloti is all over India (Devi 1993: 94). If Toba Tek Singh’s body in no-man’s land signifies the arbitrariness of maps and ideological structures, then Douloti filling “the map of India allegorically juxtaposes the body of the bona fide nation with that of the body of a bonded prostitute at its margins” (Malreddy and Purakayastha 2017: 7). Such exclusionary nature of gendered, and internally divisive India is the signature theme of Mahasweta Devi’s stories, which take stack at the double colonization of the Indian tribes by the British and the Indian elite. 3.2 Movie Clip: Discussion of Scenes from Rajkumar Hirani’s PK (2014) Instructor’s Preamble: Unlike Devi’s story, Rajkumar Hirani’s PK gestures towards the inclusive character of such internal divisions in 31 postcolonial India – often dubbed by populist politicians as ‘unity in diversity’ – specifically in relation to religious identities. Although the plot of the film revolves around the problems emanating from the multi-religious nature of the Indian society, it features an ‘alien’ protagonist who is not only a stranger to religion but to the entire humanity. The alien, who comes to be identified as PK by the earthlings, lands somewhere in a Rajasthani desert with a remote control strapped around his neck, which is stolen by a straying local. Without the remote control, PK cannot return to his planet. But everywhere PK inquires about the thief who stole his remote, he is met with the same evasive response: “God only knows”, “only God can help you find you what you want”, “pray to God that you will get your remote” (51:42). Subsequently, PK’s curiosity to figure out who this God is and why he stole his remote results in a comedy of errors that make a compelling case for the inclusive nature of each religious faith, as opposed to their putatively divisive character. Movie Clip (1.35:00 – 1.38:50) Following the instructor’s preamble to the movie, the above stated five-minute clip should be played for students, followed by a discussion on the basis of the “philosophical chairs” model dividing the entire class into two groups (agree or disagree). The two groups of students should then be tasked to respond to the following question: Does PK’s reaction to the expectations of each religion reveal the divisiveness or the inclusiveness of all religious faiths in India? Instructor’s follow up: Summarizing the two sides of the discussion, the instructor should offer an interpretative summary of the scene as outlined below. The movie clip introduces PK challenging a Hindu guru whether he could identify the religion of a person by his or her appearance. The guru accepts the challenge. Without much ado, PK parades a group of individuals, who, for the innocent bystander, appear to be a Muslim woman wearing a Niqab, a Jain in monastic attire, a Sikh warrior with turban, a Catholic priest in robes, and a Hindu saint in khadi. The guru takes PK’s challenge to be a joke and starts calling their religions – albeit wrongly – in the order of their appearance. As it turns out, PK tricked the Hindu guru by mixing up the dress code: 32 Just to show that religion is connected to fashion. See, beard, mustache, and turban, you have a Sikh. Remove the turban, you have a Hindu. Remove the mustache, there’s the Muslim. Such difference is made by a false God. If a real God wanted us to divide into so many religions, he would have put a label on us. (1.38.48) While the scenes above reveal the inclusivity, or rather the alter-ability of religious difference, it does not necessarily undermine the heuristic valence of faith. In the climax scene, for instance, Tapasvi challenges PK’s vaunted atheism in the following manner: Do you want a world without God, son? Do you have any clue of people’s suffering in the world? People who have nothing to eat, no roof above their heads, no friends to talk. People who have nothing to live for, but if they find purpose in their lives by placing faith in God, who are you to take that away from them? (2.06:00) Much to his credit, PK retorts: I agree, believing in God can give one hope and strength in the face of suffering. But I have one question. In whose God should I believe in? You say there is one God, I say no, there are two Gods: the one who made us, and the one who is made up by you [humans]. We know nothing about the God who made us. But the God you made up is just like you, the humans: Petty, corrupt, and imposturous. He makes appointments with the rich, and leaves the poor stand in a queue. He thrives on flattery but makes you live in fear. It is very simple to solve this: believe in the God who made us, and abolish the God you [humans] made up. (2.07:17) The exchange between Tapasvi and PK opens space for students to engage with the complex interplay of not only the appearance of religious differences in India but the universality, or rather the inclusivity that characterizes the perceived differences across the religious faiths. 4 External/Diasporic Difference In postcolonial studies it is often argued that diasporic communities tend to either overidentify with the (lost) nation, and as a result, produces extremely rigid identities and cultural practices in relation to the host country (Hirsch and Miller 2011). On the other hand, scholars like Edward Said (1993) argue that the exilic nature of diasporic popu- 33 lations often renders them intellectual and imaginary freedoms, and a sense of carelessness and recalcitrant agency to move away from the centers of power to the margins of society. Similarly, the Somali author Nuruddin Farah argues that being away has enabled to see their homeland “with a clear vision. Distance distills and makes ideas worth pursuing One needs to extricate oneself from the daily needs and demands of living at home” (Farah in Jonas 1988: 74-75). These various narratives of diasporic difference, emanating from times, places and social expectations external to the original cultural context of the diasporic subjects, have distinct overtones and undertones. The two examples presented below, drawn largely from the work of comedians, would aid the students to register the nuances of pushing the national and cultural stereotypes to such extremes that their significance is rendered meaningless and comical. Clip 1: Russell Peters' “Terrorists vs Indians” (2006) In the clip above, the Canadian-Indian stand-up comedian Russell Peters performs an act in which he lays out the differences between Indians and terrorists, particularly in the post-9/11 context where “brown-coloured” people have become the targets of racial and Islamophobic attacks regardless of their diverse national or religious backgrounds. As a warm up to his act, Peters deconstructs the general ideological climate in North America by reducing the fact that in passport photos “people are no longer allowed to smile”. Does this make a brown person, who does not even smile – and looks “pissed off” as a result – a more likely suspect for terrorism than those who do smile? Peters juxtaposes this climate of suspicion with another scenario involving white people who are terrified by the very presence of brown people in airports. He implores the “white folks” to consider the place and context of their encounters with terrorists before they make wild assumptions. He, then, goes on to narrate his own encounter in a small twenty-seater jet operated by Jet Blue in which the “white lady” next to him was petrified by the idea of him maybe reaching for a bomb trigger when he bends down. “Relax”, reassures an amused Peters, “I am just reaching for my CD-man”, and with a deliberate pause, delivers his punch line: “got to listen to the instructions”. Here, although the punchline “got to listen to the instructions” ambiguously overdetermines the idea that Peters might actually be “listening to the instructions” on how to blow up a bomb, he foils the implied equation with brown men and terrorists with an insidiously 34 rhetorical question: “what am I – a low self-esteemed terrorist? I don’t want to kill a lot of us today. I will start off with thirty. Tomorrow, Southwest.” At this point, the audiences are not only left with the vague concession that Indians/brown people might actually be terrorists – a perception that may not sit well with many non-diasporic Indians – but also with the improbable distinction between “low” and “high” self-esteemed terrorists with its inanely comical effect. Yet, Peters' set takes on a more rational tone when he appeals to the world to distinguish between terrorists and Indians. “They are not the same. They don’t even hate the same people. Terrorists hate Americans. Indians hate each other. A terrorist will blow up an Airport. Indians like to work at the airport. That would be counter-productive.” Again, Peters' invocation of Indian stereotypes in the act above may not confer to the views or the diverse positions of non-diasporic Indians, but for a diasporic comedian, his complex relationship to the host country urges him to invoke his cultural identity, and even push it to such extremes that it lays bare the counter-intuitiveness of all cultural stereotypes. Clip 2: Goodness Gracious Me (1988) Season 1 Episode 1, 12:50- 14:30) The second clip, entitled “Guru Maharishi Yogi”, takes stack at the famous figure by the same name who came into prominence in the United States in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The act centers on an Indian guru, who is surrounded by his unassuming British devotees, anticipating the words of his ancient wisdom. The guru acknowledges the source of his knowledge to its culture: “many people in the West think that in my country India, because of religions, because of our history, because of I don’t know what, somehow we are more in tune with our spirituality, more at one with the forces of nature. Well we are! So well done all those people who said that.” An Indian guru delivering these words in an exaggerated East London accent to a crowd of what appears to be Indianized Londoners posing themselves in a yogic gait, submissive grimace, and hunched over devotion, does more than invert the Orientalist reception of India; it nullifies all the Orientalist valence of gurus and mysticism by satirizing their putative powers as fake and fraudulent. For instance, in the very next scene the Yogi goes on to claim that “one of the ways we Indian gurus express our spirituality is through Sanskritic hymns. These are very similar to your Christian hymns, but these are very 35 catchy tunes, with more chipa (sic).” And he recites “Sanskritic” hymns ad infinitum – by tossing in a jumble of names from the Indian and English cricket team, buzz words from TV ads, catchy phrases from rock lyrics, and downright nonsensical blurts. These comical takes on their own culture by diasporic Indians produce what I have called an external difference to the understanding of India. Such difference, while representative of divisive values of the diasporic subjects in relation to the values of the home country, is nonetheless absorbed into the construction of Indian imaginary – as an idea, as a map, as a collection of cultural variables – at large. 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Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_revolt_of_1857_sta tes_map.svg Part A FROM EMPIRE TO GLOBALIZATION: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES 39 An Invitation to Colonial India – Alice Perrin’s “The Rise of Ram Din” Natascha Münnich 1 Introduction As prescribed by the Common European Framework Intercultural Communicative Competence, in short ICC, is the main goal of foreign language teaching (Müller-Hartmann & Schocker-v. Ditfurth 2014: 18). To realise this, literature is taught because it serves as “authentic material” (ibid.: 120). To help to achieve ICC regarding the Asian countries, an increasing number of German federal states deal with the topic of India in English as a Foreign Language, short EFL, classroom (cf. Wandel 2013: 387). The growing popularity of Indian literature can also be seen at German universities, where it is taught in many courses at present (Lindner 2008: 8). But why India? English is the leading second language in this country (ibid.) due to the colonisation that lasted until 1949. About 35 million English-speaking people live in India, which makes the country “the largest English-speaking community outside the USA and the UK” (British Library, n.d.). One possibility to deal with India in the EFL classroom is given in this term paper on the basis of the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” by Alice Perrin. Alice Perrin, born in India and the child of British colonisers, lived from 1867 – 1934, consequently during the time of the British Raj1. She was an Anglo-Indian novelist and short story writer, whose main focus laid on the British colonial experience in India, which she had made herself to some extent (cf. Victorian Secrets, n.d.). Her short story dealt with in this term paper is about a servant, 1 The rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent. 40 called Ram Din, and how he gains power not by means of rebellious behaviour but by just obeying orders. The aim of this term paper is to examine to what extent the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” is suitable for the EFL classroom. Additionally, the perspective of Postcolonial Studies in the EFL classroom is analysed by taking a closer look at several postcolonial concepts. In order to do that, this paper is organised as follows: It is divided into four sections, beginning with an analysis of the short story in accordance with its prevalent postcolonial key concepts. The second section analyses the short story from the point of view of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), focusing on its suitability for the classroom while weighing its chances and challenges. Afterwards, some suggestions for possible activities divided into pre-, while- and postreading activities are given. They are designed in order to secure the pupils’ understanding of the short story and to promote their ICC. In the end, a conclusion, which answers the research question regarding the suitability for the EFL classroom and points at perspectives for further research, is given. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in Alice Perrin’s “The Rise of Ram Din” Postcolonialism is “a field of study concerned with the critical analysis of the ideological impact of Western imperialism and its continuing influence” (Chandler & Munday 2016). Several postcolonial key concepts occurring in the short story can be differentiated, which help it to become more authentic regarding the colonial setting. In the following, these are discussed while their occurrence in the story is considered as well. The prevalent concepts are ‘Colonial Discourse’ and ‘Orientalism’ including ‘Othering’. 2.1 ‘Colonial Discourse’ ‘Colonial Discourse’ is the main concept behind Postcolonialism. The term builds up on Michael Foucault’s concept of discourse, meaning a “system of statements within which the world can be known” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 51). Furthermore, Foucault states that by discourse, the dominant people impose their beliefs upon the inferiors who are controlled by that discourse (Wisker 2007: 177) since language is a powerful tool. Therefore, discourse can manipulate the way people look at things and sometimes even give the possibility to silence certain groups (ibid.: 42). 41 Edward Said expands the concept of discourse by connecting colonialism to it and coined the term ‘Colonial Discourse’. It denotes novels, anthropological and historical publications, as well as parliamentary speeches, etc., which ‘describe’ the experience of colonisation from the colonialists’ point of view (cf. Innes 2007: 235). In these, the colonised people and the colonisers are related to as binary opposites: the colonised are described as immature, uncivilized and/or savage people and the colonisers as superior ones, opposed to the colonised. Furthermore, colonisers are represented in a positive light using the colonised’s attitude of immaturity and being primitive. The following quote by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) verifies this point: Colonial Discourse tends to exclude statements about the exploitation of the resources of the colonized, the political status accruing to colonizing powers, the importance to domestic politics of the development of an empire, all of which may be compelling reasons for maintaining colonial ties. Rather it conceals these benefits in statements about the inferiority of the colonized, the primitive nature of other races, the barbaric depravity of colonized societies, and therefore the duty of the imperial power to reproduce itself in the colonial society. (51-52) Colonised people are clearly seen as savage, not being able to live a ‘normal’ life – at least in the coloniser’s eyes. Within ‘Colonial Discourse’, Europe is seen as the centre, whose inhabitants are welleducated, share certain social conventions and have functioning political structures, opposed to the colonised people. Therefore, the impression of the need for improvement in the colony is given, which manifests itself in advancing its population by improving trade, administration and culture. (ibid.: 52). Additionally, the colonisers do not only improve the existing system, but they impose their own values, norms and technological progress on the colonies. ‘Colonial Discourse’ clearly is a vehicle for power, which is seen in the given descriptions. There is a need of the colonised to challenge ‘Colonial Discourse’ in order to express their own view (Wisker 2007: 177), which is often done as can be seen in stories by e.g. Salman Rushdie. Writing offers the possibility to express oneself in an autonomous way. The colonised can try to refute their inferior and primitive image, evoked by the colonisers, and express their difference when comparing to the 42 colonisers. Consequently, there is a chance of gaining more power and being heard. This phenomenon is also called ‘Writing Back’. There are two more terms, which are connected to ‘Colonial Discourse’. The first one is ‘Ambivalence’. It was adapted by Homi K. Bhaba and “it describes the complex mix of attraction and repulsion that characterises the relationship between coloniser and colonised” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 13). What is meant here is that on the one hand, the settlers can be regarded as exploitative or on the other hand as caring. According to Bhaba (1994), ‘Colonial Discourse’ is always ambivalent since the colonised are wished to but shall never exactly resemble the colonisers (cf. 122). A paradoxical concept connected is ‘Mimicry’, whereby on the one hand the colonisers want the colonised people to look or act like themselves and on the other hand the colonised people use this as a mockery against the colonisers (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 155). Furthermore, Antonio Gramsci adopted the term ‘Subaltern’ that denotes “those groups in society who are subject to the hegemony of the ruling class” for example peasants or workers (ibid.: 244). Taking ‘Colonial Discourse’ into account, the colonised are the subaltern, regarded as inferior by the colonisers. Of course, Perrin writes this short story to express her experiences with British colonialism in India but as Ram Din, the Indian servant, is her first-person narrator, it is not done out of the colonialist’s view. Nevertheless, the distinction and tensions between the coloniser and the colonised can also be identified within the story “The Rise of Ram Din”. Ram Din and Kullan, the two servants, are definitely portrayed as inferior. Firstly, proven by their position as servants and secondly the ‘engineer-sahib’ can treat them however he likes to, no matter if it is violent or not, which shows his superiority and power: “but the sahib dragged him over the floor till his coat came off in the sahib’s hand, and he kicked the man along the ground like a game ball [...] Then the sahib went to his room and lay on the bed and slept” (Perrin 1906: 332). Ram Din is presented as quite primitive as he does not think about the consequences leaving Kullan for several days in the lamp go-down. He is just focused on obeying the engineer-sahib’s orders. For that, even the sahib calls him a fool (cf. ibid.: 335), which shows his superior and presumptuous attitude towards his servant, whom he regards as a primitive person. But Ram Din considers himself to be inferior, too, by calling himself a “slave” (ibid.: 333). 43 Nevertheless, the story can also be seen as an attempt to challenge ‘Colonial Discourse’. It is written from Ram Din’s point of view and he gets more and more self-confident throughout the story – at the beginning he is just a normal servant without any experience (cf. ibid.: 330) and towards the end of the story, he is the most powerful servant in the coloniser’s house, even having authority over keys and money (cf. ibid.: 335). Connected to this, the description of the coloniser’s position and characteristics changes in the course of the story. At the beginning it is said that he is a good employer and treats everyone with respect, but soon it is revealed that he is “truly a devil” (ibid.: 331), beating and punishing his servants. Additionally, in the end it seems, as if he is not that powerful any more, since Ram Din manages his whole household (cf. ibid.: 335). By working hard, Ram Din gets a high position, kind of similar to the sahib’s one – he “ha[s] bought land in [his] own district and ha[s] married four wives and [is] a person of importance in the village” (ibid.). Alice Perrin, as already mentioned, lived during the Raj and as the child of British colonisers, she might have had an Indian servant in her family as well. In her story, she more or less criticises living under the imperial rule of the British, since the coloniser is not just shown in a positive way but most of the time as a drunk and brutal man. Nevertheless, in the end, he turns out to be a little bit human. From his behaviour, it could have been suspected, that he is not sorry about the death of Kullan, but he reacts aggressively and shakes Ram Din hard, for which he is punished with being “ill for many days” (ibid.). 2.1 ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’ Another postcolonial key concept closely tied to ‘Colonial Discourse’ is ‘Orientalism’, to which the concept of ‘Othering’ is furthermore connected. Orientalism’s first meaning was simply “the study of the Orient” (Innes 2007: 239), but it was redefined by Edward Said in his same title’s book, referring to the “Orient’s special place in European Western experience” (Said 2003: 1), basically the study of the Orient from a Western perspective. The Orient mentioned here “has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience” (ibid.: 1-2). Said himself mentions three different definitions of ‘Orientalism’, of which the first is an academic one, defining every person being involved in teaching, writing about or researching the Orient as an Orientalist. The belonging process is therefore called ‘Orientalism’ (cf. ibid.: 2). Secondly, there is a general meaning of the 44 term. ‘Orientalism’ is also seen as “a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘the Orient’ and [...] ‘the Occident’”(ibid.). The Orient is referred to “as exotic, strange, exciting, dangerous, to be exhibited, tamed, silenced” (Wisker 2007: 201) and also as “irrational, aberrant, backward, crude, despotic, inferior, inauthentic, passive, feminine and sexually corrupt” (Macfie 2000: 4). It is opposed to the Occident, which is defined as “the western part of the world, especially the countries of Europe and America” (“Occident”, n.d) and as “developed, humane, superior, authentic, active, creative and masculine” (Macfie 2000: 4), all adjectives being wellconnotated. This differentiation is often seen as a starting point for investigations by scholars, poets or philosophers. The third meaning of ‘Orientalism’ is more based on history (Said 2003: 3). Here, the starting point is in the late eighteenth century and ‘Orientalism’ is defined “as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” (ibid.). In Said’s eyes, to understand ‘Orientalism’, Foucault’s concept of discourse is necessary. He writes that without discourse, one cannot “understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage – and even produce – the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period” (ibid.), since discourse investigates power relationships based on languages. Williams and Chrisman (1994) directly draw the line between the two concepts of ‘Colonial Discourse’ and ‘Orientalism’ that “focused on what could be called Colonial Discourse – the variety of textual forms in which the West produced and codified knowledge about non-metropolitan areas and cultures, especially those under colonial control” (5). ‘Orientalism’ did not emerge naturally, but the concept was constructed by men – involving the Orient and the Occident (Said 2003: 4-5). It soon became “a system for citing works and authors” (ibid.: 23), but that is also a point that can be criticized about Said’s definition. He furthermore writes that every author writing about the Orient instead of bringing in new ideas, refers to ideas from authors dealing with the topic before. Thus, nobody brings in new ideas and everyone just accepts and takes over the views and opinions of the former writers without really questioning it. Said comments that this reference to former texts in particular gives strength to the concept (cf. ibid.: 20) but this can be discussed since this concept is therefore quite static and unchanging. Dennis Porter criticizes Edward Said as well for his 45 comparison of Foucault’s discourse analysis with Gramsci’s hegemonic theory2. For him these two concepts are very contrasting and cannot be compared (cf. Porter 1994: 151). Said does not really question the hegemonic and the discourse theory but his problem, Porter states, is that he always sees just one idea of ‘Orientalism’, only considers one type of literature for his investigations and regards it as absolute, “finding always the same triumphant discourse” (ibid.: 160). Out of this concept ‘Othering’ has evolved. Originally it was coined by Gayatri Spivak in connection with imperial discourse. Its general definition given by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) is that it describes “the social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or marginalizes another group” (18). Spivak distinguishes between the ‘other’ “who resembles the self (ibid.: 187) and the ‘Other’ “in whose gaze the subject gains identity” (ibid.). In a postcolonial context, it can be said that the ‘Other’ resembles the imperial centre and the ‘others’ are the colonised subjects “who are marginalized by imperial discourse” (ibid.). These two are produced at the same time, one of them causing the other one. Taking the definition of ‘Othering’ into account, it can be said, that ‘Orientalism’ is closely connected to it. In Alice Perrin’s short story, ‘Othering’ and ‘Orientalism’ are represented several times mostly out of Ram Din’s eyes. At first, Ram Din’s father distinguishes themselves from the sahibs by talking to his son about their way of life “which [is] not the way of the dark people” (Perrin 1906: 330). But by this statement, also Ram Din differentiates between him and the colonisers, calling themselves “dark people”. He uses the words “dark people” on the one hand in order to mimic the coloniser’s words since it is a highly orientalist stereotype but on the other hand to distinguish himself from the sahib. The same applies for the fact that the first-person narrator uses Indian terms like ‘puggaree’ or ‘backsheesh’ as, firstly, an attempt to stress the already existing unique, independent Indian culture and to show his belonging to that culture, which, secondly, distinguishes himself from the coloniser. He also others the English colonialist by calling him a dog, referring to his character as brute and fearless (cf. ibid.: 331). The British himself shows his superiority by using violence against Kullan and by exercis- 2 According to Gramsci, “hegemony is the power of the ruling class to convince other classes that their interests are the interests of all”. This is not done by force but over economy, education and media. (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 134) 46 ing his authority. He does not respect Kullan’s religion, which is shown by kicking the ‘puggaree’ (cf. ibid.: 332). His disrespectful behaviour is present in the relationship to all his servants. It leads to the point that “[t]he servants’ houses were also empty, and none answered to [Ram Din’s] call. They had all fled in fear” (ibid.: 333), which gives him an image of making the most out of his power. Later in the story, there is a form of ‘reverse Orientalism’. As Ram Din’s power increases, especially after the death of Kullan, he sees himself as superior to the sahib: “[...] he was wax in the hands of his slave” (ibid.: 335). A metaphor turns into an idiom here, which means that the engineersahib is weak-willed and does not answer back. This change in the power relations between them is also realised in the repetition of the sentence structure “It was I”: It was I who had charge of the sahib’s keys and kept his money. It was I appointed the other servants, and exacted percentage from their wages. It was I who made payments and gave the orders, and the sahib ever settled my accounts without argument. I had authority in the compound. I grew prosperous, and had a large stomach, and a watch and chain. (ibid.: 335) This anaphora, starting firstly, every sentence with ‘It was I’ and secondly, with the pronoun ‘I’, evokes his superiority, of which he is certainly aware in the end. As delineated, features belonging to ‘Colonial Discourse’, ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’ can be identified in the story. Since the story is a first-person narration it is done mostly out of Ram Din’s eyes. The power relations between the sahib and Ram Din are changed because Ram Din obeys orders and differentiates himself from his master. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching as a Foreign Language After having examined the postcolonial concepts occurring in the text, in the following special attention is, on the one hand, drawn to the chances of the short story. On the other hand, the challenges are put into focus, followed by a short summary regarding the story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. A first chance of the story is its length. Short stories have the advantage that pupils at best only have to focus on them for a short time and the stories can be read in one session. “The Rise of Ram Din” is six pages long, which will take students a while to read, but is still suit- 47 able for one lesson. Furthermore, it can be read in separated parts with a more efficient exchange about the story’s content, which is suggested in the while-reading activity, described in the following chapter. By reading it during the lesson, relevant prose can be integrated in class facing the reality that students sometimes do not read the assigned passages at home. The while reading activity helps them to structure the text and already bringing them to the meta-level. Another point is that the short story only deals with a few characters, namely Ram Din, his father, the ‘engineer-sahib’ and Kullan, so it is easier for the pupils to follow because only important characters concerning the course of the action occur. The complexity of the plot fits to the story’s length, reducing the possibilities of understanding it in a wrong way. All in all, it “provide[s] a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.” (Hansen 2018) because it is neither too short nor too long, there are neither too many characters, nor too little. Additionally, enough details about the persons are given in order to characterise them. Nünning and Surkamp (2016) write that a text’s topic should arouse the students’ curiosity, have connections to their own environment and trigger their disposition to work with the text (51). Consequently, in order to increase the students’ motivation to learn in the EFL classroom, it is important for narratives to have a certain Lebensweltbezug. On the one hand, this is partly the case for the present short story regarding the topic of relocation but on the other hand not, when having the historical background in mind, as elaborated in the following. The story of Ram Din in parts also tells the story of a young man moving to a foreign city in order to find a job and earn money, which – except for his poor background and his need to earn money to help to feed his family back in his home town – has something in common with the lives of many young people. Moving to another city or even country for a job can also happen nowadays. Ram Din is living with and working for a man from another culture and since this man additionally regards himself as superior and different, he others Ram Din. This clarifies the challenges Ram Din finds himself in as a foreigner in his own country, as a servant and as someone who suddenly finds himself in a culture clash. Due to the refugee crisis that started in 2015 in Germany, schools have become more and more multicultural (cf. Bielicki 2018). Consequently, students might also have experienced ‘Othering’ – either doing it themselves or, if they descend from a foreign culture, it was or is done to them. To deal with 48 ‘Othering’ in the classroom is therefore important as different cultures coming together can lead to the exclusion of groups, but nevertheless, it has to be faced that it becomes more and more prominent in Germany nowadays (cf. Kazim 2018). Furthermore, some students might find themselves in one of the described roles, either of Ram Din or, in the worst case, the engineer sahib. By reading the story with the current multicultural society in mind, pupils get the chance to foster their ICC, for example regarding their respect towards other cultures, their cultural self-awareness or by viewing the world through another person’s eyes. Historically speaking the story is not connected to the present, which is clear due to its publication in 1906 and deals a lot with topics being not prominent today. However, the connection to the present is seen as one important aspect when teaching literature (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 51). Stories set in multicultural Britain or the USA might be easier to understand for students as they have a deeper Lebensweltbezug, since these two are also westernized countries with nearly the same culture. For a good understanding of the story there is a need of background knowledge. The story cannot be understood easily if the students do not have knowledge about the life of Indian servants in colonial times or India in general beforehand. Nobody can really imagine how hard the life of an Indian servant at that time was and as a result, they might not understand Ram Din’s behaviour. To understand a text in its richness, it is necessary to do a wide reading – to understand the culture, mentality and history being connected to the text (cf. Surkamp 2012: 83). As a result, the teacher has to give the students background knowledge of colonial Indian life in order to make the understanding easier, for example in the form of historical texts, timelines or videos. A possibility of overcoming this difficulty is further examined as a pre-reading activity in the next chapter. Most of the Indian literature taught in class deals with multicultural Britain and Indians in the USA rather than with Indians living in India (cf. Wandel 2013: 388). But this text is different. It teaches the students about India’s history out of the perspective of an Indian man in a colonial setting. “The Rise of Ram Din” tells the reader a lot about the hierarchy between the coloniser and the colonised and shows that obeying orders, no matter how odd they were, seemed to be the only way for slaves to survive and earn money in colonial times. But the story also shows the dark side of colonisation, which made people be held inferior in their own country of origin. The story ex- 49 poses with how little respect the rich and armed Europeans met the Indians, which could lead the pupils to critically reflect their own countries’ behaviour towards other cultures and most importantly their own attitudes and actions and to ask themselves if they really want to other foreign cultures in case they are doing this. To deal with Indian culture and short stories support the development of Fremdverstehen and an “intercultural personality” (Wandel 2001: 4). Volkmann (2010) says that India’s background with its colonial history stays an important topic as well as the former colonies’ influences on the colonial power itself (116). The students’ awareness to India’s history has to be increased in order to foster their understanding of India’s position nowadays. Consequently, they have to understand and be aware of certain historical concepts of and in India and “The Rise of Ram Din” gives a start for this. A possible disadvantage of the story is the perspective from which it is written. Although Ram Din being the first-person narrator gives the students the chance to change perspectives and enhance their empathy, his strong foreignness most likely impedes such an identification (cf. Wandel 2001: 6). Taking over perspectives different from the own one is regarded as a precondition or important component of ICC by Ansgar Nünning (cf. 1999: 10). If a change of perspectives cannot be achieved, the development of ICC is interrupted and cannot be completed (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 37). Indians at that time were othered in their own country, their home was more or less taken away from them and some worked as slaves for the British, like Ram Din. This is too far away from the students’ own life and personal reality. This view is also supported by Reinhold Wandel (2001), who says that many parts of daily life in India are unfamiliar and foreign and therefore, the reception of Indian social and societal conventions and structures is hard to cope with (cf. 6). An attempt to overcome this difficulty of the change of perspectives is suggested in the postreading activity presented later. A last challenge could be the vocabulary used by Alice Perrin. There are often Indian terms (for example ‘sahib’ or ‘backsheesh’), which the pupils do not understand, while the rest of the story is easily understandable. This problem can either be solved by giving them annotations to the words or forming vocabulary groups working on, for example, each page and the students themselves have to find out all vocabulary they do not understand, whereby the second approach would be more student-centred. 50 Finally, after having presented the chances and challenges of the short story “The Rise of Ram Din”, its suitability for the EFL classroom can be seen as rather problematic. The challenges of the story are more or less predominant to its chances. The story nearly has no relation to the pupil’s everyday life, except for the fact that also nowadays people have to move to foreign places in order to find a job – but Ram Din has other motives than people have nowadays. Furthermore, because of its problem of being far away from everyday life, one cannot be sure if the students can empathize with Ram Din and also see things from his perspective. Nevertheless, regarding the historical or rather postcolonial point of view, the story has a lot to offer and makes it possible to get to know more about Postcolonialism. All in all, the treatment of the story has to be weighed by the teacher regarding the individual class with activities in mind in order to face the challenges of the story mentioned before. Some activities to overcome the challenges are mentioned in the next chapter. 4 Teaching Activities Teaching activities in the EFL-classroom can be based on the three phases of reading (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 89): the pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading phase. The pre-reading phase is a good way to introduce the students to the text, to build up certain expectations and to activate their previous knowledge according to language, culture and context. The while-reading phase’s purpose is to foster the student’s text understanding and to encourage the students to enter a dialogue with the text and to support this. The last phase, called postreading phase, functions for analytical and creative tasks and to talk about the reader’s text receptions (cf. ibid.). By taking this division of three phases for text work, a deeper text understanding and also the learner’s interaction with the text shall be secured (cf. ibid.: 78). Vygostky once said that learning shall occur through an intermental3 dialogue, coining the term ‘social constructivism’. This three-phase system is constructivist, since a dialogue takes place between the reader and the text (Vygostky 1978, qtd. in Yang & Wilson 2006: 365). In the following, sub chapters, propositions for activities for working on the short story will be given. 3 Intermental means that the dialogue happens between teacher and student, students or text and reader (Wilson 1999: 172, qtd. in Yang & Wilson 2006: 365). 51 Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading Activity (1) Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Point out the different jobs of the servants and explain their functions. Afterwards, compare your results with your partner and make a table out of it. Do you think the sentence “I was just obeying orders.” can serve as an excuse? Discuss this statement and justify your own opinion. This task is based on the short story “The Rise of Ram Din”, which we are going to focus on in the next lessons. For each paragraph write down up to three hypotheses about the development of the story. Then compare your ideas with your partner and explain, how you came to this solution. Write a letter or an e-mail out of the perspective of Ram Din to his family about the coincidences in the sahib’s house. (2) Material/Medium Worksheet with text about the roles of the servants in India during the Raj (from Lethbridge, L. (2013). Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times (1st ed.). New York: Maybe worksheet or just a board, on which the task is written. The short story in paragraphs on a worksheet. Exercise book 52 W. W. Norton & Company. (3) Sozialform First single work and afterwards partner work. Single work First single work, when finished partner work and afterwards a classroom discussion. Single work (4) Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar This text shall give the students the historical background needed for understanding the short story. By writing this argumentative essay, the students shall reflect on this statement, which was said by Ram Din and later they can compare their opinion with the one after reading the story. This task asks the students to be imaginative and to develop ideas on the basis of their background knowledge. Every student has already written a letter/an e-mail, therefore they can use their skills, and this might motivate them further. Additionally, they have to identify and change perspectives, which helps them to develop Fremdverstehen. As one pre-reading activity to be found in the appendix, the pupils are given a text from Lucy Lethbridge’s book Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times. This text explains different positions of servants in a British household and also gives descriptions of their tasks. It is very suitable for the classroom as it explains some of the Indian terms needed for the short story, like ‘khansamah’. They get an insight into the daily tasks of the servants, which might help them to put themselves into the servants’ position. By talking about the tasks with their partner after reading the text, their communicative competence is supported, and they are able to ensure each other of understanding the servants’ tasks correctly. They can also share their own 53 opinion, if they think that slavery in these former times is understandable or if they reject it absolutely. The second pre-reading task suggested is an argumentative essay about the statement “I was just obeying orders”. Students are asked to reflect about that statement being an excuse or not. This activity is a hint towards “The Rise of Ram Din”, which the students might notice while reading the story later. This task’s aim is to challenge the students’ attitude towards one topic of the short story to be dealt with before reading it and getting to know Ram Din’s view about it. There is also the possibility of comparing their opinion before reading the story to the one after reading the story, which might be exciting to see, in case some of the opinions have changed after reading the story. For the while-reading phase the text of the short story is presented in form of text passages, which the students get to read one after another. The first part covers the beginning until p. 331, closing with “[...] and went back to his village”. Afterwards they write down hypotheses about what could happen next and then they are asked to exchange their ideas with their partner. When this is done, they go on reading the next text passage and afterwards there is a classroom discussion based on the partner work. This gives the possibility of (dis- )approving with the different hypotheses with the whole class. This scheme goes on for the following text passages: p. 331: “But after he had gone [...] until p. 332 “[...] for I remembered my father’s words.”, p. 332 “Two days later [...]” until p. 333 “I salaamed, and he drove away.”, p. 333 “Then did my heart glow within me, [...]” until p. 334 “and I shall amass wealth.’”. This task asks the students to use their imagination and to think further. Additionally, they have to try to empathize with Ram Din and the engineer-sahib in order to find good and realistic – at least for the story’s time and setting – hypotheses. Referring to Nünning and Surkamp (2016), they have to reflect on the impressions they have already gained and articulate their own reactions (cf. 81). Then the last part of the story follows, which the postreading activity resumes. The suggested post-reading task invites the students to think of highly creative solutions: they are asked to write a letter or an e-mail out of the perspective of Ram Din to his family about the coincidences in the sahib’s house. Every student has already written a letter or an e-mail in her or his life and they might already have the skills in doing so. Consequently, this has Lebensweltbezug for the students. Being able to use and show their skills here and transfer them onto school rele- 54 vant topics, provides the opportunity of higher interest in the presented material as well as a growth in self-worth. It is a good possibility to connect their free time activities with school, which can provide motivation for the lesson.4 The students are also asked to change perspectives in order to identify with their role, which can be quite challenging for some of the pupils. Nevertheless, the change of perspective offers the realisation of creative tasks, where an intellectual analysis of one’s own and somebody else’s experiential world can individually manifest (Kazaki & Wagner 2011: 7). To identify and change perspectives are also steps of the concept of Fremdverstehen, which is an important goal of intercultural learning. 5 Conclusion The aim of this term paper was to analyse the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” by Alice Perrin with regard to its suitability for the EFL classroom. In doing so, firstly, selected postcolonial key concepts were examined and analysed with regard to their representation within it. ‘Colonial Discourse’ was one of them, describing colonial experience from the coloniser’s perspective. It was found out that Alice Perrin does so, by writing the short story, but by using a first-person narrator who is an Indian servant, the focus lies more on his experiences and the short story more or less challenges ‘Colonial Discourse’. This holds also true for ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’. They both occur in the short story but also through the eyes of Ram Din. Therefore, the colonised others the coloniser and not vice versa. The second part was the analysis of the short story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. It can be stated that the suitability of “The Rise of Ram Din” is questionable because the chances, namely the characteristics of a short story, the possibility of changing perspectives supporting the development of ICC, and the partial Lebensweltbezug regarding the job situation are mostly outweighed by its challenges, consisting of a mostly missing Lebensweltbezug as time and role differ from student's reality, the Indian vocabulary used, the hard change of perspectives and the (probably) missing knowledge about the historical background. By giving possible assignments for students dealing with the short story, some suggestions are done for teaching “The Rise of Ram Din”. 4 To make it even more interesting for the students, they could be asked to write a chat on WhatsApp in a partner work. 55 Divided into pre-, while- and post-reading activities, these activities help to develop the understanding of the story and to foster ICC and Fremdverstehen. The story still offers more ways to approach it with other tasks, for example writing interior monologues during the sahib’s absence, which underlines that there are suitable tasks for the students when deciding to treat this short story in class. One example for dealing with an Indian short story within the unit of India in the ‘Sekundarstufe 1’ was given in this term paper. In order to get a diversified insight into the vast number of possibilities dealing with India in the EFL classroom, other short stories can be analysed. But not only short stories have to be taken into account. There are many other literary works that can be discussed in class. One example for a novel would be Adiga’s The White Tiger and also poems could further be considered. Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Postcolonial studies: The key concepts (3rd ed.). Routledge Key Guides. New York: Routledge. Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge. Bielicki, J. (2018). Drei Jahre „Wir schaffen das“ – eine Bestandsaufnahme. Retrieved from https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/fluechtlinge-indeutschland- drei-jahre-wir-schaffen-das-eine-bestandsaufnahme-1.41 10671 (accessed: 29.12.2018). British Library. (n.d.). English in India. Retrieved from https:/ /www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/case-studies/minorityethnic/asian/ (accessed: 06.01.2019). Chandler, D., & Munday, R. (2016). Postcolonialism. In D. Chandler & R. Munday (Eds.), A Dictionary of Media and Communication (2nd ed.). 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(2008). Introduction. In O. Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 7- 16). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. Macfie, A. L. (Ed.). (2000). Introduction – Orientalism in Crisis. In A. Lyon Macfie (Ed.), Orientalism: A reader (pp. 3-24). New York: New York University Press. Müller-Hartmann, A., & Schocker-von Ditfurth, M. (2014). Introduction to English Language Teaching. Stuttgart: Klett Lerntraining. Nunning, A., & Surkamp, C. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten. Seelze-Velber: Klett/Kallmeyer. Nünning, A. (1999). “But man […] is a story-telling animal”. Perspektivenwechsel und Perspektivenvielfalt bei der Behandlung von Short Stories. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 33 (39), 4-12. Occident. (n.d.). In Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved from https:/ /dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/occident?q=occident (accessed: 06.01.2019) Perrin, A. (1906). The Rise of Ram Din. In E. Boehmer (Ed.). Empire Writing. 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Vom 'Raj' zum 'Roy' - Indien im Englischunterricht. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 35 (50), 4-7. ---. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gorisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines (pp. 387-398). Leiden: Rodopi. Williams, P., & Chrisman, L. (1994). Colonial Discourse and post-colonial theory: A reader. Cambridge: University Press. Wilson, K. (1999). Note-taking in the academic writing process of nonnative speaker students: Is it important as a process or a product? Journal of College Reading and Learning, 29 (2), 166-179. Wisker, G. (2007). Key concepts in postcolonial literature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Yang, L., & Wilson, K. (2006). Second Language Classroom Reading: A Social Constructivist Approach. The Reading Matrix, 6 (3), 364-372. 58 Teaching Stories of Partition– Saadat Hasan Manto’s “The Return“ Michelle Skruth 1 Introduction The federal states’ curricula for the German Oberstufe have recently focused more on literature of “ethnic minority groups or postcolonial authors” (Volkmann 2013: 171) and some have explicitly included India as a possible matter in the English classroom (cf. Wandel 2013: 387). Today, India exhibits the “largest number of English speakers outside the UK and the USA” (Lindner 2010: 60) and therefore is worth paying special attention to in the EFL classroom. Besides, our globalised world and the “diversity of global Englishes” (Eisenmann 2015: 217) make teachers in charge of teaching other Anglophone cultures besides the UK and the USA in order to foster students’ transcultural awareness (cf. ibid.). Moreover, the current interest in “exotic” themes (Dengel-Janic 2007: 134), India’s diversity and not least, the economic and demographic presence of India make it a country worth concentrating on in more detail (cf. Linder 2010: 59). Since cultural learning is one important facet when introducing a foreign culture to learners, the history of countries (especially in cases when it is linked to the British past) can be a useful starting point. When teaching India in the EFL classroom, there must be time to talk about Partition. This “collective traumatic experience” (Yusin 2011: 25) was such an important and dramatic historical incident of this country that it cannot be ignored. August 15, 1947 did not only mark the date of India’s independence but also the division of India into two separate states, namely India as a Hindu state and Pakistan as a 1 EFL: English as a foreign language. 59 Muslim state (cf. Dengel-Janic 2007: 135). The decision to create two different nation states was the starting point of mass migration of Hindus to India and Muslims to Pakistan (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 396). Finally, Partition caused the murder of about one million people and the displacement of more than twelve million Hindus and Muslims (cf. Kabir 2005: 178). The wounds caused by this event understandably still “persist in collective memory” (Yusin 2011: 24) and therefore, this traumatic event should be handled with special attention. Hence, India’s cultural diversity and its moving history make it a beneficial topic in the EFL classroom. When teaching Partition through literature, undoubtedly, a text by Saadat Hasan Manto should be read because the author is best known for his Partition stories (cf. Mann 1998: 128). Manto experienced the horrors and violence of Partition himself (cf. Alter 1994: 91) and is one of its most important witnesses (cf. Saint 2012: 53). The authenticity of his texts and his unveiling way of writing about crude facts has always been the most conspicuous feature of his writing style and has been very controversial (cf. Alter 1994: 91 f.). Therefore, the author’s Partition short story “The Return”, at first, seems to fit perfectly into a sequence about India in the EFL classroom. The aim of this term paper is at first, to show which postcolonial key concepts can be found in Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and secondly, to evaluate whether this text is recommendable in the EFL classroom of a German Oberstufe. To come to a wellfounded conclusion, this term paper starts with an analysis of the postcolonial key concepts which can be found in the short story. Then, the text will be analysed from a TEFL point of view. In this part, possible chances and challenges, which might occur when discussing Manto’s text in the classroom, followed by some possible teaching activities, will be presented. In the end, it will be concluded whether it is recommendable to teach Manto’s “The Return” within a teaching sequence about India in the EFL classroom. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in Saadat Hasan Manto’s “The Return” The following chapter aims at presenting three postcolonial key concepts which can be found in Manto’s short story “The Return” in 2 TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language 60 more detail. It is important to underline that more than these three concepts can be found but due to limitation of this paper, not all concepts can be discussed. Each key concept will be defined in brief manner and afterwards explained by means of the text. 2.1 Abrogation The concept of ‘Abrogation’ refers to the rejection of postcolonial writers to use Standard English or English in general for their writings (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 3-4). ‘Abrogation’ is closely connected to the postcolonial concept of ‘Appropriation’ which, on the contrary, describes “the ways in which post-colonial societies take over those aspects of the imperial culture” (ibid.: 19). The concept of ‘Abrogation’ implies the approach of equality of all varieties of English and languages in general. ‘Abrogation’ can but does not have to be a political statement by which authors reject to submit to the coloniser’s propagandised superiority (cf. ibid.: 3-4) and, therefore, wrest themselves free from the colonialist power. Authors who refuse to use Standard English for their writings comprehend the use of the coloniser’s language as a restriction in terms of authentic presentation because language always includes worldviews (cf. ibid.). Manto’s short story “The Return” was published in 1950 (cf. Mann 1998: 127) and was originally written in Urdu. The original title was “Khol Do”, which translates to “open up” (cf. ibid.). The simple fact that Manto chose to write his short story in Urdu instead of English, hints at the concept of ‘Abrogation’. With this decision, Manto risked reaching a limited audience. If he had written the text in English, it would have been available for a much wider readership. Given that authors usually want to reach as many readers as possible, this decision appears to be inauspicious at first. Manto’s decision gets much more comprehensible, if one links it to the concept of ‘Decolonisation’. The concept, which briefly means to “reveal[] and dismantl[e] the hidden aspects of […] cultural forces that […] maintained the colonialist power […]” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 63) and which also includes the use of the coloniser’s language, namely English in this case, can be found in the text as well. Thus, in order to disengage oneself from the coloniser’s influence and power and to truly find oneself, it is necessary to decolonise the mind , which certainly includes the use of lan- 3 For further reading: The term ‘Decolonization of the Mind’ was established by Ngugi Wa Thiong’O in his homonymous book (1986). 61 guage as one major cultural aspect. One cannot break free from the power of the coloniser and at the same time maintain their cultural habits. The use of the indigenous language in contrast to the hegemonic English language is an important step towards decolonisation, autonomy and national pride. Because the concept of ‘Abrogation’ is more obvious in this text and is used as a tool to achieve decolonisation, the latter is not the focus of this paper. In the case of Manto’s short story “The Return”, the intention to reject English conventions can be criticised as not being very successful because Manto stuck to the typical features of English/American short stories. “The Return” covers all of Werlich’s collection of seven typical features of short stories (cf. Thaler 2008: 91). With Sirajuddin, Sakina and the group of nameless men, the story contains only a limited number of characters. The plot is simple and covers a short period of time, in fact, only within a few days. Furthermore, the plot is limited to a single setting (a refugee camp) and only describes one incident, namely the desperate search of a father for his lost daughter. Finally, the whole story builds up suspense until the end, when Sirajuddin’s daughter is found and every word is charged with meaning, especially in the final lines. Moreover, the short story has an open beginning and an open ending (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 207 f.), which is a typical characteristic of this genre. Especially the open ending occurs often in Manto’s writings – no matter what genre. One can hardly find texts of Manto which are completely brought to an end (cf. Alter 1994: 96). The overwhelming amount of his texts do not give any resolution to the outlined conflict (cf. ibid.), so it is the reader who has to think about possible solutions to the problems described in his stories. Saint (2012) characterises Manto’s writings as “suggestive rather than explicit” (58) and Alter (1994) suitably describes this characteristic of Manto’s texts as “a disturbing sense of uncertainty” (96) which is definitely the case in this example. The shocking realisation that Sakina gets gang raped can only be identified when reading between the lines and interpreting her behaviour in the hospital. In the end, the text does not explicitly tell what had happened to Sakina and her recovery is uncertain (cf. Saint 2012: 58). Because Manto undeniably adopts characteristics of the genre and the writing style of the coloniser, the attribution to the concept of ‘Abrogation’ can be questioned. However, the concept of ‘Appropriation’ can to some extent be identified here as well. But it seems to be the case that Manto willingly decides to write in Urdu instead of Eng- 62 lish (which is linked to the concept of ‘Abrogation’) and only unknowingly stuck to the coloniser’s characteristics of short stories (which, then again, is linked to the concept of ‘Appropriation’). So, this paper presents Manto’s conscious rejection of English and his unconscious adaption of the characteristics of the genre. In addition to the limited length of this paper, this is why, the concept of ‘Abrogation’ instead of appropriation is put into focus here – at the same time knowing that nonetheless an analysis of the text with regard to the concept of ‘Appropriation’ would be appropriate and interesting and, in case of a complete and more extensive analysis, would definitely be necessary. Summing up, Manto’s decision to write the short story in Urdu instead of English definitely reflects the concept of ‘Abrogation’. However, the implementation in this case is not consistently consequent when it comes to generic aspects. 