‘My Culture’, ‘My Language’, ‘My Religion’: Communities, Practices and Diasporas
In Chapter 5 I noted that the Blackhill youth regularly used the proprietary pronoun ‘my’1 when they wanted to refer to Panjabi, Gujarati and other languages besides English, which were strongly associated with their families and communities. There was an apparent paradox between their proprietary claims and their simultaneous disavowal of a high level of expertise in the use of these languages. A similar pattern occurred when they referred to communities, both local and globally diasporic, of which they felt themselves to be a part; and also, more specifically, when they referred to the religious formations to which they were nominally attached. Consequently, with regard to these contexts, phrases like ‘my culture’, ‘my language’ and ‘my religion’, regularly occurred alongside bashful and rueful acknowledgements of their own deficient expertise in the tenets of idealised community emblematic practices.
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