Imtiaz Dharkar: How Culture Influenced Her Writing

705 words - 3 pages

Pakistan is about 96% Muslim. Religion shapes the lives of Pakistanis and is a part of their culture. Wherever a person lives, the environment becomes a part of their culture and life. A person’s thinking and understanding changes with time. The poetry of Imtiaz Dharkar, which was influenced by cultural background, has contributed the literary canon.
A poet’s background affects their thinking. Pakistan separated from India due to religious differences. Pakistan is mainly Muslim while India is mainly Hindu. Imtiaz Dharkar was born on January 31, 1954 in Lahore, Pakistan to a Muslim family ("Imtiaz Dharker." Contemporary Authors Online). Their culture comes from their religion because Islam tells them how to live their life. It sets guidelines for Muslims and their thinking. “She now lives between India, London and Wales” (Imtiaz). This means that her thinking is being influenced by her surroundings because all these countries are all different from each other.
Imtiaz Dharkar calls herself a Scottish Muslim Calvinist (British). She was a Muslim but married a Hindu man, an action that is unacceptable in Islamic society ("Imtiaz Dharker." Contemporary Authors Online). Although not much is known about her family to the media, we know that her family and background plays a role in her poems. She moved to Europe for her work but then soon moved to India where she lives with her husband ("Imtiaz Dharkar" Contemporary Authors Online).
Imtiaz Dharkar’s poems are a reflection of her culture. “This mixed heritage and itinerant lifestyle is at the heart of her writing: questioning, imagistic and richly textured poems that span geographical and cultural displacement, conflict and gender politics, while also interrogating received ideas about home, freedom and faith” ("Imtiaz Dharkar." The Poetry Archive). In “Purdah”, she explains the importance of a woman to cover herself up and have shame in being in public. “'Purdah is a kind of safety. The body finds a place to hide. The cloth fans out against the skin much like the earth that falls on coffins after they put the dead men in.” (Imtiaz). This shows that...

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