What are some differences between Bengali and American customs, traditions or practices? From the novel The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Expert Answers info

Blaze Bergstrom eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write4,271 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Jhumpa Lahiri shows cultural differences in the Ganguli family primarily between parents and children, as they were born in India and the Unites States respectively. A key difference of the Bengali tradition is that the parents were wed through an arranged marriage. Lahiri tells how the parents gradually set aside many Bengali customs as they continue to live in the United States. One interesting aspect of the novel is Lahiri’s presentation of the most traditional family member, Ashimi, who takes on the responsibility of perpetuating Indian customs and ceremonies. She continues to wear Bengali style clothes and to cook the traditional foods to the extent she can persuade her children to eat them. She and the other women of her generation also perpetuate the celebration of religious holidays together, creating a substitute family for the relatives they had left back home. After her husband dies, however, Ashimi Americanizes much more, changing her style of dressing and working for...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 700 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Erin DuBuque eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write849 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial