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For our purposes, it is instructive to compare the forces that shaped the first generation of migrants with the experience of their descendants. This procedure is not intended to imply the existence of a Chinese wall between the first and subsequent generations, but is employed merely to help historicize the analysis and to indicate the genuine differences produced by distinct life histories and cultural environments.

It will be shown that—notwithstanding the opinion of many white Britons—black people, old and young, do learn, do adapt to their environment and do devise new strategies individual and collective with which to confront the problems they face. As might have been expected, the harsh lessons of British racism have helped to create an identity among Afro-Caribbeans living in Britain commensurate with their concrete situation and historical experience. To bring this and other points into full relief it is necessary to make a brief historical detour. Colonization in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, entailed not only the economic, political and military domination of the indigenous population; it also involved a sometimes overt, but more often surreptitious process of cultural oppression, a major facet of which was the under-mining of any positive self-image that the colonized might have had.

Frantz Fanon, with characteristic perception, fully grasped the implications of this process:.

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This apart, the large number of forts, palaces, gates, buildings, mosques, baolis water tank or well gardens, etc, forms the cultural heritage of the Mughals in India. The Mughals were also instrumental in establishing one of the most efficient administrative setups in India.

British India. India after Independence. This seventh largest country in the world spreads over an area of 3,, sq. India is bounded by the Arabian Sea on its west and south west and the Bay of Bengal on its east and south east and the Himalayan Mountain ranges borders the country on its north. India is blessed with diverse topography—from mountains to plains, to plateaus, deserts, coasts and islands. The Tropic of Cancer divides the country into two equal parts in the Northern and Southern part, and the Vindhya Mountains cut right across the country, from West to East.

The Himalayas, which forms the Northern boundary of the country, consist of three parallel series of mountain range: the Himadri, Himachal and Shivaliks. India Maps. Islam was spread across over a period of years Zoroastrianism arrived from Iran during the 8th or 10th century while the colonial rule introduced the country to Christianity. Lord Buddha was born in India and it is from the shores of this land that Buddhism was disseminated to Sri Lanka and to Tibet.

As the gods and goddesses in their myriad forms were worshipped with elaborate rituals in the country, there appeared in the 15 century a reformer who enjoined a simpler form of worship, shorn of rituals. He was Guru Nanak Dev, whose teachings and those of the nine gurus who followed later are collected in the holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib.

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Festivals The tradition of celebrating festivals goes back to the Vedic period. The scriptures and works of literature of this era are replete with references to festivals. These were the celebrations in honour of gods, rivers, trees, mountains, and seasons like spring, and monsoon.

These were the times for prayers and meditation, and also for spectacle and procession - occasions to express pure joy with performances comprising music, dance and drama, and conducting fairs. The Constitution of India has guaranteed the freedom of worship and way of life to all its citizens. This has ensured the rich kaleidoscope of festivals that are celebrated throughout the country. Diwali The most colourful of all the festival is Deepawali or Diwali, the festival of lights.

Rama, the central figure in the epic Ramayana, went into exile for 14 years, accompanied by his wife Sita and brother Lakshman. During their wanderings in the forests, Ravana, the king of Lanka, carried Sita away. It was only after an epic battle that Rama vanquished Ravana, rescued Sita and returned home. The journey from Lanka in the south to Ayodhya in the north took 20 days.

His triumphal return brought great joy to his people who illuminated the whole city to celebrate the occasion. This tradition continues to this day as houses and cities throughout India are lit up every year traditionally with small earthenware cups or diyas filled with oil to commemorate the anniversary.

Deepawali signifies the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Dussehra The battle between Ravana and Rama and the latter's victory are celebrated as Dussehra in many parts of India, 20 days before Deepawali.

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Dussehra is the day when the effigies of Ravana, his brothers Meghnath and Kumbhakaran, are burnt. It is preceded by enactment of the story of the Ramayana by amateur groups of people in what is known as Ram Lila where all-night performances of the Ramayana from the beginning to the end are enacted; the actors are mainly young boys who perform the role of male as well as female characters.


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While Goddess Durga is worshipped with great devotion in West Bengal, Lord Ganesha - acknowledged as the remover of obstacles - is the central figure in the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra. Janmashtami Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, is the divine core in the epic Mahabharata.

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It was he who gave the sermon of the Bhagwat Gita the song Celestial to Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers during their battle with the Kauravas at Kurukshetra. This battle again epitomises the fight between the forces of evil and good. Lord Krishna is venerated all over India and there are temples dedicated to him specifically but in particular, his home ground of Vrindavan and Mathura where he lived as a boy and revealed his divinity by the miracles he wrought.

