Multiculturalism is demographic information explaining the co-existence of individuals coming from varied races, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds in a single organization or society. It is an ideological desire to celebrate diversity by providing certain policies and norms to manage diversity or by detailing a system which helps racial and ethnic communities to leverage encouragement to attain their desires. In most European nations, multiculturalism has led to serious debates and has drawn particular skepticism about its failure (Banting & Kymlicka , 45).
The story Eveline by James Joyce and the poem People by Yevgeny Yevtushenko are powerful literary pieces which deal with the aspect of multiculturalism in society. The narration by James Joyce speaks about the various aspects of multiculturalism wherein individuals belonging to diverse ethnicity and cultures come and mingle with others. The main protagonist of the story is Eveline Hill who is supposed to sail to Buenes Aires with Frank. Frank is an Irish sailor and is currently settled in Argentina. The author sketched Frank’s character as a sailor who had travelled many lands and thereby displayed the role of multiculturalism. The author has explicitly used symbolism and multiculturalism in this narration by providing meticulous details on the hallowed customs of the Irish home and family, Eveline’s heart palpitating, shadowy sketches related to Italy and Melbourne, independence suggested by Melbourne, Buenos Aires and even the character of the main protagonist and in the end the departing figure of Frank when he leaves North Hall (Torchiana, 22).
The background of the story is set in Dublin, Ireland. Ireland is a small nation wherein interdependency and globalization has continuously resulted in augmented diversity and economic success. However the aspect of cultural mix is still controversial. This is portrayed in the essay by subtle expressions made by Eveline’s father portraying his disapproval for foreigners (Onyejelem, 70).
On the other hand, is a beautiful poem People by Yevgeny Yevtushenko which speaks of multiculturalism. The poem is a tribute to symbolism and multiculturalism as it speaks about diverse people living in the same planet. It speaks of the tribulations and privations of individuals and also maintains that both moments of happiness and pain are kept private. The poem further maintains that with the death of people worlds die. By this, the poet means that the memories of the people also die with their death; memories that may be from various interactions and experiences with diverse individuals hailing from distant lands and following varied customs and traditions.
Integration is a general term which may be used to explain various situations. The word may be used to describe economic integration or even social integration. Here, we discuss about social integration by the use of diversity. The word integration is used to mean the participation and settlement experiences of immigrants in an alien land. According to literature, the mixing of the host culture with the guest culture is integration. Immigrants are those who may be well adapted in employment and at the same time poorly connected in socially blending with the host culture. Moreover they may face severe political and social hindrances during the process of settlement. These may be in the form of current political policies and social customs and traditions followed in the host country (Hyman, Meinhard & Shields, 3).
Cross cultural surroundings are not easy to adjust. Individuals living away from their native land needs to integrate experience and meaning. In one’s own land and familiar culture, a person has some presuppositions and reliable expectations regarding a particular aspect or thing. However, in a foreign setting, an individual will need to first acclimatize with the culture, surroundings and traditions. This is because individual dispositions regarding behavior and language depends on the kind of culture, norms, values and traditions existing in a particular region and this creates considerable confusion in the communication patterns of individuals who have migrated to an alien land.
Eveline and People are two different literary pieces which both fit into the multicultural literature domain. These literary pieces teach people to respect diversity and to respect the culture present in a particular region and blend with it. Especially in cross cultural educational domain it is necessary that individuals try to be more creative in order to imagine the complex ideological patterns which are based on the historical complications on multiculturalism. Hence, it is necessary that the host must develop a sense of respect and recognition for the history on which the culture of the individuals belonging to a particular land is set. This also helps a person to mix up with diverse individuals and hence not have the feeling of being alienated in a strange land (Ferguson, 36).
Thus, Eveline and People are both literary pieces which teach us the importance of multiculturalism and the reason why one should respect diversity. Every culture has its own set of history, norms and values and only by respecting one another’s culture it is possible to live in harmony and be happy.
Banting, Keith & Kymlicka, Will. Canadian multiculturalism: global anxieties and local debates. British Journal of Canadian Studies, 23.1(2010): 43 – 72. Print.
Hyman, Ilene, Meinhard, Agnes & Shields, John. (2011). The Role of Multiculturalism Policy in
Addressing Social Inclusion Processes in Canada. Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation, (2011), 1 – 35. Web. 04 Dec 2012.
Onyejelem, C. Multiculturalism in Ireland. The Irish Review, 33(2005): 70 – 77. Print.
Torchiana, D.T. Joyce’s “Eveline” and the Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque. James Joyce Quarterly, 6.1(1968): 22 – 28. Print.
Ferguson, Matthew Robert. Finding a Home Abroad With ''Eveline'': Using Narrative Inquiry to Establish a Sense of Place for a Western Teacher in a Foreign and Multicultural Context. Journal of Studies in International Education. 15.1(2011): 25 – 40. Print.