Type: Review
Pages: 6 | Words: 1517
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

There are traditional beliefs that members of certain community value very much. These beliefs define how people approach various life situations. They act as the guiding principles of what members of particular society are expected to do. As a result, people around the globe have been able to conform to these traditional beliefs thereby leading to them being accepted by all individuals when it comes to approaching different life situations. The traditional beliefs in most cultures and communities are used in areas of marriages, death and rites of passage from one stage of life to another. On the other hand, there are those cultural popular beliefs that have been developed by people over a period of time and they are accepted around the globe. These beliefs are acceptable across different parts of the world. The popular beliefs tend to make the world a global village where the world has a common ground within which to measure various life issues. The popular beliefs set the ground where people can determine what is right and what is wrong. This paper will take a closer look between the popular culture and traditional beliefs and examine their impact when it comes to marriages.

In his work , “Reflections of My Daughter”, David Mira discusses the issues of self hatred that arises as a result of his choices to marry a white woman. This paper will be exploring the traditional beliefs where men of color who tend to marry outside their race are said to be escaping from their values, cultures as well as themselves. The daughter being discussed in the book end up losing the love of her life due to the traditional beliefs adopted by her loving husband. On the other hand, the paper will focus on the popular culture in relation to the issue of marriage where men of color who decides to marry women outside their race are considered not to escape from their values, cultures as well as themselves, but they are viewed as being driven by love. David Mura article form is the basis of my analysis on which proposition of the two, that is traditional beliefs and popular cultural beliefs should be embraced by the modern society.


African men, who marry outside their race, are considered by the traditional African beliefs to expose their culture, but this opinion is contrary to the popular belief that is held by people globally who tends to argue that these African men who marry outside their culture are driven by love rather than their need to escape from their African values and cultures. This has been the case where many parents have opposed their sons marrying women from other cultures and at times they go to an extent of cursing their sons who are marrying women who are not African. In most of the African cultures, people believe that one should respect his culture by marrying someone from his race. From another perspective, people who are opposed to the traditional African beliefs argue that one should be allowed to marry any woman of his choice as this is an expression of love rather than escaping from one traditional values and cultures.

Comparison and Contrast between Traditional Belief and the Popular Cultural Belief

Going by Davin article on the “Reflections of My Daughter”, it is clear that the author believes that by marrying a white woman, man did go against his traditional cultural belief and this was a sign of lack of respect for his culture and values. This resulted in self hatred and he regretted marrying the white woman. A careful analysis of the authors’ work reveals that his idea of marrying a white woman being an African was not well accepted by the members of the society. His parents were opposed to the idea of him marrying the white woman and they added to his sorrows due to lack of acceptance of the woman that he had fallen in love with. Due to the lack of acceptance of his woman of choice, the author hates himself for marrying a woman who is not of his race given that his choice was taken as move to escape from his traditional cultures and values.

The story of David as an African who marries a white woman gives us some insightful information on traditional beliefs and popular cultural beliefs. To start with, the traditional belief in the African culture reveals that anyone who marries outside his race is trying to undermine his culture and embracing the other races cultures. This scenario has been evident in Kenyan Coastal communities where anyone who marries a white woman is regarded as an outcast in the society. This has seen many individuals lose the opportunity to be the women that they love denying them the opportunity to be happy in life. Tradition beliefs are meant to promote the status quo in the world rather than bringing inter races interaction in the world. The popular cultural belief, on the other hand, has been in the forefront promoting unity and interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds in the world. For instance, when an African man marries a white woman this shows that there is no race that is powerful or inferior from the other race. Going by the popular cultural beliefs, it, therefore, encourages people from different races to accept each other and this discourages discrimination in the world in the long run.

Another notable difference between the traditional beliefs and popular cultural beliefs is that one of the beliefs provides an individual with freedom of choice while the other one does not provide an individual with freedom of making choices in life. For example, traditional African beliefs denies men the freedom to make choices on the type of women that they want to marry. It restricts them to marry on women who are of African origin. Therefore, in most cases, they cannot marry women who come from other races as they fear that they will be treated as outcasts or be viewed as the enemies of their traditional values and cultural practices. On the other hand, the popular cultural belief gives African men the freedom to make a choice on who they want to marry based how they feel. When an African man follows the popular culture, then he marries a woman who he loves despite the race that the women comes from. This is not viewed as a mean of escaping one tradition and values, but it is seen as a mean by which one makes choices on what is best for him in life.

One common similarity between the two beliefs is that they are used as a guideline on what one should look for before making choices in life, especially on the issues of marriage. These two beliefs are in agreement that one cannot make choices in isolation as he has to take into consideration the interest of those around him.


Love vs Common Belief

Something that is evident in David’s article is that the two sets of beliefs revolve around two divergent views. The popular belief on one hand shows that an African man makes choices of marrying a woman from another race based on the love that he has toward that woman. However, the traditional belief makes the African man to conform to the societal beliefs as far as the issue of marriage is concerned. He cannot marry a woman from another race as this would attract hatred from the members of the society. Thus, it is sound to conclude that popular cultural belief promotes marriages that are based on love rather than what the society wants.

Individual Freedom vs Community Interests

The issues of freedom come out clearly in the two beliefs that are being discussed in this research. For example, the African traditional beliefs does not promote individual freedom when it comes to marriage. In most traditional African beliefs, a parent is supposed to make a choice of the woman that their son will marry. This denies the son the freedom to make a choice on who he want to be a part of his life. This, therefore, does not promote individual freedom in making choices on what is right or wrong. On the other hand, the popular cultural belief promotes individual freedom and enables men to make choices regarding the type of women that they want in their lives. The belief is not based on forcing one to conform to a certain set of values and cultural practices, but on what one deems to be right for him.


It is very clear from the research that traditional beliefs do not promote individual freedom, but rather promote conformity to the existing beliefs. It does not give room for individuals to promote their individual rights, to make choices on what they want in life. Thus, it denies individuals’ right to be themselves. On the other hand, the popular culture promotes individual freedom at all levels enabling an individual to interact freely with people. In conclusion, the popular cultural beliefs should be promoted in the modern society rather than traditional beliefs given that they have more benefits in comparison to the latter.

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