Guru Nanak Jayanti and Baisakhi The birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last of Gurus, are very important days and are celebrated with religious fervour and devotion. Processions are taken out, the scriptures are chanted, without a break, and the Gurudwaras Sikh temples are illuminated.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Indian calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian, starts in April. New Year's Day is April 13, celebrated as Baisakhi, which coincides with the harvesting of the wheat crop in Northern India, especially in Punjab. People wear new clothes, sing and dance in joy. In Eastern India, the New Year begins on April 14 and again it is a joyous occasion with singing and dancing by young men and women who don their best silken mekhalas sarongs and chaddars an overwrap and dance to the beat of the drum. This festival is known as Rangali Bihu in Assam. Holi Then there is Holi, the festivals of colours when men, women and children drench one another with coloured water to celebrate the beauty of spring season, when flowers bloom and deck the earth.

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Languages Throughout history, Indian languages and literature have exercised a great deal of influence on other great civilizations and intellectual development of the world at large. To know the real India, languages of different regions must be acquainted with, which can afford a great deal of information on India culture, traditions, history and folklore. In turn, he influenced the post-structuralist generation of French thinkers who succeeded him, including Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida, whose similarities with and debt to the later Merleau-Ponty have often been underestimated.

For most of his career, Merleau-Ponty focused on the problems of perception and embodiment as a starting point for clarifying the relation between the mind and the body, the objective world and the experienced world, expression in language and art, history, politics, and nature.

Although phenomenology provided the overarching framework for these investigations, Merleau-Ponty also drew freely on empirical research in psychology and ethology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and the arts. His constant points of historical reference are Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and Marx. In his later writings, Merleau-Ponty becomes increasingly critical of the intellectualist tendencies of the phenomenological method as well, although with the intention of reforming rather than abandoning it.

The posthumous writings collected in The Visible and the Invisible aim to clarify the ontological implications of a phenomenology that would self-critically account for its own limitations. His work has also been widely influential on researchers outside the discipline of philosophy proper, especially in anthropology, architecture, the arts, cognitive science, environmental theory, film studies, linguistics, literature, and political theory.

He would later describe his childhood as incomparably happy, and he remained very close to his mother until her death in Merleau-Ponty pursued secondary studies at the Parisian lycees Janson-de-Sailly and Louis-le-Grand, completing his first course in philosophy at Janson-de-Sailly with Gustave Rodrigues in — Some evidence suggests that, during these years, Merleau-Ponty authored a novel, Nord.

With the outbreak of World War Two, Merleau-Ponty served for a year as lieutenant in the 5 th Infantry Regiment and 59 th Light Infantry Division, until he was wounded in battle in June , days before the signing of the armistice between France and Germany. He was awarded the Croix de guerre , recognizing bravery in combat.

The group published around ten issues of an underground review until the arrest of two members in early led to its dissolution. Merleau-Ponty declined an invitation to join the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago as a Visiting Professor in —49, but instead received a leave from Lyon for the year to present a series of lectures at the University of Mexico in early Later in , Merleau-Ponty was appointed Professor of Child Psychology and Pedagogy at the University of Paris, and in this position lectured widely on child development, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, Gestalt psychology, and anthropology.

At forty-four, Merleau-Ponty was the youngest person ever elected to this position, but his appointment was not without controversy. In the face of growing political disagreements with Sartre set in motion by the Korean War, Merleau-Ponty resigned his role as political editor of Les Temps Modernes in December of and withdrew from the editorial board altogether in Whereas the neo-Kantian idealism then dominant in France e. Merleau-Ponty argues that neither approach is tenable: organic life and human consciousness are emergent from a natural world that is not reducible to its meaning for a mind; yet this natural world is not the causal nexus of pre-existing objective realities, since it is fundamentally composed of nested Gestalts, spontaneously emerging structures of organization at multiple levels and degrees of integration.

On the one hand, the idealist critique of naturalism should be extended to the naturalistic assumptions framing Gestalt theory. On the other hand, there is a justified truth in naturalism that limits the idealist universalization of consciousness, and this is discovered when Gestalt structures are recognized to be ontologically basic and the limitations of consciousness are thereby exposed. The Structure of Behavior first critiques traditional reflex accounts of the relation between stimulus and reaction in light of the findings of Kurt Goldstein and other contemporary physiologists, arguing that the organism is not passive but imposes its own conditions between the given stimulus and the expected response, so that behavior remains inexplicable in purely anatomical or atomistic terms.

Form or structure therefore describes dialectical, non-linear, and dynamic relationships that can function relatively autonomously and are irreducible to linear mechanical causality see Thompson Merleau-Ponty argues that such accounts rely on gratuitous hypotheses lacking experimental justification and cannot effectively explain brain function or learning. In the case of brain function, experimental work on brain damage demonstrates that localization hypotheses must be rejected in favor of a global process of neural organization comparable to the figure-ground structures of perceptual organization.

