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How are the Indian and African concepts of family loyalty and obligation similar to or...

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lt1017 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM via web

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How are the Indian and African concepts of family loyalty and obligation similar to or different to the Italian concepts of these characteristics?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2013 at 9:25 AM (Answer #1)

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It should be noted that the Indian and African concepts of family loyalty and obligation being compared with the Italian concepts of these traits is done in a large and overarching sense.  There are exceptions to cultural descriptions.  When speaking of "Indian" or "African," or "Italian," the discourse is in an overall and general manner.  There are exceptions and these should be noted.

One similarity that exists between these three visions of family loyalty is the emphasis on family honor.  All three cultural visions stress the notion that one's identity is linked to their family.  The Italian notion of family converges with the Indian and African understanding where "family is all there is."  Interestingly enough, an extrapolation from this is that, in the modern setting, family honor occupies an important basis in all three cultures.  The honor of the family, and consequently, dishonoring the family is of vital importance in each of the three settings.  There is a dark side to this in the presence of "honor killings" of women in each culture, as noted by the United Nations:

Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda.

In this setting, one distinct similarity between the three cultural visions of family is the need to uphold or the perceived need to uphold "family honor."

I think that there are going to be differences as one delves into the cultural reality in each.  For example, in Indian culture, there is a definite difference between the notion of family honor and family connection in rural to urban areas, the former perhaps holding a more stringent view of family connection.  In African culture, the continental expression of family is divergent because of regional valences, and the same goes for Italy.  Yet, one can see that, in a general sense, the role of the family and the honor of the family does occupy a role in how individuals live and they way they view their place in the world.


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