2.2 Displacement The concept of ‘Displacement’ indicates a movement from one area to another within national borders because of dispossession, conflict, natural disaster or some kind of (modernisation) projects (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 87-89). Displaced people are forced to flee from their homes and have to carry the burden of losing community and family bonds as well as their property (cf. ibid.). The process of removal and relocation entails more disadvantages than most people might recognise in the first place. ‘Displacement’ affects various aspects such as “violation of rights, self-determination, participation in decision-making, and laws and policies” (ibid.: 89). In addition to the mentioned dramatic psychological consequences, ‘Displacement’ can also lead to existence-threatening circumstances such as the loss of property and therefore, the loss of financial security, the loss of a home as well the loss of a job to only name the most obvious examples (cf. ibid.). Given that “The Return” depicts the time of Partition, which forced people to leave their homes and to migrate either from India to Pakistan or vice versa, the story presents an example for the concept of ‘Displacement’. The fact that Sirajuddin and his family are on their way from Amritsar to Lahore indicates that they are a Muslim family who, because of the establishment of the Muslim state Pakistan, decides to leave their home in India. Again, the information that Sirajuddin and his family are Muslims is not explicitly mentioned in the text. Only readers who have certain background knowledge about the history of India and Pakistan can detect this fact. With this knowledge, 63 one can recognise that this journey from Amritsar to Lahore is an escape and that the decision to leave India is not voluntary but forced and necessary to avoid violent assaults. The only detail which might cause basis for discussion is the fact that ‘Displacement’ originally refers to movement within national borders. One could argue that by the end of August 15, 1947, the borders of Pakistan were in force and hence people from both sides crossed borders. However, the movement of millions of people cannot take place within one single day. Because the mass migration of people was undoubtedly caused by the separation of the country and took place immediately afterwards, this situation can be legitimately be linked to the postcolonial concept of ‘Displacement’ and still, the question of national identity is not entirely clear. 2.3 Othering ‘Othering’ as a postcolonial concept refers to the marginalisation and exclusion of whole groups of people (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 188) and is closely connected to the key concepts of ‘Alterity’, basically meaning “the state of being other or different” (ibid.: 11) and ‘Marginality’ referring to [b]eing on the margin” (ibid.: 135) as “a consequence of the binaristic structure of various kinds of dominant discourses” (ibid.). Because ‘Othering’ can be defined as the superordinate concept in this zone of mutual power relations, this postcolonial key concept was chosen for further analysis with regard to the text. Originally, this concept refers to the ‘Othering’ of colonised by the coloniser in order to distinguish oneself from the inferior other. In this short story, there is no differentiation like this. The plot does not oppose coloniser and colonised in the traditional sense. Nonetheless, there are two different levels of ‘Othering’: First, the discourse of the story, namely the situation of Partition, implies a conflict involving two opposing groups (Hindus and Muslims) and therefore, represents a kind of ‘Othering’ – and this ‘Othering’ happened in reality, even though it is not explicitly mentioned in the story. Manto rejects to other and blame the opponent side and there is no evidence that Manto himself or the characters in the story distance themselves from the Hindu community (cf. Alter 1994: 93). Nonetheless, even if the story 4 For further reading see: Edward Wadie Said’s book Orientalism (1978), Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s essay The Rani of Simur (1985) and for the special case of the ‘Othering’ of women see Simone de Beauvoir’s book The Second Sex (1949). 64 itself does not contain aspects of ‘Othering’ in this regard, the discourse still does to a certain degree. What is more, the structure of Indian and Pakistani society others women as inferior members. Especially this level is clearly connected to the postcolonial key concepts of ‘Alterity’ and ‘Marginality’ because these patriarchal structures clearly bundle the centre of power on men (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 135), while at the same time pushing women “on the margin” (ibid.) of society. Men are graded as predominant and superior members and, therefore, defining themselves as different and other than women. Ashcroft et al. (ibid.) even explicitly name the case of patriarchy as one concrete example of ‘Marginality’. Although Manto does not explicitly write about this societal ‘Othering’ in his short story, the core of the text, namely the violence and abuse against women has its origin in the process of marginalising women and consequently, results from processes of ‘Othering’. Thus, it can be argued that there is a form of hidden ‘Othering’ in the story. Manto certainly wants to point at the tabooed and repressed sufferings of women in his society and especially, their awful and violent experiences during the time of Partition. There is a striking discrepancy between Sirajuddin’s reaction and Sakina’s disturbing condition (cf. Saint 2012: 58) in the end. The father probably represents the majority of men who simply ignore the sufferings of raped women in those days and his reaction might be a typical one. It becomes doubtable whether he understands what happened to Sakina. Whether his reaction can be interpreted as ignorant or just na- ïve and that he is distracted by the return of his daughter, is uncertain. Moreover, the story does not tell the reader if Sirajuddin later recognises what happened to his daughter and how both of them handle the burden of this situation. Maybe he does not understand that his daughter got gang raped or he knows of it but does not want to accept this fact because the abuse of women is linked to the loss of honour of the whole family. With “The Return”, Manto surely does not just want to focus on the devastating aftermaths of Partition for women. He additionally wants to criticise men’s ignorance towards this burden for women. Unfortunately, Manto, again, is not very consequent with his criticism because he decided to write the story with focus on a male protagonist instead of the female victim. In his short story “The Return”, Manto describes the “ethical catastrophe of Partition” (Saint 2012: 60) by using rape as a metaphor of the nation as a despoiled woman (cf. Mann 65 1998: 127 f.). But the abuse addressed in the story is not meant to shed light on the women’s suffering. (cf. ibid.: 128). Instead, Manto fosters androcentric views and therefore, strengthens these patriarchal structures by choosing Sirajuddin as the protagonist. By concentrating on his suffering while looking for his daughter instead of her traumatic experience and the obvious aftermaths (cf. ibid.: 128-131), there is no attempt to generate sympathy for the victim (cf. ibid.: 131). Moreover, the reader does not learn much about Sakina’s personality and she does not say a single word in the whole text. The only impression the reader gets is a description of how she might look like when Sirajuddin describes her to the eight men. Her characterisation is limited to the commentary by others (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 204), she is reduced to her appearance, and her feelings do not matter. The male protagonist Sirajuddin, on the other hand, is implicitly characterised by the third person narrator (cf. ibid.) as a loving father, who is desperately looking for his daughter and has no time to grieve for the dramatic and sudden loss of his wife – therefore, sympathy is generated for him but not for his abused daughter. So while the reader only gets information about Sakina’s appearance and no information about her personality, it is the exact other way around in the case of the male protagonist Sirajuddin. As Narasimhan-Madhavan (cf. 2006: 400) explains, the bodies of women became a metaphor for the honour of the opposite community and violence against women was exploited as tool against men. So, women were not respected as equal humans and their sorrow and pain was of no importance – they were solely recognised as a tool to humiliate enemies. In those days, inhumane treatment of women and rape became a common instrument against the opposite community. In India, patriarchal family and community structures as well as the belief in the inferiority of women made them being the most vulnerable members on both sides (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 414) and sexual violence became a widespread experience among women during this period (cf. Yusin 2011: 24). Though, women were not only exclusively abused by members of the opponent community but also by men from their own side during the prevalent chaos and confusion (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 401). Saint (cf. 2012: 58) determines a sense of irony in many of Manto’s texts. In this case, the macabre irony can be identified in the fact that it is not a group of the opposite community who rape Sakina but obviously a group from the Muslim community. 66 Although the concept of ‘Othering’ does not seem to be obvious in the text at first, the context of the whole story includes this postcolonial concept by shockingly depicting the profound inequality of women and men within the Indian society. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language In this chapter, the chances and possible challenges of using Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” will be analysed and explained in detail in order to answer the question whether this text is suitable for English classes in the German Oberstufe. 3.1 Chances The listed advantages below argue for a discussion of Manto’s short story “The Return” in the EFL classroom and depict several aspects why especially this story is worth considering when planning a teaching unit about India/Partition. First of all, Manto’s short story covers important topics about India such as the patriarchal society or the religious tensions in India and Pakistan, which leading theorists like Volkmann (cf. 2010: 115 f.) explicitly suggest. One of the most convincing arguments to discuss Manto’s short story in the EFL classroom is the authentic language of the text – Manto himself experienced and witnessed the events of Partition (cf. Alter 1994: 91). In addition, his text was not written for teaching purposes. Still, the simple language of the story as well as its short sentences are suitable from a TEFL point of view. Only a few explanatory notes concerning possibly unknown vocabulary would be necessary to make students able to read the text. The text consists of fairly simple sentence structures and covers the main stock of vocabulary but there are some exceptions. For example, students cannot know the terms for traditional Indian clothing like dupatta or shalwar , which would need further explanation. By the way, only a limited range of Manto’s writings were translated into English and can be considered for the EFL classroom. Since Saadat Hasan Manto is one of the most famous South Asian writers of short stories, one can hardly argue against discussing a text of Manto and his valuable reports in class. 5 Dupatta: traditional Indian clothes; kind of long scarf used as veil. 6 Shalwar: traditional Indian clothes; like a loose trouser. 67 In addition, Wandel (2013) criticises the limited range of teaching materials that often just recur than broaden: There are mostly the same texts in different collections and teaching materials (cf.: 391). He also questions popular authors such as Meera Syal, Bali Rai, Monica Ali, Jumpa Lahiri or Bharati Mukherjee for presenting multicultural Western societies and diasporic experiences rather than the “real” India (cf. ibid.: 388-389). In contrast, “The Return” is located in India/Pakistan itself and is not part of the common teaching materials. Furthermore, the story contains the typical characteristics of a short story, for example only having one setting, a limited number of characters as well as an open beginning and ending. Therefore, the story structurally represents a typical example of the genre and is therefore beneficial for fostering students’ Textsortenkompetenz (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 202). The fact that there is a short film freely available on YouTube and that there is a new movie about Manto himself , provides further support for the text. The possibility to switch between different forms of media shows great promise for Methodenvielfalt and in this way, would probably motivate students more than exclusively working with the text. According to Eisenmann (cf. 2015: 224), it is always helpful when a text is about a young person with whom students might be able to identify. Because Manto’s story provides this point of connection through Sakina and at the same time depicts the dangerous circumstances of young women during Partition, students do not solely come to know the chaotic, horrible and violent atmosphere during those days but also learn something about the cultural standing of women in Indian and Pakistani society. Besides, the male hegemony in Indian and Pakistani society could be a point of connection to the student’s own culture. Circumstances for German women are no doubt comparable to those of Indian women, but gender inequality is definitely still a global issue and discussing this in school might sensitise students for the problem. Especially through this concrete example of Sakina and Sirajuddin, the suffering of those people who were affected by Partition becomes more comprehensible. This event and the collective traumatic experi- 7 See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMO7EznIaic. 8 Unfortunately, there is not yet an English trailer. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtvIt-MNSK0. 68 ence can be part of Landeskunde in the EFL classroom. Moreover, teachers have to foster students’ awareness of diversity and have to help them to become tolerant and empathetic members of society, who treat each other with respect. Through experiencing Sirajuddin and Sakina’s story, the students might understand the results of the belief in women’s inferiority and the sufferings caused by intolerance against diversity, which led to Partition, by having a specific example. As all literary texts, Manto’s “The Return” can teach the reader many more aspects than only the story of Sakina and her father. The fact that the plot takes place during Partition illustrates the chaos and violence during this period. As Bredella (cf. 2012: 15) argues, when something extraordinary happens in a story, i.e. something that completely challenges valid norms, the story encourages the reader to think about the reported events critically and empathise with the involved characters. To fully grasp the essence of a story, students have to make use of their ability to judge and empathise by changing their perspective (cf. ibid.: 12). Because of their brevity and the experienced “sensation of totality” (Adam 2013: 154) for the reader, short stories, in general, can be very motivating for learners. Thaler (2008) claims that this narrative genre can serve as “a bridge between simpler coursebook texts and full-length literature” (91). Because of the briefness, reading and analysing the text would probably not take too much time and in contrast to non-fictional texts, literary texts often only foreshadow certain aspects and do not explicitly name them, what leads to the necessity of independently coming up with own ideas. This provokes students to actively work with the text and to critically think about the described incidents and the message behind them (cf. Surkamp 2012: 80). In this special case and as already mentioned before, Manto does not explicitly write what had happened to Sakina and therefore, students are forced to reflect on their own in order to give meaning to her behaviour and the reaction of the doctor (cf. Alter 1994: 96). Dealing with postcolonial texts in particular reveals the importance of different perspectives and fosters students’ Fremdverstehen. A huge advantage is the fact that postcolonial texts and texts of minority authors in general often reveal societal widespread mechanisms of ‘Othering’ and exclusion in a very dramatic manner (cf. Eisenmann 2015: 217), which can then be transferred to the own culture. Moreover, the story might sensitise students to the dangers and traumatising circumstances of migration, which is also a very up-to- 69 date issue in schools. Hence, literature can be a useful tool to support not only linguistic and cultural but also moral and emotional education (cf. Grimm et al. 2015: 176). 3.2 Challenges Although Manto’s short story “The Return” provides many advantages for the EFL classroom as demonstrated in the previous subchapter, the following analysis will point out some possible challenges of the text. As Volkmann (cf. 2010: 114) argues, the European attitude towards India is stamped with clichés and the by far most striking problem of Manto’s short story for TEFL purposes is the fact that the story discusses the probably most persistent stereotype of India that Western cultures have internalised: the unjust treatment of women. The stereotype of India as a country of widespread violence against women is fortified in the general public through recurring articles about sexual abuse and rape. As Freitag and Gymnich (cf. 2007: 263) correctly emphasise, teachers really have to think carefully about which image of a country they present. Literary texts are expected to reduce these stereotypes and not to foster them (cf. Volkmann 2010: 114), but that is exactly the major danger of “The Return” in the EFL classroom. Therefore, this text is not an option for young learners and a certain age and level of proficiency in text interpretation is definitely required. To reduce these stereotypes, they have to be revealed and rebutted actively. In this case, it would be important to uncover the metaphor of rape as a stylistic device. Additionally, the author’s aim to criticise the societal inequality and especially the progress since the 1950s has to be mentioned in class. The teacher has to make sure that every student understands that the text depicts an outdated image of India. Furthermore, the story does not involve typical topics of literature for young people such as the search for one’s own identity, first love, peer pressure, or conflicts based on generational gaps. These factors make it hard for students to identify with the situation. Additionally, Kabir (2005) correctly claims that a full understanding of the consequences of Partition “remains beyond the capacities of narrative […] and that is even more difficult to negotiate with temporal distance from the event” (190). In case the group of learners is empathetic and might be able to change perspectives and show interest in foreign cultures, this disadvantage might not preclude the reading process. Be- 70 sides, Manto sticks to an androcentric view when choosing Sirajuddin instead of Sakina as the protagonist of his story. The story is doubtlessly shocking and encourages the reader to think, but maybe there are too many gaps to relate to as young readers. The fact that both Sakina’s horrible experience and the criticism of societal structures are implicitly expressed by Manto, this textual complexity might overburden EFL learners. It might be suitable to present texts which need to be interpreted with regard to one aspect, but a foreshadowed plot and a hidden message might be too much to expect from young learners. Therefore, it might be recommendable to only focus on one aspect. Either Manto’s text is part of a teaching sequence about Partition, so that the focus is clearly on the traumatic experience of this historical event and the short story is used as a demonstrative report of the horrible and traumatic atmosphere in those days, or “The Return” is used as part of a teaching sequence about gender roles in the Indian/Pakistani society to demonstrate the low status of women, their vulnerability in contrast to men and the development of gender roles in those cultures. But even though women in India and Pakistan still do not have the same rights as men, the text does not represent the recent situation in the country but that of more than seventy years ago. Wandel (cf. 2013: 389-390) understandably questions the suitability of older texts and demands for more up-to-date ones. Examples might be Akash Kapur’s India Becoming or Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. Especially when trying to rebut the above-mentioned persisting prejudices, it is essential to focus on what has positively changed during the last seventy years with regard to gender inequality and that the circumstances depicted in the story are far from being up-to-date. This problem could be solved by presenting statistics on the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in India and its successes so far. Wandel (cf. ibid.: 390) also calls the practice of overwhelmingly choosing texts of predominantly successful and well-known authors into question and encourages teachers to look after texts from less famous writers. Another significant argument against Manto’s short story is the expected amount of time that would be necessary to discuss the text in an appropriate way in contrast to the limited time that can realistically be given. Much background knowledge is necessary to fully understand the text. Furthermore, a lot of time would be needed to discuss the mentioned issues in the text to reach the full educational potential of the story. All in all, the time which would be necessary to prepare 71 students for the text and the time necessary to discuss the text afterwards might exceed the time of actual text-based work by far (cf. ibid.). In addition, it is questionable whether students can recognise on their own that Sakina was gang raped. It would probably be the teacher who would have to lead the students to this interpretation. 4 Teaching Activities This chapter provides some possible activities which might be helpful when discussing Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” as part of a teaching unit about India in the EFL classroom. As explained above, the text is rather demanding and time-consuming, so the following proposals are applicable for an English Leistungskurs in the Oberstufe. Based on the current predominant learning theory of constructivism , the following possible teaching activities are structured according to the PWP-model . Corresponding to this approach, textbased lessons are divided into three phases, namely a pre-, while- and post-reading phase. This approach was chosen because of the current popularity of the model and its clear-cut structure. Furthermore, the following activities are all created in terms of process-orientated literary classes. In previous lessons, students have learned about the history of India and its independence in 1947 as well as the circumstances of Partition. It is assumed that learners are familiar with India’s diverse society, the problems during Partition and the ongoing religious tensions. Moreover, the societal structure with special focus on women and gender inequality has been discussed before. Additionally, the course has already dealt with the genre of short stories and its characteristics several times. Although rational text analysis seems to be less popular these days and there has been a shift to more creative learner-oriented approaches with focus on the reader’s individual understanding of the text, there are two sets of teaching activities in this paper which are going to cover both: the analytical as well as the creative approach. The rea- 9 For further reading on constructivism, see: Grimm et al. 2015: 51 ff. 10 PWP: pre-, while- and post-reading. For further reading, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 71-80. 11 For further reading on the process-oriented approach, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 63f. and 71f. 12 Learners should at least know of Werlich’s seven typical features of short fiction (cf. Thaler 2008: 91). 72 son for that has its origin in the text itself. Manto’s short story “The Return” doubtlessly deals with very sensitive topics such as escape, migration and rape. An unflecting discussion about such topics can cause many problems in class. Therefore, the teacher has to know the students very well to make sure nobody gets offended or nobody is reminded of traumatic experiences when discussing a text like this in a course. Besides, creative tasks often aim at touching the learner’s emotions and ask for a shift of perspectives which, in this case, might be unbearable for students. Generally, the suggestion is to mainly do analytical tasks in case the text might cover too sensitive topics. However, due to the current importance of the personal-response method , the following possible teaching activities will give an example of each, an analytical as well as a creative task for each phase. In the following subchapters, the first proposal will always be part of the first and more creative set of worksheets, while the second suggestion will be part of the second and more analytical set. 4.1 Pre-Reading Activities The pre-reading phase should prepare students for the text and aims at arousing interest (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 71). Furthermore, in this phase, prior knowledge ought to be activated and first expectations concerning the upcoming text are to be revealed (cf. ibid.: 72). Moreover, pre-reading activities target the emotional and linguistic preparation for the future content (cf. ibid.) and the support of the students in getting access to a text (cf. ibid.: 72 f.). The pre-reading activity of the first set should be distributed to the learners before passing out the text. The task wants to motivate students to come up with possible ideas on what the following short story could be about (cf. ibid.: 73; cf. Haß 2017: 202). With this creative task, the learners’ imagination is encouraged. Students of that proficiency should be familiar with the word return and given that they have already talked about the history of India and Partition, they are supposed to come up with some realistic ideas. With association tasks like this, weaker students are also encouraged to share their ideas and to take part in class discussions. Because the short story is completely unknown to the group at this point, there is no correct or wrong answer. Scaffolding is provided by the help box at the bottom of the 13 For further reading on the personal-response approach, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 64. 73 worksheet, which might support students, who have difficulties to come up with own ideas. After the learners have collected and written down their thoughts, some students are asked to present their ideas in class. Then, the above mentioned short clip on YouTube is shown in class and afterwards, students have to compare their previous ideas with the presented clip. With this visual medium, students should be able to further immerge into the atmosphere and topic of the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 72) and to connect those glimpses with their speculations. They can compare their notes and impressions with a partner and think about whether their imaginations match the presented plot in the video or not. The second pre-reading activity aims at revising previously learned characteristics of the genre. Learners have to remember typical features of a short story and have to fill in the given mind map. Again, this worksheet should be handed out and filled in before the learners receive the text. In terms of fostering students’ Textsortenkompetenz, it is essential that they are able to name and identify typical characteristics of each genre (cf. ibid.: 199). This worksheet is especially manageable for learners who have dealt with typical characteristics of the genre several times before. After they had time to work on this task on their own, they can work with a partner in a second step. To make sure that each student has a complete list of the typical features on his or her worksheet at the end of the lesson, the teacher should copy the mind map on the board while the learners are trying to find all characteristics. The course has to collect all features together on the board afterwards, so everybody can complement his or her worksheet. 4.2 While-Reading Activities This phase of text work based on the PWP-model aims at supporting the reader’s text comprehension (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 74). Through purposive reading, the reader is provoked to reflect on the ongoing individual impressions (cf. ibid.). Moreover, having a particular task in mind while reading a text can facilitate active reading and therefore, foster the individual text and reading competence of each learner. Both activities ask the learners to filter the most important information of the text represented in two different ways. Both tasks use visualisations the key aspects of the short story. In addition, the pro- 14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMO7EznIaic. 74 cess of searching for key aspects of a text provides the chance to repeat the different reading strategies learners should know and able to apply (cf. Thaler 2014: 191 f.). The first presented while-reading activity uses the ‘herringbone technique’ to provide an easy and figurative model with which learners are asked to fill in the most important aspects of the text. Nünning and Surkamp (cf. 2006: 206) emphasise the simple self-explanatory structure of the diagram, which is easy to remember. Thereby, even complex and confusing plots can be structured in a simplified manner and all of the important aspects are clearly represented (cf. ibid.). This model is definitely worth introducing because it can be helpful for every kind of text. Later, the results should be discussed in class. It is important to note that some sections such as Why? or What? might vary and students might come up with different opinions concerning, for example, what the story really is about or why Sirajuddin, his wife and Sakina are really inside the train. These differences offer many chances to discuss the students’ understanding of the text and challenge them to prove their opinion with regard to concrete text passages. Besides, the diagram serves as preparation for the post-reading task and students must use their results in order to work on the following worksheet. The other while-reading task (of set 2) challenges the learners to structure the short story into single passages and to sum up these single steps of the plot (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 75 f.). Again, the results might vary and probably to a greater extent in this task than in the previously presented while-reading task of set 1. Therefore, some students should present their results and these suggestions should be discussed and compared to the disposition of other students. 4.3 Post-Reading Activities This third and last phase wants to evaluate the individual reading experience (cf. ibid.: 77) and enough time should be given to repeat the central questions and aspects of the text (cf. Haß 2017: 202). The text production tasks should also repeat and utilise the previous considerations and findings (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 78), so that those results do not get lost. 15 Based on Barbara Walker. For further reading see: Diagnostic Teaching of Reading: Techniques for Instruction and Assessment (1996). 75 Task number one on the post-reading worksheet of set 1 asks for a summary of Manto’s short story. The learners are only allowed to write three sentences and are challenged to include all important key aspects into this limited extent of text. Their previous worksheet with the herringbone technique might help them to remember the key aspects. The results probably give further opportunity to discuss and compare the different summaries with regard to different priority of what is most important and what can be left out. The basis of the second task should be the expectations and ideas of the pre-reading task. Now, the students have to write their own short story named “The Return”. The stories should take place during the time of Partition but the students should come up with a different plot. Afterwards, the learners can present their summaries as well as their own short stories by the use of a gallery walk and the learners can vote for the best summary and the best short story. The second suggestion, again, is part of the more analytical set and demands to work out why Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” can be characterised as a typical short story with regard to typical features of the genre. The learners have to write an explanation, in which they point out these typical characteristics of short fiction by means of the text. Again, the results of the previous phases, especially the worksheet of the pre-reading phase, might help them to complete this task. Later, the teacher should discuss which features were adopted in “The Return” and where and how in the text these characteristics can be identified. 4.4 Summary Teaching Activities Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung (1) Before you read the story, think about the title. What do you expect to happen in the story? Take notes. (2) Complete the mind map. (1) Fill in the diagram while reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and complement the main idea at the bottom. (2) Divide the short story into stages. Transfer these events (1) 1. Summarise the short story in three sentences and include the most important aspects like Who? Where? When? (Your diagram of our while-reading activity might help you.) 76 into the single pieces of the plot chain. 2. Write your own story but use the same title. Maintain time and setting of the story but think about a different plot. (Your predictions of the story from our pre-reading activity might help you.) (2) Point out which typical features of a short story can be found in “The Return” and evaluate why the story is a typical representative of the genre. (2) Material/ Medium worksheet + trailer worksheet + text worksheet(s) + text (3) Sozialform (1) EA + PA (video clip) (2) EA + PA EA EA (4)Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar (1) worksheet before passing out the written text; some students are asked to present their ideas in class; afterwards: clip on YouTube; students have to compare their previous ideas with the trailer (PA); medium video clip: further immerge into the atmosphere filter the most important information; searching for key aspects of a text → repeat reading strategies; results of some sections might vary; diagrams serve as preparation for the post-reading tasks; some students should present their results → discussion in class (1) comparison of some summaries with regard to different priority of what is most important and what can be left out (2) present own short stories → gallery walk; learners vote for the best short story; teacher should discuss in class which features were adopt- 77 and topic of the text (2) worksheet should be passed out and filled in before the learners receive the text; recap; PA in a second step; In the end: complete mind map on the blackboard + students have to prove their suggestions ed in “The Return” and where and how in the text these characteristics can be identified 5 Conclusion Summing up, students can benefit a lot when teaching India in class. A teaching unit about the country should definitely involve a teaching unit about Partition. But further research is needed to broaden the teaching materials about postcolonial topics and to provide teachers with manifold texts, corresponding worksheets and ideas to create activating and motivating English classes. This paper analysed one possible text for future English teaching units about India and questioned which postcolonial key concepts can be found in Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and whether this short story is recommendable for TEFL purposes. The story “The Return” contains at least three important postcolonial key concepts namely ‘Abrogation’, ‘Displacement’ and ‘Othering’. But each of these included key concepts are not present in thoroughly unchallengeable manner. Therefore, the text does not provide a complete and prototypical implementation of each of these postcolonial key concepts. It can be argued that the concept of ‘Abrogation’ was not exerted very consequently because Manto did not originally write his short story in English but adopted typical English characteristics of the genre. Whether the text contains the concept of ‘Displacement’ can be questioned because one central criterion for this concept, namely the movement within national borders, can be challenged because the border was de facto established when Sirajuddin and Sakina moved from Amritsar to Lahore and therefore they, in the strict sense, crossed a national border – even though a very new one. Plus, the concept of ‘Othering’ is represented in an implicit manner, namely through the choice of the main characters and the description of the protagonists. The context includes more ‘Othering’ 78 than the plot itself. All in all, the text contains postcolonial key concepts, but none of them are completely exemplary and prototypical. Therefore, the text is only suitable to analyse postcolonial key concepts for advanced learners who have already dealt with these concepts. The short story is not practical to introduce those postcolonial key concepts. The following arguments sum up the usefulness of Manto’s text from the TEFL point of view. On the one hand, from the structural point of view, the story represents a good example of the genre because it contains all important features and the length of sentences as well as the language are suitable for the Oberstufe. In addition, authentic texts are always a valuable extension to coursebook texts because they introduce authentic language to the EFL learners and they provide lots of information about the foreign culture. Moreover, the text examines a global issue, which is definitely worth addressing in class, and which challenges students to use the foreign language for discussion. Lastly, the ambiguity of the text can provoke students to critically think on their own and can give a lot of freedom for different interpretations. On the other hand, the possibility of confirming already existing clichés and fostering stereotypes is very acute. Furthermore, the story does not provide topics which make it easy for young students to identify with. In addition, Manto’s ambiguous writing style might overburden young EFL learners and the desirable effect of students autonomously interpreting the text might not work without extensive guidance of the teacher. What is more, the important topic of violence against women and gender inequality is not criticized explicitly enough and because students might puzzle about what had happened to Sakina in the first place, the historical circumstances about Partition might get lost. Therefore, it is recommendable to focus on only one aspect: either gender inequality or the awful circumstances and consequences of Partition. The above mentioned arguments make it difficult to come to a conclusion, but the imperfectness of the postcolonial key concepts processed in the text, the sensitive topics of migration and rape and the necessity of an extensive amount of time to prepare and to further discuss the contents do not allow to give an overall recommendation to discuss Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” in the EFL classroom. This does not mean that the short story cannot be a valuable extension, in case the group of students is ready to face this difficult text. This course would not have to be extraordinary proficient 79 regarding linguistic or literary competences but needs a certain level of know-how and proficiency with regard to postcolonial key concepts. Given the situation that the course is experienced in the matter of postcolonial key concepts and the teacher knows the students very well and can be sure that a text about abuse, rape and traumatic migration would not offend some students and that they are empathetic and aware of the issue of common clichés, this text could be very interesting for further discussion. But it has to be concluded that for the average EFL Oberstufe course, this text contains too many serious dangers and economic obstacles to recommend it universally. Bibliography Adam, M. M. A. (2013). Enhancing EFL Learners’ Competence through Short Stories: A Study in Four Colleges. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 4 (1), 154-160. Alter, S. (1994). Madness and Partition: The Short Stories of Saadat Hasan Manto. Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, 14, 91-100. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2000). Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts. Oxford: Routledge. Bredella, L. (2012). 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Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG. ---. (2013). Intercultural Learning and Postcolonial Studies: “Never the Twain Shall Meet”?. In M. Eisenmann & T. Summer (Eds.), Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning (2nd ed.) (pp. 169-180). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gohrisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial 81 Studies Across the Disciplines (pp. 387-398). Amsterdam: Rodopi Verlag. Yusin, J. (2011). Beyond nationalism: The border, trauma and Partition fiction. SAGE Publications, Thesis Eleven, 105 (1), 23-34. 82 Reading and Teaching Post-Independence India in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things Kevin Kuypers 1. Introduction [...] the quality of Ms. Roy’s narration is so extraordinary – at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple – that the reader remains enthralled all the way through to its agonizing finish. (Truax 1997: 1) Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is a postcolonial1 novel which was first released in 1997. In the book, Roy employs her unique writing style to write about a family that faces many challenges and tragedies: She tells the story of the twins Estha and Rahel (and their family) who live in Ayemenem, India between the late 60s and early 90s. As the quote above points out, the narration is extraordinary – both in style and structure. At the same time, the tragic fates of some characters are rough to read and although ending on a rather positive note, the vivid and metaphoric text makes the readers feel and sympathize with the characters. Still, The God of Small Things is a remarkable novel, which contains a great variety of typical features of post-independence Indian literature – specifically the Indo-English writing style. In the German Kernlehrplan für Gymnasien: Sekundarstufe II, teachers find themselves confronted with a mixture of competences they are obliged to convey to their students. The essential ‘Intercultural Com- 1 Some scholars make a distinction between the hyphenated and non-hyphenated spelling of ‘postcolonial’, thus referring to the differences between a historical/political understanding in contrast to a more regional/thematic one. In this term paper, the non-hyphenated version will be used plainly for reasons of simplification. 83 petence’ being among the most important ones can be fostered with many different topics and texts. At the end of the Qualifikationsphase im Grundkurs, students are expected to have sufficient sociocultural knowledge about one further anglophone postcolonial country (cf. Kernlehrplan 2014: 31). Here, India is often chosen as a topic to explain the political, social and cultural realities of the postcolonial nation. (Un-)fortunately, the Kernlehrplan phrases its goals and required competences rather broadly. Therefore, teachers are free to choose the specific topics, texts and materials for their students. This term paper aims at examining Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and analyzing its suitability for English learners in the Sekundarstufe II. Accordingly, the books’ postcolonial key concepts will be analyzed. Subsequently, it will be necessary to take a look at the novel from the perspective of TEFL2: What are the specific chances and challenges of Roy’s novel? After having analyzed the novel’s suitability for the EFL classroom, suggestions for teaching activities are presented. As mentioned in the opening quote, there seems to be a tension between the stylistic brilliance and authentic content of the novel and the harsh themes Roy chose to address in her book. It will be interesting to see if The God of Small Things is a suitable novel for the Sekundarstufe II. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “The Good of Small Things” In today’s postcolonial studies, there is a great variety of different key concepts that can be found – The God of Small Things is no exception in this regard. For this paper, two famous key concepts will be analyzed in the context of the novel. Furthermore, Roy has a very specific writing style. This will also be of interest, considering the suitability of the novel for younger learners. 2.1 ‘Hybridity’ The Oxford Dictionary defines the term as “[t]he offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties...” (Oxford Dictionary: Website). It is a term taken from biology to refer to the mixture of two separate species that create a new, hybrid one. Wolfreys, Robbins and Womack offer a broader definition that can be applied to other 2 In this term paper, the field of Teaching of English as a Foreign Language is referred to as TEFL. 84 fields of inquiry as well: ‘Hybridity’ refers to “something or someone of mixed ancestry or derived from heterogeneous (i.e., of diverse, different origins) sources” (Wolfreys et al. 2002: 43). Over the decades, the term has been lent to other contexts: It is now used for linguistic, cultural, political or racial phenomena, among others (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 136). ‘Hybridity’ can be used to explain a variety of aspects of the postcolonial Indian society: India was colonized by the English for a long time, only gaining its independence in 1947. This period of time has led to a mixture of different cultural facets of both countries and peoples. The special relationship between the colonizer and the colonized results in an extraordinary interdependence. This creates an “inbetween-space”, or as Homi Bhabha calls it: “The Third Space” (Bhabha 1994: 37). This “third space” is where the two formerly independent cultures blend and fuse together in order to develop a new culture (or language, habit, religion etc.). Furthermore, in his own words: “It is in the emergence of the interstices – the overlap and displacement of domains of difference – that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated” (Bhabha 1994: 2). ‘Hybridity’ can, therefore, also challenge one’s own relation to one’s cultural background. The concept of ‘Hybridity’ has been confronted with a fair amount of criticism: Due to the fact that it is closely connected to colonization, the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized has often been hierarchical: While the latter has mostly been the one in a position of power, the colonized Indian people have been oppressed and forced to assimilate to the English culture. Historically speaking, the English have been viewed “as the privileged, ‘enlightened’, ‘civilized’, ‘rational’ and ‘advanced’ colonizer and the subaltern [Indian people as] ‘barbaric’, ‘superstitious’, ‘backward’” (Tickell 2007: 137 f.). There is a famous example of this from the English historian Thomas Babington Macauly, who wrote in a minute concerning the introduction of an education system in India: He wanted to create “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect” (Macauly 1835: 115). This is evident racism and ‘Hybridity’ has been criticized for ignoring the hierarchical and political aspect of colonization (cf. Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin 2013: 136). The God of Small Things, however, gives a lot of examples for a more modern and optimistic view of the concept. The novel introduces many different characters who have their own views of the world and the history of India’s colonization. These 85 views are mostly dependent on their age, because their age defines to which generation of the family they belong: Chacko, for example, who is Eshta’s and Rahel’s maternal uncle, belongs to the generation that views the process of hybridization critically. He calls his family a “family of Anglophiles” (Roy 2009: 52) which is “[p]ointed in the wrong directions, trapped outside their own history, and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away.” (ibid.). He is a perfect example for the critical Indian who still tries to revolt against the forceful English influence. The twins, on the other hand, belong to the younger generation who have (unconsciously) adopted different aspects of the English culture. They play a lot with language3 and the boundaries of both the English and Hindi language system. Moreover, they have grown up with the Western culture as they have with the Malayalam: They know the Jungle Book or Julius Caesar as well as traditional dances or the Indian epic of the Mahabharata. In this context, Tickell writes that in his opinion, hybrid behaviour4, when unconsciously practised, is not “inherently seditious” (Tickell 2007: 139). While the twins, for example, do not challenge the established system consciously or intentionally, they still show that an independent use of aspects of both cultures can be fun and fruitful. In that respect, Tickell seems to disregard the fact that by showing a different way of dealing with colonial history people can feel as if their own way of life is being attacked: Estha and Rahel establish a whole new framework by fusing aspects of both cultures together as they like. Their new hybrid culture with roots in both Indian and English background is as independent and free in thinking as it can get and therefore, ‘Hybridity’ will always challenge the dominant establishment. One could go even further and suggest that the more unconscious ‘Hybridity’ is, the more seditious it is at the same time. 3 This will be further discussed in the next chapter. 4 In this context, one has to differentiate between the terms ‘Hybridiy’ and ‘Liminality’. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) describe ‘Liminality’ as an “‘inbetween’ space in which cultural change may occur: the transcultural space in which strategies for personal or communal self-hood may be elaborated, a region in which there is a continual process of movement and interchange between different states” (117). Therefore, ‘Liminality’ and ‘Hybridity’ accompany each other, as the “interstitial passage between fixed identifications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy” (Bhabha 1994: 4). 86 It was stated that the twins play with language a lot and in the next chapter this will be analysed in-depth because their use of language is a good example for the linguistic adoption of ‘Hybridity’. Arundhati Roy not only uses her characters to fuse together different cultures to highlight the role of ‘Hybridity’ in modern India, but she also uses language in a similar fashion. Firstly, the novel often seems like an amalgam of prose and fusion (despite obviously being a novel first and foremost) (comment: a generic appropriation). The way Roy arranges her text, the typography she uses, and the enormous wealth of stylistic devices are clear hints for this: Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one. Not old. Not young. But a viable die-able age. (Roy 2009: 3) This extract is arranged like a poem, the reader is confronted with metaphors and similes, personifications and unusual capitalization and in the end even a rhyme (cf. Tickell 2007: 135). This style appears throughout the whole book and shows a form of ‘Hybridity’ on the most abstract level. Roy even employs many Hindi terms in her otherwise English-written book. Furthermore, the text’s structure is borrowed from traditional Indian stories. While Western stories tend to be written chronologically, Indian ones tend to have a cyclical structure: This stems from the Hindu religion and cosmology where the whole view of the universe is cyclical. Following this concept, Roy jumps from one point in the story to a future (or past) one. One of the most outstanding features of the book is how the twins Estha and Rahel play with language in the novel. As Tickell writes, they often break the connection between the signified and the signifier (cf. Tickell 2007: 136), following the theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. They seem to cherish the sounds of words, play with it and 87 they completely ignore the fixed regulations of a language system: Rahel, for example, likes the word “boot”, but thinks that “sturdy” is a terrible word, “[l]ike a dwarf’s name.” (Roy 2009: 46). There is no obvious connection between the word “sturdy” and a “dwarf”, but in the child’s own perception which is formed, shaped and constructed by two different cultures, there is. Another example is their favourite game when playing with words: Speaking and reading backwards. Stop signs become “POTS”-signs, the slogan “Be Indian, Buy Indian” becomes “NAIDNI YUB, NAIDNI EB” (Roy 2009: 58) and the earliermentioned “Satan in their eyes” becomes “nataS in their seye” (ibid. 60). This playfulness is contrasted by their grand-father Pappachi. He is an imperial entomologist who has discovered a new species of moth – which was then not named after him and lead to his greatest disappointment in his life. There is a deeper meaning to the process of naming something: Pappachi belongs to the older and therefore imperial and patriarchal generation of characters and in this context naming something “is an act of fixing, containing and thus controlling the meaning and form of language...” (Tickell 2007: 133). From a postcolonial point of view, whoever has the power over language generally has power. During the processes of colonization, control over language is one of most essential features to establish domination, hierarchy and rule (cf. Ashcroft et al. 1989: 4). Pappachi feels powerless because he cannot name his discovery. From this perspective, the twins are actually powerful characters because they use English, Hindi and a mixture of both (and even a fantasy language) as they like. Estha and Rahel as children are examples for an optimistic and functioning form of ‘Hybridity’, celebrating aspects of both languages and cultures and fusing them together just as they like. The next chapter will take a look at one more key concept, the ‘Double colonization’ of women. 2.2 Double Colonization The concept of ‘Double colonization’ stems from the mid-1980s and was first introduced in postcolonial discourse by Holst-Petersen and Rutherford (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 89). It belongs to feminist theory as it observes that women during processes of colonization seemed (or seem) to suffer not only from imperial but from patriarchal oppression as well. In India, for example, the whole population was taken over and oppressed by the English – in addition to that, women were subjected to the patriarchal system. Women are marginalized in 88 two different ways at the same time as both systems affect them similarly. This can continue even after colonization has ended: The effects of colonization do not stop immediately when independence is declared, therefore women in countries like India are often still exposed to both forms of oppression. In The God of Small Things, the effects of the former colonization are still present in many ways: The older the people of the family are, the more the reader feels them. Pappachi is an example for that: His language use (i.e. naming and classifying) is similar to his general approach in life: He is used to authoritarian subjugation and clear rules. This leads to horrible effects for his wife, Mammachi (the twins’ grand-mother): She gets beaten regularly by him and is forcefully stopped to play the violin (cf. Roy 2009: 48 f.) – a clear sign of trying to stifle her creativity (cf. Tickell 2007: 133). The situation is similar (maybe even worse) for their daughter Ammu: The twins’ mother suffers from abuse by her father and husband. When she divorces him, she is shamed by the community of Ayemenem. After having an affair with Velutha, an Untouchable, her sad life ultimately ends with early death. These are obvious indicators of women being colonized in two different ways at the same time. ‘Double colonization’ is certainly a sad truth in India – and the fates of Mammachi and Ammu are terrible to read and belong to the rougher parts of the novel. After having examined the writing style and some key concepts from postcolonialism, the next chapter will take a look at the chances and challenges of the novel from the perspective of TEFL. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language Evaluating the suitability of The God of Small Things in schools requires weighing up the chances and challenges of the novel. In addition to the key concepts above, some other factors will also be added in order to gain an overview of the advantages and disadvantages. 3.1 Chances As mentioned in the introduction to this paper, postcolonial countries and cultures have found their way into the curriculum of German schools. A major focus here is the fostering of ICC (→ Intercultural Communicative Competence) and Fremdverstehen. From this perspective, the novel offers a variety of chances. The God of Small Things has a 89 great variety of characters that the reader accompanies throughout the book: The main ones all belong to one big family, include different generations, social classes and genders. This variety of fictional voices also leads to a wide range of different opinions, experiences, language use etc. Roy uses the technique of ‘dialogism’, where many different voices are set against another in a dialogic tension (cf. Bakhtin 1981: 314), which enables the reader to gain a great overview of the cultural diversity of India. It leads to a direct examination of foreign cultural habits. Additionally, the fact that ‘Hybridity’ is used in so many different ways and contexts in the book makes students explore and question the Indian as well as their own culture even more. This will foster and advance the students’ ability of intercultural discourse and understanding tremendously – which is one of the main goals in developing ICC in an EFL classroom (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 259). The writing style of Arundhati Roy is another factor that should be positively mentioned. Creating her own mix of prose with a lot of features from poetry will enable students to contrast both literary forms. The wealth of stylistic devices makes the novel vivid and stimulates imagination while reading. The unusual telling structure of the book might also be interesting for students because they are probably more used to traditional chronological stories. The dialogism of language in the book also plays a huge role: The fusion of different languages, the neologisms, the play with words and finally the contrast of poetic language and everyday-language raise the attention span of readers (cf. Volkmann 2015: 246). Conclusively, the main advantage of using literature and especially The God of Small Things in classrooms is the immense potential of fostering ICC and Fremdverstehen: The book’s countless different topics, the diversity of voices and opinions and the authenticity of the story and characters can lead to a critical reflection of the Indian and German culture (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 261). 