Thursday, 18 April 2013

Multicultural Perspectives on the Individual

Please read M.G. Vassanji's novel No New Land and discuss any aspect of the book that you find interesting for our course topic (i.e. Perspectives on the Individual).

Feel also free to compare No New Land with other novels, stories, poems, or movies that address similar topics and/or compare the experiences of Vassanji's main characters with similar experiences you or one of your friends or family members may have had.

You are most welcome to comment in the form of stories or poems or other forms of creative expression :)



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  2. What I found interesting about “No New Land” was the relationship between the title and one of the themes from the book. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but for me "No New Land" represents that disappointment that the family had of travelling somewhere else to escape from discrimination and unfairness and still, I did happen. “No New Land” can be seen as a message that no matter where you escape or travel these situations will always occur and it just depends on you how to handle them and if you allow them or not. I think is not the "Land" what determines and establishes who you are. But it’s rather you who create that place; and you have the ability to change how things are.

  3. I agree with Alejandra, They search for steady jobs and try to turn over a new leaf. However, they have to face many stressful situations. In Canada, in order to land a decent job, one is obliged to have a previous Canadian work experience. Neither Nurdin nor his wife can fullfil this requirement. They become increasingly desperate. Nurdin cannot fully understand such an absurd situation from his personal point of view and contemplates: I am a salesman, I was a salesman. Just give me a chance. Foreign accent and different or maybe strange pronunciation seem to be another factors determining their failures and numerous difficulties in finding a job or holding down. When Nurdin`s wife works as a receptionist to a Chinese doctor, she is soon fired because she does not use well-pronunced English.

  4. It is definitely not easy to start from scratch in an all new land. And this is what I understood from "No New Land". The novel is interesting but it has brought in different fears. In fact, I think this fear is something we need to confront as most of us are in a foreign land ourselves. The change in culture is a huge thing to be tackled and this is shown by the temptation to try different forms of meat, traditionally not allowed in the Hindu culture. The book is very easy to relate for me because I am from India myself but the portrayal of fear is not justified. It may be that the author just wanted to be true in sharing his experiences but the fear factor is kind of haunting and remains throughout.