Assimilation: A Big Challenge among Immigrants in Honor Based Societies as mirrored by Unni Wikan

The objective of this paper is to bring out the impact of lack of assimilation of immigrants in the European culture as brought out by Unni Wikan in her book, In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame. Wikan has brought to fore a number of honor-related issues that the immigrants from traditional Kurdish background face when they settle in the modern western countries. They are not able to shed their strong attachment with the culture of their original homeland making their proper assimilation with the Western culture a big challenge. The Western countries practice multiculturalism that lays greater stress on least interference with the culture and traditions of immigrant communities. Wikan has linked the honor killings of Fadime and many other young women in the Scandinavian countries to the failure of multiculturalism and the assimilation policy of these countries. It has failed to recognize unequal power structures and the existence of patriarchy within immigrant communities. The concept of liberal multiculturalism highlights the importance of respect for culture and traditions of immigrants and at the same time lays greater stress on the human rights and country’s legislations.

Keywords: Assimilation, immigrants, multiculturalism, patriarchy, honor, human rights.

Culture refers to various aspects like values, beliefs, language, and practices that people share. It stipulates rules and norms which are followed by individuals as members of a particular group, community or society. Explaining the concept of culture, Unni Wikan explains that it is “your way of seeing, not what you see” (UW 87). These values, attitudes, and ideas are what people have been following since many eras and which have become a part of their life. The day-to-day life is moulded to follow the monotonous rituals with ease. Wikan affirms…

Dr. Ritu Sharma Assistant Professor, Department of English, Rajkiya Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA,

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