Decolonising The Mind Essay

Decolonising The Mind Essay-5
Bilingual folks think differently when they immerse themselves in different languages.[3] Colonial Languages and African Literature In the late 19th and 20th century Africa, colonial regimes began mandating the exclusive use of European languages in missionary and state supported schools. Thought, in him, took the visible form of a foreign language.No wonder language is so central to our identity and why so many political divisions have linguistic borders.

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The domination of a peoples language by the language of the colonizing nations was crucial to the domination of the mental universe of the colonized. A great debate ensued in 1830s Britain on the choice of an official language of colonial administration and education.

Making the winning case for English over Sanskrit, Persian, and all other local languages, Thomas B.

In time, writes Ngugi, he begins to understand himself and his culture through the eyes of the colonizer—using the latter’s concepts, categories, and judgments.

Before too long, he turns into a proxy for his master: colonialism with a native face. The easiest method, explains Ngugi, is to actively spread his language among the natives, and to simultaneously denigrate the language of the natives as crude and unfit for proper education. Simply make the colonizer’s language the of imperial administration, accord prestige and upward mobility to those who learn it in colonial schools, and before too long, there is a feeding frenzy among a native minority.

The modern era of European colonialism began in the Americas with bands of adventurers seeking El Dorado.

Their early intrusions evolved into predatory monopolies like the East India Company and European states exerting direct control over the economic and political life of the colonies.

[1] When done right, the native comes to elevate and mimic his master’s ways, to see his own culture as inferior, and to look down on his past as ‘a wasteland of non-achievement’.

He begins to defer to the colonizer’s ideas on fundamental things like beauty, art, and politics.

When it comes to colonial quests, military might is what breaches the metaphorical Gates of Damascus. Thereafter, the most efficient and durable means of colonial control happens via culture.

Culture holds the keys to how a group sees itself and knows its place in the world.


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