Attitudes of South African Indians towards Westernisation and its Effects on the Indian Family in South Africa
When a group of people emigrate to a new country with a
strong cultural environment, one of several possible affects may
occur. There could be a deliberate striving to retain the cultural
traits inherited from the homelands. Alternatively, there could be
a striving to be assimilated into the culture of the group
encountered in the new country. A further possibility could be
the gradual developme·nt by the group of its own peculiar social
traits, thus forming a distinct sub-culture in the new homeland.
The given effect in a particular case will depend on the peculiar
interplay of many complex factors and it is difficult to predict in
advance what the outcome will be. A considerable period of time
usually elapses before clear patterns in this regard emerge. Only
then can any firm conclusions be reached about the process of
change in such a situation.
The Indian community in South Africa is an example of an
immigrant group, itself of considerable cultural variety, which
encountered, not one, but at least two, major foreign culture
influences in their country of adoption. Settling mainly in Natal,
they encountered, on the one hand, the Zulu culture of Africa
and, on the other hand, the "western" culture of the White
people. In the event, it appears that it has been the western culture
that has exerted a powerful influence on the Indian community.