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Egypt and India

It was noted that In An Antique Land appears to be factual “history in the guise of a traveller’s tale” as has been described in the book’s sub-title. It tried to merge two accounts, moving from one narrative to another with the elaborate one having to do with Gosh persona of an anthropologist in Egypt experiencing life in a fellaheen village.

The shorter narrative pertained to a character that traces a fugitive slave “Bomma” of Jewish merchant Abraham Ben Yiju in various places Egypt, Malabar coast of India, the United Kingdom, and even the United States. Ben Yiju closely traded with an Egyptian Madmum of which the exchange of letters were carried out by Ben Yiju’s Bomma. The book eludes categorization by combining academic history, travel-book, novel, and ethnography that subtly demonstrates connections of Egypt and India (Thieme, 2003). In writing that “…

The only people for whom we can even begin to imagine properly human, individual, existences are the literate and the consequential, the wazirs and the sultans, the chroniclers, and the priests – the people who had the power to inscribe themselves physically upon time,” (p 17), Gosh acknowledges the limitation of what could be an extensive as well as sweeping information about peoples of the past and their cultures and practices. As such, there already is the notion that only a portion of society’s strata are represented and that there is also the decrease of objectivity, of which this book tried to present by focusing on a so-called “slave”.

Likewise, the detective appeal of the anthropological search provided much information that were closely linked, or has been described in the Genizah documents about the commercial arrangements, the relations of various nationalities involved, the world of finance, and the industrial sector. Intertwined with these are personal accounts of Gosh as he tried to trace details of the relations of Bomma and the two merchants. He was able to establish that there was an amicable relation between the three, providing that Bomma’s role to Ben Yiju was more than a slave.

Bomma is today like a business emissary, that the relations was a career for the Indian. That Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmlservitude wasEnd Match considered Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmla career opportunityEnd Match and Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmlthe principal means of recruitment into privileged strata of the army and bureaucracy.

End Match Likewise, between Ben Yiju and Madmum through the letters Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmlfull of instructions and certain peremptoriness beneath the usual courteous language,End Match its warmth Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmlandEnd Match occasional Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category. org/browse/books/16720/index. htmlirascible tone suggestedEnd Match paternal affection.

Amidst these two stories of the present and the ancient are cultural overtones, historical relics, and anecdotes as well as vivid images of India and Egypt, Begin Match to source 4 in source list: (10-28-05) http://www. 8r. com/simple/books/17175_index. htmlof mud-walled houses and class warfare between Egyptian laborers and landowners. End Match Southern India was Begin Match to source 4 in source list: (10-28-05) http://www. 8r. com/simple/books/17175_index. htmlalsoEnd Match clearly depicted with Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://www. category.org/browse/books/16720/index. htmla tapestry of castes, cults and worship of spirit-deities.

End Match Gosh also recounted how Egyptians, based on his personal experiences while he stayed there in the 1980s, tried to influence him of cultural and social practices, that they thought the Hindus are some sort of barbarians for burning their deads. But more importantly, readers are showcased about the blending and melding of cultures, how an earlier exchange of goods have become the jumping point of providing personalities of middle men and the people around it.

Conclusion: In An Antique Land provides a clear link, the early formation of globalization that emerged through the trades in seas and oceans such as that of the Indian Ocean. What can be seen here are bustling ports from India, the Southeast Asia, to Cairo and in between where peoples of various origins mingled and exchanged goods. Its vivid accounts as well as historical underlining provide an almost travelogue slightly veiled in prose to trace cultural, political, economic, but more importantly, the amicable relations of peoples that populated ports and villages supplied by the India trade.

In the end, Gosh tried to link the relevance of the Indian Ocean to the development and history of the cities whose economic diversity was closely affected by the trade route that it provided. In addition, Gosh also provided detailed glimpse of a past that need to be examined closely not only for the purpose of academic, political and economic reasons, but as Goiten have tried to elaborate, human relations that did not focused on differences but on the advantages of diversity and of different peoples and cultures living in a medieval cosmopolitan.

In the end, what readers find about the Indian Ocean in Gosh’ book is its rich tapestry of effect on the lives and cultures of various peoples that have been touched and affected by its activities.

Reference: Bridger, David. Ed. The New Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Behrman House, Inc. 1976 Cohen, Mark, 2001, “Goitein, the Geniza, and Muslim History” from http://www. dayan. org/mel/cohen. htm Jean-Francois Salles, Achaemenid and Hellenistic Trade in the Indian Ocean, in: Julian Reade (ed. ) The Indian Ocean in Antiquity. London: Kegan Paul Intl. 1996a, 133-208

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