Similarly, learning cannot be explained in terms of trial-and-error fixing of habitual reactions, but instead involves a general aptitude with respect to typical structures of situations. Merleau-Ponty proposes an alternative tripartite classification of behavior according to the degree to which the structures toward which it is oriented emerge thematically from their content. Here the organism, guided by its vital norms, responds to signals as relational structures rather than as objective properties of things.

While amovable behavior remains attached to immediate functional structures, symbolic behavior here limited to humans is open to virtual, expressive, and recursive relationships across structures, making possible the human orientation toward objectivity, truth, creativity, and freedom from biologically determined norms.

More generally, Merleau-Ponty proposes that matter, life, and mind are increasingly integrative levels of Gestalt structure, ontologically continuous but structurally discontinuous, and distinguished by the characteristic properties emergent at each integrative level of complexity. A form is defined here as. Living things are not oriented toward an objective world but toward an environment that is organized meaningfully in terms of their individual and specific style and vital goals.


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  6. Mind, the symbolic level of form that Merleau-Ponty identifies with the human, is organized not toward vital goals but by the characteristic structures of the human world: tools, language, culture, and so on. Mind or consciousness cannot be defined formally in terms of self-knowledge or representation, then, but is essentially engaged in the structures and actions of the human world and encompasses all of the diverse intentional orientations of human life.

    While mind integrates within itself the subordinate structures of matter and life, it goes beyond these in its thematic orientation toward structures as such, which is the condition for such characteristically human symbolic activities as language and expression, the creation of new structures beyond those set by vital needs, and the power of choosing and varying points of view which make truth and objectivity possible.

    In short, mind as a second-order or recursive structure is oriented toward the virtual rather than simply toward the real. But integration is never perfect or complete, and mind can never be detached from its moorings in a concrete and embodied situation. The last chapter of The Structure of Behavior clarifies this revised understanding of consciousness in dialogue with the classical problem of the relation between the soul and the body in order to account for the relative truths of both transcendental philosophy and naturalism. In the natural attitude of our pre-reflective lives, we are committed to the view that our perceptual experience of things is always situated and perspectival i.

    This prereflective unity eventually splinters under our awareness of illness, illusion, and anatomy, which teach us to separate nature, body, and thought into distinct orders of events partes extra partes. Merleau-Ponty aims to integrate the truth of naturalism and transcendental thought by reinterpreting both through the concept of structure, which accounts for the unity of soul and body as well as their relative distinction. Against the conception of transcendental consciousness as a pure spectator correlated with the world, Merleau-Ponty insists that mind is an accomplishment of structural integration that remains essentially conditioned by the matter and life in which it is embodied; the truth of naturalism lies in the fact that such integration is essentially fragile and incomplete.

    Can one conceptualize perceptual consciousness without eliminating it as an original mode; can one maintain its specificity without rendering inconceivable its relation to intellectual consciousness? Completed in and published the following year, Phenomenology of Perception PP is the work for which Merleau-Ponty was best known during his lifetime and that established him as the leading French phenomenologist of his generation.

    Psychological research complements and, at times, serves as a counterpoint to phenomenological descriptions of perceptual experience across a wide range of existential dimensions, including sexuality, language, space, nature, intersubjectivity, time, and freedom. These wholes include ambiguities, indeterminacies, and contextual relations that defy explanation in terms of the causal action of determinate things.

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    By treating perception as a causal process of transmission or a cognitive judgment, empiricism and intellectualism deny any meaningful configuration to the perceived as such and treat all values and meanings as projections, leaving no basis in perception itself for distinguishing the true from the illusory. In contrast, Merleau-Ponty argues that the basic level of perceptual experience is the gestalt, the meaningful whole of figure against ground, and that the indeterminate and contextual aspects of the perceived world are positive phenomenon that cannot be eliminated from a complete account.

    Perception orients itself toward the truth, placing its faith in the eventual convergence of perspectives and progressive determination of what was previously indeterminate. Science extends and amplifies this natural tendency through increasingly precise measurements of the invariants in perception, leading eventually to the theoretical construction of an objective world of determinate things. Yet this cannot be a recourse to any transcendental consciousness that looks on the world from outside and is not itself emergent from and conditioned by the phenomenal field.

    The first of the three major parts of Phenomenology concerns the body. Just as bodily space reflects an originary form of intentionality—a pre-cognitive encounter with the world as meaningfully structured—the same is shown to be the case for sexuality and for language. Sexuality takes on a special significance because it essentially expresses the metaphysical drama of the human condition while infusing the atmosphere of our lives with sexual significance.

    Like space and sexuality, speech is also a form of bodily expression. Language does not initially encode ready-made thoughts but rather expresses through its style or physiognomy as a bodily gesture. Since language, like perception, hides its own operations in carrying us toward its meaning, it offers an ideal of truth as its presumptive limit, inspiring our traditional privileging of thought or reason as detachable from all materiality.