3.2 Challenges The God of Small Things is certainly a novel of outstanding quality and its popularity and fame has been and is well-deserved. Unfortunately, there are certain challenges that could arise when using it as a text material in class with English learners. The first and most obvious one is its length: The book has 339 pages. In the curriculum, the topic of another anglophone nation with a postcolonial background is only one among many – therefore, picking a novel with over 300 pages is a bold 90 choice. Additionally, especially for younger students it is definitely not an easy read. Roy employs many Indian words in her text, her style of writing is very poetic (covering many stylistic devices such as metaphors and word plays) and the general language level is quite high: Depending on which character is currently presented, there can be complex sentence structures, difficult and unknown words and even technical terms (ranging from politics to biology etc.). This means that demanding the students to read the book over a holiday, for example, could be demotivating as they will probably take a long time. Surely, teachers can always decide to just read excerpts of the text. This ties closely to the next problem, though: the complex narrative structure. As mentioned before, the story is not told chronologically, but rather cyclical with regular time-jumps. Choosing certain passages would always require teachers to give a lot of context and even then, it is questionable how fruitful that is. The novel depends on its dense atmosphere, the authenticity of the family’s tragedies and its fascinating writing style. Cutting the text into pieces would ruin the flow of the novel and is at least debatable. Another obstacle is the lacking Lebensweltbezug of the novel. As Freitag & Gymnich (2007) point out, (postcolonial) literature should (among other things) enable students to empathize with the new cultural point of view in order to improve their Fremdverstehen-skills (259). Accordingly, teachers should choose texts with characters and a plot that offers a certain potential of identification for the learners (cf. ibid. 261). This could be achieved by picking texts that deal with topics of adolescence for example. The God of Small Things does not fall into that category. Most of the plot is set in the 60s, some of it in 90s – for today’s learners, this is too long ago for their imagination. Moreover, the problems of the book’s characters are not really relatable for German students. This leads directly to the next challenge: The topics of the novel. Not only are they not really relatable for younger learners, but a lot of them seem too harsh, too. They lack the necessary background to decode the text from top-down. They range from children’s death (Sophie Mol drowns), a lot of violence (mainly against children and women → ‘Double colonization’), injustice (due to the caste system: Ammu and Velutha are punished with death for their forbidden love affair), sexual abuse (Estha and the “Orangedrink Lemondrink Man”), humiliation, political oppression and so on. As a result of the horrible things that happen, one of the main characters, Estha, even becomes mute. While on the one hand, all of the events create an authentic and 91 impenetrable atmosphere, its suitability for young learners is arguable on the other hand due to the sensitive subjects addressed in the novel. When dealing with the novel, an analytical approach is recommendable for students so that they do not become too emotionally troubled. The God of Small Things, however, presents the reader with so many difficult, emotionally disturbing events that it could easily overtax some students. There are rarely positive or optimistic things happening and even if there are, they are quickly overshadowed by something sad. Here, the effort of preparing and editing the text so that it is usable does not match the possible gain at the end. There are also some smaller hurdles that could be dealt with but are surely time-consuming. First off, the plot requires some background knowledge – about the postcolonial past, the political circumstances at the time (→ communism) and the caste system, for example. Additionally, the text has to be edited by the teacher because a lot of foreign words must be translated. Arundhati Roy is also known for the irony she employs at some parts that might be difficult to understand for learners. A great example is the part where the Australian missionary sees Satan in the eyes of the twins. In the next sentence, the twins spell it backwards: “nataS in their seye” which is a typical feature of satanic occurrences. In the last two sentences of the paragraph and chapter, Roy reports that the missionary, Miss Mitten, was killed by a milk van and that to the twins there was hidden justice that she was killed by a truck that was reversing (cf. Roy 2009: 60). This is sharp irony, maybe even cynical due to the fact that she reports it incidentally at the end of the paragraph and might be difficult for younger pupils to understand. In the next step, the chances and challenges will be weighed up against each other to make a final decision on the suitability of The God of Small Things in an EFL-classroom. 3.3 Suitability According to Wandel, when it comes to choosing literature for postcolonial classrooms, the concept of Kulturkunde with a focus on literary achievement has achieved a comeback (cf. Wandel 2013: 389). Surely, there can be many merits: Students get to know works of the literary canon, in the case of The God of Small Things there are many postcolonial concepts that could be examined, and the writing style and narrative structure are exquisite. In general, one could say: There is a lot to work on and to work with. 92 On the other hand, one has to weigh up these advantages against the obstacles. In the case of Roy’s novel, the challenges unfortunately predominate. The sheer length and complexity of the novel would require too much editing; the topics are not suitable for younger learners; the time it would take to establish sufficient background knowledge is too much; and the lacking Lebensweltbezug probably will turn out to be demotivating for the students. With enough time, maybe a Leistungskurs could work with the novel – the question is if there are other possibilities that enable the students to achieve and foster the required competences more easily. If one would want to stick with the serious approach to postcolonial literature, there is a great variety of short stories to work with. They also, partly, belong to the great literary canon and are not as time-consuming. There are also many examples for movies. One could also choose lighter fiction, as Wandel suggests. He criticizes German educators and publishers for focussing too much on texts with a “world-wide-acceptance” produced by authors who have ‘made it’” (ibid.: 390). He suggests that there is a lot of material such as cartoons, magazines or ‘light’ fiction teachers could choose to enhance Fremdverstehen and ICC – Lebensweltbezug is overall one of the most decisive factors when it comes to motivation and motivation is crucial for the expansion of knowledge and competence. In conclusion, this paper suggests that Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things is not suitable for EFL-learners. Therefore, the next chapter will briefly propose a possible approach for students at university level. 4 Teaching Activities The following proposal is meant for high-level students (at university level for example). It is provided that possibly needed background knowledge is available and the book has been read. In order to convey two of the most striking characteristics of the novel, one could choose two passages. The course is split up into two groups: One for the first passage, one for the second. The first group receives an extract from the beginning of the book, which has been introduced earlier to work on the rich stylistic devices and the fusion of prose and poetry (Roy 2009: 3). The second group could focus on the concept of ‘Hybridity’ embodied by the twins and their play of language and fixed systems (ibid: 46 & 58). 93 Pre-Reading- Activity While-Reading-Activity Post-Reading- Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung 1) In groups of two, do a brief brainstorm on stylistic devices. Which ones do you remember and what is their function? 2) In groups of two, do a brief brainstorm on ‘Hybridity’. What features do you remember? 1) Read the following extract: “Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one. Not old. Not young. But a viable die-able age.” (Roy 2009: 3) Underline the stylistic devices you find in this passage. Try to connect your results to genres such as prose and poetry. Write your results on the poster and be ready to present them. 2) Read the following extracts: “Rahel thought that boot was a lovely word. A much better word, at any rate, than sturdy. Sturdy was a terrible word. Like a dwarf’s name.” (Roy, 2009: 46) “The red sign on the red and white arm said STOP in white. After the presentation of your results, answer the following question in class: “In how far does Arundhati Roy's special writing style foster or hinder the conveying of ‘Hybridity’ and the clash of cultures within the family?” → Hint: You can show this by contrasting the twins with Pappachi! 94 ‘POTS’, Rahel said. A yellow hoarding said BE INDIAN, BUY INDIAN in red. ‘NAIDNI YUB, NAIDNI EB’, Estha said.” (Roy 2009: 58) Explain what the twins are doing with language here. Try to connect your results to the concept of ‘Hybridity’. Write your results on the poster and be ready to present them. Material/Medium AB Poster Sozialform Partnerarbeit Einzelarbeit/Gruppenarbeit Unterrichtsgespräch Following the constructivist approach of pre-, while- and postreading activities, in a first step it is important to reactivate the required background knowledge. Group one is asked to create a list of stylistic devices they already know, group two collects features of ‘Hybridity’. This pre-reading-task is very brief and only serves to recall the necessary information and put the students into the right mindset. The following while-reading-task then demands from each group to do a close-reading of the passages with the task given on the work sheet. Their results shall be put down on a poster (for later purposes of presentation and Sicherung). The post-reading-task then dissolves the groups: After having presented and listened to the results of both groups, the students analyse in how far the special writing style of Arundhati Roy fosters or hinders the conveying of ‘Hybridity’ and the clash of cultures within the family. The example of this can be the contrast between the twins and their grand-father Pappachi. 5 Conclusion This paper aimed to evaluate on the suitability of Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things for EFL-classrooms. It is surely a book of outstanding quality and its fame and popularity is well-deserved. Roy grants insight into the challenging world of postcolonial families 95 and creates a dense atmosphere. Many concepts of postcolonial studies can be found, and her unique narrative style has a lot of value to it. The problem with the novel is that with regards to teaching, the fates of the characters are too rough, the content and themes too unrelatable for students and the background knowledge required is too much for the novel to be a fruitful material: There are definitely easier texts to improve pupil’s Fremdverstehen and ICC. The use of the novel in EFL-classrooms is, therefore, not recommended. That is why the methodological outline was rather brief. There is, however, a solution to the problem: After having finished a Unterrichtsreihe for the topic of India, teachers could always offer to do a little workshop for interested students. Especially in advanced courses, there are usually more lessons and time for this. If the students are still interested, a teacher could spare a lesson to give a brief overview over the theoretical field of postcolonial studies. Key concepts could be briefly presented and selected works from the great literary cannon introduced. If this would be done in a relaxing classroom atmosphere with short movie trailers, for example, and the use of digital media, it could be a very fruitful way of sparking the interest in learners. It would also follow the concept of Wissenschaftspropädeutik: It might not be the most important concept for English classes but giving pupils an outlook on and overview of what the subject is capable of is definitely beneficial. Having come to the conclusion that The God of Small Things is not suitable for being taught in the EFL classroom although it is a highly complex and impressive work of postcolonial literature which can be considered worth reading, an interesting starting point for additional research could be in how far one could establish further synergies between Literaturdidaktik in higher education and Fremdsprachendidaktik at school. Especially in the field of postcolonial literature, there are a lot of texts that are to be considered in that respect Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin H. (2013). Postcolonial Studies The Key Concepts. London & New York: Routledge. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin H. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures in English. London: Taylor and Francis. Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture. London: Routledge. 96 Bakhtin M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. In M.. Holquist (Ed.), translated by C. Emerson & M. Holquist. Austin (Texas): University of Texas Press. Freitag, B., & Gymnich, M. (2007). New English and Postcolonial Literatures im Fremdsprachenunterricht. In W. Hallet & A. Nünning (Eds.), Neue Ansätze und Konzepte der Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik (WVT Handbücher zur Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik) (pp. 259-276). Trier: WVT. Macauly, T. B. (1835). Minute dated 2nd February 1835. In H. Woodrow (Ed.). (1862). Macaulay’s Minutes on Education in India. Calcutta: The Baptist Mission Press. English Oxford Living Dictionaries. (2018). Web. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hybrid. Oxford University Press. (Last accessed: 29.05.2018). Roy, A. (2009). The God of Small Things. London: Fourth Estate. Tickell, A. (2007). Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Abingdon: Tylor & Francis. Truax, A. (1997). A Silver Thimble in Her Fist. New York Times. Web. https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/25/rev iews/970525.25truaxt.html (Last accessed: 29.05.2018). Volkmann, L. 2015: Opportunities and Challenges for Transcultural Learning and Global Education via Literature. In W. Delanoy, M. Eisenmann & F. Matz (Eds.), Learning with Literature in the EFL Classroom (pp. 237 – 262). Frankfurt am Main: Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Flassroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gohrisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies across the Disciplines (pp. 387 – 398). Leiden: Bill Rodopi. Wolfreys, J., Robbins, R., & Womack, K. (2002). The Key Concepts in Literary Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 97 India as a Global Player: Akash Kapur's India Becoming in the EFL Classroom Marc Nöthen 1 Introduction The following term paper is concerned with Akash Kapur’s India Becoming from 2012. His book received renown from both the American as well as the Indian media for Kapur’s “authentic and unbiased” (Ward 2012) insight account of the cultural, economic, global and social situation in today’s Indian society. Yet, the book has, to the knowledge of the author of this paper, not been the object of any literary analysis of postcolonial theory so far. Therefore, this paper aims at examining the book’s promising potential as a representative of contemporary Indian postcolonial writing. With regards to that, the first chapter deals with the analysis of the postcolonial concepts represented in Kapur’s India Becoming. This examination is based on the theoretical approaches of the well-known postcolonial theorists Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, Achebe, Bhabha, Edwards, Gunew and Rath. The selected concepts include ‘Appropriation’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ and ‘Palimpsest’ (all cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013). In addition to these concepts, the influencing factor of globalisation on contemporary postcolonial literature is taken into account as well (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–170). Moreover, the following paper is intended to contribute to German educational theory regarding the potential of India Becoming for intercultural learning in the EFL-classroom as far as the subject of postcolonial India is concerned. According to that, most scholars of the German Fachdidaktik agree that India offers a great potential for the EFL-Classroom despite it being underrepresented in the current 98 school curriculum (cf. Lindner 2010, Volkmann 2015, Wandel 2010 & Teske 2008). Lindner even goes as far as calling it a “jewel in the classroom” (Lindner 2010: 59). As a result, chapter three is focused on a fachdidaktische Analyse of the book’s chances and challenges for foreign language learning on account of the official curriculum of North Rhine-Westphalia on the one hand as well as fachdidaktische concepts and theories about literary learning, language learning, intercultural learning and Kompetenzorientierung on the other hand. In addition, an exemplary set of ideas for potential tasks/activities for a fictional group of students of the gymnasiale Oberstufe to deal with extracts of Kapur’s book are being introduced in the final chapter. These socalled learner activities are divided into pre-reading, while-reading and postreading activities. They are designed to guide and assist the students in their reading process as well as to develop and further their knowledge and skills regarding literature learning and foreign language learning in general and their intercultural communicative competence in particular. Having said that, it is now time to start with the analysis of postcolonial concepts in Akash Kapur’s book India Becoming. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in India Becoming In this chapter, the postcolonial concepts that can be found in Kapur’s book are examined. First, a definition of the term postcolonial literatures will be given in order to clarify the theoretical background of each concept before they are applied to the text. With regards to that, a selection of text extracts will be analysed systematically and representatively for the whole book. The selected concepts include ‘Appropriation’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ and ‘Palimpsest’ as well as globalisation. Even though the latter is not a postcolonial concept itself, Edwards has proven its significance for contemporary postcolonial writing (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–170). First of all, it is necessary to set the theoretical background, meaning the postcolonial theory behind these various concepts. First, it should be stated that this whole analysis is based on West-Pavlov’s approach that both, reader and author, are in constant dialogue during the reading process (cf. West-Pavlov 2005: 27, 32) and that, therefore, the reader is involved in decoding of meaning in the text by his own re-writing of the text and, with that, his re-writing of the “symbolic of social and political life” (ibid.: 27). As a result, according to West- Pavlov, a cultural outsider can best achieve cultural learning when encountering a dialogue between two natives of a particular culture, for 99 only then the dialogue fully represents the target culture (cf. ibid.: 32). Achebe and Edwards agree with this assertion. According to them, each postcolonial culture is different and unique on account of their dialogue or literatures contain a specific cultural code only a member could fully grasp and comprehend (cf. Achebe 1990: 74, 88; Ewards 2008: 12). With regards to that, Bhabha understands language as the key transmitter of cultural code (cf. Bhabha 2002: 297–298, 315–317). Moreover, one should not speak of postcolonial literature but rather postcolonial literatures in the plural (cf. Edwards 2008: 12). In reference to that, it is also necessary to define the term ‘postcolonial literatures’ before starting with the analysis of the concepts in Kapur’s book. Contrary to a common public opinion, the term ‘postcolonial’ is not synonymous to ‘after-independence’ (cf. ibid.: 9–11, 30; Ashcroft et al. 2005: 1). Rather, the term covers literature from the moment of colonisation up to the present day (cf. Ashcroft et al.: ibid.). Although, as pointed out above, each postcolonial culture is unique, all of them still share their common experience of colonisation, domination, being forced upon a different culture and resisting it up to the present by various means, including their own cultural language vernaculars as well as their literatures (cf. Edwards 2008: 12). This approach of postcolonial literatures ‘writing back’ to the colonial centre (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2005: 1, 3–4) is based upon the remaining influence or ‘hold’ of the English language and literature on postcolonial cultures and the need of these cultures to show their own literary presence and write about themselves in order not to be written over by others (cf. ibid.: 4). As a result, the term postcolonial reaches far beyond the usual bounds of a literary genre due to its being often used as a political and ideological tool as well (cf. Edwards 2008: 16). Analysing cultural concepts is becoming increasingly difficult these days, for as Gunew points out, the world has changed into a global and multicultural one in which cultural bounds become more and more illusive (cf. Gunew 2002: 103–104). Furthermore, such a process is complicated by Bhabha’s approach to the term ‘nation’ as being an artificial construct based on a shared language and a collection of norms and values the particular group of people has agreed upon (cf. Bhabha 2002: 291–292, 315–317). Nevertheless, this paper shows that it is still possible to find elements of cultural codes in the shape of, for instance, postcolonial concepts in literary works like Kapur’s book India Becoming. One of the most dominant features or con- 100 cepts to be found in the book is the concept of ‘Diaspora’5. With Akash Kapur himself being the main character of his book, the ‘narrating I’ as well as the ‘experiencing I’, the whole book turns out to be the story of one big diaspora. Born as the son of an Indian father and an American mother, Kapur leaves India by the age of sixteen to study in the United States before returning to India in 2003 (cf. Kapur 2012a: 1, 3, 6–7). So, his diaspora is an ethnoscape one for Kapur moves between nations (cf. Edwards 2008: 158–159). Also, his diaspora is affected by all of Rath’s three principles of diasporic identity (cf. Rath 2000). Kapur identifies with India as a country, his place of birth, but he also feels lost in time due to the way India has changed geographically, economically, socially and culturally during his absence (cf. Kapur 2012a: e.g. 45–50, 76, 173, 176–177, 263–264). As a result, he is constantly negotiating his own cultural identity (cf. ibid.: e.g. 4–5, 45– 50, 77–81, 306–309). In his book, Kapur describes many other diasporas in addition to his own. In fact, almost every character of his book has a diasporic story to tell. In a tea shop, a local farmer tells Kapur about various ‘Dislocations’ (cf. Ashcroft et al.: 45–47) of villagers due to the policy of the Indian government (cf. Kapur 2012a: 3). Hari, a young, high spirited man has lived through a ‘Financescape’ diaspora by moving from his home village to a city for his ambitious career as a businessman (cf. ibid.: 51-57; Edwards 2008: 158–159). Later, his company sends him to Great Britain (cf. Kapur 2012a: 154–163, 264–271). Likewise, Sathy’s wife Banu moved from the countryside to a city to earn more money and she even took the children with her for better school education (cf. ibid. 89: 294). Considering the motives behind some of these diasporas, two more postcolonial concepts become apparent, namely ‘Hybridity’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 135–139; Edwards 2008: 139–150; Rath 2000) and ‘Liminality’ (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 145– 146). With one meaning the creation of a third, transcultural form as the result of two different cultures meeting in a so-called ‘third space’ and the other describing just such a transcultural “in-between space”, a “threshold area” (both ibid.: 145) for two cultures to meet, both terms are closely linked since the latter can provide the ‘space’ required by the first. 5 For a detailed definition of the term, see Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81–83; Edwards 2008: 150–159. In addition, Rath offers an interesting perspective on the concept through his categorisation of three elements of diasporic identity, namely home as place, home as time and virtual home (cf. Rath 2000). 101 Kapur is a cultural hybrid by his very birth, for he grew up between the Indian and the American culture and he unites both of them inside him. In addition, his new transcultural identity is influenced by both the time he lived in India and the decade in the United States that followed. Since hybridity is a constant, never-ending process of negotiating one’s own cultural identity (cf. ibid.: 135–139), Kapur’s cultural identity continues to be altered by and during his time back in India. His cultural hybridity is the very reason that made him return to India in the first place. He is looking for a place he can call home. He left for the United States for better education, but the memory of India never faded away. So, when life in the United States lost its charms for him, Kapur was eager for an ‘adventure’ in India, which turned out to be a wilder place than he had bargained for (cf. Kapur 2012a: 6, 263–264). Back in India, he felt excited about and intrigued by the country’s economic presence as well as the people’s spirit, both of which reminding him of his time in the United States (cf. ibid.). Soon, however, he realised the negative impacts of globalisation in India and, throughout his entire storytelling, he feels alienated or unable to identify with certain facets of this new India he barely recognises on various occasions (cf. ibid.: 9–10, 12, 72–75). There are times when he feels lonely on the countryside, yearning for some action and ambition in the cities (cf. ibid.: 45–50). At other times, he cannot identify with the urban Indian lifestyle any more and wants to go back to the villages where he thinks life is more honest (cf. ibid.: 294–296). He finally makes peace with his life in India deciding to focus on the bright sides rather than the hardships of life. The moment he does so, he feels home again and is enthusiastic about being there to witness the way India is going as a nation in a global world and to be a part of it (cf. ibid.: 306–309). The other characters of his book, like Hari or Veena, a young and independent businesswoman, on the other hand, were no cultural hybrids by birth but became them due to the cultural gaps between rural and urban India as well as the gap between their generation of ambitious young workers representing the Americanised spirit of modern India and the conservative generation of their parents who cannot identify with this new spirit of independent women, sexual tolerance, disregard for the caste system, self-made businessmen and India as a new global player in a more multicultural, global economy (cf. ibid.: e.g. 121–131, 132–142, 173, 264–271). In Kapur’s interviews, both characters point out that they are constantly negotiating their own cul- 102 tural identity with both their friends in town and their families in their home villages (cf. ibid.). Both, the cultural conflict between city and countryside as well as the one between two generations of Indian society are displayed in the postcolonial concept of ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 146–147) that is concerned with the “engagement of local communities with global culture […], [under] the underlying pressure of the global economy” (ibid.: 147). While people in the cities have overcome the boundaries of the caste system and abandoned the patriarchal order in favour of independent, self-made businessmen and -women, people from the countryside still cling to it. Sathy, for example, welcomes the economic changes in India for all the wealth it brings to some people. He is happy that his children go to a good school and that his wife has a job that pays well. But he cannot bring himself to abandon his home village. Even though the younger generation does not show him the respect he is due as a member of a high caste and, although farming is not paying off anymore, he is desperately clinging to his old life dwelling on the past (all cf. Kapur 2012a: 16–34, 36–50, 89–95, 237– 261, 294). Sathy’s feeling of disorientation in India’s latest economic and social development on the one hand and in the cultural changes on the other hand also represents the concept of ‘Palimpsest’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 190–191). Kapur describes an Indian nation striving to become a global player on the world market with the US as their idol. Yet, their cultural past still leaves its traces in modern Indian society. On the one hand, people are proud of their economy and even feel superior to Western economies (cf. Kapur 2012a: 51–54). At the same time, the traditional family ties, the role of women, the consumption of meat and people’s roots to the countryside still have a cultural effect on characters like Hari (cf. ibid.: 264–272), the cow broker Ramadas (cf. ibid.: 92–118, 299–303), the tough and independent businesswoman Veena (cf. ibid.: 173, 276, 290–294) and Selvie who is still under the influence of her family (cf. ibid.: 60, 164–172, 174–177). These ties to the past set India apart from other global players. The US may have been an idol but India with its people and its economy is something else, something unique in and of itself. This leads directly to the concept of ‘Appropriation’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 19–20). Like Bhabha (2002) suggests, language is one of the most defining features of a nation (cf. 297–298, 315–317). Moreover, according to Achebe as well as Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, the use of the English language in postcolonial literatures is a marker of resistance, of ‘writing back’, but 103 also a pragmatic tool to reach as many potential readers in the world as possible (cf. Achebe 1990: 74, 90; Ashcroft et al. 2005: 4). Now, with Kapur, the motives behind publishing in English remain, to a certain degree, speculation. He might have used the English language to reach as many readers as possible, given the importance of the English language within modern Indian society (cf. Kapur 2012a: 61–62, 154–163) on the one hand and the cultural influence from his life in the United States on the other hand. Nevertheless, it is also possible that Kapur, as the son of an Indian father and an American mother, has used the English language for mere convenience. Whatever reasons Kapur had, he makes it plain in his book that both his American past and his present life in a modern, global India have shaped his individual culture (cf. ibid.: 6, 181–183, 263–264, 306–309). Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that the reason for his writing in English is that the language forms a crucial part of Kapur’s own, individual cultural identity. The discussed postcolonial concepts used in India Becoming have in common that they are, with regards to the story, influenced by globalisation. Kapur’s book is proof of Edward’s theory that contemporary postcolonial writing often deals with or is affected by the issues of modernisation destroying indigenous tradition and globalisation creating a system of multiculturalism with open borders (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–161, 165–166). Indeed, the diasporas of Hari, Banu, Selvi and Veena are all caused by a shared cultural desire to make money and be part of India’s flourishing economy (cf. Kapur 2012a: 51–57, 60, 121– 131, 132–142). Likewise, the conflicts between local and global, that is between rural and urban India, and the palimpsest represented by Sathy, for example, are based on or at least affected by India becoming a global player (cf. ibid.: 18–34, 83–87, 89, 91–95, 151–153, 209– 224, 229–233, 236, 294). To sum it up, Akash Kapur’s India Becoming is a suitable example for contemporary postcolonial literatures because of several postcolonial concepts like ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’, ‘Palimpsest’ and ‘Appropriation’. Furthermore, all of these concepts are affected by contemporary global issues in accordance with Edward’s approach. Having verified the worth of India Becoming for contemporary postcolonial literary theory, it is now time to examine the book’s potential for the German EFL-classroom. 104 3 Analysis from the point of view of Teaching English as a Foreign Language This chapter is designed to discuss the potential of Kapur’s India Becoming for the German EFL-classroom with regards to Kompetenzförderung, literature learning, language learning and, most of all, the students’ intercultural communicative competence. Therefore, both the book’s chances and challenges are to be considered. As a piece of literature produced by a native speaker of English, Kapur’s book has the potential to further what the curriculum6 calls text- or literary competence, involving the skills of, for example, text analysis as well as reflection and interpretation (cf. Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung NRW 2014: 32–34). Likewise, the book can offer the students the chance to practise their language skills and increase their vocabulary knowledge. The book’s true value for the German EFLclassroom, with regards to the curriculum, however, lies within its potential to further the so-called intercultural communicative competence (cf. ibid.: 31)7. Nearly all the different topics listed in the curriculum regarding the students’ knowledge for socio-cultural orientation are referred to in India Becoming. Moreover, the impact of the media, globalisation and the American Dream on Kapur’s characters are described in the story. As a result, the book tackles subjects students can identify with in their own lives. Thus, India Becoming offers what German educational theorists call Lebensweltbezug, the very aspect which, according to Wandel, is often being ignored when dealing with postcolonial India in the EFL-classroom (cf. Wandel 2010: 388–390). Wandel states that most publishing houses were sticking to geographical tourist information as well as a literary canon of outdated Indian works that, although being integral part of the country’s cultural heritage, is by its very nature ignorant of India’s present-day situation and thus far away from contemporary language learners’ ‘realities’. In contrast, India Becoming includes several of the topics that, following Lindner and Wandel, make India such a “jewel in the classroom” (Lindner 2010: 59). Such topics are, for example, Indian diaspora on the Asian sub-continent, India between tradition and moder- 6 Every time the word ‘curriculum’ is used in this paper, it is referring to the curriculum for EFL-teaching in the gymnasialen Oberstufe of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. 7 For a detailed account on the importance of intercultural learning in the EFLclassroom, see Delanoy 2013: 157–165. 105 nity, the country’s social contradictions, India’s patriarchal society, the cities’ tolerance with regards to marriage and the caste system versus the violence on the countryside, the social gap between rich and poor, the everyday-lives of the country’s younger generation as well as the role of the English language in Indian society (cf. Kapur 2012a; Lindner 2010: 60; Wandel 2010: 394–396). Moreover, Kapur’s book is no artificially created teaching material but offers authentic perspectives on cultural realities in contemporary India. With regards to that, globalisation, the new ‘Indian Dream’ and the nation’s success in the ITsector on the one hand as well as the loss of tradition, the increase of poverty and violence, the pollution of the environment and the agricultural crisis on the other hand are big issues in Indian public and the country’s media (cf. Silicon India 2012; Kapur 2012b; Ward 2012; The New York Times 2004; Ved 2015). Accordingly, Kapur’s focus on economic India even provides a chance for an interdisciplinary approach in the EFL-classroom. For instance, a class project concerning a comparison of two global players like India and China could be initiated in corporation with the school’s geography department (cf. Teske 2008: 183–184). In addition, India Becoming, as a piece of contemporary Indian literature, gives German foreign language learners an impression of India’s literary culture as well (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 30, 46). Apart from that, Nünning, Surkamp and Volkmann agree that literature has a great potential for intercultural learning for it offers an inside perspective into the target culture, second only to real personal trans- or intercultural encounters (cf. Nünning 2001: 6). As a result, experiencing postcolonial literatures like Kapur’s India Becoming furthers the students’ abilities to change perspectives, to create empathy, tolerance and openness to another culture. At the same time, learners have to critically reflect on the content since the ideas expressed in a literary text are based on a fictional cultural perspective and not on true fact (cf. ibid: 5-8; Volkmann 2015: 237, 241–243). This, of course, requires an active reader who can apply the world of the text to his own experiences and vice versa, an ability which lies at the very core of intercultural literary competence (cf. Surkamp 2014: 77–80). With Kapur, however, the characters’ names may be fictional, but their stories are claimed to be real (cf. Kapur 2012a: prologue and acknowledgements), which increases the value of the book with regards to intercultural learning. Beside these aspects of educational theory, the potential of India Becoming for postcolonial studies pointed out in chapter two of this 106 paper amplifies the value of the book for the EFL-classroom as well. Since postcolonial literatures deal with their situation or history (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 30, 46; Achebe 1990: 75, 88) while also being often published in English as a means to ‘write back’ and influence the global market, (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2005: 3-4; Achebe 1990: 72-74, 90) and since cultural exchange, as Achebe highlights, “enriches the world” (Achebe 1990: 89), students should know about some postcolonial concept like ‘Diaspora’, ‘Appropriation’, ‘Hybridity’ or ‘Palimpsest’ in order to understand alternative world views or cultural concepts better and, as a result, to broaden their horizons within their own multicultural lives. While Kapur’s book offers many chances for the EFL-classroom, it also poses certain challenges. The language used in the book is directed to native speakers. Thus, the book is beyond the language level of any German EFL-student but those of the Oberstufe. With regards to that, the length of the book makes it impractical to read the whole book, given the limited time the school year provides. As a result, students would have to work with extracts only. Moreover, even though Kapur occasionally offers geographical as well as cultural background explanations regarding, for example, the caste system or Indian English vocabulary (cf. Kapur 2012a: 1, 6–7, 16, 36, glossary), students require a certain amount of cultural background knowledge before being capable of comprehending the text in full, including knowledge about arranged marriage, India’s colonial past, the economic government policies of the 1990s, the caste system, the importance of the English language for Indian society as well as India’s global economy. Likewise, students need to have discussed topics like the American Dream and globalisation in class already due to their relevance for the Indian society Kapur describes. Finally, learners might encounter difficulties regarding the book’s mixture of literary genres. Apart form elements of narrative texts, which at least students of the Oberstufe are familiar with, Kapur’s book also contains elements of biography and autobiography both of which being genres students have little experience with. As a consequence of that, the learners might easily take Kapur’s perspective/account for factual truth8. So, additional genrespecific background knowledge would be required as well. However, students should already be familiar with the narrator’s views and ac- 8 For a detailed account on the genre-specific characteristics, chances and challenges of autobiography and memoir, see Smith & Watson 2010. 107 counts being fictional or at least not factual truth form their experience with narrative texts. Accordingly, this lack of experience with the genre of autobiography could be compensated for without greater difficulty. In a nutshell, there are chances and challenges involved when considering the potential of India Becoming for the German EFLclassroom. But once the students are provided with the needed cultural, historical, political and technical/genre-specific background- and contextual knowledge, Kapur’s book has a lot to offer to foreign language learners regarding their literature learning, language learning and, especially, their intercultural communicative competence. To further elaborate on the point, some concrete suggestions on how to use extracts from Kapur’s book in a Grundkurs of the gymnasiale Oberstufe will be introduced and discussed in the following chapter. 4 Teaching Activities In this chapter, a methodological approach on how to use India Becoming in the German EFL-classroom to further literature learning, language learning and, especially, the intercultural communicative competence is being discussed on the basis of the chances and challenges analysed in the previous chapter. Accordingly, the three tasks suggested in the following were set for a Grundkurs of the gymnasiale Oberstufe so that the language level used in the book is not beyond the students’ potential abilities to cope with. Moreover, the fictional class is already familiar with the concepts of globalisation and the American Dream as well as competent, to a certain degree, with elements of India’s past, its economic potential and several cultural elements like, for instance, the caste system or the concept of arranged marriage from previous lessons. In addition, the students are aware of the country’s linguistic plurality and, as a result, they know about the special, unifying role of Indian English as a language in contemporary Indian society. As Nünning and Surkamp have pointed out, students need to understand the reading of literature as a process (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 78). Therefore, they require scaffolding for every step of this process. What is more, texts in a foreign language pose a greater challenge to the learner than texts in their native tongue (cf. ibid.). To match these requirements, the tasks suggested are divided into prereading, while-reading and post-reading activities. The first task is a pre-reading activity designed to introduce the lesson’s topic and content to the student, to make them curious and to provide them with 108 the background knowledge required to deal with the text and the other two activities (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 78–80, 88–89). The book cover already conveys a message regarding Kapur’s perspective in his book. India is in the midst of a modernisation process, becoming a global player with its own, unique cultural identity while, at the same time, being influenced by the American Dream and economy. In order to identify those features, students need to remember America’s dominant role in the global economy. In order to ensure that the students grasp the implications, the American Corporate Flag, which they are familiar with from earlier lessons, is added below the task as a means of scaffolding. With regards to Surkamp’s approach of the so-called fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz (cf. Surkamp 2014: 82–85) the mentioned pre-reading task activates the learner’s motivational facet of this competence as well as the facet of ästhetisches Verstehen, preparing the reader for the text and showing him the text’s relevance for their own cultural reality as well as activating the reader’s contextual knowledge required for both close- and wide reading (cf. ibid.: 84). This fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz, according to Surkamp, is necessary for the student to be capable of reading and reflecting upon foreign language literature by themselves and to cope with the fictional worlds of the texts (cf. ibid.: 88–89). In addition to their natural ‘gift’ of imagination, learners need to be provided with a feeling for “differentiation, flexibility and a text-oriented precision” (ibid.: 86). The second task, a while-reading activity, is designed to ensure the learner’s understanding of the text in general as well as his constant reflection upon his reading process on the one hand (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 81–83, 88–89) and, on the other hand, to compensate the student’s lack of experience with autobiographical texts in particular (cf. Smith & Watson 2010). While focussing on the content level during the reading process, students have to be aware of the narrative strategies used by the narrator to create a certain opinion or emotion with the reader. Else the learner risks being manipulated into forgetting that the narrative is not factual truth but the narrator’s fictional, subjective thoughts, perspective, opinion or point of view (cf. Nünning 2001: 5–7). As far as the fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz is concerned, the learner is affected on several levels by this particular while-reading activity. Affectively, a personal relationship with the text as well as feelings of openness and empathy are created automatically and subconsciously during the reading itself (cf. Surkamp 2014: 84). The same holds true for the cognitive facet of Leseverstehen (cf. ibid.). 109 Likewise, in preparation for textual decoding, students have to reactivate their so-called sprachlich-diskursives Wissen (cf. ibid.). This knowledge is also required for the second cognitive process involved, namely that of ästhetisches Verstehen, which is actively furthered by the while-reading activity (cf. ibid.). Additionally, the scaffolding in the task encourages students to look up new words and thus to enlarge their vocabulary. In task three, the post-reading activity, the learner is guided through the last step of his reading process. This task aims at the student’s ability to reflect upon his reading process by applying reading experience to his real-life experience or, in other words, by comparing the perspectives, cultural realities and different world views they have encountered through literature to their own, individual cultural reality (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 84–89; Nünning 2001: 6–8). According to Nünning (2001), this is what intercultural learning through literature is all about, the encounter, reflection and tolerance of alternative cultures, perspectives and world views in order to broaden one’s own social and cultural horizon (cf. 7–8). To achieve this goal, students need to learn to change perspectives by the combined use of two methods; the rational-analytisches Verfahren and the produktions- und handlungsorientierte Textarbeit (cf. ibid.: 8–9). The first activity is concerned with textual analysis, the second is based on creative writing (cf. ibid.). The first two activities are representatives of the analytical method, while the post-reading activity is based on the second method. As said in the task, the students have to use their newly acquired perspectives as well as their background knowledge from previous lessons in addition to their own cultural views and experiences to change their perspective to that of a fictional American businessman or that of an Indian worker in a set cultural frame, namely that of contemporary India. At the same time, the learners have to take a stand, to choose sides regarding a partly social, partly cultural and partly economic or global issue that is linked to their own Lebensweltbezug. Accordingly, they have to debate or rather negotiate their own cultural identity during the activity. Thereby, they have to consider the issue from different viewpoints, including both the positive and the negative consequences of globalisation on the one hand, as well as the American Dream’s potential impact on India in their reasoning on the other hand (cf. Volkmann 2015: 240–241). As a result, this postreading activity covers the affective, reflexive, productive and the sprachlich-diskursive level of Surkamp’s fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz. 110 Based on their skills regarding language and discourse, the student has to produce a literary text of their own in which they can communicate their own subjective opinion of the book while also reflecting upon and judging the perspectives and opinions expressed in India Becoming (cf. Surkamp 2014: 84). To sum up, the three tasks show a way of dealing with Kapur’s book in the EFL-classroom that guides the students through their reading process helping them to develop and further their intercultural learning in particular, especially regarding their fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz as well as their literary and language learning in general. 5 Conclusion All in all, this paper shows the great potential of Akash Kapur’s book India Becoming both for postcolonial literary theory as well as German educational theory regarding the EFL-classroom. Kapur’s book is a representative of contemporary postcolonial Indian literature covering many postcolonial concepts. The book describes the dislocation of local farmers due to the government policy as well as various diasporas of the characters. Moreover, Kapur also addresses the social conflicts and cultural gaps between the local countryside with its agricultural crises, violence, pollution of the environment, clash of cultural tradition with the modern Indian spirit of economic enthusiasm on the one hand, and the modernised, global cities on the other hand. This is also part of the postcolonial concept of ‘Palimpsest’. Many of Kapur’s characters have partly adapted to this new ‘Indian Dream’, yet they are still influenced by their past cultural traditions to some degree. The most prominent hybrid character going through permanent negotiation of his own cultural identity, is Kapur himself who returns to India finding himself in a constant struggle of identifying with his new Indian life due the many cultural changes the country has gone through during his absence. As for the concept of ‘Appropriation’, it cannot be said for sure whether the English language was chosen by the author to ‘write back’ or to reach as many people as possible or merely for personal convenience due to Kapur’s personal cultural identity. As far as the use of India Becoming in the German EFL-classroom is concerned, the paper has discussed various chances and challenges. Also, methodological suggestions in form of pre-, while- and postreading activities were provided to show one way to further intercultural learning via postcolonial literatures regarding both the students’ 111 intercultural communicative competence as well as their fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz. At the same time, it has been illustrated how the students are guided through their reading processes along the way in order to further their literature- and language learning. Of the challenges discussed above, there is none that could not be overcome. The length of the text can easily be reduced in the form of extracts and, with the right technical and cultural context- or background knowledge provided in previous lessons, the students will be fully capable of dealing with all the cultural references made in the text as well as linking the subject of postcolonial India with those of globalisation and the American Dream. Likewise, potential language barriers could be counteracted by vocabulary scaffolding. Therefore, the chances of India Becoming for the EFL-classroom prevail the challenges. Language learners can encounter a fictional experience of the target culture from an authentic piece of postcolonial literature and, as a result, further develop their intercultural learning as well as their language- and literature learning. With regards to that, the students practise analytical and interpretation skills by decoding the text on the content level as well as on a deeper, an aesthetical level. At the same time, they also learn empathy towards others as well as openness to other cultures and worldviews by practising their changing of perspectives. As a consequence of that, and by comparing their cultural encounters through literature with their own cultural views and experiences, students are made aware of their own process of constant self-reflection and negotiation of their own cultural identity. So, Kapur’s India Becoming definitely has the potential to be what Lindner would call a “jewel in the classroom” (cf. Lindner 2010: 59). Bibliography Literature Achebe, C. (1990). Hopes and Impediments. Selected Essays. New York: Anchor. Ashcroft, B. (2013). Re-writing India. In K. Sen & R. Roy (Eds.), Writing India Anew. Indian English Fiction 2000 – 2010 (pp. 29–46), Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Ashcroft, B. et al. (2013). Postcolonial Studies. The Key Concepts (3rd ed.). London/New York: Routledge. Ashcroft, B. et al. (2005). The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post- Colonial Literatures in English (2nd ed.). London: Taylor & Francis. 112 Bhabha, H. K. (2002). Dissemi Nation: time, narrative, and the margins of the modern nation. In H. K. Bhabha (Ed.), Nation and Narration (pp. 291–320), London/New York: Routledge. Delanoy, W. (2013). From ‘inter’ to ‘trans’? Or: Quo vadis cultural learning? In M. Eisenmann & T. Summer (Eds.), Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning (2nd adjusted ed.) (pp. 157–165), Heidelberg: Winter. Edwards, J. D. (2008). Postcolonial Literatures. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Gunew, S. (2002). Denaturalizing cultural nationalisms: multicultural readings of ‘Australia’. In H. K. Bhabha (Ed.), Nations and Narration (pp. 99–116), London/New York: Routledge. Kapur, A. (2012a). India Becoming. A Portrait of Life in Modern India. New York: Riverhead Books. Lindner, O. (2010). India. The jewel in the classroom. In M. Eisenmann et al. (Eds.), Teaching the New English Cultures & Literatures (pp. 59–72), Heidelberg: Winter. Nünning, A. (2001). Fremdverstehen durch literarische Texte. Von der Theorie zur Praxis. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht, 35 (53), 4–9. Smith, S. & Watson, J. (2010). Reading Autobiography. A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (2nd ed.). Minneapolis/New York: University of Minnesota Press. Surkamp, C. (2014). Literarische Texte im kompetenzorientierten Fremdsprachenunterricht. In W. Hallet & U. Krämer (Eds.), Kompetenzaufgaben im Englischunterricht. Grundlagen und Unterrichtsbeispiele (2nd adjusted ed.) (pp. 77–90), Seelze: Klett/Kallmeyer. Surkamp, C. & Nünning, A. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten. Grundlagen und Methoden (4th adjusted ed.). Seelze: Klett. Teske, D. (2008). Moloch, media city, melting pot and global player. Bombay/Mumbai as topic and theme in integrated subject teaching. In O. Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 183–199), Heidelberg: Winter. Volkmann, L. (2015). Opportunities and challenges for transcultural learning and global education via literature. In W. Delanoy et al. (Eds.), Learning with Literature in the EFL-Classroom (pp. 237–259), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Wandel, R. (2010). Teaching India in the German EFL-Classroom. Issues and problems. In M. Eisenmann et al. (Eds.), Teaching the New English Cultures & Literatures (pp. 387–397), Heidelberg: Winter. West-Pavlov, R. (2005). Transcultural Graffiti. Diasporic Writing and the Teaching of Literary Studies. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. 113 Online sources Kapur, A. (2012b). How India became America. The New York Times Online. Sunday Review. Opinion, 9th March, retrieved from https:/ /www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/how-india-becameamerica.html (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen (2014). Kernlehrplan für die Sekundarstufe II Gymnasium/Gesamtschule in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Retrieved from https:/ /www.schulentwicklung.nrw.de/lehrplaene/upload/klp_SII/e/KLP_ GOSt_Englisch.pdf (accessed: 06.09.2018). Rath, S. P. (2000). Home(s) Abroad. Diasporic Identities in Third Space. Jouvert. A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 4 (3), retrieved from https:/ /legacy.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v4i3/rath1.htm (accessed: 06.09.2018). Silicon India (2012). How India became America. A review of Kapur’s ‘India Becoming’. Silicon India News – US Edition, 19th March, retrieved from https://www.siliconindia.com/news/general/How-India-Became -America-nid-109568-cid-1.html (accessed: 06.09.2018). The New York Times Online (2004). Questions for Thomas L. Friedman. The New York Times Online, 11th June, retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/11/readersopinions/thomas-lfriedman.html (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ved, M. (2015). An American dream in India. New Strait Times (Malaysia) Online, 31st January, retrieved from https://www.lexisnexis.com /hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=151977&sr=HEADLINE(An+ American+dream+in+India)%2BAND%2BDATE%2BIS%2B2015 (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ward, G. C. (2012). State of paradox. ‘India Becoming’ by Akash Kapur. The New York Times Online. Sunday Book Review, 25th May, retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/books/review/indiabecoming-by-akash-kapur.html (accessed: 06.09.2018). Part B INSIDE PERSPECTIVE(S): CULTURAL 'FACES' OF PRESENT-DAY INDIA 115 Approaching Bollywood: The Movie English Vinglish. Teacher’s Guide. Christina Büttgen, Carolin Sampels & Christine Strackbein 1 Introduction The movie English Vinglish is a comedy drama released in 2012, written and directed by Gauri Shinde. The story deals with an Indian mother of two children who, unlike her daughter, son and husband, is not able to speak or understand English. She flies to the United States and visits her sister to help her plan a wedding ceremony for her niece. Whilst being in the U.S., she discovers that she wants to learn English and change her traditional lifestyle into a more modern and independent one (cf. Shinde 2012). There are numerous ways to promote Intercultural Communicative Competence as one of the main goals of foreign language education. One of them is dealing with postcolonial literatures. It is often argued that postcolonial literatures promote Intercultural Communicative Competence to a special degree (cf. Freitag & Gymnich, 2007: 259). There is a large number of arguments underlining this thesis. Some scholars, for instance, argue that these literatures show different varieties of the English language, help to change and coordinate different perspectives, and raise transcultural awareness through multicultural texts (e.g. Freitag & Gymnich 2007). When dealing with postcolonial literature in the EFL lassroom, schools and teachers often refer to India as a postcolonial country that offers various aspects of discussion in class. Several German federal states have included India into their curricula and there is a large amount of EFL teaching materials on India (cf. Wandel 2013: 387- 388). One way of including postcolonial and especially Indian post- 116 colonial literature is dealing with recent Bollywood movies. “Through their negotiations of the Indian and the foreign, and of tradition and modernity […] recent Bollywood movies moreover encapsulate important developments and conflicts in present-day India” (Krämer, 2008: 120). The movie English Vinglish is one of these recent Bollywood movies that symbolizes the negotiations Krämer mentions and is therefore an interesting example of postcolonial literature that can be analyzed in the EFL classroom. According to this, the research question of the paper can be formulated as follows: What postcolonial concepts are presented in the movie English Vinglish and to what extent can the text be used in the EFL classroom? In line with this, the first section deals with the content analysis of the movie with special regard to postcolonial concepts represented in English Vinglish. Its following chapter deals with chances and challenges of using the text in the EFL classroom while referring to the previous analysis. After this, possible teaching activities to overcome the previously mentioned challenges, to promote Intercultural Communicative Competence, and to ensure a solid comprehension of the movie’s content are presented. 