Gadamer, linguistic and cultural tradition

“It is true that those who are brought up in a particular linguistic and cultural tradition see the world in a different way from those who belong to other traditions. It is true that the historical ‘worlds’ that succeed one another in the course of history are different from one another and from the world of today; but in whatever tradition we consider it, it is always a human–i.e., verbally constituted–world that presents itself to us. As verbally constituted–world that presents itself to us. As verbally constituted, every such world is of itself always open to evedry possible insight and hence to every expansion of its own world picture, and is accordingly available to others." (447)

Although in Western society, each would have one major language according to its national linguistic tradition. Switzeland would of course be a more complicated case, for each quarter of its people in respective region of the country would speak mainly one language; or like Canada, where one finds an English or a French dominant province. Moreover, almost every major cities in Western world now is composite of many languages. For example, in Edinburgh where I study and live now is a linguistically pluralistic society. My daughters go to a primary school where one finds Arabic, Pakistanist, Malay, Polish, Japanese, Chinese, Scottish, English, et cetera.

In Malaysia where I originally come from one finds Malay, Chinese, and Indian who made up 90% of the total populations. It is obvious that each language group has a strong religio-cultural-linguistic bond to it tradition. Its is obvious that religion also plays a major part in the constitution of the identity of respective group. Malay is almost hundred percent Muslim group, Indians adhere to Hinduism, and there are also Sikhs and other religious minor groups. As for Chinese, it is a mixture of Buddhist-Daoist combination, or we may identify them as according to the three teachings or three religions. It is already argued that Chinese religions should be defined as a diffused religion as a whole. The inclusivity of each three main religions of each other creates a pool of cultural-religio language that embraces terminologies from each religious tradition, but itself becomes exclusive of those who do not adhere to inclusivity ideology.



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