The Process Of Enculturation: The Nepali Community In Darjeeling Hills And Terai In North Bengal.
1Mekliganj College, Coochbehar
The social environment of any human group plunges into culture. It is the culture, which guides the people- what to eat, what to be done and how to be done, how to talk and how to think. Human behaviours are grossly determined by culture as the individuals are born, raised and live in it. A person can never be free from cultural influences. Melville J. Herskovits in his book, Man and His Works (1947) tried to relate culture and individual in terms of enculturation. Enculturation is the process by which an individual learns the forms of conduct acceptable to his group. He points out that in diffusion, the transmission of culture is a gradual process of culture change of which acculturation is one expression which occurs when any two are in historic contact. According to Felix-Keesing, “Culture change may be defined broadly as a reformation in group behaviour, such reformation may be seen occurring from the level of individual experience, as being on innovator or accepting an innovation to that of the total functional and integral setting of a culture system.” The Nepali Community is consisted of various castes viz., Brahmin, Chhetri, Newar, Mangar, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Subba, Bhujel, Damai, Kami, Sarki, etc. With the growing consciousness and identity aspirations created resurgence of culture of respective caste in the latter half of 20th century. Since the 1990’s, each community devoted themselves to prepare their respective qualifying paper as a ‘tribe’ based on the features laid down by the Government of India. The urge of preservation of culture transforms cultural aspects of various communities in the region and a change was evident. The paper, hence tries to reflect the basic cultural transformation of few Nepali castes and its effect on their cultural practices.
Revivalism, Culture, tradition, Practices, Resurgence