Sunday, April 6, 2008

Identity Crisis

Kureishi's My Beautiful Laundrette (MBL) reeks of many of the same themes as Buddha of Suburbia. Asian/White relationships, economic struggle, homosexual tensions all pervade MBL but the continuing Asian/English identity crisis within the pakistani community takes the cake. In MBL we see this struggle play out between the two brothers Nasser and Papa. With Papa we see a reliance on old mores for Pakistani immigrants-- emphasis on education for advancement but retention of "Paki" cultural identy at the same time. Nasser is the opposite, he proffeses new world ideologies that promote hard manaul labor, money and success at all costs, and taking up western values at the expense of traditional customs. And Omar is caught in the middle, with no real guidance on which path to take, but seems to side with Nasser by running his Laudrette and shacking up with white (former) fascist Johnny. Basically, I concluded that Kurieshi either really struggles with these themes or he simply ran out of creative inspiration for Buddha.

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