Legacies of Cultural Syncretism

The term “syncretism” refers to the different features put together from different cultural diversities to provide for either a descriptive meaning or a negative concept in that matter (Levinskaya, 1993).

In America, ethnicities from West and Central Africa emigrants formed most of the habitants in the United States. Given this fact, large number of Africans in the States greatly facilitated cultural and historical composition of America. These individuals brought with them both scientific and technological expertise. It is worth to note that the main purpose of applying syncretism is to produce acceptable results, and the idea of cultural syncretism would not have occurred, were it not for the room provided to facilitate its fusion with other cultures. However, it is totally right to argue that despite the inclusion of the different cultures, America was going to undergo the transformation in culture, in one way or another, out of the mere fact that Chinese and Indians had already laid their interest in inhabiting America (Sidney & Droogers ,2001).

For one thing it would be wise to indicate that Africans inhabited America out of slave trade that was practiced widely throughout Europe. The inclusion of African culture came out of the fact that they had outnumbered most of other ethnicities which were already present. Emigrants from Europe made sure that these African slaves knew something about Christianity even in there day to day undertakings, while they resorted to it for the purpose of consolation. Besides, westerners in their voyage to explore different parts of the world found out that these same groups had already included the belief of a supernatural human being into their daily lives, and that is why the introduction of Christianity came out so practically. All in all, Africans were much more willing to undergo cultural transformation than their counterparts. If to speak about Indians and Chinese, the westerners found out that these groups had already allowed their culture to sink in their day to day lives; in fact, these groups made it difficult for westerners to impose Christian religious beliefs on them, because they had already the custom to practice religion in their day to day undertakings. The Chinese and the Indians allowed the Europeans to influence them in matters concerning civilization but not in the ones that affected their religion directly. While Indians practiced Hinduism, most of the Chinese widely proclaimed Buddhism (Gort, 1989).

It is arguably right to indicate that the difference in cultural approval between the Africans and the Indians and Chinese was merely due to the fact that the Indians and Chinese were already somehow civilized in their own way, while the Africans had remained primitive for a very long time. While the Indians and Chinese saw nothing new in the white men apart from the technological improvements, the Africans proved that they had never saw the white men before and so felt inferior to them.

Another comparison brought about by this cultural syncretism was out of the fact that westerners invaded Africa long before they decided to enter India and China; thus, the time factor contributed so much to cultural changes. Unlike the Africans, the Chinese and Indians had their heroes and heroines who were ready to defend their people from any external influence.

All in all, as much as westerners influenced these groups, the only reason why they managed to do so is the fact that they used different techniques and approaches that the best suited each group. While the Africans proved to be an easy group to manipulate, the Indians and the Chinese were very reluctant to accept any kind of change brought about.