Coolitude in an Era of Cultural Globalization and Creolization: An Epistemological Perspective
Creolization - a facet of cultural globalization - and cultural autonomy/purity in the beginning of the 20th Century are two concurrent forces which, being present in the Caribbean, are continually in confrontation. The former is being viewed as a predator to the latter. Coming from this premise, this chapter attempts to examine the logic of the Coolitude which is a literary expression that describes a coolie's experience: coolies are indentured or unskilled manual laborers from various countries of Asia mainly immigrants from India and China. Coolitude Movement aims at cultural purity through an active cultural globalization which is a call for Indian cultural purity and retention of their tradition of rituals and festivals. It first appeared in the last part of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Khal Torabully sees the movement as the acclimatization of Indian culture. The chapter presents creolization in the Caribbean as an indomitable predator to the various cultural identities in the region and argues that cultural purity in such a social context may just be considered utopian experience. The cultural protectionism often advocated for or constructed by nation building is never perfectly efficient in ensuring purity of national cultures as nation-states are themselves compromised to varying degrees by globalization in their capacity to maintain exclusivity of identity attachment. In the case of the Caribbean, the Indian culture is marginalized in institutional development and socializing institutions. This exposes Indian culture more to the predatory forces of cultural globalization.
Key words: Coolitude, Creolization, Cultural globalization, Cultural purity, Cultural imperialism