on different cultures and traditions

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English coursework

From the selection of poems based on different cultures and traditions, compare and contrast any TWO that you find particularly interesting or enjoyable. (you must choose poems by different poets)

‘Presents from my aunts in Pakistan’ by Moniza Alvi, and ‘Search for my tongue’ by Sujata Bhatt, are two poems which I have selected from the selection of poems based on different cultures and traditions. I have selected these poems, because both poems are about one person who is recalling their homeland using objects and thoughts to explain, how much they overlook their homeland, including culture.

Both poets have expressed their feelings deeply about their cultures and traditions, using things that they miss and want. For example, Moniza Alvi, in ‘Presents from my aunts in Pakistan’ uses clothes, jewellery, presents, etc… to express who she is. Where as, Sujata Bhatt, in, ‘Search for my tongue’, uses her mother tongue, Gujarati, of how much she misses her homeland.

Also, both cultures are quite alike, so it is very easy and understandable, for me, the reader, to read. In, the poem written by Moniza Alvi, she has used many words, which are said, exactly the same in Gujarati, and sometimes English. This shows the similarities in cultures. Here are some examples from the poem:

  • ‘They sent me a salwar kameez’
  • ‘My aunts chose an apple-green sari

As Moniza Alvi wrote her complete poem in English, together with the Indian words written as English. Sujata Bhatt wrote half in English and half in Gujarati, but under each line there was a translation in English of how to read it for people who cannot read Gujarati.

So, what both poets are trying to state is that,  it does not matter if you are not in your own country, even if you are absent from your homeland, your culture will always stay with you, no matter what.

Even though the two poems are similar in most ways, these poems differ from each other in some ways.

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Firstly, Moniza Alvi’s poem, ‘Presents from my aunts in Pakistan’ is based on a young girl, who feels as if she is the odd one out, as she is living in England, but wears and acts as if she was in Pakistan. However in Sujata Bhatt’s poem, ‘Search for my tongue’, she is saying how she thought, by living in a different country, than her homeland, she would forget all mother tongue and everything about her culture.

A further variation, between the two poems, is that one poem is written all in English, where as the other is ...

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