2 Content Analysis Bollywood Ever since the mid-nineties, Indian movies became more prominent not only in India but also in other countries of the world. It should be mentioned that academic literature only started using the term Bollywood a few years ago. The term Bollywood is a combination of Bombay and Hollywood. Connecting these two terms resulted in associating all the negative aspects of the Hollywood industry, such as movie-massproduction or striking commercial interest, with Bollywood. Furthermore, some people assumed that the new Bollywood movies were only an attempt of the Indian movie industry to imitate already existing movies. One can say that introducing the term Bollywood had a rather negative than positive outcome (cf. Tieber 2009: 7). Despite of the negative connotations, Bollywood is responsible for creating a new image of India in the western world. Today, Bollywood movies stand for a modern world as well as a globalized and hybrid India (cf. ibid.). That is why, Ashish Rajadhyaksha called the Bollywood industry a Bollywood culture industry, since it stands for a 117 new popular culture of a specific lifestyle and is responsible for expressing a new image of India, whilst using already known stereotypes and adding a necessary spin to them (2008: 22). This spin is crucial in order to update Bollywood movies and make them compatible with the 21st century and the growing process of globalization (cf. Rajadhyaksha 2008: 22). It is essential to acknowledge that Indian cinema is more than just Bollywood, but it is noteworthy that Bollywood has a monopoly position over the rest of the Indian movie industry (cf. Tieber 2009: 7). When dealing with Bollywood movies, it is of great significance to see that there were only few attempts to tackle the crux of them (cf. ibid.: 8). That is why, people who analyze Bollywood movies, most of the times apply western theories. Examining Bollywood is always interdisciplinary, since it goes hand in hand with e.g. musicology, sociology, anthropology and theatre sciences. It is essential to be aware of this interdisciplinarity in order to be able to scrutinize these movies adequately and eventually get to the bottom of Indian society (cf. ibid.). Rajadhyaksha claims that Bollywood movies are largely successful due to their untraditional plots and specific marketing strategies, which make them more profitable than other average Indian movies (2008: 19). Additionally, Bollywood also addresses diasporic Indian audiences, while other Indian movies only rarely deal with diasporic topics (cf. ibid.: 23). 2.1 English Vinglish As mentioned previously, there are certain stereotypes and traditions that are usually dealt with in Bollywood movies. However, English Vinglish does not live up to these stereotypical depictions for several reasons. Firstly, the actress was 49 years old when she played the main character Shashi Godbole (cf. Pillai 2012). Traditionally, the heroine of a Bollywood movie used to be a young female playing a virgin and a yet-to-be-married persona (cf. Govindan & Dutta 2008: 186). Secondly, according to Pillai, the Indian cinema was a male-dominated industry, but English Vinglish goes against this theory since the main protagonist is female. Another interesting fact is that she has been in the Bollywood industry for a long time and in her youth, she used to play stereotypical roles in traditional movies that were dominated by dance and music during that time. Having her act as the heroine of English Vinglish implies a shift within the Bollywood genre and expresses a new attitude towards the role of women in Bollywood movies. It also 118 demonstrates that Bollywood moviemakers as well as the audiences have matured and are willing to rethink certain stereotypes (cf. Pillai: 2012). Furthermore, the movie is not dominated by typical dance scenes which convey the story. Instead, the focus lays on Shashi as a person and her attempt to overcome the social, cultural, and linguistic difficulties she encounters during her stay in the United States. Similarly, the choice of clothes in English Vinglish is also not traditional. Only a few female characters actually wear traditional dresses. This again exemplifies how women do not fulfill certain stereotypes in the genre anymore due to changes caused by globalization. Bollywood movies recently became more sophisticated because of the ongoing liberalization of the Indian economy. With regards to those changes, there has been a shift of the main focus of Bollywood movies on, among other things, the observance of tradition paired with a modern lifestyle (cf. Krämer 2008:. 111). One could argue that Shashi’s traditional Indian desserts represent her traditional side, whilst the fact that she wants to become an independent modern woman, who is able to speak English represents a new modern lifestyle. Considering all these aspects, one can say that English Vinglish is not a traditional Bollywood movie as one might assume. Moreover, it addresses stereotypes with an attempt to make people critically reflect upon them. 2.2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in English Vinglish According to Döring, it is an act of power to create new terms and concepts or change the meaning of already existing ones (2008: 15). Due to their difficulty and significance, this especially applies when it comes to postcolonial definitions and theories. During the past decades, scientists have come up with various terms and concepts addressing postcolonial literature. But not all those terms are neologisms. Some of them have already existed, e.g. the term ‘Hybridity’, which will be discussed later. In this case, it is up to the creator of the new term to explain in detail why this specific term is suitable for a postcolonial concept, even though the origin of the word has little in common with the contentious meaning in a postcolonial context. Therefore, choosing specific terms and names never happens coincidentally but is intentional. Hence, ‘the act of power’, as Döring calls it, is the ability to name theories and concepts and therefore determine 119 what is to be understood by one certain concept (Döring 2008: 15). Through this act of power, numerous concepts and terms concerning postcolonial literature have been invented. Specific concepts that are addressed in English Vinglish will be discussed henceforth. 2.2.1 Abrogation and Appropriation The first concept addressed in English Vinglish is ‘Abrogation’. ‘Abrogation’ initially stands for the rejection of one standard English by postcolonial writers (cf. Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 3). As one of the main features of imperial dominance is the control over language, it can become an important factor in maintaining power and hierarchy. Such dominance is rejected through abrogating the colonizer’s concept of languages (cf. Ashcroft et al. 1989: 7). When deciding to use an imperial language, one is bound to conceptual paradigms embedded within this language. ‘Abrogation’ nevertheless means using the imperial language but still being able to add conceptual transformations in order to convey, for example, cultural or political activities. This is the essential basic step before ‘Appropriation’ can take place. Therefore, one can say that these concepts go hand in hand despite the fact that ‘Abrogation’ does not necessarily need to be articulated actively or consciously (cf. Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 4). One could apply the concept of ‘Abrogation’ to the scene, where Shashi tries to pronounce the term ‘Jazz dance’, when talking to her daughter Sapna. Shashi pronounces this word in a non-standard way and uses the imperial language, while adding conceptual transformations given by her mother tongue. However, her daughter and her husband do not accept her word ‘Abrogation’ and make fun of her mispronunciation (00:03:35-00:04:01). The second scene to be mentioned here shows Shashi’s appearance at Sapna’s school (00:09:05-00:09:08). Again, Sapna is embarrassed by her mother for not speaking English but Hindi with her teacher and also for relating to Indian cultural traditions during the conversation. Furthermore, the concept of ‘Appropriation’ can be found in English Vinglish. According to Ashcroft et. al., the concept of ‘Appropriation’ implies the process of adapting the imperial culture including their language, different forms of writing and various ways of thinking (2013: 4, 19). People use those aspects in order to define their own social and cultural identities. Especially in postcolonial literature, individuals appropriate the imperial language and linguistic features to use them as a tool to express their experiences in a prominent 120 way. That way, they use imperial language to make their message reach the largest possible audience, which then automatically lets the utterance appear even more important, since it is clear that the author wants to send a certain message (cf. Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 19). When applying the concept of ‘Appropriation’, Shashi’s conflict with the English language becomes clear. She lives with her family in India, where, on the one hand, her daughter goes to an Englishmedium school, and where, on the other hand, her husband works as a businessman, for whom it is also crucial to speak English on a regular basis. Shashi has a hard time understanding and speaking English and gets mocked by her family because of this. When she visits her sister in New York by herself, she finds herself in an English-speaking environment and is confronted with severe communication problems. There is one key scene in a café, where she is not able to interact with the employee to tell her what she wants to order (00:38:38-00:40:52). Because of this emotional stress, she finds herself having two alternatives: She either surrenders to her role as a foreigner who is not able to participate in everyday-life and to express her feelings and thoughts, or she takes action, so she can lead her life as she wishes. She then decides for the latter and enrolls in a language school, where one is supposed to learn English within four weeks’ time. By making this decision, she wants to appropriate the language to be able to communicate her feelings and to create her new cultural identity. Being able to speak English makes her an independent woman who can speak for herself. Shashi, for example, is then able to communicate with a Frenchman who is also a participant in her English class. In the end, Shashi gives a wedding speech in front of the entire wedding party, which also leads to the conclusion that she appropriated English as an imperial language in order to express her thoughts to a larger audience and to participate and interfere by telling her story (cf. Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 20). In general, the movie discusses a society which is still suffering from the effects of colonization. This is symbolized by the judgements made by others on people’s English language proficiency. Language in English Vinglish functions as a tool for Shashi to rebuild her self-worth and to gain independence. 2.2.2 Hybridity Moreover, the concept of ‘Hybridity’ can be situated in the movie English Vinglish. The term ‘Hybridity’ initially refers “to the cross-breeding of two species by grafting or cross-pollination to form a third, ‘hybrid’ 121 species” (Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 135). This term is therefore used to describe something within scientific spheres, whereas ‘Hybridity’ regarding postcolonial literature refers to the creation of a new transcultural form “(…) within the contact zone produced by colonization.” (ibid.). This ‘Hybridity’ can be situated on e.g. a linguistic, in terms of speaking pidgin or creole English, cultural, or even political level (cf. ibid. 136). Homi K. Bhabha claims that ‘Hybridity’ signifies an ambivalent and interdependent relationship between colonizer and colonized, which then causes a bilateral construction of new aims (ctd. in Ashcroft et. al. 2013: 136). The transcultural third space gives room for individuals to create their own cultural identity. ‘Hybridity’ has occasionally been defined as a cross-cultural exchange. The term ‘exchange’ does not take the existing power imbalance between the two parties into account. Hence, it is crucial to stress the transformative impacts ‘Hybridity’ has on cultural, political, and social spheres and not to neglect the interdependency on both sides and simplify the process of creating a cultural identity by using the term ‘exchange’ (cf. ibid.). ‘Hybridity’ should also highlight the idea of mutual cultures within the colonial and postcolonial process and express their syncretism, meaning they go hand in hand during the process of creating new transcultural spaces (cf. ibid.: 137). When applying the concept of ‘Hybridity’ on the movie, it can be stated that this movie perfectly portrays a hybrid state of Bollywood movies, where western and eastern aspects influence each other and together create a new transcultural space (cf. Tieber 2009: 7). As mentioned before, English Vinglish distances itself from certain traditional and stereotypical forms of Bollywood movies. The story does not evolve around various musical scenes or has a female heroine who has yet to find her future husband. This hybrid state becomes clear simply by looking at the clothes worn in this movie. Shashi, for example, always wears traditional Indian clothing, whilst her sister and niece, who both live in the United States, wear jeans and shirts (00:30:48). There are aspects of the movie that demonstrate the creation of a third space, which enables the creation of Shashi’s new cultural identity. Some of these creating-processes can be seen on screen and some others are rather subliminal. 122 2.2.3 Othering Additionally, the concept of ‘Othering’ can be situated in English Vinglish. ‘Othering’ refers to multiple ways in which the colonial discourse excludes or marginalizes different groups. In order for the individual to be able to create ‘the Self’, it is necessary to create ‘the o/Other’ first (Ashcroft et. al., 2013, p.188). When looking at the character of David, Shashi’s language teacher, one could argue that both he and Shashi perform the act of ‘Othering’ (cf. Vardhana 2015). While David is capable of speaking English fluently and has the privilege of being a white man in the U.S., he is also portrayed as an other in society due to his gayness. He has the power to hand his students the most important tool: the ability to speak English. He, therefore, helps them to be able to adapt and assimilate to western society. In addition, in the beginning of their language class, the students other David and therefore dehumanize him, which is perfectly portrayed in the breakup-scene: when David’s relationship with his boyfriend ends, he is emotional about it and Shashi tells the cab driver not to downplay David’s sadness because of his sexuality. Shashi, in this way, can empathize with him despite different origins and sexualities and she knows what effect callousness due to ‘Othering’ can have on oneself (cf. ibid.). Furthermore, Shashi is initially excluded and othered by her American family, which is presented in the dinner scene, in which her niece’s fiancé joins them and they all talk only in English (00:35:10-00:35:48). She feels excluded and left out due to her incapability to understand and produce the English language. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language 3.1 Chances English Vinglish offers several chances for the EFL Classroom, but there are also challenges when dealing with this movie in class. In general, movies are often more attractive for students than books, as students tend to watch more television than to read books and therefore are more familiar with this medium. This means they do not have to familiarize themselves with this medium and can draw from their own experiences with movies. Thus, the teacher can go right into the content and depth of the movie (cf. Surkamp & Nünning 2016: 254). 123 Being a movie one needs to discuss whether using English Vinglish in class presents an additional value for the students, e.g. by enhancing the development of intercultural competence. In general, it is to mention that movies are supposed to promote communicative competences concerning the target language due to authentic engagement with different topics. Movies allow a different access to new cultural images and sounds (cf. Lütge 2012: 6). Furthermore, they contain various aspects of communication for students to see and engage with, such as verbal, non-verbal, and paralinguistic aspects, like facial expressions and gestures. Additionally, the students’ willingness to learn the target language might be promoted due to possible higher motivation. Concerning intercultural learning, it is noteworthy that a movie offers a variety of cultural insights that are more easily accessible for learners due to their visual representation. It also lets them deal with their own as well as the foreign culture in a more holistic way than any other form of literary representation (cf. ibid.). Another advantage that a movie might have compared to a literary text is that it might address the students’ emotional site and they therefore feel more involved and closer to the story and henceforth, are more willing to engage with the addressed topic (cf. ibid.: 8). Based on the concepts of ‘Appropriation’ and the process of ‘Othering’, the movie illustrates a generational conflict between a mother and a daughter in a postcolonial surrounding. This implies two main advantages of using the movie in the EFL classroom. Firstly, the conflict illustrates various consequences of colonialization. With the example of language and its ‘Appropriation’ as well as ‘Abrogation’, colonial conflicts and their long-term consequences become clear. The English language has endured in India and has a much stronger hold in society now than during the colonial period. Even if India is a country of multiple languages, English is still the hegemonic, most powerful language in the country due to former colonial circumstances (Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘India’, n.d.). Therefore, gaps have developed between generations, as culture and society in India are constantly changing. The English language as the language of the former imperial centre symbolizes various colonial conflicts such as the question of inferiority and superiority or conflicts of marginalization and power. The mother-daughter conflict shown in the movie is a useful example to teach students the complexities and long-lasting consequences of the colonial period. Through everyday family situations 124 and an easily understandable content, the comprehension of this complexity can be facilitated. Furthermore, the generational conflict that symbolizes the abovementioned postcolonial conflicts carries a high potential for identification for students, as they might be familiar with everyday family conflicts. Through identification with the movie’s characters, students are able to comprehend the complex topic of postcolonial concepts and the consequences mentioned above. 3.2 Challenges This subchapter deals with the challenges regarding the use of the movie English Vinglish in the EFL classroom and gives possible solutions to overcome these obstacles. Language functions as the basis for all three postcolonial concepts discussed above. As part of the concept of ‘Abrogation’, parts of the movie are in Hindi with optional English subtitles. That is why, the first challenge mentioned here covers the language conflict occurring in English Vinglish to a higher degree than in other English movies presented in the EFL classroom. Although the use of various languages in the movie creates authenticity and honors the variety of languages, it makes the comprehension of the content more difficult for the students. Still, reading skills can be promoted through adding English subtitles. Nevertheless, the switch between the English and Hindi language as well as the need for switching between listening and reading subtitles can be seen as a challenge that has to be considered, when using the movie in the EFL classroom. The promotion of a better textual understanding can be achieved through the following ideas. Thaler (2014: 28-29) suggests the involvement of pre-viewing-activities in order to prepare the students for lexis and content of the movie and to activate their prior knowledge. Repeated viewings are only possible for particular scenes. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of a ‘not-having-tounderstand-everything-attitude’. Besides this, language activities can help to prepare for the lexis of the movie. Thus, useful vocabulary as well as helpful phrases can be introduced to support the students in discussing and analyzing textual and formal aspects of the movie. Language support can also be given through silent watching or sound only watching. This approach underlines the attitude of not having to understand every detail of the movie and it only focuses on one code, which 125 simplifies the process of understanding. It can be used as a preparation before watching the movie as a whole (cf. Lütge 2012: 47-48). An important challenge is the representation of cultural stereotypes in the movie. It has to be seen critically that the movie, while addressing the prior discussed postcolonial concepts, still fails in raising awareness for stereotypes. Especially the English class represents a culmination of cultural stereotypes, as Shashi’s classmates all depict typical national or cultural characteristics. Since the main goal of English language teaching is the development of Intercultural Communicative Competence, the presentation of stereotypes should definitely be taken into consideration (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 260). This challenge can be turned into a chance, if the class is involved in this issue and problematizes the stereotypes included in the movie. That is why, this movie can function as a reason to address the dangers of cultural stereotypes and raise critical awareness for both the reception of the text as well as the development of stereotypes in everyday situations. This example can then be applied to the perception and development of cultural stereotypes on the example of the English class presented in the movie. Ideas on how to do so can be found in the following chapters. One could critically argue that addressing stereotypes, like the representation of Shashi’s classmates can also cause students to accept those stereotypes with no further reflection and therefore deepen and encourage their stereotypical understanding in a negative way. Hence, it is essential to address this topic in class and explain how to deal with stereotypes and make students aware of the fact that they always need to have a critical and reflective attitude. The last challenge to be mentioned is the length of Bollywood movies that was proposed by Lucia Krämer (2008). As they are exceptionally long with running time from two and a half to three hours, it is more difficult to show the whole movie in a German classroom with German school hours tending to last for 45 minutes and 90 minutes at the maximum (cf. ibid.). With a length of 140 minutes, English Vinglish is no exception to this problem (cf. Shinde 2012). 4 Teaching Activities On the basis of the prior outlined chances and challenges as well as the postcolonial key concepts represented in the movie, the activities presented intend to focus on Intercultural Communicative Competence, language support and the thematization of stereotypes. The activities will be divided into pre-, while- and post-viewing-activities. 126 4.1 Pre-Viewing-Activities The first activity addresses the use and development of stereotypes. It is divided into two parts. Firstly, the students have to take 30 seconds to memorize as many blue objects as possible. After this time of observation, they are asked how many green objects they can remember. Through this, students get aware of the fact that our brain concentrates on things that it wants to perceive. Thus, our perception is conditioned (cf. Volkmann 2010: 88). Students, therefore, get aware of the fact that our perception is also conditioned when meeting people from different cultural backgrounds. Thus, we tend to focus on characteristics we have already heard about when meeting people from various cultures and countries. To foster this first experience of our conditioned perception, the second part of the pre-viewing-activity deals with various short quotations and definitions on stereotypes. The class is divided into groups and each group has to discuss one quotation. After ten minutes of group discussion, randomly selected students present the groups’ ideas in class. The other students are encouraged to correspond to the brief presentation to establish a class discussion on definitions and developments of stereotypes. After the students have gotten a basic idea and awareness of stereotyping, a scene of English Vinglish will be presented (00:50:17-00:54:20). The scene introduces the English class that Shashi attends during her stay in New York. The class consists of people from different cultural surroundings. The students are then asked to connect their previous ideas on stereotypes to the scene watched in class. Thus, awareness of the creation of stereotypes is raised before watching the movie. Another or an additional pre-viewing task could be the use of freeze-frames and key terms for that frame. Students would have to describe what happens in the scene with the help of the picture and the terms without seeing the scene. Furthermore, they could think about implications of this scene for the movie (cf. Surkamp & Nünning 2016: 276). There is one advantage of working with freeze-frames while working with movies: As previously discussed, movies offer a great and complex variety of input. It is therefore essential for the teacher to help to ease the complexity of this experience. Providing freezeframes as part of the students’ activities helps to simplify the complex and fast-moving pictures that they are encountered with. Accordingly, 127 students will be able to sharpen their focus in a more detailed way and therefore work with the movie in depth. Another advantage of using freeze-frames is that students can work on their own, with their partner, or in a group, which makes it a very flexible and yet effective and productive method (cf. Lütge 2012: 66). 4.2 While-Viewing-Activities While-viewing-activities can be particularly challenging, as the reception process of movies already demands the students’ confrontation with the multi-channeled medium movie in a foreign language. Furthermore, the pace of reception is given and adjustments to the individual tempo of each student is not possible. That is why, whileviewing-activities should be less complex than while-reading-activities and should be short and manageable when watching the movie one time (cf. Lütge 2012: 58). As a while-viewing-activity, the teacher could give the students the task to listen to only the sound and have them think about what the scenes could look like. Here, listening skills are to be improved. The students could then work with the think-pair-share method by first, thinking about what the scene could look like, then, sharing their ideas with their partner and later, sharing their visions with the class. There could be questions guiding the students, for example: Who is talking to whom? Where is the scene set? Are there just two people in the room or more? (cf. Surkamp & Nünning 2016). Concerning English Vinglish, the teacher has to choose scenes where English is the main language spoken, as there are several scenes in Hindi. That means that the second part of the movie, when Shashi arrives in New York, is more suitable for this task. Alternatively, if the surroundings allow it, the teacher could have one half of the class listen to the sound without watching the movie, while the other half watches the movie without sound. After doing so, students could get into pairs and exchange the information and try to find out what is happening in the scene and what that means for the movie. For focusing on postcolonial elements, the students could find examples in the movie for ‘Hybridity’, ‘Othering’ or other postcolonial concepts that have been discussed beforehand. 4.3 Post-Viewing-Activities Since post-viewing-activities are more creative or analytical, the students could be given some individual work, possibly three assignments 128 to choose from in order to allow Binnendifferenzierung. They can work on converting the information from the movie to a different form of writing and the teacher can find out if the students have grasped the key points of the movie. For the sake of clarity, possible assignments are listed here: 1. Imagine you are a reporter and you have researched about Shashi’s story and have interviewed her. Write a newspaper article about her story and experiences. Use approximately 250 words. 2. Imagine there is a magazine asking you to display Shashi’s story in a picture story. Draw the key scenes (at least seven) and put them in the right order. Add a few descriptive lines to each scene. 3. Imagine you are either Shashi or Satish. Find arguments that support or oppose the following statement (depending on the character you chose): “The place of an Indian woman is in the kitchen and not in an English language classroom.” Be prepared to present your arguments in a debate next time. These different tasks allow different learner types to be able to do the assignment in their best possible way. The first task is especially suitable for the verbal-linguistic learner, while the second one is optimized for visual spatial learners. Task number three is for logical learners, since they have to find logical arguments for or against the statement (cf. Pritchard 2009). Pre-Viewing- Activity While-Viewing- Activity Post-Viewing-Activity Operationlisierte Aufgabenstellung Take 30 seconds to memorize as many blue objects as possible. How many green objects can you remember? Talk to your groupmates about the quotation on stereotyping you have got. Present your ideas in class. Watch the movie scene carefully and connect your previous ideas on Listen to the video with sound only and think about what the scenes could look like. Guiding questions: Who is talking to whom? Where is the scene set? Are there just two people in the room or more? Which relationship do the people have? Imagine you are a reporter and you have researched about Shashi’s story and have interviewed her. Write a newspaper article about her story and experiences. Use approximately 250 words. Imagine there is a magazine asking you to display Shashi’s story in a picture story. Draw the key scenes (at least seven) and put them in the right order. Add a few descriptive lines to each scene. Imagine you are either Shashi 129 stereotypes to the scene. Freeze frames: Look at the pictures and describe what is happening in the scene. or Satish. Find arguments that support or oppose the following statement (depending on the character you chose): “The place of an Indian woman is in the kitchen and not in an English language classroom.” Be prepared to present your arguments in a debate next time. Material/ Medium quotations movie pictures (freeze frames) Movie Sozialform EA GA TPS EA Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar overcome the challenge of the use of stereotypes in the movie students get aware of the fact that our brain concentrates on things that it wants to perceive awareness of the creation of stereotypes is raised freeze frames help to simplify the complex and fastmoving pictures that they are encountered with promotion of listening skills stimulation of imagination creative task for different learner types students can choose the task best suited for themselves students convert their knowledge from the movie into another medium 5 Conclusion Having analyzed the genre of Bollywood itself and English Vinglish as a modern Bollywood movie, one can say that English Vinglish holds great potential when dealing with in the EFL classroom. The movie raises many questions content-wise and therefore, has great chances for the students to get into contact with the Indian culture and society by 130 dealing with something more unconventional than e.g. simply reading a text without context information. Additionally, students need to be able to watch and understand a Bollywood movie independently. One has to take a step back before confronting a class with a Bollywood movie, or movies in general. Prior to confronting students with movies, a toolkit of ‘how to analyze a movie’ needs to be introduced to the class. Movies are a very complex medium and since it is not possible to deal with a movie too detailed in class, students need to have the ability to independently watch and work with the content of a movie (cf. Lütge 2012: 9). Furthermore, it is also crucial to be able to analyze the formal structure of a movie in order to gain an extensive comprehension of what the movie is about (cf. ibid.: 12). This is not something that must be discussed exclusively in the EFL classroom but rather can happen in every other subject as well. As mentioned before, there are many transcultural and interdisciplinary aspects in Bollywood movies, so that it is only logical to treat Bollywood movies interdisciplinary, which means that teachers of different subjects need to see the urgency of working together and exchanging ideas and hereby, offering their students the most fruitful education they can get. Watching a movie can also be very motivating for students, since it stands out from simply reading an informative text for example. However, there are also various challenges that a teacher encounters, when deciding to deal with Bollywood movies in class, like e.g. preparing the students to be able to adequately analyze a movie or urging fellow colleagues to work interdisciplinary. One could argue that of all the challenges, this might be the most difficult one to overcome, since working interdisciplinary is a concept which is not practiced very frequently due to the additional effort teachers have to put in. Additionally, one has to be aware of the fact that English Vinglish addresses stereotypes in a contradictive way. On the one hand, Shashi is supposed to represent the modernization of the stereotypical woman and the movie itself is supposed to represent the shift to modernity within the Indian culture. However, it also might foster stereotypes due to the representation of Shashi’s classmates. It is, therefore, crucial for the teacher to address those stereotypes in class and teach the students how to deal with them. All in all, it is essential to teach general awareness of always being critical towards how something is presented on screen. One can concludingly say that dealing with English Vinglish in the EFL classroom 131 holds great potential, since it offers an immense amount of authentic information for students to engage and work with and therefore, outnumbers the challenges that are not necessarily linked with EFL teaching specifically but rather are general concerns of interdisciplinary work. Future research in this area could delve into first, the motivation of German EFL students to learn about and watch Bollywood movies and second, stereotypical views of India German students have before and after watching and dealing with Bollywood movies in class. That could result in finding out if the students’ perception of India changes or are intensified. As the medium movie is deeply integrated into the students’ lives, it is a good way to increase their motivation to learn about India, the country that might overrun China as “the most populous country of the 21st century” (Lindner 2010: 59) Bibliography Ashcroft, B., & Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1989). The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post- Colonial Literatures. London: Routledge. Ashcroft, B., & Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2000). Postcolonial Studies. The Key Concepts. London: Routledge. Döring, T. (2008). Postcolonial Literatures in English. Stuttgart: Klett. Freitag, B., & Gymnich, M. (2007). New English and Postcolonial Literatures im Fremdsprachenunterricht. In: W. Hallet & A. Nünning (Eds.), Neue Ansätze und Konzepte der Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik (pp. 259-276). Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. Govindan, P.P., & Dutta, B. (2008). “From Villain to Traditional Housewife!”. The Politics of Globalization and Women’s Sexuality in the “New” Indian Media. In: A.P. 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In: The Wall Street Journal (Ed.). Retrieved from https://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/10/08/bollywood-journalenglish- vinglish-is-a-masterclass/ (last accessed May 6th 2018) Pritchard, A. (2009). Ways of Learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom (2nd edition). London: Taylor & Francis. Rajadhyaksha, A. (2008). The “Bollywoodization” of the Indian Cinema. Cultural Nationalism in a Global Arena. In: A.P. Kavoori & A. Punathambekar (Eds.), Global Bollywood (pp.17-40). New York and London: New York University Press. Shinde G. (2012). English Vinglish. India. DVD. Surkamp, C., Nünning, A. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten. 1. Grundlagen und Methoden (4th edition). Seelze: Friedrich Verlag. Thaler, E. (2014). Teaching English with Movies. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. Tieber, C. (Ed.) (2009). Fokus Bollywood. Das indische Kino in wissenschaftlichen Diskursen. Wien, Berlin, Münster: LIT Verlag. Vardana, A. (2015). English Vinglish Response. Retrieved from http:/ /bollywood-andbeyond.blogspot.de/2015/05/english-vinglishresponse-aishwarya.html (last accessed May 6th 2018). Volkmann, L. (2010). Fachdidaktik Englisch: Kultur und Sprache. Tübingen: Narr. Wandel, R. (2003). Teaching India in the EFL-Classroom: A Cultural or an Intercultural Approach? In: M. Bayram & P. Grundy (Eds.), Context and Culture in Language Teaching and Learning (pp.72-80). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom. Issues and Problems. In: J. Gorisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines (pp. 387-398). Leiden: Rodopi. 133 Gender and Postcolonial India: An Analysis of Baburao Bagul’s “Mother” in the EFL classroom Christina Kattwinkel 1 Introduction “Krishan yelled cruelly, ‘Don’t touch Pandu, any of you. My mother says Pandu’s mother sleeps with the mukadam like this…’” (Bagul 1992: 183). The short story “Mother” by Baburao Bagul was originally written in Sanskrit. Translated into English by Mira Manvi, it was published in 1992 in Arjun Dangle’s Poisoned Bread: Translations from Marathi Dalit Literature. Bagul himself was an important figure in Indian short story and Dalit writing. As an enlightened voice of his generation, he was a radical thinker of the Dalit movement (cf. “Baburao Bagul” 2014). In his postcolonial short story Baburao Bagul tells his readers about a poor Dalit widow who becomes the mistress of a socially powerful, upper caste man to make a living for herself and her son Pandu and to ensure a good life after the death of her husband. In consequence of this, she is given the reputation of a prostitute. The unnamed mother is accused of failing in her parental duties and of indulging in her sexual desires instead. The story reaches its climax when even her own son fails to understand her and joins the position and convictions of others (cf. Bagul 1992: 183-190). In recent decades, postcolonial Indian literature has been advocated by German EFL teaching professionals because it offers many possibilities for understanding other cultures and the development of empathy, openness and tolerance towards them (cf. Volkmann 2015, Wandel 2013, Mukherjee 2006). The short story at hand also carries this potential. While reading the story, students become observers of the events of a Dalit settlement in In- 134 dia. They are invited to get an insight into the everyday life of the lowest caste and get to know the challenges that the social structure of India holds for large parts of its population. Especially the closeness to the two main protagonists, which is created by the narrative style, opens up a wide spectrum of topics and activities through which one can approach the foreign culture. This paper analyses to what extent the short story “Mother” is suitable and how it can be used in English lessons in the EFL classroom will be analysed in this paper. For this purpose, the term paper is divided into three main parts: Firstly, the short story is analysed with regard to postcolonial key concepts that can be found in the narrative. Secondly, the story is examined in terms of advantages and challenges of teaching this text in class, and how these characteristics can either enliven and promote or hinder or complicate the teaching. It is also discussed how to counteract these challenges to help students understand the text in its entirety. In the end, three tasks are presented which – before, while and after reading the narrative – are to equip students with essential background information about the Indian society, to help them identify, coordinate and change perspectives and to develop Fremdverstehen. In the conclusion, the main results of the analysis will be summarized. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “Mother” With regard to the short story “Mother”, several postcolonial key concepts can be found and distinguished, including the concepts of ‘Othering’, ‘Marginality’, ‘Identity’, ‘Gender issues’ and ‘the Subaltern’. In this chapter, these concepts will be presented, defined and analysed. 2.1 Othering and Marginality The key concept ‘Othering’ refers to the exclusion or marginalization of one group by another group in social and/ or psychological ways (cf. Ashcroft et. al. 2000: 188). The term is closely connected to another key concept, which is ‘Marginality’. It describes structures of power marked by ‘centre’ and ‘margin’ operating in a complex and multifaceted way. Mantra Roy explains: “Although slavery and the caste system as institutions were abolished in 1865 and 1950, respectively, the legacy of stratified systems based on labor and discourses of supremacy has continued in the respective societies” (2010: 10). It is an everyday picture that Dalits are not just separated from the upper caste society by Hindu agreement, but that their settlements are 135 in fact outside the boundaries of the village (cf. Punjani 2013: 31). Thus, it is only understandable that the feeling of being ‘the other’ grows in a system in which the conditions are made and determined by the influential upper caste people. Dalits still occupy the lowest place in the hierarchical caste system. This place “is inherited from birth and endorsed by sacred authority and so it is eternal and unalterable” (ibid.). In “Mother”, ‘Othering’ can be found in the character of the unnamed mother herself and the family and neighbourhood surrounding her. The story takes place in a Dalit settlement, in which, due to her behaviour and her very own way of feeding her family after her husband's death, Pandu’s mother becomes the marginalised among the marginalised or ‘the other’ among ‘the others’. On her way home she sees that “her envious enemies” look down on her with contempt (Bagul 1992: 186) and Pandu has to listen to Dagdu abusing his mother and calling her “whore of a slut” (ibid.: 185). Through the view on and the opinion of society about his mother, Pandu also becomes an outsider at school. He becomes the target of his classmates’ mischief: “’Don’t touch Pandu, any of you. My mother says Pandu’s mother sleeps with the mukadam like this …’ He puffed out his chest and cheeks and stood tall in imitation of the hefty overseer. The class was convulsed with laughter” (Bagul 1992: 183). The rumours about his mother and the teasing Pandu has to endure lead him to turn away from his mother as well and cause her marginalisation in her own family. The rejection and contempt that she receives from the only human being for whom she bears and endures all these burdens destroy the only identity she has: that of a good mother. 2.2 Gender issues and the Subaltern Besides themes of ‘Identity’ and ‘Marginalisation’, ‘Gender’ and ‘Subaltern’ issues also play an important role in postcolonial culture and politics. ‘Gender’ is a social construction which defines man and woman in socio-economic means. It is not only about society’s distinction between man and woman but also about the roles the two sexes are assigned to in social contexts (cf. Khurana 2016: 26). In India, a gender bias is the inherent product of its patriarchal society. Any disregard for equality and the chance of development in terms of ‘Gender issues’ must be regarded as gender discrimination (cf. Kohli 2017: 178). In the Indian society, Dalit women are not only expected to be a breadwinner of the household but also self-sacrificing mothers, who are characterised by an unquestioned devotion to their children 136 and complete self-effacement. They are often used, abused and taken for granted by their husbands (cf. Punjani 2013: 33). In Bagul’s short story, gender discrimination is the most evident in the relationship between Pandu’s mother and her husband. Her husband, who is physically and socially crippled, takes his frustration about “his disease, his failing strength, his joblessness” out on his wife (Bagul 1992: 187). Additionally, her strength, beauty and employment seem to diminish his gendered role as a male. Moreover, the fact that he is totally dependent on her arouses jealousy and dissatisfaction (cf. Punjani 2013: 34). Punjani sums up: “Bagul focusses on the dilemma of a subaltern woman who is forced to rise above her gendered role of a submissive and male-dependent entity because of her partner’s inabilities but is condemned for her transgression” (ibid.). After his death, she continues to be victimized by the men in the neighbourhood. They lust for her and at the same time see the independent woman as a threat to their male prerogatives (cf. Punjani 2013: 15). The affair she has with the overseer contributes to her being perceived by everyone as a whore since she does not correspond to the social image of a widow and single mother. She is expected to correspond to her gender role by taking devoted care of her offspring and being dependent on the help of the community (ibid.). Furthermore, the patriarchal ideology of motherhood is also threatened by her behaviour as she is both a mother-figure and a sexual person (cf. Franco et. al. 2000: 32). In this context, another postcolonial key concept plays an important role: ‘the Subaltern’. Derived from the writings of the Italian Marxist political philosopher Antionio Gramsci, the term ‘Subaltern’ was adopted by a group of Indian historians to refer to the suppressed and silenced people (cf. Edwards 2008: 100). These ‘Subalterns’ have no possibility to articulate themselves publicly, to defend themselves or simply to express their opinion. Hegemonic conditions prevent them from speaking and cause them to follow the dominant values determined by others (cf. Roy 2010: 16). Gayatri Spivak develops this concept further in her essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988) and expressed her concern about the doubly silenced ‘Subaltern’ woman who is always spoken for. One of the main characters in Bagul's short story “Mother” is such a woman. In Punjani’s view, Bagul portrays an “unconventional space inhabited by the subaltern mothers as they try to be ‘good’ mothers to their children” by representing the silenced but extraordinary mother in his story (2013: 33). As the empowered mother who challenges the notions of patriarchal motherhood and 137 ignores other people’s voices and opinions, Pandu’s mother becomes what O’Reilly calls an ‘outlaw’. Her “agency, autonomy, authenticity, and authority” (O’Reilly 2004b: 11) make her strong and selfconfident against slander and hostility. However, when Pandu is “convinced of her guilt” and “take[s] sides against her” (Bagul 1992: 187), she is devastated, and the strong and self-confident woman she represents is silenced. (cf. Roy 2010: 89). “[H]er son’s condemnation nullifies her sacrifices” (Punjani 2013: 37). Punjani explains the effect of the change in her relationship with her son in a Dalit context: “[T]he son’s rejection disempowers the subaltern mother who succumbs to the ideology of motherhood and cannot assert her independent maternal identity. Ultimately, the subaltern mother cannot enact her agency, or, symbolically ‘speak’” (ibid.: 38). Pandu is too young to understand that his mother loves and cares for him while staying true to her agency at the same time. The moment she accuses herself of being a bad mother for her son, she silences herself and her own idea of motherhood (cf. Roy 2010: 92). 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language The short story “Mother” stands out with both its highly emotional subject matter and its highly expressive value. Teaching and dealing with the story in the classroom involves challenges as well as opportunities. These should be carefully weighed against each other to determine whether “Mother” is suitable for English classes and can be tailored to the students’ needs and interests. To start with the chances of the text, it is to be generally emphasised that reading a literary text like the short story at hand in class and pervading it through the tasks and discussions provided is a great chance for promoting the students’ literary competence. By dealing with foreign language literature, they learn to overcome barriers of understanding and to develop imagination (cf. Surkamp 2012: 79). Furthermore, this narrative can be subordinated to the genre of short stories and can therefore not only be used flexibly in lessons, but also offers students an open and controversial range of perspectives in a limited text length (cf. Nünning 1999: 8). Due to the characteristics of the short story itself, namely the reduction and compression of the general principles of representation, the renunciation of spatial diversity and the description of longer courses of time, as well as the stylistic 138 shortage etc., the story can be read in one sitting and is rather easy to understand due to the reduced complexity (cf. ibid.: 6). The second important characteristic of the text is probably the most important: the offering of multiple perspectives. In “Mother”, the reader does not only deal with and get to know the two main protagonist. “The narrative turns us into witnesses as mother, son, husband, wife, lover, suitor, man, woman and child (…)” (Tharu 1996: 1313). Thus, the students are confronted with different possibilities to see and judge one and the same situation and have to deal with opposing points of view. According to Volkmann, the change of perspectives is “at the heart of concepts of Fremdverstehen through literature” (2015: 247). Through identifying, changing and coordinating perspectives, students are able to broaden their horizon and develop tolerance, empathy and cultural understanding (cf. ibid.). While reading the text, they are able to put themselves in Pandu's shoes and are more likely to understand his point of view as well as his mother’s actions. They will feel aversion to Pandu’s father and ask themselves how exactly the relationship between Pandu’s mother and the overseer can be defined. They will also be able to understand the experiences of exclusion, teasing, rumours and insults that Pandu makes as a student, since the situations described might be similar to their own experiences in class. Due to the identifying, coordinating and changing of perspectives, intercultural learning is promoted and the students are made sensitive to the Dalits' fate. The promotion of intercultural awareness is another important point that can be added to the positive aspects of the text. In a compact form, the literary text opens up the possibility of insight into the life in the caste system in India and in particular into the life of the Dalits. Furthermore, it provides the necessary insight into foreign worlds and lives and thus makes its contribution to understanding the foreign culture (cf. Nünning 2001: 7). Nünning explains: “Literarische Texte ermöglichen den Lesern bzw. den Lernern eine Reihe von Erfahrungen außerhalb ihrer eigenen Lebenswirklichkeit, die in der Wirklichkeit aus unmittelbar ersichtlichen Gründen unmöglich sind” (ibid.: 8). Reading the text enables the students to accompany Pandu and his mother in their daily lives. They get to know the problems Dalits have to deal with and the ways in which they are viewed and treated by society. They dive into the family history and learn what it means to grow up and live in the lowest caste and what it means to be an “Untouchable”. The text meets the demands the intercultural turn 139 in foreign language teaching asks for: It portrays a strange and unknown location – the Dalit settlement – and characters – Bagul, Bagul’s Mother, the overseer, Pandu’s classmates and the family’s neighbours – and enables the students to encounter “the other” (cf. Wandel et. Al 2007: 209). It is the possibility to learn about another language and culture alien to one’s own in a German EFL classroom setting (cf. Ahrens 2012: 186). Moreover, by reading the story and experiencing the intercultural contact made possible by it, a so-called "third place" or "third space" is created (Delanoy 2012: 160). The term coined by Kramsch (cf. 1993: 233-253) alludes to a newly created place, which “includes a mix of positions in the interest of personal and sociocultural transformation in line with a power-critical and democratic agenda” (Delanoy 2012: 160). In addition to the possibility to have discussions about the caste system and political inequality in class, the text also offers the opportunity to reflect on the speechlessness of the female subject in the postcolonial discourse since “Bagul centres the subaltern mother’s experience in terms of the multiple strands of repression she has to negotiate” (Roy 2010: 89). Furthermore, some of the text's locations or topics are well suited to link in with the pupils’ own surroundings. Examples here are the introductory passage describing a classroom situation as well as topics such as motherhood or family disputes in general. In addition, the short story is also very well suited to question stereotypes and correct one's own assumptions about the foreign culture. Having looked at different chances of dealing with “Mother” in the EFL classroom, the following part will focus on possible challenges that may arise while dealing with the short story in class. A first challenge that students are confronted with while reading the short story is the fact that the story is not told chronologically and that the narrator jumps back and forth between the perspectives of the mother and her son. Although the time-span of the story has a typical brevity, the narrative is structured in a series of episodes. Those episodes flashback from the present to the past, jump from location to location, and shift the focus from the private to the outer world continuously (cf. Tharu 1996: 1313). However, one solution for this problem could be to arrange and structure a chronology of events together with the students (text excerpts that depict the content of the story could be arranged in groups). The chronology of the events could then be presented as a panel painting. 140 Another and probably the most difficult challenge of dealing with the text in the EFL classroom is the fact that the caste system in India and especially the treatment of women in the lowest caste is a complex and rather distant topic for German students. Too many areas of Indian everyday life are unknown to the students and seem extremely strange and unfamiliar. This makes the reception of the Indian short story or the understanding of Indian social conventions and structures difficult. The lack of knowledge about the social structures and the ways of life in India challenges the students to develop understanding, empathy and tolerance for the foreign culture (cf. Wandel 2001: 6). According to Shankar, due to misconception and ignorance, especially the caste system is still a difficult topic to deal with in school (cf. 2017: 338). However, factual texts which provide students with historical and societal background knowledge can facilitate the understanding of the foreign culture and enable students to form an informed opinion. In general, according to Wandel, additional material on the subjects the short story deals with (caste system, gender role distribution in Indian society etc.) should be selected with care in order to avoid negative feelings or the reinforcement of stereotypical thinking and stereotypical clichés in students (cf. ibid.). Another sensitive topic that is dealt with in the story is the treatment of women in the lowest caste. Bagul discloses a complex network of constrains Pandu’s mother encounters as well as multiple lines of repression (cf. Roy 2010: 90). She is a lower caste woman who is sexually exploited by her lover, her husband disfigured her, distrusted her and took his frustration about his sickly existence out on her; she is the victim of their female neighbours’ envy and their husbands’ lust; she cannot meet the expectations placed on her as a mother and is misunderstood by her son. All this might be difficult for students to understand. Therefore, they must be equipped with adequate background knowledge and material, which sensitise them for the topic. A fourth thematic aspect in the story that could be a challenge to the students is death. This is not only about Pandu's mother's character assassination by society, but also the real murders and deaths which the story narrates. First, there is the death of Pandu's father resulting from his illness. Then there is the feeling of wanting to kill both Pandu and his mother. When Kishan mocks Pandu, he starts feeling a “demonic, murderous rage rising within him” (Bagul 1992: 184). Bagul goes on: “He could have killed them, murdered them in all in cold blood. It was good to think of them lying together in a pool of 141 blood.” (ibid.). A similar feeling overcomes Pandu's mother when she sees in her son’s eyes the “same dark suspicion” she has seen before in her husband’s eyes (ibid.: 188). In teaching, the difficult issue of death could be bypassed at least in part by focusing the main analysis on other important issues in the text, such as ‘Gender issues’. However, the topic remains an important part of the short story and should not be left out of the discussion completely. Having presented chances and challenges of dealing with the short story “Mother” by Baburao Bagul in the EFL classroom, it becomes obvious that using the text can be problematic. The events described in the narrative are far from the students’ everyday life and are therefore difficult for them to relate to. Furthermore, the topics that are central to the short story are highly sensitive. Understanding the caste system as a social, cultural and religious element will be difficult for students in a Western European classroom. The topic of death and dealing with the situation of Pandu’s mother as a Dalit woman also represents a great challenge to the students’ empathy and understanding. It is questionable whether every student will be able to change perspectives and to put him- or herself into this position. Even though the short story itself contains many postcolonial key concepts and thus makes postcolonial experience possible and brings with it many chances, the challenges predominate and therefore the usage of the short story should be well considered by the teacher. The challenges can be countered with selected approaches and work assignments adapted to the students’ needs, which are to be worked on before, while and after reading the story and thus enable the process of changing perspectives and understanding the facets of the story. Some possible activities will be presented below. 4 Teaching Activities In the following, self-created activities in the context of the stages of pre-, while- and post-reading are presented. They are designed to sensitise the students for the situation and the fate of the main characters of the story and to promote the learners’ processes of understanding with regard to language and content. By working on selected tasks, they are to succeed in better understanding of the narrative, to be able to put themselves in the situation and thus to carry out the change of perspectives. Hence, their empathy and tolerance towards the foreign culture will be promoted and strengthened. 142 Two different task types have been designed for pre-reading activity. In the first task, the students are supposed to read a printed newspaper article and point out the main problems that Dalits have to deal with in their everyday life. By reading excerpts from Pheba Mathew's newspaper article “Caste system is alive and well, and this Dalit woman's story is a wake up call for all Indians” published in The News Minute (pre-reading activity 1), students are already provided with information about the life of a Dalit in the lowest caste. Students accompany Gauri, a Dalit woman, in her daily life and learn a lot about the external circumstances in a Dalit settlement. By way of example, they learn how a Dalit settlement is constructed (sanitary facilities, shopping possibilities etc.). They get prepared for the content of the short story before reading it and get familiarized with the Dalits’ circumstances of life. The main facts presented to them are those relating to the separation of castes, the interaction between castes and the possibilities of political participation and education of the lowest caste. Gauri's history and experiences give them authentic access to this information and thereby their knowledge about the foreign culture is widened. The newspaper article has been adapted due to its length and vocabulary that students may not know is explained at the bottom of the work sheet. Notes can be taken in the mind map printed on the work sheet. They will not only help the students to present their results in class, but also to Ergebnissicherung and knowledge. The second activity focuses on the poem “Lifetime” by Narayan Surve (see appendix pre-reading activity 2). The students are supposed to read the poem and discuss with a partner what the word “assigned” that is repeated throughout the poem means in Dalit context. Based on the poem, the students work out that life in the lowest caste is in all parts determined by others: the lifetime, the life, the streets they walk and the words they speak. The poem also takes up religious aspects and ulterior motives of the Indian caste system by alluding to the fact that if one follows the predeterminations without resistance, the way to heaven is open. The students can take notes on the work sheet. With this task, the students expand their ideas about the caste system in India and about the living conditions of the lowest caste. It is well suited to problematize the social structure of Indian society and to deal more closely with the concept of castes. Through their discussion with a partner and the presentation of their results in the classroom, communicative learning goals are also pursued. Vocabulary aids are provided on the worksheet. 