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What struck me most about Tamarind Mem Badami 2004 was the emotional distance I felt from the characters based on either perceived or real similarities or differences In fact the similarities were not only surprising they illuminated my assumption that I would have nothing in common with someone from another culture Though my experience has shown that I do have similarities with people from different backgrounds I realized many aspects where worldviews may diverge amongst people with diverse cultural backgrounds Additionally the differences created what felt like a canyon between the life experiences of me and the characters Though I could still relate from one human to another at times I found myself not understanding values beliefs or choices thoughts feeling or behaviors Upon further reflection I saw that in order to identify how I could best understand the characters and by extension potential client I need to find a way to continually look for my assumptions and ways to bridge the canyon of differing worldviews The major themes that that were the most salient for me in the book were related to family structure societal organization and religious influence I noted how families seemed structured according to patriarchal family units and segmented into gender roles and duties Societal organization appeared to be almost solely determined according to caste while religious beliefs and values influenced decision making and choices These three main themes along with aspects that were more nebulous assisted me in looking at how my current life and belief system where created The first thing apparent was the family structure It appeared patriarchal not only in Sarojas extended family and family unit but other families in the book also Sarojas grandfather Rayaruhad significant influence in her not continuing with further education and instead getting married p172 Yet there were perhaps generational differences that influenced the level and extent of the patriarchal power as demonstrated when Saroja stated that her
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