Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-hb754 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-24T09:53:59.866Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

6 - Gendered Conflicts in Muslim and Christian Cultures: Honor (and Shame) in Ali and Nino

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2017

Elizabeth Weber Edwards
Affiliation:
received her PhD in German from Vanderbilt University, and currently is Chair of Foreign Languages at the Well- Trained Mind Academy
Carl Niekerk
Affiliation:
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Cori Crane
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Get access

Summary

RELIGIOUS, GENDERED, AND CULTURAL CONFLICTS abound in Ali and Nino and can be understood through the lens of honor, a foundational phenomenon in nearly every culture. Honor consistently plays a central role in defining the conflict between Ali, an Azerbaijani Muslim youth, and his Christian Georgian future wife, Nino. Their Romeo-and- Juliet love story explores the tensions inherent in these pairings. Honor is part of the conflict not just between two families, but also between complex, ever-changing pairings: male and female, public and private, Muslim and Christian, East and West. The conflicts about honor and shame in Ali and Nino offer a peek at the fluid boundaries between religion, culture, and politics.

Between the Oriental and European norms concerning female and male honor, the story of the two lovers unfolds across European and Middle-Eastern stages, where Muslim Ali must defend his own honor in his Middle-Eastern culture, as well as Christian Nino's honor in both Middle Eastern and Western settings. The honor structures that Ali and Nino encounter are flexible and—despite the apparent differences between East and West, masculine and feminine—do in fact complement one another or overlap at times. Ali and Nino plays with honor systems that at first sight appear contradictory, mostly by focusing on the Azerbaijani (Muslim, Oriental) honor system, but with instances where Western honor (Christian, Occidental) is thematized as well, demonstrating that honor codes in Azerbaijan mirror the country's political and geographical situation. Parallel to the political situation, the individual female body possesses a certain geography; it can be placed within a larger social constellation and be “mapped” within a certain geography in the novel and can be placed within a larger constellation. We see this in both Nino's relations with other men and the tensions between the country Azerbaijan (easily thought of as feminine) and other, larger forces that claim the country (and its riches) as their own.

Eastern Communitarianism vs. Western Political Liberalism

Ali and Nino offers Western readers a glimpse of Eastern culture. Kurban Said wrote a text positioned between cultures, and we must keep in mind that he is interested in how social and cultural systems interact with each other. Ali's culture and honor codes are perceived within a communitarian system, in which a communitarian identity dominates all others.

Type
Chapter
Information
Approaches to Kurban Said's Ali and Nino
Love, Identity, and Intercultural Conflict
, pp. 114 - 134
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2017

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×