143 The while-reading activity that the students are supposed to work on while reading the short story draws special attention to the language the author uses to evoke emotions in the reader and to make it more easy for the reader to empathize with Pandu and his situation. The choice of strongly emotionally coloured adjectives and adverbs makes the situations presented authentic and lively. In order to analyse the language used by the author, the students are supposed to read the passage from page 183 l. 22 to page 184 l. 10 first. Working on their own, they are asked to write down all adjectives and adverbs that are used by the author to describe Pandu’s situation and feelings in the chart on the worksheet (e.g. venomous (p. 183, l.24), cruelly (p. 183, l.27), woodenly (p. 183, l. 32), confused (p. 184, l. 4), stoutly (p.184, l.4)) with text references in brackets. Together with a partner, they are now asked to analyse the effects that the use of those words have on the reader and the emotions that are triggered while reading the excerpt. The findings are to be noted down in the second column. The worksheet also points out to the students that if they are unaware of the meaning of some words, they can use a dictionary if they want to. Dictionaries are provided by the teacher. A similar task could also be designed for the mother's situation. The task is an attempt to unload the emotionally intense mood of the short story at least in parts by using an analytical approach and focussing on the language used by the author and thus aims at facilitating the identification and coordination of perspectives and by that the comprehension of Pandu's actions and reactions for the students. The task causes the students to think about the use of emotionally coloured words in the text and to reflect upon the effects triggered in the reader. The choice of school as the settings of the scene makes it easier for the students to access the story since they might be able to relate to experiences that are similar to Pandu’s. In addition, the topic of bullying is a very important one in the pupils' everyday school life and one which every pupil can empathize with. As a post-reading activity, one could encourage the students to think about what might have happened after Pandu had run away from his mother. They could either put themselves in Pandu's or his mother's shoes write the end of the story and decide for themselves how the story should end. This task would stimulate their imagination and promote a change of perspective. 144 Pre-reading Activity 1 Pre-reading Activity 2 While-reading Activity Post-reading Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Read the text below and find out more about Gauri’s story. Outline the main problems that Dalits have to deal with in their everyday life. Write down your findings in the mind map. Discuss what “assigned” means in the context of Dalits being called “the Untouchables” and belonging to the lowest caste in Indian society. Analyse which effect the use of adjectives and adverbs have on the reader and the emotions that are triggered. Write an ending to the story. What happened after Pandu ran away? Material/Medium Newspaper Article “Caste system is alive and well, and this Dalit woman's story is a wake up call for all Indians” Poem “Lifetime” Worksheet + Short Story Exercise book Sozialform Work alone Work in pairs Work alone/ work in pairs Work alone Didaktischer Kommentar Students are provided with important background knowledge about the caste system in India and about living in the lowest caste through tdealing with the life of Gauri, a Dalit woman. Students deal with the lack of self-determination that is characteristic for the lower caste and acquire important background knowledge for the short story. By analysing and dealing with the emotionally coloured language of the text, students are able to identify and coordinate perspectives more easily, as well as to understand Pandu's behaviour and reactions. After identifying and coordinating perspective, the students now change perspectives. The task promotes Fremdverstehen and stimulates the students’ imagination 145 5 Conclusion The aim of this work was to analyse Baburao Bagul's short story “Mother” with regard to its suitability for use in the EFL classroom by analysing postcolonial key concepts in the story and looking at the narrative from an EFL perspective. First of all, the postcolonial key concepts that can be found in the short story were listed and analysed, namely ‘Othering’, ‘Marginality’, ‘Identity’, ‘Gender issues’ and ‘the Subaltern’. The key concepts chosen contribute greatly to understanding the author's ability to create a postcolonial experience for the reader. The reader gets to know the setting of a Dalit settlement and thus learns a lot about social and societal conditions in India. S/he explores the other culture and thereby empathy, tolerance and understanding for the unknown culture are developed and fostered. In the second part of the paper, some of the postcolonial key concepts were taken up again and their significance or impact for the handling of the text in the EFL classroom was highlighted. On the one hand, the following aspects were named and explained as advantages and opportunities of the dealing with the text in the English lessons of a German class: the advantage of the use of a short story and its flexible usage in the classroom, the multiple perspectives that the narrative offers, the promotion of intercultural awareness, the encountering of ‘the other’ which results in the creation of a ‘third space’ or ‘third place’ as well as the possibility to discuss the Indian caste system, gender, social inequality and speechlessness. The challenges of dealing with the text in the school context, on the other hand, are the following: the diachronic time frame in which the story is told, the focus on complex and topics that are rather distant for German students, the danger of reinforcing stereotypical thinking, and the choice of extremely sensitive topics such as the treatment of women and death. Overall, the text was found to be rather unsuitable for use in an EFL classroom due to its weight-intensive challenges. In the final part of the work, however, attempts were made to counteract these challenges and to prepare the topics in such a way that the students can understand them and find an access to the topic. Furthermore, the focus on the emotionality of the language used by the author aimed at strengthening the empathy and tolerance of the students so that a change of perspective is possible and the foreign can be grasped and understood. 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Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. 148 (Inter-)cultural Encounters in Meher Pestonji's "Outsider" Julia Falter, Sophie Gnech & Svenja Harzem 1 Introduction “More than three-quarters of the people living in the world today have had their lives shaped by the experience of colonialism” (Ashcroft et al. 2010: 1). These experiences do not only include social or economic aspects, but also involve “cultural oppression and alienation [...] [as well as] identity-searching and self-determination” (Wandel et al. 2007: 210). The broad range of literature that reflects colonial and postcolonial issues “attempts to shift the dominant ways in which the relations between western and non- western people and their worlds are viewed” (Young 2003: 2) and has influenced literary studies and educational approaches in various countries. Dealing with India in the German EFL1 classroom does not only imply teaching the Indian diaspora in Great Britain but also more multi-layered and multicultural topics. Recent guidelines of the Kernlehrpläne2 as well as manifold publications on the topic of teaching India in the German EFL classroom have changed the narrow view on the country to a multi-perspective one, recognizing that India is of high interest for German learners. This does not only result from India’s growing importance in the world (cf. Lindner 2008a: 7) but is also due to the shift to a communicative and intercultural teaching of English as a foreign language. However, many Europeans’ views of India is still overshadowed by stereotypical ideas, ignoring the fact that 1 In this paper, EFL is used as a shortened form for ‘English foreign language’. 2 “In recent years several German federal states have included the teaching of India in their new EFL curricula” (Wandel 2013: 387). 149 India is one of the most heterogeneous and culturally complex countries of the world, unifying manifold different cultures, religions, and languages and representing the world’s largest democracy (cf. Volkmann 2010: 114-117). In this context, the topic of India’s most populous city Mumbai is symbolic for many of the diversities and conflicts that India faces in the present days (cf. Teske 2008: 184). It does not only represent India’s successful growth in terms of technology or independence but can also be seen as an example for environmental pollution and extreme poverty due to overpopulation. Meher Pestonji’s short story “Outsider” which was published in 1999 uses this setting to address several cultural and economic differences within the city as they are conveyed through the perspective of a German student named Theresa. This paper aims at answering the question which postcolonial concepts are reflected in the short story “Outsider” as well as the question if the short story is suitable for being read and taught in the German EFL classroom. Initially, the analysis of the short story focuses on a selection of the most important postcolonial key concepts that can be found within this narrative. These concepts are mainly based on the works of Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013). In the second part, the chosen short story is examined based on its suitability for the EFL classroom. Hence, the chances and challenges of teaching Meher Pestonji’s story are presented and discussed in order to determine which aspects can be regarded as beneficial for a literary analysis in the classroom, which problems might occur and how these possible issues could be overcome. The next part presents teaching activities, following the concept of a process-oriented teaching of literature and therefore subdividing the tasks into pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading activities. Finally, the conclusion sums up the analytical results from chapter two and three and gives an outlook on possible future research topics. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “Outsider” The field of postcolonial literary studies includes a broad variety of reoccurring and defining aspects and themes that allude to the different facets that are nowadays associated with postcolonialism. It should be regarded as a dynamic subject as it “has expanded and diversified both in its impact and significance, in fields as varied as [globalisation], environmentalism, transnationalism, the sacred, and even economics” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: VII) over the past years. These themes are re- 150 garded as key concepts by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin because of their ubiquity in this particular field of study. Meher Pestonji’s short story “Outsider” also contains several of these concepts, although only the most important ones will be discussed briefly in the following section. 2.1 Othering The concept of ‘Othering’ includes “social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or [marginalises] another” (ibid.: 188). This form of exclusion “is often influenced by the visibility of one’s otherness: skin [colour], accent, language, physical abilities, gender, or age” (Vichiensing 2017: 127). In addition to that, race or religion may also play a defining role in the discriminating process. While constructing the ‘other’, this concept also focuses on the construction of the self-identity of the superior group (cf. Brons 2015: 70). Although this mental division is usually driven by the group that exercises power (cf. Jeyaraj 2004: 23), it does not necessarily imply that it constitutes a majority on a numerical scale (cf. Jensen 2011: 65). Furthermore, it “breeds inequality […], produces tension, dissention, or even conflict between members of the two groups by treating the other as an inferior” (Vichiensing 2017: 126). ‘Othering’ is closely linked to the concept of ‘marginality’ which refers to “various forms of exclusion and oppression” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 151) as well as “the limitations of a subject’s access to power” (ibid.). As postcolonial literature offers a voice to historically marginalised groups, it also enables the reader to engage in and experience aspects of the world that may have been inaccessible without these literary texts (cf. Wisker 2007: 204). Hence, scholars like Morton argue that it “is from the margins of colonial subordination and oppression […] that postcolonial writers and theorists claim political and moral authority” (Morton 2010: 162). As one of the major themes that can be found in “Outsider”, the concept of ‘Othering’ should be distinguished into three different levels that allude to each of the three major groups portrayed in the story. The first one is represented by the protagonist Theresa whose perspective is influenced by her foreign German background. The very fact that she is foreign, and thus not part of the Indian culture, is remarked several times by members of the Parsi community. Both Savak and Cawas refer to her as an “oversensitive” (Pestonji 2005: 87) or “sentimental” (ibid.: 97) foreigner, as she disagrees with their attitude regarding child poverty. In fact, they even seem surprised about her 151 differing perspective and the empathy that she shows for the street children as they “thought German girls were tough” (ibid.: 92). This form of stereotyping feels condescending to the protagonist (cf. ibid.: 87). Thus, the difference between her and the members of the Parsi community is highlighted several times during the story. This process of ‘Othering’ culminates in the end when Theresa is “met with icy stares” (ibid.: 103) by her Parsi acquaintances and one of the guests expresses a sarcastic fear of Theresa being infected with a venereal disease (cf. ibid.) due to her contact with the street children of Mumbai. These children that live in poverty are the second group that are heavily othered by the Parsi community. Vichiensing defines that one of the forms of ‘Othering’ can go as far as seeing the other as “less than fully human” (Vichiensing 2017: 126), which can be applied to the way the characters, representatives of the Parsi community, regard the street children. The first example of this can be found within the first cause of dispute between Theresa and her host Cawas, as he clearly distinguishes between “honest citizens like us” (Pestonji 2005: 88) and the beggar children whose death would not make a difference in his eyes (ibid.). These children are even referred to as “filthy monsters” (ibid.: 97) who burden the city “with their dirty, sloppy ways” (ibid.). The most striking instance of this condescending discrimination the Parsis seem to exhibit for street children is the moment they decide to give their leftovers to stray mountain dogs instead of feeding starving children (cf. ibid.: 93-94). As absurd as this may seem to a western protagonist or reader, the Parsis regard the street children of Mumbai as an inferior group which is “defined by its faults” (Vichiensing 2017: 127) and treat them with disgust and intolerance throughout the narrative. As the previous groups of foreigners and street children have become examples of the process of ‘Othering’ through the behaviour and remarks of the members of the Parsi community, the short story also offers an instance in which this third group distances itself from the other inhabitants of India and thus exhibits the construction of self-identity. As Savak recounts the history of the Parsis and their cultural heritage, he states that his community “[is] not dark, like Indians, because [they] come from Persia” (Pestonji 2005: 95). He also emphasises the fact that the Parsis have helped the British to build and shape the city of Mumbai into what it is in the present day (cf. ibid.). This text passage serves as an example for the reader to gain insight into 152 the “mental distance that is created between ‘us’ and ‘them’” (Vichiensing 2017: 127) and the process of categorising individuals into groups of either value or demerit. 2.2 Appropriation The concept of ‘Appropriation’ is a second theme that is represented in the chosen short story. It defines the ways in which postcolonial societies take over those aspects of the imperial culture – language, forms of writing, film, theatre, even modes of thought and argument such as rationalism, logic and analysis – that may be of use to them in articulating their own social and cultural identity. (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 19) An example for this is the impact Indo-English writers have had on the (literary) postcolonial discourse. Meher Pestonji is one of these writers. Among many other Indian authors who deliberately write in English, Pestonji very obviously incorporates the concept ‘Appropriation’ as she uses the former colonizer’s language in order to articulate her cultural and social identity. Furthermore, writing in English enables her to convey her intended messages and strongly contrasting cultural experiences to the broadest audience possible. Even the characters in her story, who show a high proficiency level of English, reflect the importance of the English language, except from Santosh who at least learns English and is able to speak it a little bit (cf. Pestonji 2005: 91). In addition to that, the narrative of “Outsider” presents the reader with two further varieties of ‘Appropriation’ within the text. Santosh, the Indian boy Theresa meets at the day and night shelter and with whom she develops a special relationship throughout the story, has learned some English at school. He speaks English in situations in which it is highly useful for him, for example when being on a train: “On train English useful for TC. […] I no buy ticket. When TC come I say I servant boy. Memsahib have ticket in first class. If you say in English TC believes. Or make me get off train. Wait in jungle for other train” (Pestonji 2005: 91). At least, this way Santosh avoids buying a ticket, which he would not have the money for. It becomes obvious that he adapts the English language when it is of use for him and therefore the concept ‘Appropriation’ is clearly reflected in Santosh’s behaviour. As it has been mentioned before, the Parsi community identifies itself as a group of people that has helped the British to shape the 153 modern-day Mumbai (cf. Pestonji 2005: 95). However, the former coloniser and the western society did not merely influence their historical heritage but also their way of living in India today. Thus, they wear western clothing and they are capable of speaking English very fluently due to their sophisticated jobs and travel experience (cf. ibid.: 90). Theresa even remarks that “[their] lives seemed centred around acquiring imported cosmetics, French perfumes and Swiss chocolate and cheese” (ibid.), while they are not familiar with the myth of Ganesh (cf. ibid.) or the Hindi language (cf. ibid.: 102). This form of ‘Appropriation’ alludes to the aspects of westernisation in terms of clothing, materialism and even culture, as the members of the Parsi community perceive this way of living as extremely prestigious and desirable. 2.3 Contact Zone The last striking key concept that the short story “Outsider” presents is the theme of ‘Contact Zone’. ‘Contact Zone’ is comparable to the third space meaning “the space beyond the given binaries” (Döring 2008: 30) but in a more immediate “sense of cross-cultural encounters and transactions in the field” (ibid.). Being in this 'Contact Zone' signifies being situated in a space of in-between-ness, as one holds a position which belongs to none of the two sides. The term was introduced by Mary Pratt who defines that it refers to “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” (Pratt 1991: 34). These ‘Contact Zones’ can either appear within the literary narratives or can address the reader’s “own subject-position in transcultural negotiation and confrontation” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 62). Pratt and other scholars emphasise on the merits this concept encompasses as this “contact perspective may also help us understand and negotiate the points of contact between different voices and perspectives within texts” (Edelstein 2005: 27). Sticking to this definition, “both aspects of the contact zone – as place of contestation and struggle, or as site of mutual respect and dialogue” (ibid.) can be found in Meher Pestonji’s short story “Outsider”. As a German sociology student, who has come to Mumbai to study and document the lives of street children, Theresa’s point of view often diverges from the perspectives of the people she is engaged with in the short story. This difference of opinion becomes most ap- 154 parent when the perception and interaction with street children is addressed. Theresa and her hosts, who are members of the Parsi community, can be seen as polar opposites in this particular topic which often results in arguments. Although Theresa seems to be aware that “contrasts were bound to surface” (Pestonji 2005: 86), Savak or Cawas’ opinions and remarks seem incomprehensible and partially also unforgivable to her (cf. ibid.: 92). As she proposes to give the leftover food to starving children, she has to witness how her Parsi acquaintances prefer to give it to stray dogs (cf. ibid.: 94). Thus, she feels “angry” (ibid.) and “revolted” (ibid.) as she comments that she “[did not] realise that some people prioritise stray dogs over starving human beings” (ibid.). When she utters her admiration for the resilience and tenacity that she has observed in the behaviour of the children, she is met with a lack of understanding from Savak and realises that he is “incapable of looking beyond the dirt and grime of physical reality” (ibid.: 97). As much as Theresa is unable to grasp the way of perceiving poverty through the eyes of the Parsi community, they are also not able to share her opinions. Cawas even states in the beginning that “[foreigners] are oversensitive to poverty. [The native population] is inoculated against it from birth. […] [Otherwise they would] be miserable every day of [their] lives” (ibid.: 87). The conflict about the perception of poverty in this short story illustrates that the divergent opinions result from a differing cultural background and thus represents a clash of cultural norms and values. The text also offers other passages that show forms of the ‘Contact Zone’ on the level of tradition and economics. At one point of the story Theresa becomes aware of the difference between her voluntary work for the street children and the amount of money Indian social workers, like her acquaintance Jyoti, receive for this kind of work (cf. ibid.: 96) in comparison to herself. Another text passage highlights the symbolic character of traditional Indian clothing (cf. ibid.: 97) and the unknown symbolisms different pieces of clothing can possess. Theresa also recounts the issues that she had to face with the concept of punctuality, which does not seem to be as important for Indians as it is for Germans (cf. ibid.: 100). Although the analysis of the postcolonial key concepts of the short story “Outsider” is limited in length and depth due to the brevity of this paper, it has shown that a close reading and interpretation of even short narratives offers a diverse and detailed insight into postcolonial societies. 155 3 Analysis from the point of view of Teaching English as a Foreign Language The following chapter analyses to what extent the short story “Outsider” is suitable for being read and taught in the German EFL classroom. Therefore, chances and challenges of using the text in class are thoroughly examined. 3.1 Chances The following analysis of the chances is divided into three parts: First, advantages of teaching postcolonial literature in general are examined. Then the focus shifts to merits of teaching Indian literature. Finally, specific chances of teaching Pestonji’s short story “Outsider” are outlined. With regards to postcolonial writing, a definite chance of teaching these texts is their “contribution to taking transcultural developments into account and facing social realities that go beyond the notions of nation and national cultures” (Eisenmann 2015: 224). By providing the students with literary texts of cultures which are different from what they know and of authors who belong to ethnic minorities, they are familiarized “with other worlds [and confronted] with different cultural, social and moral standards” (Lindner 2008b: 69). As Wandel et al. (2007) underline, the intercultural turn in foreign language teaching asks for and demands literary texts that portray strange, ‘exotic’, unknown locations and characters, claiming that this exemplary encounter with ‘the other’, […] will help German students to raise their intercultural awareness. (209) Thereby, one can see that postcolonial literatures do not only offer chances in teaching but are also becoming more and more necessary in the classroom. According to Volkmann (2015), dealing with postcolonial literature in the classroom, furthermore, enables students to develop “feelings of empathy, tolerance, acceptance or solidarity with regard to suppressed, marginalized and discriminated-against groups or individuals” (244). In addition to that, the development of Fremdverstehen and intercultural competence is fostered through the changing of perspectives and the students’ ability to engage in (intercultural) discourse is strengthened (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 259). An addi- 156 tional affective learning goal can be reached in this context, namely the elimination of stereotypes and prejudices (cf. ibid.). According to Lindner (2010), the use of texts from Indian authors can be justified by the fact that “India is everywhere” (59). One cannot ignore India when teaching the English language, as it is the “country with the largest number of English speakers outside Great Britain and the United States” (ibid.: 60). Furthermore, India offers a huge variety of topics to be dealt with that allow incorporating aspects of intercultural learning into English teaching, which is one of the most important goals in the TEFL3 syllabus (cf. ibid.: 60). Having depicted a selection of chances of teaching postcolonial (Indian) literature in the EFL classroom, the focus will now shift to the particular advantages of using the short story “Outsider”. Meher Pestonji can be regarded as a minority author, as she belongs to the religious community of the Parsis. Referring to Volkmann (2008), such a text provides “a valid educational purpose by challenging ethnocentric modes of perception” (20). With a look at the restricted amount of texts used in the German EFL classroom, one can regard “Outsider” as the perfect replacement of those canonical texts (cf. Wandel 2013: 390). Furthermore, the short story is an example of authentic teaching material, because it was not written for the purpose of being taught in school. This has the innate potential of motivating students to learn a foreign language. One of the aspects that renders the short story “Outsider” especially appealing for the EFL classroom is its setting of Bombay, which is nowadays regarded as “a focal point of postcolonial, national, regional and global change” (Teske 2008: 188). Therefore, teaching “Outsider” which is set in today’s Mumbai also assures to deal with diverse current backgrounds. Coming along with this argument, the short story “Outsider” “provides substantial and provoking insights into present-day Bombay society” (Wandel 2013: 390) and is at the same time easier to decode in terms of narrative structure as for example Altaf Tyrewala’s novel No God in Sight which is likewise set in Mumbai. Teske (2008) precisely summarises the immense advantages of using texts set in Mumbai: Bombay has become a challenging and interesting topic for advanced learners […] [because of its] colourful colonial and industrial 3 In this paper, TEFL is used as a shortened form for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. 157 past as a global city avant la lettre. […] The city symbolises the country’s diversity of castes, religions, trades and classes. […] Mumbai is a symbol of the environmental problems of land reclamation and landfills, the pollution of air, tidal and back water, and the creation of slum areas and illegal dumps in swamps and coastal mangrove reserves. In spite of these problems, Bombay/Mumbai remains central to the Indian literary and music scene and the national information and entertainment industries. (184) Especially this short story enables different insights into the “diversity and complexity of Indian life” (ibid.: 189), in contrast to the predominating stereotypes and impressions as for example Bollywood or the Indian cuisine. “Outsider” sensitises students for the omnipresent social injustice in India as the gap between rich and poor is growing even wider (cf. Lindner 2010: 59). As children are demographically seen one of the largest population groups that has to suffer from poverty, such a complex and difficult topic like child poverty needs to be introduced in the classroom by giving the students access to different perspectives (cf. Nünning 1999: 8). In “Outsider” the situation of the street children is not only addressed by the Parsi characters or Theresa but also by the Indian social workers named Jyoti and Santosh, who represent an example of these children who live in poverty. Thus, this issue is approached through a great variety of differing aspects. The reader gains insight into the perceptions of higher social classes, the reactions of foreigners but also into the historical background, the current situation and the dangers of living on the streets of Mumbai from the point of view of an experienced social worker and a child who has lived through a number of hardships and traumatic experiences. Wandel (2013) reveals another advantage that can be perfectly adapted to Pestonji’s “Outsider”: “When approaching Indian life and cultures, it seems to be easier for us […] to identify with a European character encountering and coming to grips with the ‘Other’ that is India. It makes it less difficult to bridge the cultural gap” (392). As has been analysed previously, this short story offers different facets of the concept of ‘Othering’, which enables the reader to experience how different character groups view certain issues. In the short story “Outsider” the figure of Theresa functions as a mediator “between the reader and the unfamiliar habits and customs of India. The [protagonist is] challenged by a new and unknown environment and experience[s] it from an outside perspective that can be comprehended and 158 followed by a Western readership” (ibid.: 392-393). The problems that Theresa faces throughout her story, whether they concern cultural values such as punctuality or moral problems like the experiences of the different perspectives regarding child poverty are illustrated in an easily accessible way for German students. The creation of the feeling of empathy in the readers is thus facilitated. Furthermore, the concept of intercultural learning and teaching is characterised by the experience of a ‘third space’ which is also referred to as hybridity (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 268-267, Grimm et al. 2015: 183). It describes a place of clashing cultural norms, values and issues and aims to overcome dichotomous and binary ways of thinking (cf. ibid.). Not only will this third space be enabled through the students by discussing the various perspectives presented in the short story, but a lesson could also focus on the ‘third space’ that is illustrated within the narrative itself. The analysis of the postcolonial key concept of the ‘Contact Zone’ has already established the various points of divergence that are represented in “Outsider”. These could play a central role in an analysis of the opinions presented or the behaviour demonstrated within the story and how these issues might have been resolved in other ways. The various chances that can be harnessed by teaching this particular short story facilitate the aim of teaching intercultural competence as presented in Byram’s model of ICC4, namely the development of empathy towards different cultures, minorities etc., is reached (cf. Grimm et al. 2015: 166-167). This may be regarded as the most striking chance of selecting this short story in the context of a teaching unit on India in the German EFL classroom. 3.2 Challenges Apart from the manifold chances of reading and teaching Pestonji’s “Outsider” in the EFL classroom, the text also implies challenges, which are investigated hereafter. One may argue that instead of choosing a text like “Outsider” which is set in India, “issues set in multicultural Britain or the USA are, arguably, easier to comprehend for German school students. The setting and the social environment are more familiar to them and their background [...]” (Wandel 2013: 389). Nevertheless, in that case students would have to “be made aware of the fact that these are repre- 4 Intercultural communicative competence. 159 sentations of diasporic life, of multicultural Britain, rather than of the ‘real’ India” (ibid.). Here one can again outweigh the challenge mentioned with the chance of life in ‘real’ India being depicted in “Outsider”. One aspect that may be challenging for the students is the language used in “Outsider”. For German EFL students, decoding postcolonial Indian literature may cause an increased effort because of its “culturally and linguistically blended character” (Mukherjee 2006: 147). In addition to that Pestonji (2005) uses a lot of Hindi words describing Indian clothing or Hindu gods (“Mahalaxmi”: 86; “kaftan”: 86; “shalwaar-kameez”: 90; “dupatta”: 97, only to mention a few). For this reason, scaffolding would definitely be needed. This challenge can nevertheless be dispelled easily as the short story appears in many short story collections by well-known German publishing houses, which already suggest scaffolding annotations. While advantages of working with postcolonial texts in general have been examined in chapter 3.1, the challenges coming along with this genre have to be considered as well. Eisenmann (2015) states that “for German students postcolonial issues are rather complex and distant topics. A spontaneous approach to this cannot be expected” (226). Referring to India Lindner (2010), she claims that “the country is also a nation of contradictions” (59) which implies that the topics dealt with in postcolonial texts are comparably not easily accessible. An example for the high complexity of certain topics in Indian society can be found in the presentation of the Parsi community in “Outsider”. The text provides some insight into the historical heritage the Parsi community has had in the past but only little information on their role in society today. The characterisation of the Parsi community within “Outsider” is also mainly negative, as the protagonist struggles to comprehend their perception of poverty. Additional information could avoid a generalisation of the negative image that is conveyed in the short story and highlight the important contributions the Parsis have made in the context of industrialisation and modernisation (cf. Teske 2008: 194). Teske proposes tasks that “raise the question of migration and ethnic diversity within the city, and [introduce] the concept of (changing) urban elites and their use of urban space” (ibid.: 195) with the example of the Tata family. Alternative approaches to the Parsi community could thus avoid binary thinking of the students and fulfil the demand of including multiple perspectives in order to 160 foster the students’ ability to critically reflect upon concepts like subjectivity and unilateral or biased representation. As we can see, dealing with postcolonial Indian texts in class therefore requires a thorough preparation, providing the students with necessary background information as well as careful introductions into the varying themes in order to not overwhelm them with the complexity of the Indian country and its (postcolonial) context. In addition to that, India offers manifold topics to be addressed, as for example life in the slums and the huge discrepancy between the rich and the poor, the religious and cultural diversity of India or even the country’s development within the last decades, industry and globalisation going along with this. When designing a teaching unit, it has to be thoroughly considered which topics to address and which ones to leave out or only touch upon. This, of course, could be regarded as a chance as well, especially because the topical diversity offered makes interdisciplinary projects easy to realise. All things considered, teaching India is, despite all chances, always a time-consuming project for German EFL teachers. The second most challenging aspect alludes to the sensitive topics that are addressed within this short story while it lacks “‘lightness’ and humour” (Wandel 2013: 396) at the same time. Not only does the text focus on children living in extreme poverty, it also exemplifies the various dangers that are associated with this way of living: malnutrition (cf. Pestonji 2005: 88), drug abuse and sickness (cf. ibid.: 90), starvation (cf. ibid.: 94), isolation (cf. ibid.: 98) and even rape (cf. ibid.: 103) are included in Theresa’s experiences with the street children of Mumbai. The forms of urban violence, especially the ones including sexual abuse, are very present topics and “[polarise] divisions between the slums and the city” (Datta 2016: 323). Although it may be a current issue, the teacher should be aware of the fact that these topics may cause uneasiness and discomfort in the classroom or may even allude to personal traumatic experiences of individual students as the worst-case scenario. However, Jackett remarks that “the things that make us uncomfortable are the things that are the most important for us to teach about” (Jackett 2007: 102). Nevertheless, sensitive topics like the rape of Santosh require an equally sensitive way of approach if these topics are to be addressed in the classroom. A last challenge to be mentioned here is the complexity of the concept of ‘Othering’ in “Outsider”. The students experience the story through Theresa’s ‘Western’ eyes, which makes it easier for them to 161 access it, but still the constellation of the Parsis as the ‘Other’ who marginalize the ‘other’ (the poor), is complicated for the students to grasp. Here a thorough Vorentlastung has to be provided from the teacher’s side. After having presented the major challenges that a teaching unit of the short story “Outsider” would have to face, it becomes clear that a spontaneous approach to this narrative would prove to be rather difficult. In order to secure the students’ comprehension of the complex topics that involve different social classes and child poverty in India additional material should be presented and discussed in the classroom. Furthermore, the sensitive issues of the narrative constitute a major part of “Outsider” and should be addressed and interpreted. The introduction, presentation and the ways in which the students have to engage with these topics, however, have to be carefully constructed and sensitive towards possible individual inhibitions. 3.3 Is “Outsider” suitable for the EFL classroom? An Appraisal. After having thoroughly analysed the chances and challenges of teaching Meher Pestonji’s short story “Outsider” in the EFL classroom, one can clearly state that this short story is suitable for being taught during a teaching unit on India in the Sekundarstufe II. It has become obvious that teaching this short story offers a lot of chances addressing “a seemingly infinite number of contentious issues that must not be shirked by the teacher but […] ought to be functionalized productively within the framework of a critical and responsible pedagogic concept” (Antor 2000: 245). Although several challenges have been pointed out, solutions could be presented and therefore the next chapter is going to depict possible teaching activities which can be used when dealing with “Outsider” in the EFL classroom. 4 Teaching Activities As engaging with literature is a highly complex process, students can be supported by providing them with guiding tasks and materials. The following part of this term paper will present possible pre-, while- and post-reading activities, which will focus on the chances and challenges of interpreting “Outsider” in the EFL classroom. This tripartite structure derives from the constructivist principles of learning and acknowledges that every learner develops their knowledge based on their own individual background. Thus, these activities aim at fostering the students’ interaction with the text and facilitate the interde- 162 pendency of individual factors such as previous knowledge, expectations of the text and its interpretation (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 71). 4.1 Pre-Reading-Activity Motivating the students and enabling them to voice preceding expectations about certain topics (cf. ibid.: 72) are the characteristics that are most important for the following pre-reading activity for “Outsider”. As was mentioned beforehand, one of the major challenges of this particular short story can be found on the level of content because it addresses various sensitive issues like poverty and sexual abuse. In order to facilitate the introduction of these topics, the students will be given a set of multiple-choice questions that deal with statistical facts about poverty in the city of Mumbai before engaging with the situation and environment of street children in more detail. Afterwards, the lesson will continue with the documentary Slumdog Children of Mumbai which was published in 2010 and illustrates the life of four street children and their various daily struggles (cf. Real Stories 2016). While watching the documentary, the students will be asked to correct their answers of the multiple-choice questions on their worksheet. As the questions are presented in the same order in which the factual knowledge of these issues is presented within the video, the correction of the answers will be facilitated while the students gain insights into the visual and representative situation of homeless children in Mumbai. The next task expects the learners to reflect on the content shown in the documentary in contrast to the expectations they had before engaging with this topic. The lesson will then be concluded by sharing their first impressions of this topic with a partner and later with the class. This task aims at a verbalisation of the discrepancy between their first expectations and the factual reality of the situation in Mumbai. By sharing these thoughts, the students realise how culturally shaped certain expectations and stereotypes of other countries can be and how these opinions diverge from reality. Introducing the students to issues like drug abuse, sexual abuse and extreme poverty through the examples shown in this documentary alleviates the personal insights into these topics that the characters of “Outsider” experience and present. In addition to that, the learners get a more realistic view of the actual circumstances of street children in Mumbai and the ubiquity of poverty in India, which facilitates discussions about the different perspectives of the characters in “Outsider”. 163 4.2 While-Reading-Activity The while-reading activity aims at securing the students’ comprehension of the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 74) as well as fostering their ability to read through a literary narrative in an active manner (cf. ibid.: 75). For this form of active reading the students will be separated into three different groups as they will have to focus on finding text passages that contain information about the depiction of either Theresa, the street children or the Parsi community. This kind of activity uses the advantage of “Outsider” and its multitude of perspectives, representations and various forms of ‘Othering’ that were analysed in the beginning of this term paper. However, examining all three character groups at the same time would pose to be an overwhelming task. Hence, the students will only have to focus on one of the three dimensions in order to facilitate this activity. The final part of this task ensures that each learner gains the insight needed for further characterisations in possible post-reading activities. Thus, the groups will exchange their findings which expects each learner to be able to present his or her results and learn from the insights and perspectives their classmates have gained by focusing on the other groups. Textual, communicative and social competences will, hence, be fostered by the close reading and the following group work. 4.3 Post-Reading-Activity Facing the fact that the students have now dealt with the content of the short story “Outsider” in detail, the post-reading phase allows them to creatively express their reflections and thoughts. According to Grimm, Meyer and Volkmann (2015), “[t]he post-reading phase provides space for creative activities, which centre on the interests, knowledge, and competences of learners and motivate them to work individually or with others on palpable products” (188). As Eisenmann (2015) points out, the students should “first express their personal reactions to the topic, mood, tone, and language [...]” in the post-reading phase (230). This should be complemented with a follow-up and interpretation in which the students can refer back to their individual impressions and the findings they acquired during the reading process. In the post-reading phase, the students are asked to take Theresa’s position and write a letter to her best friend in England after having talked to Jyoti (Pestonji 2005: 98) about her relationship with Santosh. Since they have gathered information about children living in the slums of Mumbai already in the pre-reading phase and as they know 164 about Santosh after having read the story, this task is now supposed to make the students refer back to their feelings and impressions of the former phases. Thereby, a frame is established between pre- and postreading activity. Writing a letter is not a difficult task for the students in terms of text form or use of vocabulary, so the affective filter is kept low. This enables the students to focus on their reflections on the story and on the children’s situation in Mumbai. This will most probably lead many students to think about Theresa’s situation, feeling the strong desire to help but being told not to develop any special relations with the children. The aim of this task is to make the students understand that one can only change something if they try to change the system, which is an important lesson to be learned, not only in the context of child poverty in India. Pre-Reading-Activity While-Reading-Activity Post-Reading-Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Look at the multiple-choice questions below and read them carefully. Guess which one of the answers may be correct. Watch the documentary “Slumdog Children of Mumbai”. Compare and correct your answers if necessary. Use the space below to compare your first guesses with the insights gained from the documentary. Did anything surprise you? Explain why. Present your impressions and results to your partner. Highlight and point out the specific descriptions of your assigned character group. Note down the text passages below. Your group is: - Theresa - Street children - Parsi community Find two students who have worked on the other two character groups. Present your findings to each other and note them down. Imagine you are Theresa. You have just talked to Jyoti about your relationship with Santosh. As you have no one to talk to about your feelings, you write a letter to your best friend in England (~200 words). Tell her/ him: about the children’s situation in Mumbai, about Cawas and Zenia’s reaction to the street children, how the situation with Santosh has developed during your work in the shelter, how you feel about having been told not to help Santosh and 165 ask her for advice concerning how you could help him and the other children. Material/ Medium Arbeitsblatt mit Mutliple Choice-Questions Dokumentation Smartboard o.ä. Text “Outsider” Arbeitsblatt Sozialform 1.-3. Einzelarbeit 4. Partnerarbeit 1. Einzelarbeit 2. Gruppenarbeit. Einzelarbeit Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar The content of the short story addresses several sensitive issues such as poverty and sexual abuse, which are very far removed from the students’ everyday reality. Therefore, the pre-activity focuses on confronting the students’ expectations about poverty in India and introduces them to its ubiquity and severity on a factual level. It also provides an affectionate introduction into the topic as the documentary focuses on four authentic examples of child poverty in Mumbai. The last two tasks focus on reflecting the students’ expectations with the reality of poverty in India, thus facilitating the encounter of this topic when working with the short story. The short story contains three major character groups that differ in various aspects such as social/cultural background or their opinion about poverty. Focusing on text passages that describe these character groups will facilitate further discussions and analysis elements in the post-reading phase. The division into three groups results in a fostering of the communicative and social competence of each student, as everybody will have to present his/her result in small groups. As an alternative, the students could be asked to write a diary entry instead of a letter. This way the focus could shift to the characteristics of this text form. One should be careful with choosing peerfeedback on the texts in this case because it can be expected that some students express strong feelings in their letters. Nevertheless, the students’ writings shall at least offer the possibility of further discussions on the topics presented in the text as they have now all reflected on them in detail. 166 5 Conclusion This paper has made an attempt to answer the questions mentioned in the introduction, namely which postcolonial concepts are reflected in the short story “Outsider” by Meher Pestonji and if the story is suitable for the use in the EFL classroom. The search for and interpretation of the most prominent key concepts of this story, namely ‘Othering’, ‘Contact Zone’ and ‘Appropriation’, showed that it contains a range of different themes and topics that are essential for the postcolonial discourse and enable the reader to engage with these issues in a dense and short narrative. Each of these concepts presented a very detailed and multifaceted way of enabling various interpretations while expressing a realistic postcolonial experience. Thus, the reader is confronted with the reality of a modern Indian city and the divergence between the classes in terms of social status and situation, their way of life and their attitudes, for example concerning child poverty. The analysis of these key concepts also influenced the second part of this paper in which possible chances and challenges of “Outsider” were presented and discussed. One of the most remarkable qualities of this short story is the Identifikationspotential it offers for the German EFL classroom, as the clash of cultures within the narrative reflects on problems a western reader could also struggle to comprehend. The encounter with the ‘other’ on different levels of “Outsider” as well as the representation of the ‘third space’ definitely contribute to the suitability of this literary narrative in the classroom. However, the challenges of required background knowledge in order to prevent a unilateral characterisation of the Parsi community, a westernised examination of poverty in India and the difficulty of teaching some of the sensitive issues that are dealt with in this text have to be considered when planning a teaching unit. The pre-, while- and post-reading activities that were proposed in the last part of the analysis tried to overcome the challenges that were mentioned while utilising the advantages of this particular short story. However, a greater variety of different tasks would be needed in order to cover all of the aspects that were presented about “Outsider”. For instance, it should be noted that the pre-reading activity solely focuses on the aspect of poverty and the life of street children in Mumbai. Although the documentary introduces the students to the dangers of child poverty, it may not fulfil its purpose in facilitating the approach 167 to this sensitive topic. In addition to that, the activity does not include any further information about the Parsi community. Although it was mentioned that the genre of short stories entails the possibility of including a variety of texts and perspectives into a teaching unit, additional tasks that focus on dealing with the issues of “Outsider” in depth could lead to problems regarding the available time for this topic in the EFL classroom. However, as challenging as the task of teaching this particular short story may seem, it should be argued that reading “Outsider” with German students entails a broad range of merits if the teacher is able to convey its messages in a careful and meaningful way. When it comes to teaching material, it has been pointed out by several critics that “canonical novels and films are easily available, while other materials […] are neglected, because it is difficult to get hold of them [and that] no attempts seem to be undertaken to overcome this deficiency” (Wandel 2013: 396). For this reason, further research in the context of teaching postcolonial texts and especially teaching India could focus on the research and improvement of motivational material for teenagers and its application to the EFL classroom. Wandel also states that this project requires a “panel of crosscultural experts from both sides [as well as] sharing and understanding of [the] German youth” (397). The eager and ambitious teacher should nevertheless consider if this would not be worth the effort, keeping in mind the continuously demotivated students in the EFL classroom and the increasingly outdated material and texts used in many classes. 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Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature. Palgrave Key Concepts. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Young, R. (2003). Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction. Very Short Introductions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part C INDIA AS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY: DIASPORIC EXPERIENCES 171 'America, exile and loneliness' – Reading and Teaching First Generation Indian Diasporic Experiences in Lahiri’s short story “Mrs. Sen’s” Alexander Gaiselmann 1 Introduction In 2015, 2.4 million Indian immigrants lived in the United States. Consequently, they have ascended to the second-largest immigrant group after Mexicans (cf. Zong/Batalova 2017). Additionally, from 1980 to 2010, the population grew more than eleven-fold, roughly doubling every decade. This striking development has led to an increasing interest in Indian American diaspora; both first generation and second generation experiences have become highly relevant to postcolonial literary studies today (Joshi 2004: 83). In contrast to other kinds of diasporic movement, e.g. the Jewish diaspora, which is commonly forcible (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81), the Indian diasporic movement to the U.S., known as brain drain , is voluntary and mostly individual in nature (cf. Jayaram 2004: 21). Indian diaspora is often associated with the professionally successful Indian migrant who is well-integrated in the Western society (cf. Lindner 2010: 70) as a consequence of high academic skills; this image seems to be confirmed statistically. Indian diasporic literature, however, reveals the downside and the difficulties of global movement that particularly Indian women have to cope with. What kind of cultural envi- 1 Ashcroft 2013:45. 2 Emigration of professionals and semi-professionals to industrialized countries (cf. Jayaram 2004: 21) 172 ronment do these women find themselves in after accompanying their husbands to the United States of America? Generally speaking, diasporic literature refers to the struggle of being torn between residence and transit. As Alam (2013: 247) highlights, “diasporic Indians […] live as outsiders in their adopted lands, unable or unwilling to adapt in the country that they have moved to, but doggedly staying on there instead of returning to their homelands” followed by their everlasting search for the ‘true’ homeland. Referring to Sharma (cf. 2004: 48f.), there is evidence that diasporic Indians, particularly first-generation immigrants, strongly stick to their cultural identity, e.g. Indian food and clothing have a particular sentimental value for them. Consequently, the significance of cultural identity for first-generation Indians abroad needs further examination. What does the integration of first-generation Indian immigrants into the dominant American culture mean for their identities? This issue of struggling between integrating into the American society and retaining one’s own culture will be addressed by this academic work focusing on Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story “Mrs. Sen’s”. Jhumpa Lahiri frequently concerns herself with immigrant identity formation and is regarded as “cultural mediator of Indians in exile (…) probing the in-between spaces of both American and Indian culture” (Volkmann 2008: 18). As the daughter of Bengali Indian immigrants in USA, she does not only have the difficult role of a second generation immigrant, but also gives voice to the problems her parents have had to cope with, i.e. positioning themselves in between the homeland (India) and the diasporic surrounding (USA). Her collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies that she has won the Pulitzer Prize 2000 in Fiction for deals with the difficulties of living in the American ‘exile’ and finding one’s own place in the new American world from both a first and a second-generation’s perspective. Her short story “Mrs. Sen’s” is about an Indian woman who takes care of an American boy called Eliot. As a first-generation immigrant, she is permanently searching for her identity in her new home but is unable to get accustomed to the American values and norms. Consequently, she escapes into her traditional pattern of cooking and clothing to avoid the process of cultural assimilation. Regular intercultural confrontations give her the feeling of alienation, reinforce her strong feelings towards her hometown Calcutta and intensify her loneliness. Daily, she notices herself to be ‘other’ than American citizens, mostly represented by Eliot’s mum. 173 In the following part of the term paper, the postcolonial key concepts relevant to the question of finding one’s own identity in a new place are examined in Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story “Mrs. Sen’s”. Afterwards, the chances and challenges for the EFL classroom are highlighted as well as activities to foster textual understanding, intercultural learning and Fremdverstehen. As a last step, the conclusion summarizes the most important results and indicates their significance for the current discourse. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Mrs Sen’s” The short story “Mrs Sen’s” by Jhumpa Lahiri refers back to different postcolonial key concepts closely intertwined with the question of finding one’s own identity as a first-generation immigrant in a foreign country. 2.1 Diaspora’ At first, there is a strong focus on ‘Diaspora’ which is “the voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81). The Bengali family emigrated from Calcutta to the United States apparently due to professional interests. In contrast to the majority of Indian migrants to other countries, they voluntarily choose to live in America, clearly visible because there are no hints at fleeing from war, poverty or religious persecution, at least there is no hint at one of these reasons given throughout the short story. Closely related to the brain drain mentioned above, Mr. Sen works as a professor, which enables him to be well-integrated into the American society. Meanwhile, his wife sticks to the Indian traditional patterns in terms of clothing, cooking and her role as a subordinate wife. “’No more fish for a while. Cook the chicken in the freezer’” (Lahiri 1999: 124). Accordingly, Mrs. Sen cannot but also does not want to benefit from American values and lifestyle that are most often the reason for Indian migrants to move to America, e.g. freedom, selfdetermination and economic prosperity (ref.). However, the only aspect of American culture she is willing to accept is the English language. “They always spoke to each other in English when Eliot was present” (ibid.: 126). According to Ashcroft et al. (cf. 2002: 217f.), ‘Diaspora’ is more than a geographical dispersal but also deals with the issues of home, 174 exile, and identity that are strongly linked to the Indian diaspora abroad. 