Cultural Identity: Through the Heritage lens

Cultural Identity is synchronous with lived experiences.

I wake up in the morning, take a walk in my garden, and see blooming flowers and leaves changing colors in the direction of the Sun. In my childhood, my grandma was my first tutor in the gardening department. She has a beautiful garden and a variety of plants and trees. The garden is the first point of offering any form of welcoming energy for the family, and it is a representation of my cultural identity, as a warm host.
Keeping the garden clean and tidy, removal of weeds and insects, trimming of the plants and watering regularly, are the main rules of gardening. However it is practicing these that is culture to me.

Heritage and Nature are inseparably linked!
Image: Rachana Patil

Cultural Heritage and cultural identity can be represented through the preservation of nature as well. The botanical gardens in our country are chalk full of interesting specimens and a host of growing techniques. The LalBagh Botanical Garden in Namma Benguluru is a living garden that has remained well preserved from the era of Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore. He was fond of red flowers, hence the name Lal Bagh( Lal means Red and Bagh means Garden).

I stay connected with nature by visiting the garden and absorbing the atmosphere there. It makes me glad to host an event to showcase to the world my knowledge of cultural heritage this December by making heritage fun with Bonsai gardening. I feel that my cultural identity lies with the mentality that involves the preservation of what surrounds us and enables us to look at the Earth in greater detail. Bonsai is one method that, while not native to my culture, is something that deserves cultural understanding.

GoUNESCO Global Internship Program

Looking in retrospect, the internship started as the perusal of a new hobby and helped me discover the value created through the tasks to be conducted.  My MHF event was also featured in the Newspaper, and a word of appreciation from my mentors worldwide truly humbled me.
The task of interviewing an immigrant was a learning experience for me. Interacting with Mr Robert Maier from Germany like a localite was quite a surprise.

Understanding immigrant lives in terms of diaspora and tradition was a valuable part of this experience.
Image: Rachana Patil

Discussing food habits and the spices that are used in accordance with native climates was something that piqued my argumentation. Though Robert misses the raw salads which are consumed twice a day in Germany, he is able to enjoy Indian food as well.

Robert shares a strong bond with Germany and food is an important part of his cultural identity. He loves cheese, sausages, beef and beer. Lettuce salads are his favorites. He misses  dining with his cousins who share the same taste and preferences of salt and pepper and less spiced up dishes that contain turmeric, chilli and masala.

Maybe German recipes brought to India as fast food restaurants would be able to make the immigrant experience homely in a foreign country. It fascinates me to understand how intersections between cultures can lead to room for the incorporation of fused cultural patterns.

I thank the GoUNESCO team for giving me a wonderful opportunity and honing my writing skills, event management capabilities, and for connecting me with interns and mentors from across the Globe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.