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LIVING IN LIMBO: THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA AND THE FINAL PASSAGE

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Author(s): Jenny M. Djundjung

Journal: K@ta : a Biannual Publication on the Study of Language and Literature
ISSN 1411-2639

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: binary oppositions | Levi-Strauss | "the self" | "the other" | a state of limbo | "whiteness" | "blackness" | ethnicity | identity | margin to center.

ABSTRACT
Karim and Leila live between two cultures that are considered to be in two polar opposites, the cultures of the white and the black. Because of their parentage, they belong to both cultures and yet they do not belong to either one. The white British regards Karim as "the other", but he also regards an India born Indian to be "the other". Whereas Leila, is also regarded as "the other" in the Caribbean village where she grew up and yet, when she has immigrated to London, she regards the other Caribbean immigrant as "the other". This means that both of them have shifted their position from "the other" to "the self" in their attempt to find a place where they belong. The feeling of not belonged, puts them in a state of limbo; a state that is loaded with anxieties, questions and conflicts as they are unable to find an anchor that they can grip on.
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