2.2 'Homeland’ and ‘exile’ Mrs. Sen’s strong emotional connection to her homeland, which can be regarded as a central notion of ‘Diaspora’, is foregrounded throughout the story. “’And that’s all …in India?’ ‘Yes,’ Mrs. Sen replied. The mention of the word seemed to release something in her.” (Lahiri 1999: 113). Her emotional attachment to her family in India and her sentimental connection to Indian food are recognizable to Eliot, which he describes as the “two things […][that] made Mrs. Sen happy” (ibid: 121). Generally speaking, her strong link to food, rituals, and clothing shows that her present situation is just seen as a “stage in transit, a provisional abode before returning to the true homeland” (Döring 2011: 30f.). This idea of collision of two ‘homes’, the one somebody is living in and the one somebody actually feels home, is highly exemplified by Mrs. Sen. “By then Eliot understood that when Mrs. Sen said home, she meant India, not the apartment where she sat chopping vegetables” (Lahiri 1999: 116). However, Cohen (cf. 2009: 9f.) states that ‘Home’ is a fuzzy term referring back to Brah who said that homeland is more associated with a homing desire than with a specific place. Mrs. Sen permanently seeks for going back to India because “everything is there” (Lahiri 1999: 113). The use of the word ‘everything’ in this context implies that what Mrs. Sen had to leave behind in India goes beyond the loss of material belongings and amenities. Her residence in America is turned into ‘Exile’ that “involves the idea of separation and distancing from either a literal homeland or from a cultural and ethnic origin” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 108). As Saha (cf. 2009: 187) summarizes, ‘Exile’ is interchangeable with selfalienation and arouses a feeling of loneliness and being an outsider. “It was never a special occasion, nor was she ever expecting company. It was merely dinner for herself and Mr. Sen” (Lahiri 1999: 117). The lack of reference persons in her new and foreign environment evokes a feeling of being foreign in the present home that She tries to escape from in her imagination. “Though she stood plainly before him, Eliot had the sensation that Mrs. Sen was no longer present in the room with the pear-colored carpet” (Lahiri 1999: 122). In Cohen’s words (cf. 2009: 6), most immigrants can and are never fully accepted in their host societies they feel excluded and alienated 175 from. As a consequence of that, from the first day onwards, the majority plan their return because there is a crucial relationship of the diasporic group to its homeland for which they feel a strong sense of belonging. Thus, throughout the short story, Mrs. Sen can be regarded as one of the “pathetic and seemingly lost souls” that Alam regards as characteristic for “first- generation Indian immigrants” (Alam 2013: 247) who develop a self-perception of being ‘other’ in a foreign land. 2.3 ‘Othering’ and ‘(Non-)Assimilation’ To define the identity of the subject, there is need of understanding the ‘other’ that is “anyone who is separate from one’s self” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 186f.). In the short story, Mrs. Sen’s identity is primarily characterized by the American boy Eliot she takes care of in the afternoons. His visual description of Mrs. Sen’s outer appearance underlines his comparative analysis of both cultures. Mrs. Sen “wore a shimmering white sari patterned with orange paisleys […] yet it was his mother […] in her cuffed, beige shorts and her rope-soled shoes” (ibid.: 112). Accordingly, Eliot “is used as a focalizer to juxtapose bland and uniform American culture with the exotic, slightly enigmatic but extremely exciting cultural experience of being exposed to the strange habits of an Asian ‘housewife’” (Volkmann 2008: 30). From a critical point of view, he is eager to find out more about Indian culture, which is different from American culture in various aspects like food, clothing and family structure. Eliot “enjoyed watching Mrs. Sen as she chopped things, seated on newspapers on the living room floor” (Lahiri 1999: 114). To spot the cultural differences between American and Indian culture, Eliot compares Mrs. Sen with his mother who might be seen as a representative of U.S. culture being a self-centered single mum focused on her career and her freedom. Taking these characteristics into account, she can be characterized as Mrs. Sen’s counterpart who loves cooking, raising children and sticks to a patriarchal system in which she has to restrain her own wishes and desires to satisfy her husband (cf. Lindner 2010: 65). The attribution of the ‘other’ appears to be controversial. From Eliot’s mum’s perspective, Mrs. Sen is seen as the ‘other’ who is not willing to assimilate to American values whereas her son Eliot states that his mother is the person “who looked odd” and is not open to Indian culture and food (Lahiri 1999: 112). Therefore, it can be suggested that Eliot seems to become accustomed to the Indian culture and increasingly doubts his own culture. 176 In the course of the story, critical incidents show the ‘othering’ “refer[ing] to the social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or marginalizes another group” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 188). In these situations, the contrast between the American and Indian culture is obviously exposed. These cultural encounters give Mrs. Sen the feeling of being other, discriminated and in most cases not welcomed. For instance, the bus driver is appalled by the smell of the fish that Mrs. Sen bought and asks Eliot to open a window (cf. Lahiri 1999: 133). This scene can be interpreted as expressing clear disapproval by the American society towards Mrs. Sen’s culture because the fish can be regarded as an important symbol of Mrs. Sen’s cultural roots (cf. ibid. 121, 123). By addressing Eliot and asking him to open the window for Mrs. Sen, the driver also denies her agency and doubts her language skills, which is an additional sign of ‘othering’ her (cf. ibid. 133). According to Döring (2011: 31f.), the experience of ‘otherness’, linked with conditions “where the sense of self is challenged”, is fundamental for personality development. Against these difficulties, she has to form her identity, which is, however, characterized by the lack of assimilation into the host country. The strong connection to her origin is typical of first-generation immigrants. There are several examples mentioned: She continuously prepares Indian food and wears saris. In the end, she refuses to learn how to drive although it carries a certain importance for western culture and is necessary to break out of the Indian patriarchal structures and traditional patterns. It does not only offer mobility, and in this way, also independence and freedom, which signify American values but is also needed to survive there. Taking these issues into account, her unsuccessful attempt to improve her driving skills followed by the accident might be interpreted as her failure of assimilation. Based on this, the example of Mrs. Sen differs from the presentation of diasporic identity “as a positive affirmation of their hybridity” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 83). Mrs. Sen, however, is not presented as a hybrid person but is portrayed as a fixed character that purely sticks to her origin culture and fails to adapt to the American culture. As Sharma (2004: 50) states, her case is not a single one because her persistence of non-assimilation is exemplary for first-generation immigrants. She prevents herself from being absorbed into American culture by rejecting his husband’s appeal to take driving lessons and stop buying fish that strongly connects her with her homeland and has significant value in Bengali culture. “She added that in Calcutta people ate fish 177 first thing in the morning, last thing before bed, as a snack after school if they were lucky” (Lahiri 1999: 123). To conclude, Mrs. Sen’s diasporic experience is marked by the notions of a strong longing for the homeland, which defines her identity as clearly oriented towards her Indian roots unable to embrace her new cultural surrounding (USA). After dealing with postcolonial key concepts that can be found in “Mrs. Sen’s”, it will be discussed further how Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story, on the one hand, might be useful to foster Fremdverstehen and facilitate intercultural learning, but on the other hand, poses a risk of confirming prejudices against American and Indian culture. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language This chapter looks at the short story analyzed above from a teaching perspective. Based on the works by Lindner (2010), Wandel (2013), Lütge (2012), Nünning/ Surkamp (2014), Volkmann (2008/2010), Ahrens (2012) and Bredella (2012), it discusses chances and challenges of dealing with “Mrs. Sen’s” in the EFL classroom. 3.1 Chances Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story “Mrs. Sen’s” has a great potential for dealing with the issue of finding one’s own identity in a new place. Identity formation is something relevant to all students, particularly to adolescents and upper secondary level students who face the challenge of growing up and defining one’s own role in society and develop their personality in this phase of life to a great extent. Apart from this, global migration is highly present and the feeling of being torn between two cultures is experienced by many students. The cultural life in their families frequently differs from the culture they experience in their diasporic environment where they need to adapt to western culture. Even if children do not face this everyday challenge themselves, they can observe this difficulty amongst their circle of friends and acquaintances. Therefore, this issue of ensuring a balance between family tradition and societal demands is highly relevant to all students. Generally speaking, by focusing on Mrs. Sen’s struggle to balance both worlds, learners get the chance to “participate in recent debates about identity formation in the age of globalization […] [taking] their own cultural images, clichés and stereotypes – even 178 prejudices- as non-members of both nations or cultures” (Volkmann 2008: 19). Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Mrs. Sen’s” explicitly describes the collision of Indian and American cultures by juxtaposing Mrs. Sen and Eliot’s mother’s behavior, appearance, and interests, contrasted by Eliot who embodies an open-minded view of different cultures. Through his eyes, the reader is able to observe a large number of cultural encounters presented in the course of the story that can function as “model situations of cross-cultural (mis-)understanding, which can serve as lessons to gain intercultural competence” (Volkmann 2008: 20). They do not only hint at difficulties that may occur while searching for one’s own identity in a new place but also encourage learners to think critically about the protagonist’s behavior. Consequently, it fosters their ability to empathize and give a professional opinion. Critical incidents and intercultural confrontations attract the learners’ attention to the cultural discrepancies in the individual perception, thinking, valuing and acting (cf. Volkmann 2010: 181) and familiarize them with the feeling of ‘otherness’. The reader can observe Mrs. Sen’s rejection by members of the American society, for example when the passengers in a bus complain about the smell of Mrs. Sen’s bag, in which she carries a fish she bought from the fish market. (cf. Lahiri 1999: 133). ‘Otherness’ is substantial for intercultural learning because “students of another culture are asked to acquaint themselves with the conditions of life in another country” (Ahrens 2012: 186). Mrs. Sen’s failure to adapt to American culture, e.g. when she causes the accident, leaves room for discussion about the necessary conditions of successful integration in a new country that could also be transferred into the German context. Students might think about what is expected from ‘foreigners’ to be integrated into German society and which difficulties these immigrants have to face with. Furthermore, the short story is characterized by multiperspectivity because it deals with the culturally different characters Mrs. Sen and the other American protagonists. As Nünning and Surkamp (cf. 2014: 40) highlight, multiperspective texts ask the learner to cope with competing views. Eliot’s contrastive analysis of the Indian and American culture facilitates Fremdverstehen referring to adopting, changing and coordinating perspectives, which is essential for intercultural learning. Therefore, the reader experiences Mrs. Sen’s ‘otherness’ through Eliot’s perspective, which he/she easily takes over. Eliot himself serves as a role model of an intercultural learner the students are encouraged to 179 become. As a consequence, working with the text fosters “the ability of personal involvement with other people, the ability to change one’s perspective, the ability to reflect emotions, the ability to patiently analyze emotions” (Lütge 2012: 195). By putting themselves in a specific character’s situation, they learn how to adapt to another person’s norms and values and they can critically evaluate what behavior they accept or disapprove (cf. Bredella 2012: 15ff.). Apart from the short story’s potential to foster Fremdverstehen, “Mrs. Sen’s” is appropriate to the level of proficiency expected in the Oberstufe. Talking about the lexical and syntactical elements of the story, it has to be mentioned that it follows a chronological order and requires vocabulary the learners have acquired to a great extent, which facilitates reading and presupposes only little scaffolding. Additionally, there are hardly any Indian words used which would need further explanation. As a typical feature of short stories, the open ending offers scope for interpretation about what will happen to Mrs. Sen. Consequently, creative post-reading tasks are favored as it can be seen in the Teaching Activities. 3.2 Challenges Even though the chances mentioned above encourage the use of “Mrs. Sen’s” in the EFL classroom, several challenges have to be taken into consideration. Firstly, the focus on such a global issue, i.e. Indian diaspora to America, requires enough background knowledge and contextual information (e.g. reasons for diasporic movement and its historical development) to reduce the danger of superficial consideration followed by undesirable leveling of cultural differences (cf. Volkmann 2010: 194) presented in the short story, e.g. subordination of women in Indian marriages and sentimental value of clothing and food. It has to be taken into consideration that the American culture is depicted in a highly stereotypical way, in terms of food, parenting and the necessity of cars. The negative and mainly one-sided presentation of a hostile and naïve American host culture enforced by Mrs. Sen’s frustrating experiences might result in prejudices against the “American society” forgetting the fact that it is diverse, multi- and transcultural. 3 The term “transcultural” considers the mutually transforming power of cultures which influence each other. Thus, it overcomes the different dichotomies, e.g. the native and the (im)migrant or the colonizer and the colonized, presented in postcolonial literary works (Dagnino 2013: 2f.). 180 Throughout the short story, both representatives overstate their culture, either in terms of independence and self-determination (Eliot’s mum) or oppression and dependence (Mrs. Sen) representing both extremes. The traditional patriarchal patterns practiced by Mr. and Mrs. Sen might lead to an overgeneralization of conservative norms and values in Indian culture, in which discrimination of women is still an issue (cf. Lindner 2010: 59) but not a pervasive phenomenon. The students might regard the gender role Mrs. Sen plays in the short story as universally applicable to all Indian women. Accordingly, reading “Mrs. Sen’s” may promote viewing the Indian culture as a fixed entity closely linked with certain characteristics although it should rather “be perceived as [a culture] in flux” (Volkmann 2008: 21). To prevent this from happening, the learners need to consider that Lahiri’s short story only displays a small section from the diversity of Indian culture. Furthermore, “Mrs. Sen’s” is too long to be fully discussed in class. Therefore, it needs to be shortened and reduced to the essential passages (see Teaching Material) that focus on critical incidents which make the learner get involved in the challenges of intercultural encounters followed by critical thinking about these situations. To conclude, Lahiri’s short story contributes to foster intercultural communicative competence as promoted by the curriculum. By contrasting American and Indian ways of life and changing perspective, students might enhance their Fremdverstehen and engage as intercultural learners Eliot might serve as a role model for. They do not only identify and interpret the cultural images presented to them but also learn how to analyze their effect critically. To avoid any further binary and colonial views, the teacher has to point out that the short story presents stereotypes and clichés of the respective cultures the students are supposed to have a critical look at. 4 Teaching Activities After having discussed the chances and challenges of “Mrs. Sen’s” in the EFL classroom, it will be explained what pre-, while- and postactivities are useful to foster the learner’s Fremdverstehen while working with the short story “Mrs. Sen’s”. To create a connection with the previous lesson on Indian culture and to facilitate the process of comparing both cultures, the prereading activity, which responds to visual learning, asks the students to match different pictures of food, clothing and cultural artefacts to the respective culture that should help the learners to become acquainted 181 with the differences between both cultures. With regard to these, the learners should come up with difficulties and cultural differences firstgeneration Indian immigrants in America might have to cope with. As a popular technique of increasing the students’ willingness to participate in class brainstorming both activates the learners and encourages them to become more innovative by generating new ideas (Khan 2013: 12880f.). Later, the students can compare their challenges imagined with the difficulties presented in “Mrs. Sen’s”. As already mentioned in the analysis from the point of view of TEFL, the short story “Mrs. Sen’s” is too long to be dealt with in a single or even a double lesson. Thus, it has to be shortened and divided into the most important paragraphs dealing with certain critical incidents the students can discuss about. The class is divided into five groups of which each works on a specific extract (see Teaching Material). To facilitate the understanding of their passage, learners are supposed to summarize the cultural incident and explain how Mrs. Sen’s culture can be regarded as ‘other’ compared to the American one in the given situation. In the sense of cooperative learning (Think-Pair- Share), the activity is structured as follows: At first, the learners should work individually on their extract summarizing the cultural incident. After that, they exchange their textual understanding with a partner and solve open questions. Finally, they present the situation of their intercultural conflict in class. These results must be captured on the board because the students need to draw on them in order to perform well in the post-reading activity. The while-reading activity allows for Binnendifferenzierung because the paragraphs vary in length and their degree of difficulty. Scaffolding in terms of unknown vocabulary is provided on the task sheet. As post-reading activities, the students might choose between two creative tasks in which they are asked to engage with the role of Mrs. Sen in different ways. As the first option, the learners are asked to write a diary entry by Mrs. Sen, in which she explains her difficulties in adapting to her new life in America. As a basis for this, they can refer to the critical incidents they have examined in the while-reading phase. The students are asked to identify with Mrs. Sen and change to her perspective on an emotional level. By doing so, they do not only go beyond the text but also experience the feeling of ‘otherness’ as a consequence of migration and can think of how to deal with it. A creative alternative could be to re-write the ending of the story in which Mrs. Sen finally 182 succeeds to assimilate to the American culture, which is less text-based but more imaginative. This task is linked to the process of cultural adaptation to overcome the feeling of ‘otherness’. The learners are concerned with the problem of being torn between two cultures, a feeling most immigrants have to face, which they try to solve. In this situation they have to bring balance to their culture of origin and their ‘new culture’, a situation numerous learners have already experienced themselves. Both creative tasks draw attention to the problem-based approach in which they scrutinize the social reality of global migration that will surely affect the learners because a certain number of them will be asked to work and live abroad in the future. To enable the students to perform well in these tasks, scaffolding is needed in the form of set phrases and information about how to write a diary entry or an alternate ending of a story. After having finished the post-reading activity, the students might read the ‘real ending’ of the story to get an example of unsuccessful cultural assimilation illustrated by Mrs. Sen’s car accident. As a homework, students may be asked to compare Mrs. Sen’s experiences as a first generation Indian woman in America to those migrants in Germany might gain pointing out challenges and difficulties they have to cope with, e.g. lack of language skills, unemployment, legal complications, and despair. Consequently, the students understand the importance of the issue of moving to a new place and notice the relevance of the short story to their everyday life. Finding answers to the ever-present issue of feeling isolated in a foreign land, they come up with necessities of successful integration. In reference to Nünning and Surkamp (2014: 138), this transfer might lead to cross-cultural sensitization and serve as a preparation for learners to face challenges set by their living environment, today and in future. Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading- Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Describe the pictures of food, clothes, cultural arti-facts and match them with their respective culture (American and/or 1. Summarize the cultural incident presented in your extract. 2. Explain how Mrs. Sen’s cul- 1. Write a diary entry by Mrs. Sen in which she explains her difficulties in adapting to her new life in 183 Indian). ture can be regarded as “other” to the American one. 3. Present your results to your partners who have worked on other extracts. America. OR 2. Re-write the ending of the story in which Mrs. Sen finally succeeds to ‘assimilate’ to the American culture. Material/Medium different pictures of food, clothing, and artifacts respectively for the American and/or Indian culture different extracts of “Mrs. Sen’s” (see Teaching Material) “Mrs. Sen’s” Sozialform Single Work Think-Pair-Share Single Work Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar Students become acquainted with the differences between both cultures and come up with cultural differences Indian immigrants to America have to cope with Binnendifferenzierung is possible because the paragraphs vary in length and their degree of difficulty - Scaffolding in terms of unknown vocabulary is provided on the task sheet. students are asked to identify with Mrs. Sen and change to her perspective on an emotional level -scaffolding is needed (= set phrases and information about how to write a diary entry or an alternate ending of a story 5 Conclusion Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story “Mrs. Sen’s” exemplifies the negative diasporic experience of a first-generation Indian immigrant in the U.S. whose feeling of alienation leads to non-assimilation. Whereas other short stories written by Jhumpa Lahiri describe the intercultural meeting as a culturally enriching experience, the short story “Mrs. Sen’s” 184 presents the juxtaposition of Indian and American culture as tense characterized by the sense of loss and cultural displacement (cf. Volkmann 2008: 23). Through the eyes of the 11-year old American protagonist Eliot, learners experience both worlds and the difficulties that immigrants have to deal with in terms of identity, space, and home that are closely linked to living in transit. Consequently, the short story addresses the idea of ‘Exile’, which has become increasingly relevant in postcolonial literature due to the growing number of diasporic peoples worldwide (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 109). Mrs. Sen’s persistence of maintaining her own culture problematizes the idea of ‘Hybridity’ as a natural consequence of diasporic movement and contradicts the equation of diasporic identity and a positive affirmation of hybridity (cf. ibid: 83). Instead, the short story emphasizes the postcolonial concept of ‘Othering’ that refers to the social and psychological process of marginalization m of the minority group by the dominant culture. Everyday situations, e.g. sitting on the bus or buying a fish, confront Mrs. Sen with the feeling of alienation and dislocation. In relation to the analysis from the point of view of TEFL, Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story fosters intercultural competence and Fremdverstehen to a great extent. In critical incidents the learners are not only engaged with the encounter of Indian and American culture but also emotionally involved in the negative immigrant experiences of Mrs. Sen. The short story, however, presents clichés the learners have to examine with a critical eye. As a consequence of taking over her perspective, they learn to empathize and think critically about the process of immigration and experience the difficulties that might arise from living in a foreign country which are ever-present in their everyday life. Apart from the cultural aspect, the short story addresses the global issue of identity, i.e. maintaining and developing one’s personality, which is highly relevant to adolescents. To conclude, Lahiri’s literary work has a great potential in reading and teaching first-generation Indian diasporic experiences clarifying that “the landscape of Indian diaspora has become extremely fluid and provisional and the idea of return and home complex, and so failures, as well as successes, can be expected (cf. Alam 2013: 257). 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Indian Immigrants in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/indianimmigrants-united-states (last accessed: 08.03.2018). 187 Students Dining with Mr. Pirzada and Jhumpa Lahiri in the EFL Classroom Laura Commer & Kira Gray 1 Introduction The short story collection Interpreter of Maladies by the American-Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri was first published in 1999. Lahiri is known for her writing about the diversity of diasporic experiences and her focus on protagonists who are displaced from their homelands and therefore feel torn between several cultures. Lahiri herself was born in London in 1967 and has Bengali parents. She grew up in the USA where she graduated from Barnard College and Boston University with a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. Interpreter of Maladies was her debut which has already won several awards. The most prestigious award was the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she received in 2000. Due to her success, the short story collection has been translated into 29 languages (cf. Volkmann 2008: 18-19). The short story “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine”1 is part of Lahiri’s short story collection and consists of 20 pages. The story is set at the time of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. It takes place close to a university in the north of Boston. It is narrated from the perspective of Lilia, who is the ten-year-old daughter of immigrant Indian parents and is herself born in the USA (cf. Lahiri 2000: pp. 23-24). As a result of biographical similarities, the author can offer valuable and authentic insights: “Lahiri’s stories […] provide valid lessons not only in intercultural competence in the field of the two target cultures India and the USA. Rather, they will also […] further transcultural learning” (cf. Volkmann 2008: 19). Apart from the topicality of issues of migra- 1 This short story will be abbreviated to: “WMP”. 188 tion in Europe and thus also in the students’ experiences, this potential for transcultural learning is what makes Lahiri’s short stories suitable for the foreign language classroom. This paper wants to answer the question to what extent postcolonial experiences in the sense of the postcolonial key concepts are reflected in the short story “WMP” by Lahiri and in which ways it is suitable for the EFL2 classroom. Therefore, the postcolonial key concepts will be explained and their appearance in the story analysed. Afterwards, the story itself will be examined according to its chances and challenges for foreign language teaching. Lastly, a possible teaching unit on the short story will be presented for a Leistungskurs in the German Oberstufe before coming to a conclusion. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine” With regards to the short story, several postcolonial key concepts can be distinguished, including the concepts of ‘Displacement’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’ and ‘Othering’. In this chapter these four concepts will be defined and their occurrences in the short story analysed. 2.1 Displacement ‘Displacement’ refers to “large populations of indigenous peoples [being] disrupted and displaced by war, natural disasters and hazards […]” (Ashcroft et al.: 2013: 87). In Lahiri’s stories, the reader encounters positive and negative elements regarding ‘Displacement’: “[On] the one hand, a sense of loss – the loss of one’s community, of the emotional connection with one’s roots and of the authenticity connected with Indian culture” (Volkmann 2008: 23). In the short story at hand, this sense of loss becomes visible when Lilia describes everything her parents miss about their home country: “The supermarket did not carry mustard oil, doctors did not make house calls, neighbours never dropped by without an invitation [...]” (Lahiri 2000: 24). Lilia’s parents long for these aspects of their home to such a degree that “[in] search of compatriots, they […] trail their fingers, at the start of each new semester, through the columns of the university directory, circling surnames familiar to their part of the world” (ibid.).3 On the other hand, the story presents to the reader the experience of a “sense of gain which comes with finding a myriad of options for self-fulfilment, peace and normalcy as contrasted with the atroci- 2 Abbreviation TEFL (EFL): Teaching (English as a Foreign Language). 3 This is how Mr. Pirzada comes into their lives (cf. ibid.). 189 ties committed on the war-torn Asian subcontinent” (Volkmann 2008: 23). The suffering of the people in Dacca is illustrated multiple times throughout the story: “Dacca had been invaded, torched, and shelled by the Pakistani army. Teachers were dragged onto streets and shot, women dragged into barracks and raped. By the end of the summer, three hundred thousand people were said to have died” (Lahiri 2000: 23). In comparison to the horrors endured by the people in Dacca, and also by Lilia’s parents, her mother is relieved and grateful for the freedom and safety presented to her daughter in America: “[Lilia] was assured a safe life, an easy life, a fine education, every opportunity. [She] would never have to eat rationed food […] or hide neighbours in water tanks to prevent them from being shot (ibid: 26-27). It appears that Lilia’s father wants her to appreciate what she has, and he wants her to be aware of what is happening in the war – today known as Bangladesh liberation – and the events which led to it. This becomes evident when one night, while they are watching the news on television, he asks Lilia to pay attention to the scenes painted there (cf. ibid.: 27). Thereby, a connection between her American home and the original home of her parents is constructed. It becomes obvious how important it is to Lilia’s father that she understands the present war because there are many similarities to the situation her parents had been in a few years before. This leads to the next postcolonial key concept that can be found in Lahiri’s story: ‘Diaspora’. 2.2 Diaspora The most complex key concept to be analysed in this paper is ‘Diaspora’, since “[…] it is quite ambiguous in meaning” (Hall 199: 27). In general, ‘Diaspora’ is defined as a “voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81), whereas the original meaning of the term comes from the Greek word diaspeirein which means dispersion or to sow widely (cf. Adur & Narayan: 2017: 246; Cohen 1996: 507). The predominant features of the Greek ‘Diaspora’ were expansion “through plunder, military conquest, colonization and migration” (Cohen 1996: 507-508) and had therefore a ‘positive’ association. The meaning of the term ‘Diaspora’ has changed throughout the years and scholars have not agreed on a single suitable definition of ‘Diaspora’ yet, which is why many different definitions of the term are set up. The positive meaning of the term changed towards a negative one (cf. Langwald 2015: 41), since “[h]istorically, the term ‘diaspora’ 190 referred mainly to the dispersion of Jews from their original homeland” (Safran 2009: viii). Hence, the Jewish ‘Diaspora’ is seen as a prototype and is referred to as ‘the Diaspora’ (cf. Cohen 2008: 1; Safran 1991: 84). During the four periods of modifying the meaning of ‘Diaspora’ which are defined by Langwald (2015), many other ‘Diasporas’ have been added to the term like the Armenian, Chinese and Caribbean ‘Diasporas’ (37-38). Due to this change of meaning towards a broader definition, many scholars criticise that the term loses its academic preciseness (cf. Safran 1991: 83). In order to identify ‘Diasporas’, Safran generated a list of criteria of ‘Diasporas’ which was later on modified by Cohen (cf. Safran 1991: 83-84; Cohen 2008: 6-7). He states that people of a ‘Diaspora’ have been forced to leave their homeland, keep a collective memory of it in mind, think that they will never be fully accepted by the society to which they had to flee and that they see their land of origin as their only place of home to which they will return as soon as possible. This is also called ‘the myth of return’. Furthermore, they think that they should support the retention and recovery of their homeland and continue to relate to it in various ways (cf. Safran 1991: 83-84). Both Cohen and Safran agree that “no single contemporary diaspora will fulfil all the definitional desiderata” (Cohen 1996: 515) and therefore ‘Diasporas’ have to fulfil only a number of these criteria to be characterised as one. Moreover, Cohen sets up different forms of ‘Diasporas’ according to the circumstances of people’s emigration. Thus, people can be part of a victim-diaspora, a labour-diaspora, an imperial-diaspora, a trade-diaspora or a deterritorialised-diaspora (cf. Cohen 2008: 18). Cohen (2008) defines the victim-diaspora as a “class of events characterized by their brutality, scale and intensity so as unambiguously to compel emigration or flight” (2). Next to the victim-diaspora of the Jews (cf. ibid.: 1) the most concise other victim-diaspora was that of slavery, capturing people from Africa and bringing them to America to work on plantations under degrading conditions (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 82). As the contingent of people from Africa decreased, it was preliminarily filled with contract workers from the Asian subcontinent like India. Today, the size of the Indian ‘Diaspora’ is still substantial, not least in the USA (cf. United Nations 2017: 13). Lilia’s parents have left their original home Calcutta in India due to war, their living abroad can therefore be characterised as a victimdiaspora. They had to eat rationed food, obey curfews, watch riots from their rooftop and hide their neighbours in water tanks to prevent 191 them from being shot (cf. Lahiri 2000: 26-27). Since their lives were threatened in India, they had to leave their country of birth behind and begin a new life in the USA as a part of the American-Indian- Diaspora. As a result of their forced flight from India, the myth of return to their homeland is still present in their minds. Lilia pictures this by recognising the things her parents complain about because these things are different from India (cf. ibid.: 24). In addition, a world map is taped over the desk of Lilia’s father on which lines show her parents’ journeys and Calcutta is marked with a silver star (cf. ibid.: 25- 26). Another facet of ‘Diasporas’ is again connected to the homeland: The “collective commitment to its maintenance, restoration, safety and prosperity” (Cohen 1996: 515). Even though “Mr. Pirzada is no longer considered Indian”, he and Lilia’s parents once came from the same nation, India (Lahiri 200: 25). Their common concern for this country becomes evident when Pakistan and India go to war and Lilia depicts her memories: “Most of all I remember the three of them operating during that time as if they were a single person, sharing a single meal, a single body, a single silence, and a single fear” (ibid.: 41). They all are in despair as to the safety of their homeland. This becomes further tangible when paying attention to their constant focus on the news (cf. ibid.: 30). The relationship towards the homeland and especially ‘Diaspora’ “is essentially a particular state of mind which is based on shared feelings of belonging and unbelonging” (Langwald 2015: 65). This can be seen in the feelings of Lilia’s parents who still feel connected to their homeland although they are no longer Indian residents. Lahiri thus refers to various characteristics of ‘Diasporas’ in “WMP”. The story fulfils three of Safran’s criteria for ‘Diasporas’: Firstly, Lilia’s parents have been dispersed from their homeland, secondly, they keep a memory of their homeland in mind and thirdly, they continue to relate to and care for this homeland. Safran’s third criterion of ‘Diasporas’, the alienation and ostracism of immigrants, leads to the next postcolonial key concepts: ‘Hybridity’ and ‘Othering’. 2.3 Hybridity ‘Hybridity’ depicts “the diversity of diasporic experiences” (Volkmann 2008: 18). It is used in a broad definition for denoting the joining of different cultural influences and “the creation of new transcultural forms” as well as for pointing at its leading to a mixture of two or 192 more cultural identities, the so called “third space” (Ashcroftet al. 2013: 135-136). As already indicated, Lilia was born in America whereas her parents are from Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal in India (cf. Lahiri 2000: 26). Therefore, Lilia is born into two cultures: Although born and raised in America, she inherits the Indian culture from her parents. Concluding from her everyday life she identifies more with the American culture than with the Indian one because she is exposed to it considerably more. She learns American history and geography in school and has got an American lifestyle and American friends (cf. ibid.: 27; 33). This contrast between the first and second generation of diasporic people can lead to conflicts because the second generation sees not their parents’ homeland, but the host society as their home (cf. Langwald 2015: 51). In “WMP” there is no real conflict between Lilia and her parents. Her mother even defends her when her father presses her to get informed about the Bangladesh Liberation War (cf. Lahiri 2000: 26). Hence, there is only a little conflict between Lilia and her father about her lack of knowledge concerning her parents’ heritage and history. Due to her increasing knowledge and interest in the current war and her parents’ origin, Lilia starts to feel in-between the American and Indian culture. Instead of following her teacher’s instructions she looks for a book about Pakistan and reads it until her teacher finds her and tells her to do the given task (cf. ibid.: 33). This is not a typical behaviour for Lilia as she is usually a very patient and ambitious student. “[I]n-betweenness is an ambivalent experience: it can be positive as well as negative, a painful state as well as a source of creativity” (Langwald 2015: 57) and “can also lead to liberation and, for instance, transgress cultural borders” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 29). In Lilia’s case ‘Hybridity’ can be seen as something positive since she is free in her choices and way of thinking and not pressed towards the Indian culture by her parents. ‘Hybridity’ is responsible for Lilia’s growing interest to know where her parents came from and to learn about events outside the United States. Nevertheless, she is constantly reminded of her two heritages in a negative way, whether by realising that “[no] one at school talked about the war followed so faithfully in [her] living room”, or by her parents and Mr. Pirzada discussing the “peculiar eating habits of [her] mother’s American coworkers at the bank”, establishing them as different to those of Indian origin (Lahiri 2000: 32; ibid.: 34). Conceiving something or someone as different introduces 193 the last postcolonial key concept to be dealt with in this analysis: ‘Othering’. 2.4 Othering Gayatri Spivak coined the term ‘Othering’ within the frame of imperial discourse, however, in this paper, a broader interpretation of this concept is used in line with Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin’s definition, in which the term ‘Othering’ applies “to the social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or marginalizes another group” (2013: 188). Therefore, ‘Othering’ refers not solely to the coloniser and the colonised, but instead to any form of diminishing or excluding another group. In “WMP”, ‘Othering’ is presented through a multitude of experiences. One variety is based on race. In a conversation with her father, Lilia is told that “Mr. Pirzada is no longer considered Indian” (Lahiri 2000: 25). He is different: different from her parents and different from her. Lilia is incapable of understanding this distinction and struggles to comprehend it: “Now that I had learned that Mr. Pirzada was not an Indian, I began to study him with extra care, to try to figure out what made him different.” (Lahiri 2000: 30). Another instant of ‘Othering’ – in this case based on religion – occurs when their conversation shifts to 1947 – the date of India’s independence from Britain in addition to India’s forceful partition. Lilia’s father recounts ‘[...] One moment we were free and then we were sliced up,’ […] drawing an X with his finger on the countertop, ‘like a pie. Hindus here, Muslims there. Dacca no longer belongs to us.’ He told me that during Partition Hindus and Muslims had set fire to each other’s homes. For many, the idea of eating in the other’s company was still unthinkable (Lahiri 2000: 25). It appears that the creation of a physical border between the two religions – inventing for each one their own country – the religious difference between them was highlighted so profoundly that an impassable wall – a mental border – was constructed; forcing them to define themselves as different from one another based on one thing rather than seeing their similarities. Lilia’s childlike perspective allows her to see exactly that; their resemblance: “It made no sense to me, Mr. Pirzada and my parents spoke the same language, laughed at the same jokes, looked more or less the same. [...]” (ibid.). Branding Mr. Pirzada as different appears to be strange for Lilia, she has to force herself to look for the “other- 194 ness” in him. This shows that ‘Othering’ is a subjective concept which is mainly created by society. In this particular regard, this difficulty of categorizing Mr. Pirzada is likewise representative for the political background of the story, which means the ambitions of Eastern Pakistan to become independent from Western Pakistan. Therefore, it is not surprising that making such distinctions seems to be an effortless exercise for some people around Lilia. On Halloween she and her friend Dora go trick-or-treating. Lilia remarks: “[Several] people told me that they had never seen an Indian witch before” (Lahiri 2000: 39). Lilia experiences a form of ‘Othering’ resulting from her race, her skin colour. The people who commented on her being different probably meant nothing overtly negative by it. Nevertheless, they distinguished themselves and their (Caucasian) children from her, marking and making her the ‘other’. As the Jamaican-born Stuart Hall once said: The West has “the power to make us see and experience ourselves as ‘Other’” (1990: 225). 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language This chapter focuses on the analysis of the short story from the point of view of TEFL: The chances and challenges of using this short story in the EFL classroom are investigated. 3.1 Chances TEFL has gone through a paradigm shift in the 21st century (cf. Grimm et al. 2015: 32). One of the central aspects of this transformation is that teaching has changed from being a teacher- to a learnercentred approach (cf. ibid.). In consequence of this shift, it is essential to select literature that has relevance for the students’ lives (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 51). Relating to Lilia’s perspective is easily achievable for German students attending a Gymnasium because they share a common background “in terms of economic […] and social position”: they come from a first world country and they benefit from comprehensive education (Volkmann 2008: 21). Furthermore, the ‘shared’ perspective of the story is an advantage. The reader sees the events happening through the eyes of the ten-year old Lilia, who has no idea of the imminent war in her parents’ homeland. Like her, most of the German students reading the short story would not be aware of for example the Bangladesh Liberation War or its possible ramifications. Therefore, Lilia’s perspective is similar to 195 the class’s viewpoint; together they are in the process of discovering what is transpiring: Throughout the course of the story, Lilia becomes more interested in the approaching war and after watching refugees fleeing on TV, she begins to empathise with Mr. Pirzada, who has left his family behind in Dacca and is uncertain about their wellbeing: “My stomach tightened as I worried whether his wife and seven daughters were now members of the drifting, clamoring crowd that had flashed at intervals on the screen” (Lahiri 2000: 32). Lilia imagines how Mr. Pirzada would feel in different situations, based on his current circumstance of being separated and out of contact with his family (cf. ibid.: 31). Exposure to Lilia’s thoughts and the process of their development can help students to foster empathy along with her. In the framework of Competence-Based Teaching, cultivating empathy belongs to one of the core teaching/learning objectives, which can be identified based on Bryam’s model of ICC4 (cf. Grimmet al. 2015: 166-167). Moreover, developing awareness and sensitivity for another person’s feelings and thoughts – especially from a different culture – currently has a particular relevance for the students; because of the European migration crisis that started in 2015 (cf. Hanewinkel 2015; cf. Panagiotopoulou & Rosen 2017). Due to that, refugee children are sent to German regular classes without speaking German. Thus, it is important that German students understand how difficult it is to leave one’s homeland and culture behind and not being able to communicate with others due to the language barrier. Additionally, with refugees and German students brought together, the concept of ‘Diaspora’, which is one of the main postcolonial key concepts encountered in the story (see chapter 2.1), is of high relevance. It is essential to remember that a refugee is someone who has been forced to leave his/her home country because being there no longer guaranteed them their human rights and the hope of a humane way of living (cf. Was sind Flüchtlinge? 2016). Many new students from vulnerable countries had to suffer terrible events while fleeing to Germany. Some academics assert that a certain amount of time has to pass before a ‘Diaspora’ can be recognised as such; people might want to eventually return or instead assimilate completely with their host country – soon regarding as their new home (cf. Cohen 2008: 18). Notwithstanding, it might be argued that refugees can be perceived as being diasporic immediately, considering that if asked, most of them would prefer returning to their homeland, but they have no choice and 4 Intercultural communicative competence. 196 must adapt to their new environment (cf. Was sind Flüchtlinge? 2016). Their “strong attachment to the past or [this] block to assimilation in the present and [perhaps] future” enables a ‘Diaspora’ to evolve (Cohen 1996: 517). Nevertheless, even if – in the future – it transpired that they were not considered diasporic, familiarising students with ‘Diaspora’ equips them with the capability to understand what their fellow citizens or classmates are or have been going through. Based on the analysis in chapter 2.1, it is reasonable to say that “WMP” provides a strong vantage point to facilitate an understanding of this concept. Furthermore, in this context of valuing or at least tolerating other people’s feelings and thoughts, examining this short story has the potential to encourage students to perceive and evaluate the experiences of a sense of gain and a sense of loss with regards to ‘Displacement’ (see chapter 2.2). Considering ‘Hybridity’, it is convenient that reading literature leads to the so-called hybrid third space (Grimm et al. 2015: 183); by giving German students the opportunity to reach this ‘contact zone’ between their own culture and the one presented in the literature, the classroom becomes a third space (ibid.). Therefore, this short story – besides helping students to grasp the concept of ‘Hybridity’ per se – can assist them to reflect on the hybrid third space they themselves experience while reading Anglophone literature. In this way they become enabled to “participate in recent debates about identity formation in the age of globalization” (Volkmann 200: 19). Moreover, the students are exposed to the key concept of ‘Othering’ (see chapter 2.4) and by reading literature they “are motivated to take over perspectives from others and look at their own culture with detachment, to appreciate difference through literature rather than blindly following the dominant sociocultural order of othering [...]” (ibid.). Therefore, they are simultaneously learning about ‘Othering’ as they are inspired to welcome diversity in others rather than marginalising them. A further advantage is the accessibility of the language, especially because it is exclusively in English. The chance to read literature written by an author of a minority – Lahiri, being a woman, and neither ‘completely’ American nor Indian – and an author who herself has a grasp of the discussed experiences of ‘Displacement’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’ and ‘Othering’, because she and / or her parents have likely had similar encounters, presents a genuine insight into these topics to the students. It also encourages them to “redress the lopsided scope of traditional representations in textbooks (in which white, middle- 197 class, intact families used to be presented as the normative model)” and challenges them to change their perspectives (Eisenmann et al. 2010: vii; cf. Volkmann 200: 18-20). 3.2 Challenges When working with the short story in the EFL classroom, several challenges must be dealt with. Usually the length would be an advantage because it is easier to motivate students to read a short story than an entire book. However, “WMP” is a comparatively long ‘short’ story. Therefore, students are probably going to expect a shorter text and might become frustrated or even lose their motivation. To prevent this, one could shorten the story, read only parts of it or be sensitive to the students’ expectations by asking about them before reading. The next challenge that arises is the historical background the story is set in. The students have to understand why and how Pakistan and Bangladesh went to war and why India’s independence caused the ‘Displacement’ of Lilia’s parents. Therefore, those events have to be covered in class before dealing with the story itself. To visualise the students’ results, a timeline could be hung up in class on which the students have to take note of new data they get to know during the teaching unit. Moreover, students of the so called ‘Informationsgesellschaft’ may have problems relating to the story (Busch 2017: 54). The expansion of instant communication across the globe has increased rapidly over the last few decades (cf. ibid.). In such an environment, it is hard for students to imagine not being able to contact their family and friends, wherever they are. The story takes place in the 1970s when mobile phones were still practically unknown. Internet communication was inaccessible to private households and during the war “the postal system, along with most everything else in Dacca, had collapsed” (Lahiri 2000: 24). Consequently, Mr. Pirzada cannot communicate with his family and constantly worries about them. Seeing this, Lilia develops empathy for him, which provides a chance to further the students’ awareness and sensitivity to the thoughts, experiences and feelings of another person. However, if they are incapable of relating to the communication problem in the first place, it will be difficult for them to appreciate Lilia’s empathy. This problem can be partially overcome by helping the students become conscious of these technological developments. 198 Based on the analysis of “WMP” from the TEFL perspective, the suitability for the EFL classroom becomes obvious. As outlined, there are many advantages of using the short story in the EFL classroom, including its capability to further ICC. Although some challenges were identified, possible ways to overcome these were delineated – which will be considered in the designing of potential tasks in the next chapter. Therefore, this short story is a valid addition to a teaching unit on India. 4 Teaching Activities This chapter focuses on possible teaching activities which could be done in class when reading the short story. The short story will be part of the teaching unit “India- from postcolonial experience to rising nation” that is part of the Abiturvorgaben 2019 for a Leistungskurs in NRW (cf. Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen 2016: 5). Thus, the colonization of India by the British Empire, the Liberation war and India’s independence as well as economic factors of the Indian industry have already been covered in class before reading the story itself. The constructivist approach PWP5 is used for dealing with the short story which is divided into three phases: before reading the text -pre-, while reading the text -while-, and after having read the text -post-. 4.1 Pre-Reading-Activity A lack of tools for communication is far away from the students’ reality because of modern technological advances. The pre-reading activity addresses this challenge. The students are asked to get up and stand in a line, facing the teacher. It is explained to them that for the next few tasks they are not able to speak or make any noises. If anyone breaks these rules, they have lost the game. The teacher now presents the first task for which the students have three minutes: Stand in a line organized according to hair colour. Next, they are asked to stand in a line based on their height, and finally, based on their age; from youngest to oldest. Depending on the class size, they could be split up into smaller groups; organising themselves only in that particular group, so that it is still possible to complete the task within three minutes. As a game, this pre-reading-activity will likely fulfil its function to motivate the students and foster curiosity. It further prepares them for concepts which might be difficult for them to comprehend – in this 5 Abbreviation PWP: Pre-, While-, and Post-reading phase. 199 case lack of communication (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 201: 78-79). Afterwards, the students will be asked to reflect on the assignments; whether they found them easy or difficult to fulfil and why. The first two tasks are expected to present a little challenge, while the last one will be harder; they will probably not know everyone’s birthdays. Finally, the students are requested to complete a corresponding worksheet (see the table at the end of this chapter). For these two tasks, estimating around 40 minutes is reasonable. However, if any students finish the worksheet early, the extension task will be to start on their homework: reading the story. 4.2 While-Reading-Activity The most important function of a while-reading activity is understanding the text. The students should be supported in their understanding of the text and should be encouraged to reflect on their reading impressions (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 81). At the end of the introductory lesson, the short story is handed to the students together with the worksheet for the while-reading activity (see table). The teacher informs the students about the length of the short story (20 pages) and their homework: reading the short story and doing task 1 on the worksheet. The students have to read the story and decide whether the utterances of exercise 1 are correct or not at home. In the beginning of the next lesson, the students are asked to do exercise 2 on the worksheet and work with a partner to correct the wrong statements about the story. Then the students get the chance to share their first impressions while-reading the story with the class, to express what they liked and disliked about the story and to ask questions. The discussion directly leads to the Ergebnissicherung of exercise 1 and 2. Based on the partner work the students have done before, the results are only read aloud in class. Exercise 2 cannot be seen as a real while-reading activity because the students do it after they have already read the story at home. Nevertheless, they have to work closely with the text to get the right solutions and that is why this activity is explained in the while-reading section of this paper. 4.3 Post-Reading-Activity Post-reading activities should reflect on various meanings of the text and enable the students to analyse the relationship between characters or representatives of opinions and values (cf. Grimm et al. 2015: 188). In addition to that, post-reading activities offer a space for creative 200 writing tasks such as writing an imaginary dialogue which spells out “the concealed thoughts and feelings of characters” (ibid.). Creative writing supports many skills like noticing the special characters of different perspectives, triggers cultural awareness and combines affective and cognitive insights (cf. ibid.: 188-189). After the while-reading activity, the students deal with Lilia’s feelings and thoughts about Mr. Pirzada’s situation. Therefore, they have to fill in a table on a worksheet as a preparatory step for task 2 on the same worksheet (see table). This task is done with a partner so that the students can compare their ideas. Afterwards, they use their results from task 1 to write a dialogue from Lilia’s point of view, who tells Dora what is going on at home and in Dacca. The characteristics of dialogues and how to write a dialogue have been discussed in class several times and the box on the worksheet is a little reminder for students who might need it. Depending on how long the ‘while-reading’ part takes, the students might not finish their dialogues in class and therefore will finish them at home. Thus, every student can work at his/her own pace, which can be considered as Binnendifferenzierung. In the next lesson the dialogues will be spread in class and the students give each other peer feedback with the post-it activity: the students work in groups of four and their suggestions for improvement and comments are written on post-its and pasted to the dialogues. After that, the students receive their own dialogues back and have the chance to rewrite them. In the end, selected dialogues are presented in class. According to the topicality of the issue due to the high number of refugees that is coming to Germany since 2015, a discussion concerning this topic might come up in class as well. Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Describe a difficult situation in one to two sentences (for example being sick, heartbroken, moving to a new neighbourhood, ...) that one of your friends or family members were in and Read the short story “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine” by Jhumpa Lahiri and have a look at the following statements Work with a partner and analyse what Lilia knows about Mr. Pirzada and how she is feeling about him and his situation. Fill in the table. (topics: Family background, Appearance/Character, why he is in Boston, Habits, Feelings and 201 how you supported them (this does not have to be a real situation, you can make something up). Against the background of the ‘noncommunication game’ we have just played in class, assess in one to two more sentences what it would feel like not to be able to communicate with them in this situation, neither verbally nor non-verbally. about it. Decide whether they are right or wrong. Compare your results with a partner and talk about the wrong statements. Correct them and note down the page number of the text where you can find the correct answer. thoughts of Lilia) Imagine you are Lilia and you want to explain to your best friend Dora why Mr. Pirzada comes over for dinner every evening. Write a dialogue in which you explain your feelings and thoughts and why the situation at the other side of the world in Dacca is affecting Mr. Pirzada so much. Take your results from task 1 into consideration. Material/Medium Worksheet Worksheet, short story Worksheet, short story Sozialform Plenum, individual work Individual work, partner work Partner work, individual work Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar Motivating, mobilising and preparing students for the content of the story, especially, the outlined problem of the lack of communication Making sure that the students have understood the text Enhancing ICC of students by creating a situation in which the students have to change perspectives 5 Conclusion As this paper has shown, the short story “WMP” can be used as an authentic text in the teaching unit “India- from postcolonial experience to rising nation”. In the first part of this paper, postcolonial key concepts encountered in the short story “WMP” by Lahiri were analysed – namely ‘Displacement’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’ and ‘Othering’. Working with these concepts can lead to a better understanding for people and cultures from formerly colonized countries. Although these concepts are so complex that they could merit their own teaching unit exploring a 202 short story that lets the reader experience all these different perceptions in the way suggested in this paper can help foster empathy, tolerance and understanding: working towards ICC. Due to the limited length of this paper several aspects of ‘Diaspora’ and ‘Displacement’ could not be mentioned, such as Cohen’s revised version of Safran’s list of features of ‘Diasporas’, the difference between first- and second-generation migrants or the contrast between ‘Diaspora’ and similar terms. The results of this first analysis built the foundation for the inquiry regarding the short story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. The chances established in the second part of this paper include: the shared perspective of the students and the protagonist Lilia, which makes them ‘allies’ of hers; deciphering the occurring events together, the relevance for the students dealing with what it feels like to have two homes in the aftermath of the European migrant crisis, in the context of the postcolonial concepts creating and/or fostering the capability to value or at least tolerate another person’s feelings and thoughts, changing perspectives and finally, reading a text by a minority author provides “a valid educational purpose by challenging ethnocentric modes of perception” (Volkmann 2008: 20). The challenges brought about by the short story consist of the great amount of historical background necessary to decode the content, the problematic understanding of not being able to contact your family and friends whenever you wish to and the relatively long length of the story. The paper does not presume to present all existing chances and challenges, however, the identified chances outweigh the identified challenges, especially, as they can be easily overcome, qualifying this short story as a valid addition to a teaching unit on India. In the last part of this paper a teaching sequence was suggested. The designing thereof was based on the first two parts, attempting to create tasks that overcome the problems and further the chances delineated in chapter three. Certainly, whichever tasks one chooses, this short story provides a sturdy platform to aid students in developing awareness, sensitivity and tolerance for others and for different cultures than one’s own, which could not be more important than it is today, in the globalized world we live in. An interesting topic for further research would be to empirically investigate the attitudes of students towards refugees before and after this teaching sequence. 203 Bibliography Adur, S. M., & Narayan, A. (2017). Stories of Dalit Diaspora: Migration, Life Narratives, and Caste in the US. Biography, 40 (1), 244-264. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Postcolonial studies: The key concepts (3rd ed.). Routledge Key Guides. New York: Routledge. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) (2016, April 26).Was sind Flüchtlinge? Retrieved, February 17, 2018, from http://www.bpb.de /politik/grundfragen/politik-einfach-fuer-alle/226097/was-sindfluechtlinge Busch, A. (2017). Informationsinflation: Herausforderungen an die politische Willensbildung in der digitalen Gesellschaft. In Harald Gapski, Monika Oberle, & Walter Staufer (Eds.), Schriftenreihe: Band 10111. Medienkompetenz: Herausforderung für Politik, politische Bildung und Medienbildung (pp. 53–62). Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Retrieved, February 16, 2018, from http://www.bpb.de/medienkompetenz-schriftenreihe. Cohen, R. (1996). Diasporas and the nation-state: From victims to challengers. International Affairs, 72(3), 507–520. https://doi.org /10.2307/2625554. Cohen, R. (2008). Global diasporas: An introduction (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. Eisenmann, M., Grimm, N., & Volkmann, L. (Eds.). (2010). Introduction. Teaching the New English Cultures and Literatures. Heidelberg: Winter. Grimm, N., Meyer, M., & Volkmann, L. (2015). Teaching English. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. Hall, S. (1990). Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In Jonathan Rutherford (Ed.), Identity: Community, culture, difference (pp. 222–237). London: Lawrence & Wishart. Hall, S. (1997). Caribbean Culture: Future Trends. Caribbean Quarterly, 43 (1/2), 25-33. Hanewinkel, V. (2015, December 15). Fluchtmigration nach Deutschland und Europa: Einige Hintergründe. Retrieved, February 17, 2018, from http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/migration /kurzdossiers/217369/fluchtmigration-hintergruende. Jayaram, N. (2004). Introduction. In Narayana Jayaram (Ed.), The Indian Diaspora: Dynamics of Migration (pp. 19-40). New Dehli, London: Sage. Lahiri, J. (2000). When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine. In J. Lahiri (Ed.), Interpreter of Maladies (pp. 23–42). New York: Harper Collins. Langwald, S. (2015). Diasporic generationality: Identity, generation relationships and diaspora in selected novels from Britain and Canada. 204 Studies in Anglophone literatures and cultures (SALC): vol. 7. Augsburg: Wißner-Verlag. Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen (2016). Unterrichtliche Voraussetzungen für die schriftlichen Abiturprüfungen an Gymnasien, Gesamtschulen, Waldorfschulen und für Externe- Englisch. Nünning, A., & Surkamp, C. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten (4th ed.). Seelze-Velber: Klett/Kallmeyer. Panagiotopoulou, A., & Rosen, L. (2017, November 9). Zur Inklusion von geflüchteten Kindern und Jugendlichen in das deutsche Schulsystem. Retrieved, February 17, 2018, from http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/migration/kurzdossiers/258059/inkl usion-in-das-schulsystem. Safran, W. (1991). Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 1(1), 83–99. https://doi.org/10.1353/dsp.1991.0004. Safran, W., Sahoo, A. K., & Lal, B. V. (2009). Indian Diaspora in Transnational Contexts – Introduction. In William Safran, Ajaya Kumar Sahoo & Brij V. Lal (Eds.), Transnational Migrations: The Indian Diaspora (pp. vii-xxxv). New Delhi: Routledge. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). International Migration Report 2017: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/404). Volkmann, L. (2008). Interpreter of Maladies / Interpreter of Cultures. Inter- and Transcultural Aspects of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Stories. In Oliver Lindner (Ed.), Anglistik & Englischunterricht: Bd. 72. Teaching India (pp. 17–34). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. 205 Finding an Identity in the Midst of Traditional Values and Cultural Pressure: What We Can (Still) Learn from Bali Rai’s (un)arranged marriage Lennart Krieger 1 Introduction In view of the advancing globalization and the emergence of numerous multicultural societies, the teaching of a language as a culture is in need of adjustments. Postcolonial literature from the ‘New Englishes’ has gained more importance in the EFL1 classroom (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 259). Although there seem to be certain hesitations among German EFL teachers – who still prefer to teach the literature of “dead white men”, e.g. “Shakespeare, John Steinbeck [and] George Orwell” (Lindner 2008: 9f.) – there is an increasing demand for more contemporary Anglophone literature in the EFL classroom which comprises “writing by those peoples formerly colonized by Britain” (Ashcroft 2002: 1). India is most strikingly represented due to its strong “economic and political” development during the last decades and the fact that English is “India’s most important second language” since it is “the unifying link” in the subcontinent with an estimated number of “35 million Indians” (Lindner 2010: 60) who speak English fluently (cf. Mukherjee 2006: 149). Likewise, the Indian diaspora in the UK gains principal relevance as it gradually shapes the multicultural culture. Consequently, the importance of Indian and also Indian diasporic literature makes Bali Rai’s young adult novel (un)arranged mar- 1 English as a Foreign Language will be abbreviated as EFL. 206 riage2 a very suitable example of literature to be taught in the EFL classroom. The following analysis is divided into two parts. Firstly, a textual analysis of UM will be provided with particular regard to its representativeness of the postcolonial key concepts. The examination will primarily focus on the concepts of ‘Diaspora’, ‘Other’ / ‘Othering’ as well as ‘Hybridity’ / ‘Liminality’ and the extent to which they are respectively represented within the narrative. Although the analysis is chiefly based on the key concepts by Ashcroft, Griffith and Tiffin (2000), supplementary positions will be consulted in order to provide a more critical grasp on the topic as well as additional information. Here, it will be argued that UM serves as an example of postcolonial literature as it largely represents the mentioned key concepts. Secondly, a focus will be given to the suitability of UM to be taught in the EFL classroom. In this context, chances and challenges of teaching UM will be considered also with respect to possible problems and their solutions, which will show that the novel, all in all, is especially suitable for the EFL classroom. Finally, three teaching activities, structured as pre-, while- and post-reading, will be suggested as potential ways of teaching UM in the EFL classroom. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “(un)arranged marriage" The first part of this examination will focus on the analysis of postcolonial key concepts as it is argued that they offer a useful starting point to approach the central aspects and themes of the postcolonial novel (cf. Freitag-Hild & Gymnich 2005: 273). Therefore, the key concepts provided by Ashcroft et al. (2000) as well as additional analyses of Wisker (2007), Edwards (2008) and Döring (2008) will serve as a basis for finding out how the key concepts are represented in UM. It needs to be emphasized that these key concepts might overlap and relate to each other. As will be argued, UM largely represents ‘Diaspora’, as conditioned through the notions of ‘Other’ and ‘Othering’, which potentially results in ‘Liminality’ and ‘Hybridity’3. 2 In the following Bali Rai’s novel (un)arranged marriage will be referred to as UM. 3 There are certainly more than these five key concepts represented within (un)arranged marriage, e.g. ‘Mimicry’, ‘Appropriation’, ‘Contact Zone’, etc. – however, due to the limited scope of this work, only these key concepts will be focused on since they are arguably the most striking ones and therefore a sufficient selection in analyzing the novel with regard to its postcolonial key concepts. 207 2.1 ‘Diaspora’ The term ‘Diaspora’ originated from Greek “to disperse” refers to the “voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 81). Whereas it was originally assigned to the history of the Jews leaving the Holy Land as the “first diasporic people” (Edwards 2008: 150), the term now refers to “any body of people living outside their homeland” (Brown 1993: 663). There are various ‘Diasporas’4 since “diasporic groups differ from each other depending on their history, motives, economic situation, host society etc., and [that] they mutate through time” (Linke 2011: 322). However, in an attempt to at least circumscribe the concept of ‘Diaspora’, Cohen outlines the following nine features while stressing that neither all of them have to apply, nor are they mutually exclusive: 1. Dispersal from an original homeland [ ] 2. [ ] the expansion from a homeland in search of work [ ] 3. A collective memory and myth about the homeland [ ] 4. An idealization of the real or imagined ancestral home [ ] 5. The frequent development of a return movement to the homeland [ ] 6. A strong ethnic group consciousness [ ] based on a sense of distinctiveness [ ] 7. A troubled relationship with host societies [ ] 8. A sense of empathy and co-responsibility with co-ethnic members [ ] 9. The possibility of [ ] tolerance for pluralism. (Cohen 2009: 17, my emphases). The definition provided by Ashcroft et al. is included in (1) and (2) while Cohen’s taxonomy goes further in also comprising the diasporic situation after the “dispersal” as well as possible attitudes of diasporic peoples. Nonetheless, these characteristics likewise leave considerable range for interpretation, which makes it necessary to consider each individual ‘Diaspora’ by itself. Also, the problem of identity is at best hinted at indirectly in (6) - (9) albeit identity formation is argued to be a crucial factor in negotiating the individual’s diasporic experience 4 Cohen’s conception of ‘Diaspora’ distinguishes between various ‘Diasporas’, e.g. the “classical, victim diaspora”, “traumatic dispersal”, “labour diaspora”, “imperial diaspora” and “trade diaspora” (Cohen 2009: 61ff.). Since the Indian diaspora is classified by Cohen as “labour diaspora”, the analysis will focus on this key concept (cf. ibid.). 208 which, in turn, gives relevance to the key concepts of ‘Other’, ‘Othering’ and especially ‘Hybridity’. Hall emphasizes this stating ‘Diaspora’s were “defined […] by the recognition of a necessary heterogeneity and diversity” (1990: 235) and “by instability, juxtapositions, tensions and contradictions” (Edwards 2008: 157). Many of these characteristics of ‘Diaspora’ can be found in UM. The Indian community depicted in UM can arguably be classified as the “contemporary Indian Diaspora” in the United Kingdom that “constitutes an important, and in some respects unique, force in world culture” (Edwards 2008: 154). Indian immigration in the UK is considered to be mainly due to the “British Nationality Act” since the “nation […] was in need of every helping hand” (Pirker 2007: 36) after the Second World War which allowed Indians “to enter Britain in search of a better material life” (UM: 177)5. With regard to Cohen’s diasporic features it can be said that, although the actual dispersal of Manny’s family is not as apparent within the novel – with Manny born and bred in Leicester – the features three to seven are well represented. Nevertheless, the collective aspect in Cohen’s features can only be identified exemplarily because any kind of Indian or Punjabi collective is mostly represented through Manny’s family and their relations. Regarding the myth about the homeland, Manny s father strikingly represents this feature which results in a shock when Manny faces Indian s mass poverty in the country that [his] old man was always calling the best in the world (77). Manny himself identifies his father s account on India as a myth during his trip to India: My father s childhood home wasn t quite the place that he had been describing (82). The same also applies to the people of his homeland which are idealized as good Punjabis with better standards and morals which is strikingly contrasting with Manny s actual experience when he discovers that in the village [his father] called home, there were drugs and prostitutes and people having affairs (94; cf. Hesse 2010: 190). Thus, Cohen s fourth feature, the idealization of the real or imagined ancestral home , is equally illustrated in [a]ll the wonderful things that [Manny s father] used to tell [them] about as kids (83). However, the fifth aspect, the development of a return movement is less apparent but merely hinted by his father s reference 5 Since (un)arranged marriage is the central primary source of this paper, all further citations referring to the novel will only include a page number. 209 to his village in India as their real home (96). He also considers Manny getting married the final act of his duty which, once fulfilled, enables him to return home to India with [his] pride and [his] honour (19). Otherwise, there is no indication throughout the narrative that Manny s family would actually move back to India instead they move to another district in Leicester after Manny has got out of the arranged marriage and has lost contact from them (cf. 174). Cohen s sixth point, the ethnic group consciousness [ ] based on a sense of distinctiveness is also represented especially through Manny s father, his brothers and their custom to exclusively associate with other Punjabi families as it is reflected through the wedding (cf. 43). On the other hand the group consciousness also is merely limited to the Punjabi community while other ethnic groups are not included. However, the narrative provides considerable evidence that the family s consciousness is largely constructed by distancing themselves from other groups: unsuitable people Muslims and Hindus and goreh [white people] or, God forbid, kaleh [black people] (ibid.). This also provides evidence for the seventh feature, a troubled relationship with the host societies , as Manny s father rejects the multi-ethnic, as well as English society of Leicester, for them being morally improper, as opposed to Punjabi people, which is mirrored in his definite disapproval of Manny s relationship to his black friend Ady and white girlfriend Lisa: Think of her [Manny's mother] when you are out with that kalah [black person] of yours, smoking and chasing dirty white girls (44). Furthermore, the father appears to consider the host societ[y] a threat to his own culture when he tells Manny that they have to protect [their] culture from the grips of the white man […] being careful not to become too white” (18). At the same time this indicates that Cohen s eighth feature of mutual empathy among ethnic people is scarcely represented. One exception is the character of Mr. Sandhu, Manny s Indian head teacher who shows empathy for Manny s trouble at school which he thinks is due to the pressures of being young and Asian in Britain (48). The last feature could be seen to be represented through Manny himself as he clearly embraces the multiculturalism of his city and thus serves as an example of tolerance for pluralism : everyone kind of melted into the city centre so that it was all multicultural [ ] I liked that (22). However, this tolerance is opposed by Manny s family and since Cohen s features on the whole operate on a collective lev- 210 el, Manny s individual view can be argued to be only small evidence for this feature. On the whole, the society depicted in UM clearly presents the key concept of ‘Diaspora’ as it largely fulfils the majority of Cohen’s diasporic features. Also, Manny’s situation depicted as a “juxtaposition of duty and passion, family bonds and freedom of choice” (Monti 2008: 147) is argued to be a typical conflict on the individual level of ‘Diasporas’, which gives support to the aforementioned findings. These difficulties are represented through the family’s expectations and his love for his friends and girlfriend as well as the endeavour to be free to do what he wants to do (cf. 173). At last, also the fact that Bali Rai himself comes from “an ethnically rich part of Leicester” (4) supports the classification of UM as a “diasporic narrative” (Mishra 2007: 133). 2.2 ‘Other’ & ‘Othering’ The concepts of ‘Other’ and ‘Othering’ are closely related to ‘Diaspora’, as Cohen’s points (6) and (7) already demonstrated. The ‘Other’ is “anyone who is separate from one’s self” which corresponds to the common sense understanding of the term (Ashcroft 2000: 186). It plays a vital role in the process of “identity formation” (Jensen 2011: 63), i.e. in defining “what is ‘normal’ and in locating one’s own place in the world” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 186f.). ‘Othering’, then, is defined as the process of creating but also excluding and marginalizing the ‘othered’ group (cf. ibid.: 188f.) which occurs both consciously and unconsciously (cf. Jeyaraj 2004: 24). Hence, it does not only foster a “self-other” dichotomy but also “dehumanizes the other” (Brons 2015: 72) by homogenizing people as a “collective ‘they’” and therefore making them “an instance of a pregiven custom or trait” (Pratt 1985: 139) which is often based on false premises (cf. Fuchs 2000: 32). Hence, ‘Othering’ creates differences by ‘essentializing’ and ‘exoticizing’ groups based on the assumption “that a certain group of people inherently possesses certain characteristics” (Jeyaraj 2004: 24). A group then defines itself in not being the ‘Other’ which simultaneously creates their identity and possibly excludes the ‘essentialized’ ‘Other’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 190). As will be demonstrated in the following, ‘Other’ and ‘Othering’ are represented in UM to a considerable extent, chiefly through Manny’s father and brothers, but also, in a different manner, through his relatives in India and, at last, through Manny himself. Especially re- 211 garding Manny’s father and brothers, the novel provides numerous examples of ‘Othering’ through the racist attitudes and the embracement of dichotomous thinking on their behalf, which is emphasized every time when they express their disdain for other groups: “what are you, a gorah (white) or something?” (11). The racist remarks of Manny’s father about Ady, Manny’s “Black-Jamaican” friend (12), reflect the notions of essentialism and homogenization: “Ady? Bloody hell! Why are you always with that kalah (black)? […] That kalah will lead you into drugs […] I know what these kaleh are bloody doing, taking bastard drugs” (13). Manny’s brothers equally perform ‘Othering’, e.g. when Harry runs into Manny listening to Ady’s CD in his room: “What is it – bloody black man’s music?” (33). At times, their formation of identity seems to be fuelled less through their own cultural heritage than through what they are not: “not bloody English” (14), “Not like these goreh” (151), “Not like the family in No. 52”, (154) and “not a bloody Hindu” (164). As mentioned previously, ‘Other’/’Othering’ and the creation of dichotomous cultural distinctions and identity formation is not only represented in Manny’s family but also through his relatives in India. Although without the aim of marginalisation, Manny’s uncles and cousins clearly consider English people as ‘Other’ when asking about “white people” and whether they “all live in mansions” (89). Not only with reference to British white people, but also to Manny and his close family, Inderjit employs ‘Othering’ by jokingly calling Manny a “gorah, white boy” (ibid.), while simultaneously questioning their assumed discriminating homogenization: “You goreh think we’re all stupid […] [w]e do know something, Manjit” (89f., original emphasis). Nonetheless, their ‘Othering’ is expressed mostly through jokes, as they do not problematize the difference between themselves and the ‘Other’: “You foreigners are very strange people […] Wearing your funny clothes and speaking your funny language. Laughing at nothing. Like monkeys” (136). They, however, are no exception in the dialectics of ‘Othering’ either, as they in turn homogenize the “Chamarr” (86), i.e. people from the “lower servant-caste” who they label as “[b]ad people” with reference to their assumed lack of morals (94). Finally, Manny partially forms his own identity in emphatically distancing himself from his family: “I ain’t nothing like you and your mates, and I never will be, no matter what happens” (165). However, the aspect of marginalisation is not as apparent with Manny as he points out that he “was different from the rest of [his] family” but “[n]ot bet- 212 ter than them or anything like that” (70). Moreover, the interest that Manny and Inderjit show for each other’s culture (cf. 89, 102) contrasts Harry’s lack of interest for the cultures that he others: “I ain’t interested in gorah stuff” (33). 2.3 ‘Hybridity’ & ‘Liminality’ While being in interdependence with ‘Other’ and ‘Othering’, ‘Diaspora’ might be argued to be the ground of ‘Liminality’ and ‘Hybridity’ since a diasporic situation – by its very nature – is marked by the coexistence of culturally different groups in one place (cf. Linke 2011: 318). The idea of a “diasporic identity […] as a positive affirmation of […] Hybridity” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 83) is echoed in Hall’s description of the diasporic individual as living “by Hybridity” (1990: 235, emphasis in original). While originally describing the result of “crossbreeding” two different specimens in horticulture (Döring 2008: 34), in postcolonialism, the controversial6 term ‘Hybridity’ refers to the “creation of new transcultural rather than multicultural forms” and is simultaneously regarded as a “concept and lived experience” (Wisker 2007: 189f.). It is strongly related to ‘Liminality’, i.e. the temporary “inbetween space” (Bhabha 1994: 56, emphasis in original) in which individuals negotiate a new identity (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 136). ‘Liminality’ “as a state of flux”, is a “transitional state, or space” between “normative stages” (Jeyaraj 2004: 15f.) where “strategies for personal or communal self-hood may be elaborated” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 145) – and thus supports potential hybrid identity formation. Bhabha argues that all “cultural statements and systems are constructed” in a “Third Space” where different cultures merge together, i.e. a space where every agent is essentially hybrid which makes the idea of one pure culture “untenable” (1994: 54f.). Similarly to ‘Diaspora’, both ‘Hybridity’ and the ‘Liminality’ challenge conceptions like “essentialist models”, “nativism”, “exoticism” and “authenticity” (Ashcroft et al.: 82, 136ff.), i.e. notions of cultural purity as well as dichotomous thinking of cultural identities in terms of “self and other” (Linke 2011: 317). Instead ‘Hybridity’ supports the claim that “no one is purely one thing” (Said 1993: 407). It offers a “positive alternative” to the “placelessness” (Eisenmann 2015: 219) that a marginalized diasporic group might feel when “not fitting to either group” (Wisker 2007: 190). In- 6 Young argues that the term carried negative meaning regarding colonial discourse as it is arguably “loaded with deeply racist assumptions” (Edwards 2008: 143f.) by presupposing a racial framework (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 138). 213 stead of regarding identity as a static entity, ‘Hybridity’ breaks with these fixed patterns and enables individuals to create their own, dynamic identity that is “always in flux” (Eisenmann 2015: 221) and subject to “essential heterogeneity” (Döring 2008: 36). The concepts of ‘Hybridity’ and ‘Liminality’ are represented in UM to a considerable extent as Monti argues that the novel “deconstructs as it were the notion itself of hybridity in contemporary migration” (2008: 153). Manny, as well as his friends and his uncle, Jag, serve as vital examples to promote the concept of ‘Hybridity’. His search for identity between the “hyper-traditional” (29) Punjabi culture and the multicultural society of Leicester results in his overcoming of the dichotomous assumptions of his family. As he realized that he “was different” (70) from his family, the following encounter with his uncle Jag makes him actively take charge of who he wants to be: neither a Punjabi, nor a “gorah, white boy” (89), but simply himself, outside of these static classification. Therefore, Jag, the “liberal environmental protectionist” (Hesse & Bögel: 2008: 7) demonstrates the “positive alternative” (Eisenmann 2015: 219) that ‘Hybridity’ offers to be as he rejected the cultural identity his family tried to force on him in favour of a free, transcultural life that leads him all around the world (cf. 114, 120f.). A discussion between Jag and Piara about Manny being held prisoner in India highlights the juxtaposition of a pre-structured cultural and a transcultural identity: Jag demands Piara “to let people alone to be what they are” instead of forcing traditions on him (117). Further evidence lies in Manny’s realisation that he “didn’t even really know who [his brother] was” which reflects Bhabha’s concept of the ‘Third Space’ as Manny assumes a personality of his brother behind his dogmatic beliefs (151). Also, Ady promotes the concept of ‘Hybridity’ by constantly switching accents: among others, he speaks in “mock posh”, “John Wayne”, Asian, “stupid American”, “gangstarap style” and “thick Jamaican” accent (26f., 63f.). This makes it impossible for essentialists to ‘other’ him on account of his accent – he is above fixed cultural classifications as a transcultural, hybrid identity. Moreover, Ady’s girlfriend, Sarah, also supports transculturalism, as Manny states that her family is “quite a mix […], but it didn’t bother [him]” (31) – which is again underlined by the fact that Sarah later bears Ady’s child (cf. 60). Also, Manny’s girlfriend, Lisa, exemplifies a demand for hybrid thinking in disapproving of people who gave her “looks” for being in a relationship with Manny (49). 214 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language The second half of this paper will focus on the novel’s suitability in the German EFL classroom. In assessing to what extent it is appropriate to be taught, the chances and challenges will be raised and analysed. In order to successfully teach the novel with its numerous cultural implications and concepts, the following aspects should be taken into consideration beforehand. Since the language employed in UM is considered “appropriate for intermediate as well as for advanced students”, the novel is suggested to be most suitable for classes of the 10th grade and older, i.e. in the Oberstufe (Hesse 2010: 185; cf. Hesse 2016: 78). One of the chances of teaching UM lies in the topical frame that it represents. On the one hand, topics like the global challenge, tradition and change and the challenge of individualism – all of them “mandatory for advanced learners in Germany” – are perfectly represented through UM, which makes it a very appropriate novel to be worked on in accordance with the curriculum (Hesse 2010: 185). UM comprises of topics of great contemporary relevance in the light of “the growing tendency of global migration and hybrid identities in the early twenty-first century” (Lindner 2008: 70). Moreover, by depicting the Indian diaspora in England, UM avoids presenting a “rather outdated image of a predominantly white Britain with a homogeneous majority culture” (ibid.: 8). Hence, everything that constitutes the aforementioned importance of Anglophone postcolonial literature is included in UM. Furthermore, the development of Intercultural Competence, Perspektivenübernahme and Fremdverstehen is among the most important goals the of the EFL classroom, which are argued to be realised best through literature that will support the students’ emotive, imaginative, emancipatory and social competences (cf. Freitag-Hild & Gymnich 2005: 260; Nünning & Surkamp 2012: 25). As Woyth-Gutberlet emphasizes, “[t]eaching pupils to be sensitive towards social and ethnic difference” has become even more essential today “in view of the effects of globalization” (2006: 293). Therefore, with the aim of developing empathy, it is necessary that the narrative in question provides sufficient Lebensweltbezug, i.e. situations that the students can personally relate to on the basis of their own cultural surroundings (cf. Freitag & Rupp 2009: 324). Therefore, UM is particularly suitable as a young adult novel that is told through the perspective of Manny, a European-born teenager, 215 who is roughly the same age as the German students from the 10th grade and correspondingly deals with similar conflicts of puberty (cf. Hesse & Bögel 2008: 4). Also, as a “multicultural novel” (Hesse 2009: 38), it does not only comprise high potential of identification for teenagers in general but also for those who share the problem of finding an identity while growing up between two cultures (cf. Mukherjee 2006: 145; cf. Hesse & Bögel 2008: 7). In addition, the numerous accounts of Manny’s inner thoughts demonstrate a high amount of Innenweltdarstellung, which makes it particularly suitable to support Perspektivenübernahme and empathy (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2012: 47). In times of advancing globalization and the current refugee crisis, it is likely that some of the students have similar experiences and therefore easily identify with Manny on this level (ibid.). This postcolonial experience may motivate students to reflect on their own cultural identity as well as on intercultural encounters (Freitag-Hild & Gymnich 2005: 261). Since essentialism and nativism are emphatically questioned through the notion of ‘Hybridity’, UM also offers personal access to the transcultural discourse of postcolonial studies and fosters the ability to critically reflect on the concept of normative cultural identities (cf. ibid.: 262ff.). Moreover, due to Manny being in between two cultures, UM does not only communicate knowledge about the multicultural British society, but also offers an insight into Indian-Punjabi cultures. By depicting India through Manny’s European perspective, a point of identification is maintained even when dealing with a culture that is potentially both quite far away and very different from the students’ own culture. For instance, the novel illustrates the “traditional joint family” (Monti 2008: 152; cf.: 10, 174), its rather patriarchal hierarchies through both, the respect-marking suffix –ji, as in “Daddy-ji” (18), and the women who dedicate all their time to cooking and taking care of the children: “’Imagine that,’ laughed Aunt Harpal, ‘a Punjabi man making food for his wife. How can that be?’” (127). While some scholars rightly criticize the German curriculum for rather focusing on ‘Diasporas’ instead of India, UM serves as a suitable counter example as it does represent India to an extent (cf. Wandel 2013: 388f.). Nonetheless, Wandel has a point in arguing that students should “be made aware of the fact that these are presentations of diasporic life […] rather than of the ‘real’ India” (ibid.) which hence needs to be made clear in working with UM as well. 216 Finally, another chance of teaching UM is that, as one of the “fictions of migration”, it can support the development of “transcultural awareness” (Freitag & Rupp 2009: 325) which is another central goal of EFL next to Intercultural Competence (cf. Eisenmann 2015: 222). Manny’s negotiation of his identity as well as the character of his uncle Jag, serve as fruitful examples of “plural, hybrid, transcultural concepts of individual identities” (ibid.). Therefore, UM supports the Transcultural Competence of the students who learn to abandon a fixed “Eigenidentität” in favour of a cultural identity that is flexibly negotiated through the exchange with others (Volkmann 2010: 22). Although there are numerous chances in teaching UM, the novel also comprises certain challenges which need to be taken into consideration when considering it for the EFL classroom. One of the most obvious risks in working through UM is the language: the fact that UM is “written in authentic young vernacular” (Hesse 2010: 185) might raise difficulties for German students. While Harry and Ranjit add “innit” to nearly anything they say, their utterances also include incorrect grammar: “Stop talking like you something special, you poofter […] Anyone would think you was white, innit” (16). Ady, on the other hand, intentionally imitates various accents which could make it difficult for students to decode the text from bottom up: “I an’ I nah deal wi’ dem deh drugs an’ ting” (64). Also without imitated accents the dialogues between Ady and Manny comprise ample amount of slang language: “Jus’ throw a wobbly man” (ibid.). Finally, in addition to slang and accents, numerous dialogues within Manny’s family include Indian/Punjabi vocabulary, e.g. “phabbi-ji”, “manjeh” and “bhai-ji” (9, 132f.). Since UM extensively deals with Punjabi culture, students need to be provided with appropriate background knowledge as orientation when dealing with, e.g., “Sikh” or “chapatis” (175, 132). Although the annotations certainly help to understand most of the unknown expressions, it should be taken into consideration that some students might nonetheless be discouraged. One way to tackle this problem might be appropriate scaffolding, e.g. prereading activities that provide students with applicable background knowledge, or exercises that exclusively deal with these passages to shed some more light on the new linguistic aspects. This also applies to the, arguably, rather one-sided representation of India: since the novel is narrated exclusively through Manny’s perspective, the Prinzip der Perspektivenvielfalt, which is particularly important in working with multicultural contents, is not sufficiently regarded (cf. Nünning & 217 Surkamp 2012: 48). To provide Perspektivenvielfalt students could be asked to re-write certain passages from the view of another character or to produce creative texts of other perspectives by filling the ‘blank spaces’ in the narrative, e.g. the father’s perspective after Manny moved out from home (cf. ibid.: 78). Another potential challenge is the problem of political correctness. According to Lindner, it can be defined as “a policy of avoiding actions or expressions which exclude, insult or marginalize people who are socially underprivileged” (2008: 80). As has been outlined in the context of ‘Othering’, the novel includes a lot of examples of racism, insults and marginalisation although not necessarily of socially underprivileged people. Manny’s father and brothers provide corresponding examples when they agitate against basically any other ethnic group: unsuitable people Muslims and Hindus and goreh [white people] or, God forbid, kaleh [black people] (43). Besides the textual level, it is likely that the class also includes students with an ethnic, perhaps even Indian, background. This needs to be taken into account when starting a discussion about, e.g. the custom of arranged marriage or the Sikh religion. Although the novel seems to give a very negative account of religion at first, Manny evaluates his disapproving attitude in the end and emphasizes that he merely rejects the practices of his family but however respects the religion itself as something totally different (175). This problem might be tackled by focusing on the numerous violations in connection with Manny s evaluation at the end that might be made the topic of an inclass discussion. Although the aspects of language and political correctness might raise difficulties in dealing with the novel in the EFL classroom, it needs to be emphasized that these are challenges – thus, in overcoming them they bear valuable chances. The language aspect, for instance, can also be regarded as a broadening of the students’ linguistic horizon and as sensitizing them for the fact that there are plenty of other ‘Englishes’ next to Received Pronunciation which is mostly taught at German schools. In can also be fruitful to make language in UM subject of discussion since language is argued to be strongly related with “identity formation” (cf. Jensen 2011: 64; cf. Mukherjee 2006: 145). The same applies to the issue of political correctness which, if it is suitably dealt with in class, can be the basis of a very enriching discussion that “makes learners aware about functions and distributions of stereotypes” (Lindner 2008: 78). At any rate, due to these issues as 218 well as the problem of the unilateral depiction of the Indian diaspora and particularly India, it is advised to consult additional material about the matter and to plan enough time for discussions of stereotypes and political correctness when dealing with the narrative in class. 4 Teaching Activities In the following three activities that might be used to teach UM in class will be proposed. By regarding reading a process constructed through both the pre-knowledge of the reader and the content of the text itself, it is argued to be particularly important to support the reader’s interaction with the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp: 71). Therefore, process-oriented teaching of literature is suggested to be structured by three segments – pre-, while- and post-reading – which is argued to be particularly advantageous when dealing with rather complex texts (ibid.). 4.1 Pre-reading Activity This pre-reading activity aims at arousing the students’ interest as well as providing them with an insight into the traditional custom of arranged marriage. The video of the New York Times, “Transforming India’s Concept of Marriage” (Singh 2015), demonstrates the topicality of the matter and presents contrasting perspectives regarding the concept of marriage. Also, by choosing a video that deals exclusively with the Indian subcontinent, the activity does justice to the criticism that teachers of EFL “tend to deal more with multicultural Britain and the USA than with the South Asian subcontinent” itself (Wandel 2013: 388). It provides students with alternative approaches, especially through the couple, Kavita and Nirav Ranpuria (Singh 2015: 1:12- 2:10), who had a semi-arranged marriage. The video also bears the advantage of visualization which helps motivate students to engage with the topic instead of instantly confronting them with a plain text (Nünning & Surkamp 2012: 246). Regarding the audio aspect, the video also acquaints the students with samples of Indian English and thus provides them with another important cultural component which can hardly be represented through the text. The students are provided with a work sheet including guiding questions to sensitize them for certain aspects of the video which they are supposed to answer while watching. The sheet helps students to structure the video in separate sections, guiding questions, scaffolding in form of annotations and direct quotes from the video. Depending on the level of the class, students can initially discuss their findings in 219 pairs before discussing the video in plenum. Findings can be written down by a student on a transparent using a projector. 4.2 While-reading Activity While-reading activities are aimed at supporting the students’ readingprocess as well as their comprehension (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2012: 74). Particularly in the case of extensive texts, which cannot be dealt with exclusively in school, they seek for making the students autonomous readers by motivating them to get actively involved with the text (cf. ibid.). Although UM can be considered a relatively short novel (176 pages), this aspect is nonetheless supportive for the readingprocesses of the students. This activity is constructed to sensitize the students for certain information regarding the characters’ attitudes towards a) arranged marriages and b) other culture groups. Firstly, by focusing on the different perspectives towards arranged marriages the while-reading activity seizes on the material of the pre-reading activity. Secondly, in paying specific attention to the various moments one character ‘others’ another group, students get more aware of the acuteness of ‘Othering’ in the narrative. They are asked to fill in the reading log with notes and quotes which suit the aforementioned criteria. Therefore, the reading log is structured with regard to the characters, on the left, and space for the respective quotes, on the right. 4.3 Post-reading Activity By working with post-reading activities, students will be enabled to reflect and transform the newly acquired insights into other contexts (cf. Caspari 1997: 45). Thus, post-reading activities follow the purpose of interpreting the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2012: 78). Since UM is focalized exclusively from Manny’s subjective perspective, students could be asked to examine another character’s thoughts, e.g. by writing an interior monologue of Manny’s father after having left him in India or after Manny completed his cheat. The functions of this activity would be twofold: it promotes the students’ Perspektivenübernahme and Fremdverstehen and lets them engage with additional opinions on arranged marriages. This activity would be especially useful to support the aforementioned Prinzip der Perspektivenvielfalt. Another possible post-reading activity would be to consider alternative ways to handle the forced marriage (cf. Hesse & Bögel 2008: 19). Manny’s own considerations regarding his decisions and regrets (cf. 173ff.) could serve as a starting point to create alternatives which students could discuss. 220 Furthermore, they could reflect on the family’s idea of trying to straighten out Manny by leaving him in India, e.g. by writing a continuation to the fight between Uncle Piara and Uncle Jag (cf. 116-7) and imagine what else they would say if they were not interrupted by Manny. Students would thus need to engage with both of the characters. Alternatively, this debate could also be set within the classroom so that two groups of students discuss the pros and cons of arranged (not forced) marriages. Pre-Reading-Activity While-Reading-Activity Post-Reading- Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstelllung Watch the video “Transforming India’s Concept of Marriage” by the New York Times. Take notes regarding the following questions: Copy the ‘reading log’ below into your exercise book. While reading (un)arranged marriage, add quotes to the reading log whenever a character expresses his/her attitude towards a) the concept of arranged marriages, and b) another cultural group. In order to see if the attitudes develop throughout the novel, write down chapters and page numbers as in the following example: [grid] 1) Write an interior monologue from the perspective of Manny’s father. 2) Imagine how the discussion could have continued if it had not been interrupted. Together with a partner, write a dialogue between Piara and Jag. Material/Medium Video: “Transforming India’s Concept of Marriage” Computer; projector Work sheet Bali Rai’s (un)arranged marriage Work sheet Bali Rai’s (un)arranged marriage Work sheet Exercise book Sozialform EA (PA) EA 1) EA 2) PA Didaktisch- Methodischer The findings can be written down on a It is crucial that the students understand that In accordance with the learners’ levels, 221 Kommentar transparent by the students which can, depending on the students’ level, be done with a partner. only very specific information is to be extracted from the text – this should be emphasized to avoid students writing down almost everything that Manny says or does. guiding questions can be provided to support their writing process and slightly control the rough direction of the contents. 5 Conclusion After an analysis of UM with regard to its content and suitability for the EFL classroom, the following can be said: Being set in multicultural Leicester and dealing with typical problems of teenagers who grow up in between cultures, the novel represents numerous features of ‘Diaspora’. Correspondingly, the protagonist’s development serves as an illustrious example of hybrid identity formation in the liminal space that his environment is to him. In particular, the two key concepts of ‘Other’ and ‘Othering’ are signified through Manny’s family and relatives, but also partially through himself when he tries to distance himself from them. Since this analysis was limited to the aforementioned key concepts, further analysis of UM with regard to other key concepts, such as ‘Appropriation’, ‘Contact Zone’ and ‘Mimicry’ might be fruitful. Here, the question how these concepts are represented by the novel could be made a topic of discussion. Concerning the chances, especially the potential of UM in developing the students’ empathy in terms of Perspektivenübernahme, Fremdverstehen and Intercultural as well as Transcultural Competence becomes apparent. As a multicultural novel with Manny as a hybrid character, UM provides students with numerous opportunities to get more acquainted with the British and the Indian culture, but also to reflect on the conflict of arranged marriages and cultural identity formation. Regarding the challenges, possible obstacles, e.g. slang, Punjabi expressions and potentially necessary background information on Indian customs, should be reflected. Also, the problem of political correctness with regard to topics like racism and the arranged marriages needs to be taken into account before teaching UM. For future research, it could be interesting to find out to what extent a similar (coming of age-) novel, which – other than UM – is set in India instead of the UK, would result in different perception of the culture as, for instance, rather open towards alternative concepts of marriage. 222 At last, pre-, while- and post-reading activities were proposed with regard to the chances and challenges and to the various postcolonial key concepts within UM. While the pre-reading activity aims at providing the students with background knowledge about arranged marriages, the while-reading activity is concerned with creating awareness of the key concepts in UM. The post-reading activities take the Prinzip der Perspektivenvielfalt into account by letting the students reflect on the main conflict of UM from various perspectives. Overall the analysis at hand has shown that UM, with all challenges taken into account, has great potential to be taught in the EFL classroom, giving students the opportunity to understand postcolonial experience due to its versatile representation of key concepts and various chances. Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2000). Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge. -------- (2002). The Empire Writes Back (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. Rai, B. (2010). (un)arranged marriage. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Sprachen. Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture. London & New York: Routledge. Brown, L. (Ed.). (1993). The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Vol. 1). New York: Oxford University Press. Brons, L. (2015). Othering, an Analysis. Transcience, 6 (1), 69-90. Caspari, D. (1997). Übersicht über kreative Umgangsformen mit literarischen Texten. Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 3, 44-45. Cohen, R. (2009). 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Grundlagen und Methoden (3rd ed.). Seelze: Kallmeyer. Pirker, E. U. (2007). Britain. In Lars Eckstein (Ed.), English Literatures Across the Globe (pp. 33-60). Paderborn: UTB. Pratt, M. L. (1985). Scratches on the Face of the Country; or, What Mr Barrow Saw in the Land of the Bushmen, Critical Inquiry, 12 (1), 138-62. Said, E. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. London: Chatto & Windus. Singh, V. (2015). Transforming India’s Concept of Marriage. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/world 224 /asia/india-arranged-marriages-matrimonial-websites.html (accessed: 24.08.2018). Volkmann, L. (2010). Fachdidaktik Englisch: Kultur und Sprache. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom. Issues and Problems. In J. Gohrisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines. ASNEL Papers 18 (pp. 387-398). Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. Wisker, G. (2007). Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature. Palgrave Key Concepts. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Woyth-Gutberlet, S. (2006). Glimpses of Indian Life in the Classroom: Salman Rushdie’s Short Story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”. In W. Delanoy & L. Volkmann (Eds.), Cultural Studies in the EFL Classroom (pp. 293-300). Heidelberg: Winter. 225 East meets West in Salman Rushdie's "A Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies" Sophie Gnech & Svenja Harzem 1 Introduction As Reinhold Wandel already recognised in 2013, “a gradual change towards widening the English-speaking geographical scope [has taken] place” (87). Dealing with India – “The Jewel in the Classroom”, as Oliver Lindner (2010: 60) calls it – in EFL teaching originally served to widen students’ Eurocentric views, to make them receptive to foreign cultures and countries as well as to foster their Fremdverstehen (cf. Wandel 2001: 4). Teaching has since then focused on “the processes of meaning creation happening between representatives of the target culture and their addressees in other countries. […] [Learners are] invited to become personally involved in the exploration of English-speaking cultures as self-reflective co-constructors of cultural meanings” (Delanoy & Volkmann 2006: 13). But the focus of teaching units on India in the German EFL classroom has only very recently changed from solely teaching the Indian diaspora in Britain to a more multi-layered and multicultural approach. Therefore, many Europeans' views of India are still overshadowed by stereotypical ideas, ignoring the fact that India is one of the most heterogeneous and culturally complex countries of the world, unifying manifold different cultures, religions and languages while representing the world’s largest democracy (cf. Volkmann, 2010, pp. 114-117). In recent years, a canonical collection of English texts dealing with India in the EFL classroom has emerged (cf. Wandel 2013: 390). The following paper focuses on one of Salman Rushdie’s short narratives 1 In this paper, EFL is used as a shortened form for ‘English foreign language’. 226 that has been used by many German EFL teachers, namely “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”. Although “the so-called Rushdie affair has overshadowed analysis of Salman Rushdie’s fiction […], the variety and sophistication of journal articles on Rushdie and his fiction have increased” (Fletcher 1994: 1) and therefore, it is of central interest to have a closer look at the story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. The paper aims at answering two questions: Firstly, the question of which postcolonial concepts are reflected in Salman Rushdie’s short story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” is answered in the following chapter. The analysis of the key concepts ‘Marginality’, ‘Feminism’ and ‘Binarism’ is mainly based on Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013). Secondly, this paper answers the question if the short story is indeed suitable for being read and taught in the German EFL classroom in the subsequent chapter of the analysis. In this course, chances and challenges of reading and teaching “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” are discussed. The next part presents teaching activities, following the concept of a process-oriented teaching of literature and therefore subdividing the tasks into pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading activities. Finally, the conclusion sums up the analytical results from chapter two and three and gives an outlook on possible future research questions. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” “Since the appearance of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978, […] we have witnessed the emergence of postcolonialism as discursive practice in [Euro-American] literary and cultural studies” (Lee 1997: 89). A broad variety of literary works can be included into this academic field, which results in a heterogeneity of these texts. However, what each of them have in common beyond their special and distinctive regional characteristics is that they emerged in their present form out of the experience of [colonisation] and asserted themselves by foregrounding the tension with the imperial power, and by emphasizing their differences from the assumptions of the imperial centre (Ashcroft et al. 1989: 1). These texts can be analysed on the basis of their common denominator, namely the postcolonial key concepts, which are reoccurring 227 themes and aspects that refer to postcolonial experiences. As Salman Rushdie's short story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” also presents some of these concepts, the following content analysis will focus on the most defining ones for this particular short story. 2.1 Marginality The postcolonial key concept of 'Marginality' “indicates a positionality that is best defined in terms of the limitations of a subject's access to power” (Ashcroft et al. 2007: 121) or knowledge (cf. Williams et al. 2011: 14). According to Williams, Vira and Chopra (2011), this concept includes a social and a spatial sphere. “The social dimensions […] might refer to matters of demography, religion, culture, social structure […], [and] economics” (14-15), whereas the spatial dimension does not only include geographical distance, but also “the product of being 'out of place' within the ideological centre […], which directly challenges the integrity of the nation, e.g. social exclusion due to race, religion, gender or […] caste” (ibid: 15). The authors also remark that these dimensions often coincide with each other, which results in a reinforcement of these experiences. However, 'Marginality' should always be regarded as a dynamic process, which entails that tensions between certain groups are prone to changes and that the members of a social group, that is commonly regarded as marginalised, do not necessarily experience the same levels of exclusion or oppression (cf. ibid.). Hence, 'Marginality' is very closely linked to the concept of 'Othering', that refers to “social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or [marginalises] another” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 188). Both of these concepts are “a consequence of the binaristic structure of various kinds of dominant discourses, such as patriarchy, imperialism and ethno-centrism” (Ashcroft et al. 2007: 121) and present two of the major themes that can be encountered in postcolonial literatures. Scholars like Stephen Morton argue that it is from the margins of colonial subordination and oppression on the grounds of race, class, gender or religion that postcolonial writers and theorists claim political and moral authority to contest or oppose the claims of a dominant European imperial culture (Morton 2010: 162). Salman Rushdie's short story “Good Advice is Rarer Than Rubies” creates a protagonist that can be regarded as a marginalised individual on various levels and thus offers a perspective that most Western readers may not be accustomed to. In the beginning of the story, 228 Miss Rehana is introduced as one of the “Tuesday women” (Rushdie: 6). These women arrive on Tuesdays in front of the British Consulate in order to apply for passage to London. In this short paragraph, the reader is presented with multiple levels of 'Marginality' that apply to Miss Rehana. Firstly, the emphasis of the term “Tuesday women” has a very gendered connotation and presents the majority of the members of this group as “veiled” (ibid.), “frightened” (ibid.) and heavily dependent on their male family members who accompany them (cf. ibid.). This depiction of female characters results in a sense of inferiority and thus marginalisation of women in the beginning of the short story. However, even within this already marginalised group of people, Miss Rehana represents an example of 'Marginality' on its spatial dimension in the sense of not fitting in with these particular women. She has come “barefaced” (ibid.), “on her own” (ibid.) and “did not seem at all alarmed” (ibid.). Thus, even amongst the marginalisation of women, she is depicted as different from the rest of them. In addition to being a woman, Miss Rehana is further marginalised when the story reveals that she is orphaned and poor (cf. ibid.). As a result of her family situation and her poverty she belongs to a group of women whose parents have arranged marriage prospects for their children (cf. ibid.: 8). At first, the reader only gets to know of her engaged status and that her fiancée is currently residing in London, but it is not until the end of the short story that Miss Rehana reveals that this was an “arranged engagement” (ibid.: 14). Her father chose this man because he assessed him of being capable of looking after his daughter, however, Miss Rehana confesses that her fiancée “is like a stranger” (ibid.) to her and that an age difference of 21 years separates the two of them. The character of Miss Rehana thus speaks from the perspective of a female, impoverished character with no family connections except for an arranged engagement to a man who is living overseas. In the following subchapter, the aspect of gender and Miss Rehana’s depiction as a clearly marginalised character will be analysed more thoroughly. 2.2 Feminism The concept of 'Feminism' can be regarded as a very central theme in postcolonial literary studies as both patriarchy and imperialism can be seen to exert analogous forms of domination over those they render subordinate. Hence the experiences of women in patriarchy and those of [colonised] 229 subjects can be paralleled in a number of respects, and both feminist and post-colonial politics oppose such dominance (Ashcroft et al. 2007: 93). In accordance with this definition, Wilson-Tagoe (2010) adds that “[as] theoretical formulations committed to transforming political, race and gender relations, [postcolonialism, feminism, and womanism] challenge hegemonic and oppressive systems, and explore possibilities for change” (120). Similar to the individual experiences, marginalisation entails for various members of a social group, “postcolonial feminist approaches, through their different [analyses], bring to visibility the diversity of postcolonial subjects' experiences” (Ozkazanc-Pan 2012: 574). Thus, exploring literary works of this specific marginalised group enables all readers to shift their perspective to people who “can be twice oppressed: by neocolonialist political structures and by traditions of patriarchy” (Baldwin & Quinn 2007: 14). However, the current discourse critically reflects upon two major problems of this concept. Firstly, it can be argued that “[the] insertion of women's experiences in postcolonialism may be a feminist act, but only to an extent” (Wilson-Tagoe 2010: 121), as readers should be able to perceive 'Feminism' as a “Western inflected political discourse” (ibid.) that does not apply in all accords to the experiences of women in other countries. Secondly, the origin of these postcolonial literary works should also be critically reflected. Scholars like Gayatri Spivak have raised “questions about the representation of oppressed groups and about who, if anyone, can speak on their behalf” (Baldwin & Quinn 2007: 14). The latter problem is one that directly applies to the short story of “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”. Although it has already been established that the protagonist speaks from a marginalised perspective, the author, Salman Rushdie, has never experienced any of these concrete forms of 'Marginality'. Nonetheless, he portrays Miss Rehana as a part of these “Tuesday women”, being distinctively different to the other women in terms of her background and her behaviour that alludes to the image of a strong, feminist character. The brief concept analysis of 'Marginality' already established that Miss Rehana is portrayed to be a contrast to the other women who have travelled to the British Consulate. The fact that she came without company does not only underline her situation of no longer having any family connections, but it also emphasises her autonomy (cf. Rushdie: 6). In fact, her confidence even results in a description of her as “independent” (ibid.). During her conversation with Muhammad 230 Ali this impression of a strong female character is only deepened as she never portrays any inferiority to her male counterpart. This can be observed multiple times and in various forms. In the beginning of their conversation Miss Rehana does not shy away from using stylistic devices such as sarcasm which leaves Muhammad Ali uncertain of whether he is being taken seriously or not (cf. ibid.: 8). Furthermore, Miss Rehana shows that she is willing to defend herself and her honour without question, regardless of who is speaking to her which is exemplified after she has been informed about the accusations and prejudices the “Tuesday women” are usually associated with, and her immediate reaction is to “[protest]” (ibid.: 9). This strength of character is only underlined by her visible efforts to appear strong even during an intimidating conversation, as “[her] eyes remained steady, but her hands began to flutter” (ibid.). In addition to that, during the moral conflict that Muhammad Ali's offer poses for her, Rehana does not sway from her own moral principles and chooses to walk away without taking the old man's advice (cf. ibid.: 12). The climax of her characterisation as an independent female protagonist is reached at the end of her story, when it becomes clear that it was her own decision that resulted in a failure of the interview (cf. ibid.: 15). She clearly chose her own priorities and happiness over the arranged future her parents had chosen for her and over what society would have seen as the better option (cf. ibid.: 15-16). In conclusion, Miss Rehana may be regarded as a representative of a marginalised social group, but these circumstances do not prevent her from acting independently and prioritising her own happiness. 2.3 Binarism The final major concept of this short story has already been touched upon previously and will be analysed in more detail in the following sub-chapter. 'Binarism' in general refers to “opposition [in] the most extreme form of difference possible” (Ashcroft et al. 2007: 18). In a cultural context “binaries entail a violent hierarchy, in which one term of the opposition is always dominant (man over woman, birth over death, white over black)” (ibid.: 19) which results in the fact that the experiences of oppression in the field of postcolonialism and feminism have certain similarities. The theme of 'Binarism' is omnipresent on various levels in the short story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”. The short story itself is part of a collection of literary works by Salman Rushdie named 231 “East – West” which alludes to one of the most fundamental binary conceptions of (post-)colonialism. However, the theme of 'Binarism' is most strikingly presented in the character constellation of Miss Rehana and Muhammad Ali. Their portrayal as opposites starts with their outward appearances. Throughout the story Rehana is described as a stunningly beautiful and young woman, with “large and black and bright” (Rushdie: 5) eyes that captivate the people around her. Muhammad Ali on the other hand, is illustrated as an old, grey-haired man who specialises in fraud (cf. ibid.: 5-6). In addition to that, their character traits echo these binary appearances. Miss Rehana embodies various positive character traits as the analysis of her strength in character and principles has already shown. Moreover, her innocence, beauty, honesty and purity seem to influence the characters around her in positive ways; even “[the] lala, usually so rude to the Consulate's Tuesday women, answered Miss Rehana with something like courtesy” (ibid.: 5). Muhammad Ali also falls victim to her influence and strays from his usual pattern of deceptive behaviour. As has been mentioned before, Ali's occupation consists of tricking the Tuesday women into fraud, which he vaguely justifies by his own needs to survive (cf. ibid.: 10-12). His routine becomes clear during the conversation with Miss Rehana as he chooses his words carefully in order to engage the women before “[launching] into his set speech” (ibid.: 9). However, he does not accomplish tricking Rehana as her character exposes an honesty and helpfulness in him that he would not even reveal to his own children (cf. ibid.: 11). The precious opportunity of a false passport to London, which Ali sees as a “facilitation” (ibid.: 12) demonstrates the contrast between their characters, as Miss Rehana is not willing to commit a crime in order to move to London (cf. ibid.). This conflict of principles escalates into an argument and its resolution only reinforces the difference of perspective these two characters embody: while Muhammad Ali interprets her smile upon exiting the British Consulate as a successful acquisition of the necessary paperwork in order to migrate to Britain, Miss Rehana is happy because she has purposefully achieved the opposite (cf. ibid.: 13-16). Her definition of success is the opportunity to continue her independent life in her home country, despite what society might consider her best option. In conclusion, the content analysis has shown that the short story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” presents some of the major themes of the postcolonial discourse. The concepts of 'Marginality', 'Feminism' and 'Binarism' are closely intertwined with each other and 232 thus, present an opportunity for an in-depth analysis even though the story itself is very limited regarding time, setting and characters. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language Taking the preceding analysis of the postcolonial key concepts in the text into account, the following part of the term paper analyses to what extent Salman Rushdie’s short story “Good Advice is Rarer Than Rubies” is suitable for being taught in the German EFL classroom. Therefore, chances and challenges that could occur when teaching the short story are examined thoroughly. 3.1 Chances In terms of genre characteristics, “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” can be called a typical short story. It is limited not only in length, but also in terms of character constellation. Miss Rehana and Muhammad are the only two characters in focus, therefore, the plot is easily understandable. Apart from that, the location of the short story is constant (“the gates [in front] of the British Consulate”, Rushdie 1995: 5) and the narrated time is short, which additionally makes the story very accessible for learners. Especially in the Indian postcolonial context, there are a lot of texts that seem less suitable for being read in the EFL classroom because of the highly sensitive topics they address. “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” on the contrary does not deal with for example rape or extreme poverty, nor with similarly problematic subjects. Instead, the short story is marked by a certain positivity, coming mainly from the character of Miss Rehana. She is a protagonist full of optimism and innocence (ibid.: 9), which gives the story an overall positive touch, constituting its fairy tale like character. In many other texts, India “is reduced to a pitiful example of underdevelopment, poverty and hunger” (Woyth-Gutberlet 2009: 294). As these topics are not focussed on in “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”, it can be used in the EFL classroom “[i]n order to overcome these stereotypes” (ibid.). Concerning Miss Rehana, the positivity she radiates is not the only benefit that defines her character. At the same time, she is a very strong female protagonist who dominates the story by clearly expressing her opinion and acting according to her own wishes as an independent Indian woman (“independent girl”, Rushdie 1995: 6). This is not very often the case in postcolonial Indian literature, as women are 233 often the ones being discriminated against by a patriarchal system (cf. Lindner 2010: 59; Wandel et al. 2007: 213). Her characterisation as a strong female protagonist is complemented with one of the major themes this short story addresses. Woyth-Gutberlet (2009) states that in EFL teaching, “one should choose texts which contain cultural concepts that are essential for understanding the target culture” (295). In “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”, the custom of arranged marriage is portrayed very carefully and, even more importantly, represented from the perspective of a woman. In that respect, Rushdie’s short story sheds a very different light on the topic of arranged marriage as well as on Indian women in general, in comparison to manifold other literary texts belonging to this field. Thereby, the short story “create[s] opportunities to overcome negative stereotypes and to encounter Indian cultures and societies as equally worthy forms of life” (ibid.: 294) and makes “accessing and assessing cultural practises and meanings” (Wandel 2006: 89) easier, which can be considered as remarkable strengths of this text. Apart from the chances already mentioned, the topic of giving and receiving, of applying or refusing advice can be regarded as very beneficial for EFL learners. When dealing with the advice given by Muhammad and with the way Miss Rehana reacts to it, the students’ critical thinking can be fostered. They are most probably animated to think about their own experiences in terms of giving, receiving and dealing with advice and to critically reflect upon their own behaviour in these situations. “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” can therefore be dealt with in order to foster moral education in general. Especially in today’s German EFL classroom, Rushdie’s short story offers another very important benefit, namely the topic of migration. Germany has experienced a huge wave of immigration throughout the preceding years which has, apart from motivating a lot of people to work with immigrants and support them in making a living in Germany, made a lot of negative headlines as well. This development has strongly influenced the German society and shaped many people’s attitudes towards immigrants. Reading “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”, students get the possibility to experience a protagonist’s perspective who is herself about to migrate. Miss Rehana is forced to move to England because of the marriage her parents have arranged for her when she was only a child. In the end, nevertheless, she willingly refuses to go to England and therefore acts according to her own wishes and dreams. Through this story, students learn about reasons 234 for and difficulties arising with migration and thus a Perspektivwechsel is made possible. One important general argument for working with short stories in class are the so-called “Widerstandsnester” (cf. Bredella 1990) they contain, which offer the opportunity of vivid discussions in class and involving students emotionally. When reading Rushdie’s short story, students may be especially encouraged to fill these gaps because “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” “seems to be particularly appropriate to initiate the intended processes, all the more as it evolves from a central conflict which is likely to be understandable for the students” (Woyth-Gutberlet 2009: 296). In addition to that, Rushdie himself suggested different possible endings of the short story which inherits the chance of dwelling on how texts change and can be changed when editing the ending. Especially in the Oberstufe, this allows enriching discussions about literature and the importance of words on a meta-level. (source) Considering all of the chances listed in the preceding analysis, one can conclude that using “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” enables a “teaching which focuses on intercultural learning and aims at an understanding of foreign cultures. An understanding of the others should imply accepting the other’s way of seeing themselves and the world as well as avoiding judging them by the standards of one’s own culture” (Woyth-Gutberlet 2009: 293). 3.2 Challenges Apart from the manifold chances the short story offers for being used in class, there are also several challenges one has to take into account when thinking about reading “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” with EFL learners. The first and most obvious difficulty is the language used in the story. Rushdie incorporates a variety of Hindu words (“babuji”:12; “’Salaam, advice wallah’”: 13; “ayah”: 15) which prevent a fluent reading process and which can even make it difficult for students to understand the story’s content. For this reason, one would definitely have to provide the students with vocabulary annotations, which causes a lot of additional work for teachers when preparing a teaching unit. 2 “Enabling the learners to comprehend the other’s as well as their own perspectives, to relate them to each other and to mediate between them should represent the focus of EFL teaching” (Woyth-Gutberlet 2009: 293). 235 In terms of content, one has to mention that if a teacher wants his students to understand the short story and the intention behind it, there is even more preparatory work to do since it is of essential importance to make them familiar with the concept of arranged marriage as well as to provide them with the necessary background information on Pakistan. This difficulty directly leads to a third and last striking challenge coming along with teaching “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” as a central text in the course of a teaching unit on India: It is not a typical Indian short story, since it is set in Pakistan. Therefore, the reading would have to be complemented by other Indian short stories. The reality of EFL teaching shows that there is often not enough time to analyse and interpret literary works in depth which is why one might want to select a short story that is more representative for this field of study. 3.3 An Appraisal Having thoroughly analysed benefits and disadvantages of reading and teaching “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”, one can state that the benefits clearly outweigh the challenges, as possible solutions for overcoming these challenges have already been presented. Not only in terms of the general positive atmosphere and learner-friendly presentation of the setting, the story is convincing, but also when it comes to content and topics that can possibly be dealt with during a teaching unit that focuses on Rushdie’s short story. It can therefore clearly be claimed as suitable for the EFL classroom. Accordingly, the following chapter presents possible teaching activities that can be used when reading Rushdie’s short story in the course of a teaching unit on India. 4 Teaching Activities As the preceding analysis of chances and challenges of teaching Salman Rushdie’s short story “Good Advice is Rarer Than Rubies” has revealed, the short story can be considered appropriate for being read and dealt with in the EFL classroom. Therefore, the following chapter presents possible pre-, while- and post-reading activities which can serve as guiding tasks for students during a teaching unit on India. The decision of structuring the activities in pre-, while- and postreading activities has been made because of the current state of research concerning lessons on literature. Moving away from rational processes of text analysis, action- and production-oriented forms of working with texts have shifted the focus from the text itself to the 236 learners and their reading comprehension as well as their individual and emotional responses to the texts (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 62-63). This approach is called personal-response approach . 4.1 Pre-Reading Activity Wandel (2013) points to the fact that German EFL students are “not provided with material that suits and motivates them” (396) because many teachers neglect the use of modern media in the classroom. Therefore, a comic is shown on the smartboard in order to give the students a motivational input in the beginning of the teaching unit on “Good Advice is Rarer Than Rubies”. In the comic, which consists of three panels, a doctor is talking to a patient lying on a daybed. The scene reminds the viewer of a psychologist’s surgery. The first panel shows both, doctor and patient, and the patient says: “Help me, Dr. Badadvice. I keep having dreams where I fall off of tall buildings.” The second panel is a zoom-in on the doctor, answering: “I think you should follow your dreams.” The third one then zooms in on the patient, replying: “Wow, that’s some good advice.” Firstly, the students are asked to describe the comic. The teacher provides scaffolding by showing useful phrases and vocabulary for comic analysis on the smartboard in order to enable more students to talk about the comic. The description takes place in a plenum discussion. Afterwards, the teacher asks the students to define what good and bad advice is for them. This task can be fulfilled in a short thinkpair-share phase. Hence, this pre-reading activity prepares the students for the short story in terms of content as they think about the concept of advice and its possible negative or positive connotations. At the same time, this task ensures a fostering of their social and communicative competences, as the beginning of the lessons aims at involving every student. 4.2 While-Reading Activity According to Nünning and Surkamp (2010), the while-reading phase mainly fulfils two functions: guaranteeing the students’ understanding 3 For further reading on forms of dealing with literature in the classroom, see: Nünning & Surkamp (2010), Bredella, L. & Legutke, M. (Eds.). (1985). Schüleraktivierende Methoden im Fremdsprachenunterricht Englisch. Bochum: Kamp. as well as Weskamp, R. (1997). Postmoderne Literaturtheorien: Folgen und Möglichkeiten für den fremdsprachlichen Literaturunterricht auf der gymnasialen Oberstufe. PRAXIS des neusprachlichen Unterrichts, 44(4), 345-353. 237 of the text and encouraging them to actively read it again and engage in a dialogue with the text (cf. 74). Active reading can be fostered by demanding the students to reflect upon their impressions of the text and to articulate their personal reactions to the textual input (cf. ibid.). During this kind of while-reading activity the students’ active examination of the text and its content is ensured. The activity presented here, asks the students to read the text, which is split up into three excerpts, and create hypotheses about how the story continues after each of the given excerpts (see: Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 74). This way, it is assured that the students deal with the blanks mentioned in 3.1 and get personally involved during the reading process (cf. Woyth-Gutberlet 2009: 298). After the first excerpt (p. 5 l. 1 – p. 7 l. 13) is handed out, the students should read it on their own and then formulate a first thesis about what could happen next. As soon as they have noted down their ideas, they receive the second excerpt (p. 7 l. 14 – p. 10 l. 8) at the first ‘bus stop’. There, they wait for a partner in order to develop hypotheses together about how the story could continue after this excerpt. Having outlined their ideas in bullet points, the pairs deal with the third excerpt (p. 10 l. 9 – p. 13 l. 2) of the story, which they can receive at bus stop number two, and formulate a second hypothesis about the story’s continuation. The students work in pairs in order to actively engage in a dialogue with their classmates and thus construct more detailed hypotheses. Finally, every student receives the fourth and last excerpt (p. 13 l. 3 – p. 16 l. 3) of the short story and is asked to read its ending in order to ensure a complete reading of the whole short story. A plenum discussion can follow in order to give the students the possibility to formulate their thoughts: Has anything surprised them? Had they expected the story to end like this? 4.3 Post-Reading Activity Grimm, Meyer and Volkmann (2015) state that “[t]he post-reading phase provides space for creative activities, which center on the interests, knowledge, and competences of learners and motivate them to work individually or with others on palpable products” (p. 188). This goal can be pursued with the help of a task in which the students can refer back to their individual impressions and the findings they acquired during the reading process. The post-reading phase allows the students to creatively express their thoughts having been evoked while reading the story. Resuming their work of the while-reading phase, they are now asked to write a 238 possible sequel for the short story. They also have to consider the question of how Rehana thinks about the piece of advice she has been given by Muhammad. This post-reading activity establishes a frame with the while-reading activity and also refers back to what the students worked on in the pre-reading phase. Pre-Reading-Activity While-Reading-Activity Post-Reading- Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Describe the comic. Define what good and bad advice is for you. Read the different excerpts of the short story. After each part, think about how the story could continue. Formulate the first hypothesis on your own. Then go to the bus stop to receive the next worksheet with the second excerpt. From now on, work with a partner you found at the bus stop. Bullet points are sufficient. Having read the whole short story, think about how it could continue and write a possible sequel of the story. Write at least 300 words. Also think about how Miss Rehana judges Muhammad’s piece of advice. Material/Medium Smartboard Comic Arbeitsblatt Kurzgeschichte inkl. Zeilen- und Vokabelangaben sowie Hilfslinien nach den einzelnen Abschnitten, auf denen die Hypothesen notiert werden können / Sozialform 1. Unterrichtsgespräch 2. Think-Pair-Share 1. Einzelarbeit 2. Partnerarbeit 1. Einzelarbeit Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar Am Smartboard wird sprachliche Unterstützung zur Beschreibung des Comics bereitgestellt (scaffolding). Mit Hilfe des „Bus stop- Systems“ wird sichergestellt, dass jede/r SuS eine/n Partner/in für den weiteren Verlauf der Auf- Dieser creativewriting-task ermöglicht dem Lernenden einen affektivempathischen Zu- 239 Der visuelle Impuls in Verbindung mit der Bildbeschreibung stimmt die SuS auf die Englischstunde ein und bereitet das Thema der Kurzgeschichte vor. Die kurzen Pair- und Share- Phasen aktivieren alle SuS sprachlich. gabenstellung bekommt, der/die das gleiche Arbeitstempo hat. Den SuS können Leitfragen in Form von Hilfskärtchen zur Differenzierung bereitgestellt werden. gang zum Thema der Kurzgeschichte. Sie kann als Hausaufgabe zur Nachbereitung dienen. 5 Conclusion The guiding question of this term paper was twofold: firstly, it aimed at analysing the short story “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” in respect of the representation of postcolonial key concepts before discussing its suitability for the EFL classroom. A thorough interpretation of the most dominant key concepts that are addressed in this story, namely 'Marginality', 'Feminism' and 'Binarism', showed that the limited length of the short story does not preclude it from an extensive level of depth in content. The dichotomies of gender roles, social expectations and perception of migration are portrayed with the juxtaposition of the two main characters. Especially the characterisation of Miss Rehana has proven to be a unique feature of this particular story, since she embodies various, usually negatively connoted concepts, as the marginalised female protagonist. Through confidence and the positive influence, she has on her surroundings, Miss Rehana overcomes the expectations her family and society have imposed on her and chooses her own happiness. This fundamental positivity that permeates Rushdie's short story can also be seen as one of the major advantages for its possible usage in the EFL classroom. Whereas a majority of postcolonial literary fiction explores highly sensitive topics that have to be introduced carefully before letting students engage with these texts. “A Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” exemplifies hope and the effect of free will. In addition to that, the general theme of receiving and giving advice entails a high level of Identifikationspotential as the students of the Sekundarstufe II are on the threshold of adulthood themselves, which means that they have to become able to critically reflect the advice of others and their own free choice. Nevertheless, this short story cannot 240 be effectively used in the EFL classroom without an introduction of the necessary background information, such as the history and situation of Pakistan or the concept of arranged marriages. Furthermore, it can also not be regarded as a literary text that offers a multitude of insights into the topics and themes that should be addressed while teaching India and thus needs to be complemented with other perspectives on Indian culture, religion and history. Further research on this topic could include designing a teaching unit on India in order to find sources that complement the concepts portrayed in “A Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” and would result in a realistic and holistic way of teaching India in the EFL classroom. In conclusion it can be said however, that teaching this particular short story has gained its popularity due to plausible reasons, as its chances outweigh the challenges substantially. Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures in English. London: Taylor & Francis. Ashcroft B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2007). Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (2nd ed.). Routledge Key Guides. London: Routledge. Ashcroft B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (3rd ed.). Routledge Key Guides. London: Routledge. Baldwin, D., & Quinn, P. (2007). 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Heidelberg: Winter. 242 “Hear Me Roar” – Saroo Brierley’s Lion in the EFL Classroom Carolin Bialecki 1 Introduction In his autobiographical novel Lion (2013), Saroo Brierley describes his life story between his home country, India, and his adoptive country, Australia. At the age of five, Brierley got lost on a train in India. Although he neither knew the name of his biological family, nor the exact location of his home, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before he was adopted by an Australian family and left India. After living in Australia for years, he managed to find his hometown through studying Google Maps and was eventually reunited with his biological family. In its central core, the story of Brierley is symbolic of many similar fates in India. “Over 80,000 children go missing each year and there are over 11 million children living on the streets in India alone” (Patel in: Lang 2016), stated the leading actor Dev Patel of the motion picture version in an interview. One of the settings of Lion is India and through this setting the novel is in line with the relatively new tendency of German federal states to include the teaching of India in the new EFL curricula (cf. Wandel 2013: 287). Thus, Brierley’s novel can be used to address several cultural differences. Belonging to the genre of ‘Anglophone postcolonial literature’, Lion promotes the heterogeneity of the English culture (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2005: 273) since it “offers a broad variety of themes and topics that familiarize the students with a fascinating culture and provide ample opportunities to incorporate aspects of intercultural learning, surely one of the major overreaching goals of the EFL syllabus” (Lindner 2010: 60). 243 In this term paper, it will be analyzed how Lion depicts the postcolonial key concepts of ‘Diaspora’ and ‘Liminality’. Additionally, it will be analyzed to what extent the novel Lion is suitable for the use in English lessons in a German EFL classroom. For this reason, the term paper is divided into three major parts. First, the novel is analyzed with regard to applicable postcolonial key concepts. These concepts will mainly be based on the works of Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013). Second, Lion will be examined with regard to the challenges and chances the text presents to the EFL classroom in order to determine which aspects can be regarded as beneficial for the classroom. On top of that, it will be shown how problems that might occur when teaching of the novel can be overcome in order to ensure a better understanding of the text by the learners. Lastly, pre-, while-, and postreading activities, which can be used for teaching the novel, will be presented. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in the novel Lion The study of postcolonial literature refers to a broad variety of aspects and themes that are connected to the umbrella term ‘postcolonialism’, which is broadly outlined as the study of effects of colonialism on different cultures. Further, it has been a frequently changing term over the past years as it “has expanded and diversified in both its impact and its significance, in fields as varied as globalization, environmentalism, transnationalism, the sacred, and even economics” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: vii). Through applying the various key concepts formulated by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin in their stories, postcolonial authors create an authentic postcolonial text, which gives (Western) readers the opportunity to experience a culture contrary to their own. Lion contains several of these key concepts, but only the most dominant ones relevant for the present text will be examined. However, in the case of Lion, it is important to keep in mind that the novel is rather written from the perspective of a Western educated man, only influenced by memories of his home country, since Brierley is very well accustomed to the Western culture, whereas the Indian culture has to be regarded as being alienated through faded memory. 2.1 Diaspora Webster’s Dictionary translates the Greek root diaspeirein of the word ‘Diaspora’ as ‘to scatter, to spread about’, and further refers to it as a ‘dispersion from’. In the last few decades, various attempts have been 244 made to study the phenomenon in considerable depth and to offer more encompassing definitions (Safran 1991, Cohen 1999, Brah 2006, Ashcroft et al. 2013). A frequently used recent definition describes ‘Diaspora’ as “the voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81). People affected by this diasporic movement can then respond through assimilation to the new culture or they withdraw from it as they live in some form of nostalgic memory shaped by their origins (cf. Safran 1991: 83). Thus, diasporic literature often addresses the topic of keeping or changing distinctive cultural features such as language, previous cultural habits, and identity, while living in another culture. In general, the ‘Diaspora’ of Brierley has to be considered under its sociocultural aspects. “This perspective addresses itself to the question of cultural identity and change following change of the national domicile of an individual” (Sharma 2004: 47) and helps to understand his assimilation to the new culture. Prior to Ashcroft’s definition, in order to overcome the blurriness of the term, Safran (1991) published a list of six key characteristics of ‘Diaspora’ as an effort to put some common characteristics of ‘Diaspora’ together which have to be regarded as an “attempt to construct a quite specific ideal-type [which] stressed the transnational character of diasporas, the symbolic and material importance […] of a homeland and a vision of eventual return to it” (Tsagarousianou 2004: 54-55). It further “introduced an array of other factors such as the perceived marginalization in the country of settlement experienced by members of a diasporic community” (ibid.). Some of these characteristics are also applicable to Brierley’s novel as will be shown. However, it is important to keep in mind that no ‘Diaspora’ is the same and that the key characteristics have to be understood as common features. First, and most obviously, Brierley “has been dispersed from a specific original ‘center’” (Safran 1991: 83). An adoption agency in his home country of India found him living on the streets, took him in and sent him overseas to an Australian couple. It is debatable if this was a voluntary or forcible movement. Additionally, he was not forced by colonizers to leave the country as he left India through childhood adoption because the agency decided that he would have a better life in Australia. So, he left, or more specifically, was sent from India with the hope of a better life. Nevertheless, he has been dispersed. Through his adoptive parents, he “retain[ed] a collective memory, vision, or myth about [his] original homeland” (ibid.). The adoptive family put effort in dec- 245 orating his room with Indian objects (cf. Brierley 2016: 7) and visited a befriended Indian family (cf. ibid.: 7) to help Saroo settle in but arguably also to remind him of his Indian heritage. Safran further argues that people affected by ‘Diaspora’ are not “accepted by their host society and therefore feel partly alienated and insulated from it” (Safran 1991: 83). In this regard, the novel differs immensely from Safran’s last observation since Brierley writes “I was growing up Australian – a proud Tassie” (Brierley 2016: 12). This only underlines how peculiar his ‘Diaspora’ is, since he, in fact, chose to ignore his Indian roots during his teenage years and fully assimilated to the Australian culture. He only begins to re-engage with his Indian roots through a student group in college (cf. ibid.: 115ff.). Sharma (2004) notes that Indian immigrants “remain Indian in their primary groups but act [Australian] in their secondary groups” (50), which is a possible explanation for Saroo’s behavior. The Indian students group functions as the primary group and opens the contact zone and through this contact, he begins to be committed to the next key characteristics formulated by Safran. “The word [diaspora] embodies a notion of a centre, a locus, a ‘home’ from where the diaspora occurs and evokes images of multiple journeys” (Brah 2006: 443), which eventually lead to the desire to return home (cf. Safran 1991: 83). This desire is met by Brierley as he begins to look for his hometown on Google Maps. Finally, he has an “idea of an eventual return to the original homeland” (ibid.), which he eventually experiences in the last chapter. 2.2 Liminality Liminal space is to be characterized as an “in-between space, a threshold area,” in which “cultural change may occur” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 145). More precisely, it describes “the transcultural space in which strategies for personal or communal self-hood may be elaborated, a region in which there is a continual process of movement and interchange between different states” (ibid.). According to Bhabha (cf. 1994: 4), a closely related term is ‘hybridity’ which “commonly refers to the creation of new transcultural forms within the contact zone” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 135). Bhabha (1994), further, argues that an “interstitial passage between fixed identifications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy” (4). Yet, Brierley is not really a hybrid character as he is not a “cross-breeding of two” cultures (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 135). On the contrary, he is between two cultures. The liminal aspects 246 of his character describe the “‘in-between’ space in which cultural change may occur: the transcultural space in which strategies for personal or communal self-hood may be elaborated, a region in between different states” (ibid.: 145). Just as the word ‘threshold’ suggests, Saroo is able to either cross the sill of a doorway or not representing either of his Indian or Australian identities. He grew up Australian, feels Australian as already pointed out above, and fully took on the Australian culture. “By the time I began high school, the map of India was still on my Wall, but I hardly noticed it next to my posters of the Red Hot Chili Peppers” (Brierley 2016: 112). However, he can also switch back to his Indian identity as he returns, e. g. “he felt at ease lying there” (ibid.: 235). 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language The second part of this analysis will focus on the possible chances, challenges and activities the novel Lion could offer as a teaching unit in the German EFL classroom. As the content analysis has shown, one of the most outstanding themes of the novel is the emotional subject matter. Teaching and dealing with a story, which involves topics as trauma and loss entail not only chances but also risks and challenges. These need to be looked at more closely in order to determine the novel’s suitability for the EFL classroom. 3.1 Chances Generally, it should be pointed out that one of the most emphasized goals of modern English foreign language classrooms is the development and fostering of the intercultural communicative competence (ICC) as well as the ability to change perspectives by giving insight into a different and foreign cultures. Through fostering these skills, the students are enabled to develop and reconsider their own perspective, which is regarded as a necessary condition for social behavior (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 27-28). Moreover, through providing a direct comparison of different cultures, the students are encouraged to “compare this world view [of the foreign culture] with their own and negotiate the two (Perspektivenwechsel, Perspektivenkoordiantion), leading to an ongoing comparison of horizons of expectations rather than such a blending of horizons” (Grimm et al. 2015: 158). Hence, through the concepts of Perspektivenwechsel and Fremdverstehen, students should be enabled to distinguish between their own and foreign culture as well as 247 to critically reflect upon them (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 29). Especially literary texts provide various benefits for learners as they enable them to experience instantly “how differently things look when you live in Bagdad or Benin rather than Berlin” (Young 2003: 2). Belonging to the relatively new genre of ‘Anglophone postcolonial literature’, the novel Lion meets the demands the “intercultural turn in foreign language teaching asks for” as it depicts “strange, ‘exotic’, unknown locations and characters”, giving the students the opportunity to “encounter with ‘the other’” (Wandel et. al. 2007: 209) and a different culture. Mostly, the students are confronted with the social structure of India. They get to know India through the eyes of a poor child and can compare these perceptions with those of the grown up Saroo. His descriptions offer a lot of material for units that focus on Landeskunde and various topics can be enlarged upon, e. g. different food, social class, geography, the different languages and religions. Lion further demonstrates the poverty of certain regions in India and provides opportunities to compare this to the situation in Germany/Australia. Moreover, the students gain insight into how people in India deal with poverty but are also confronted with situations in which Saroo depicts India as a rich country, e. g. his overnight stay in a hotel in Bombay right before his flight to Australia (Brierley 2016: 81), making them aware of India’s heterogeneity. As Mukherjee (2006) argues “the perhaps most characteristic feature of India is its complexity and heterogeneity. It is a country that is marked by a multitude of different cultures, religions and languages” (143). In Lion, the students are enabled to learn about the diversity of India and a number of cultural Indian phenomena through the eyes of the protagonist Saroo. Through comparing his perspective to other resources and maybe even own experiences in India, the students “gain the ability to recognize that many features of today’s world can be interpreted in different ways” (Eisenmann 2015: 224). Hence, the novel promotes intercultural awareness as it provides the students with the opportunity to experience things that are beyond their own everyday reality and that they would, therefore, never encounter in their daily lives (cf. Nünning 2001: 8). Eisenmann further argues that “to facilitate the development of transcultural awareness, literary texts should be selected which tell of the lives of (young) people from other cultures” (Eisenmann 2015: 224). Lion is autobiographical and therefore has a high degree of authenticity. However, belonging to the genre of autobiography, one has 248 to keep in mind that there is always some tension between authenticity and fiction. Nevertheless, the students are provided with various insights of living in India. Written from a first-person perspective the students can easily comprehend the protagonist’s feelings as they accompany Saroo through his experiences. This comprehension is fostered through the liminal character of Saroo. Although he is aware of what general Western perceptions of India are like, he is nevertheless very descriptive and makes the difference through direct comparisons between the Australian and Indian culture visible to the readers (cf. e.g. Brierley 2016: 85f.), which, in turn, supports the student’s cultural awareness as it helps them to imagine and understand the customs of the foreign country. The fact that he writes from the perspective of a Western educated man makes it stylistically easier for the students to identify with the character of Saroo as he also describes processes that are not unknown to the students. Hence, through the accessibility of main character, the novel can be regarded as a story with a high Identifikationspotential. Moreover, “the most important ingredients in a literature EFL classroom are surely interest and enthusiasm on the part of reader and the literary worth of the text” (Bland 2012: 205), which is definitely fostered through identification with Saroo. Even if his experiences are completely alien to the students, they should be enabled to relate to his experiences (cf. Ahrens 2012: 186). Furthermore, reading Lion is “a gateway to a third place” (Grimm et al. 2015: 183). The suggestion of this concept was coined by Kramsch (1993: 233-253), who argues that it “includes a mix of positions in the interest of personal and socio-cultural transformation in line with a power-critical and democratic agenda” (Delanoy 2012: 160). The analysis of the postcolonial key concept of ‘Liminality’ has shown that Brierley is also in a position in which he is “motivated to take over perspective from others” (Grimm et al. 2015: 183). This becomes very obvious when he returns to India as a grown man and experiences his home country as a Western person (cf. Brierley 2016: 165f.). Lastly, the novel is easy to comprehend, and the writing style is simplistic. The students are neither overwhelmed by long and complex sentences, nor should the vocabulary be beyond their level of understanding. Additionally, there is a movie adaption which can be used to draw comparisons between certain scenes. 249 3.2 Challenges “As important as it certainly appears for the EFL classroom, the approach of transcultural learning and global education carries a number of problematic aspects” (Grimm et al. 2015: 164). Firstly, “it is the challenge of […] intercultural learning, when students of another culture are asked to acquaint themselves with the conditions of life in another country” (Ahrens 2012: 186). The conditions described in Lion are to be classified as sensitive regarding their content. Some of the students might be put off by the experiences Brierley shares. Dealing with this sort of immense trauma and feelings of loss could turn out to be a great challenge for the German EFL classroom, especially since the trauma presents itself on various levels. Firstly, and most obviously, the novel deals with the trauma of getting lost and losing one’s family. Secondly, the students learn about the harshness of living in India as a poor person. Various instances outline what it is like to be hungry (e.g. Brierley 2016: 18, 23, 50). Separated from his family, Saroo has to take care of himself and has to make various escapes and encounters dangerous strangers (cf. e.g. ibid.: 40). On top of that, Brierley writes about sexual abuse, specifically mentioning the abuse of his adoptive brother (cf. e.g. ibid.: 40). Hence, it is very vividly described what kind of fears the author and narrator went through (cf. e.g. ibid.: 30-31) and these emotions might trigger affective responses of some of the students. For example, one of the students might have actually lost a next of kin. Therefore, one needs to check beforehand if the students of the class are able to emotionally deal with the content of the novel. However, these obstacles can be tackled by avoiding an affective approach in the post-reading phase and focusing on rather thematic guided teaching units and factual knowledge tasks. A challenging chance of this novel is the dealing with the postcolonial key concepts since they are not completely obvious at all times. Brierley’s ‘Diaspora’ cannot be regarded as a ‘classic’ postcolonial ‘Diaspora’ as he is not influenced by colonizers, however, one could use this fact and discuss with the students how the term has evolved over time. Moreover, the analysis of the concept before has shown that central characteristics for a ‘Diaspora’ are applicable in this case. Therefore, one could use the example of Brierley’s ‘Diaspora’ to point out how and why the term has altered over the last years including the recent reasons for ‘Displacement’, which have not necessarily been influenced by colonialism (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 87). In this regard, Alam (2013) points out that “in the first phase of Indian Eng- 250 lish fiction, its writers were nearly all rooted in the Indian subcontinent […]. In the second phase of Indian English writing, however, quite a few writers began to make the life of diasporic Indians their main subjects” (247). He further elaborates this observation and points out that most of these Indians “live as outsiders in their adopted lands, unable or unwilling to adapt in the country they have moved to, but doggedly staying on there instead of returning home to their homelands” (ibid.). Lion, however, belongs to a group of novels heralding a new era that is “coping with acculturation [and] moving towards assimilation in the West” and “written from an intense desire to overcome feelings of aloofness, trauma and loss incurred in diasporas” (ibid. 248). Yet, one has to consider that “the issues and problems of the Indian diaspora in [Australia] are not the same as the social and cultural features of ‘India proper’” (Wandel 2013: 388-89). Thus, the students gain a one-dimensional view of life in India. Therefore, it is important to point the students’ awareness to the direction that Saroo’s diasporic life is strongly influenced by his life in Australia, “rather than of the ‘real India’” (ibid.) as they get to experience Indian culture mainly through his memory. 4 Teaching Activities The following part provides self-created pre-, while-, and post-reading activities, which could be used for teaching a unit of Lion. In order to enhance the students’ processes of comprehension and construction of meaning regarding the content and cultural chances, the lesson is subdivided in the above-mentioned parts. This tripartite structure aims at fostering the interaction of the students with the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 71). The students will be supported during the different stages of their reading process in terms of knowledge, comprehension, and interpretation (cf. ibid.). 4.1 Pre-Reading-Activity As pointed out above in the section on chances, the novel is written in a rather uncomplicated writing style, therefore a linguistic Vorentlastung is not deemed necessary. Instead, motivating the students and providing them with knowledge (cf. ibid.: 72) about railway children are the main learning goals of this thematic introductory task. As shown in the challenges, one of the major challenges is the sensitive content of the novel. In regard to this task, the topic of trauma and loss is supposed to be made accessible on a topic-related basis. The students are 251 asked to read an informative text that is written by the organization Railway Children and outline its main facts. Hence, the students are confronted with the topic on a factual level as they gain factual knowledge about India’s railway system and children who got lost in it through reading the text. This ensures that the students are prepared for the content of the novel before reading it and that they can deal with the challenges of loss, poverty and trauma without affective associations. However, it has to be pointed out that the case of Saroo differs in one aspect compared to the railway children as he did not leave his home voluntarily. Yet, the text is still comparable to Saroo’s situation. It provides an insight to the life on the streets and strengthens the authenticity of the novel as the task shows that Brierley describes realistic circumstances. Thus, in the ongoing reading process, the students should be enabled to take over the perspective of Saroo with greater ease. The text is directly adapted from the online source and vocabulary that might be unknown to the students is provided at the bottom of the sheet. Further, the students are supposed to organize their findings in a mind map, which is printed on the sheet as well. For all intents and purposes, a mind map is supposed to help the students to present their findings in class. Additionally, it preserves their newly gained knowledge. 4.2 While-Reading-Activity The while-reading activity is supposed to secure the students’ comprehension of the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 74). The task used here aims at fostering active reading through looking at certain aspects (cf. ibid.: 75). Firstly, the students are asked to read the passage on page 85 l. 21 to page 88 l. 7 and point out how India and Australia are described. This part is supposed to be completed on one’s own. For the second task, they are supposed to team up with their neighbor and compare their findings. Lastly, they are supposed to write down their findings. A table is provided on the working sheet which is supposed to function as a comprehensible overview for the students. The given extract offers various elements the students can focus on and through comparing their findings they are able to learn from their partner’s insights as they might have focused on different aspects. Hence, through close reading, they will gain in-depth understanding of the text and it will be easier for them to pay more attention to the differences of living in the two different cultures. This task 252 will help the students to understand the differences between themselves, their country and people from other countries. As Australia is a Western country, it is not far away from the Lebenswirklichkeit of the German students. Therefore, they should be able to identify with the description of Australia. The second part of the task aims at ensuring that each student comprehends the text and fosters their communicative skills. Communicative, reading, as well as social competences will be fostered by the close reading and the following partner work. 4.3 Post-Reading-Activity The purpose of the post-reading activity is to provide the students with the goal “den durchlaufenen Erkenntnisweg nachzuvollziehen, die im Verlauf der Textarbeit gewonnenen Einsichten umzusetzen […] [und] auf überindividuelle Probleme anzuwenden” (Caspari 1997: 45). Usually, one might be tempted to have the students rewrite certain passages, e. g. writing about the reunion from the perspective of Saroo’s birth mother. However, as pointed out in the section on challenges, affective tasks dealing with the trauma of Saroo’s loss should be avoided if possible. The while-reading activity already focuses on the differences between Australia and India, but here the students read about them through the eyes of ‘young’ Saroo. Of course, this is relative because the whole novel has been written by the adult Saroo Brierley. However, one could argue that there is perceptible progression in the text as other elements are stressed while he describes his youth. The postreading activity focuses on the perceptions of the grown up Saroo. The students are asked to analyze how Saroo reacts to his new environments in India after his return (cf. Brierley 2016: 165f.). This task aims at fostering the cultural awareness of the students as well as their ability of taking over a Perspektivenidentifikation. Moreover, it raises the students’ awareness of their own subjectivity, relativity of their own perceptions and encourages them to see beyond their own experiences (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2010: 28) and further to the subjectivity of the novel. 253 Pre-Reading- Activity While-Reading- Activity Post-Reading-Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Read the statements of the organization Railway Children below. Outline the main facts the organization raises awareness to and write down your findings in the mindmap. Read the passage on page 85 l. 21 – page 88 l. 7. Point out how Saroo describes Australia and India. Write down your findings. Compare your findings with your neighbor. Write down your findings in key words. Analyze how Saroo reacts to his new environments in India after his return (pp. 165f.) Material/ Medium Arbeitsblatt: Mind- Map für den zweiten Teil der Aufgabe ist vorgeben Arbeitsblatt: Tabelle ist vorgegeben SuS sollen Text im Heft verfassen Sozialform Einzelarbeit Einzelarbeit /Partnerarbeit Einzelarbeit Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar Über den thematischen Einstieg soll den SuS der Zugang zu dem Roman erleichtert und die Lesemotivation gefördert werden. Fördert den aktiven Leseprozess und macht auf Unterschiede zwischen den Kulturen aufmerksam. Analytische Fähigkeiten werden gefördert: SuS setzen sich intensiv mit Saroos Reaktionen auseinander, wodurch eine Personenidentifikation ermöglicht wird. 5 Conclusion The guiding question of this term paper aimed at analyzing the novel Lion by Saroo Brierley in order to determine its suitability for the German EFL classroom. This was done by an analysis of the postcolonial key concepts in the first part and a focus on the teaching perspective in the second part. First of all, the most striking postcolonial key concepts of ‘Diaspora’, ‘Displacement’, and ‘Liminality’ were analyzed. It was pointed out that even though Lion is written from the perspective of a Westerner, the characteristics of the key concepts are still applicable. Through engaging with the novel, the students gain insights about living in India and its culture. However, the insights are limited by the author’s perspective. Nevertheless, utilizing the novel in the EFL classroom not only conveys regional knowledge to the students, but further helps to achieve important learning objectives such 254 as intercultural competence and understanding of other cultures (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2005: 259). In the second part, the postcolonial key concepts were taken into account and their significance in the chances and challenges was pointed out. Promoting a change of perspective and transcultural awareness were pointed out as the major chances of the novel. Through the consistent comparison of life in Australia to India, the students gain new insights about living in India. Moreover, students can still identify with the protagonist and have an easy access to the novel through the simple language. Overall, through its broad issues, a variety of topics can be covered and worked on by the students separately. The greatest challenge of the novel is that it is not written by a ‘proper Indian’ but a man who grew up in Australia. However, this can be seen as beneficial since it will be easier to identify oneself in Westernized parts of the world and eases the clash of cultures. Furthermore, the novel provides the opportunity to reflect closely on diasporic literature and shows a great example of assimilation. A challenge related to this, is that the postcolonial issues are not always immediately clear but still evident. However, it has been argued that one could use this as an advantage and show, for example, how the term ‘Diaspora’ has changed over time. Further, the novel deals with a drastic representation of loss, poverty, and trauma. This can be tackled through thematic related tasks instead of affective tasks. The pre-, while- and post-reading activities presented in the last part of the analysis tried to overcome the challenges mentioned while making use of the advantages of the novel. These presented tasks only cover a segment of the possible teaching units as their focus is on Landeskunde and Personenidentifikation. A great variety of tasks is needed to cover different aspects such as Perspektivenwechsel and enhancing the students’ cultural awareness. Overall, the novel is still suitable for the EFL classroom as it has been shown that the challenges of teaching the novel can be overcome. 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Abstract

The 21st century has seen a growing importance of India in foreign language education. Not only has globalisation led to a reshaping of life in India itself, but, on a global scale, the enlarging Indian diaspora has resulted in a spreading and reflection of Indian (diasporic) experiences in economy, literature and (pop)culture. This anthology provides perspectives of how to read and teach these ‘faces’ of postcolonial India. Thereby, it focusses on a variety of literary texts worth implementing in teaching units. The articles take the perspective of literary and cultural studies as base and aim at interconnecting it to major concepts and theories of teaching literature and culture. Finally, it is the aim of this anthology to provide ideas of how to actively teach the different ‘faces’ of postcolonial India in the (advanced) intercultural EFL classroom.

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Abstract

The 21st century has seen a growing importance of India in foreign language education. Not only has globalisation led to a reshaping of life in India itself, but, on a global scale, the enlarging Indian diaspora has resulted in a spreading and reflection of Indian (diasporic) experiences in economy, literature and (pop)culture. This anthology provides perspectives of how to read and teach these ‘faces’ of postcolonial India. Thereby, it focusses on a variety of literary texts worth implementing in teaching units. The articles take the perspective of literary and cultural studies as base and aim at interconnecting it to major concepts and theories of teaching literature and culture. Finally, it is the aim of this anthology to provide ideas of how to actively teach the different ‘faces’ of postcolonial India in the (advanced) intercultural EFL classroom.