Sir Francis Burton was a cosmopolitan individual because he traveled all over the world. He learned from a lot of cultures that he visited during his journey. Sir Francis traveled around many countries with an open mind. It was the main reason he felt at home whenever he visited a strange place. Sir Francis learned various languages that made him an extraordinary linguist. At 21, he went to India to look for employment opportunities (Appiah 12). The visit made him knowledgeable of the Afghan and Persian culture. This added to his mastery of Arabic and Hindi cultures that he learned in England. The travels made Sir Francis master most languages in the world. Lack of prejudice in his thinking enabled him to be an excellent linguist. As a result, Sir Francis became a translator and wrote poems in various languages.
Exposure to the customs of various societies helps them to learn valuable things from another culture. It is due to this that a cosmopolitan is good at selecting options, he picks up in his search. As a result, an individual becomes respectful to different societies that they are associated with. An individual appreciates the beliefs of a certain culture because he has interacted with them. Art and literature of different societies are accepted by most cultures. Prejudice most of the time arises from ignorance of individuals of different cultures (Appiah 19). Some individuals believe Muslims should make the hajj and Catholics are required to attend the mass. Lack of beliefs that give the acts a meaning makes these individuals have their own personal judgment.
Limitations and cost of a cosmopolitan
Exposure to different customs and beliefs leaves Sir Francis distant from their own cultures. Individuals start ignoring because they feel they already know more about their culture. Integration into different cultures leaves individuals in a state of forgetting their own norms (Appiah 12). Sir Francis had the prejudices of his culture and he ranked societies. His description of the trip to his Trip in Africa indicates that he was racist. In his trip to North America, he expressed hostility to the Irish people.
Sir Francis mastered a lot of languages and integrated with numerous cultures in the world. On the contrary, his values did not reflect on what the society expected from him. The society expected him to behave in a certain way which he could because of learning many cultures.
Cosmopolitan and its relation to literature
Globalization threatens homogeneity in most cultures. Cosmopolitan individuals have enabled the integration of many diverse cultures. The integration of cultures has created a global market and influenced the native languages among most institutions. In Ghana, there are plenty of languages being spoken by individuals from specific regions. The language spoken by the local radio station is not global and they talk about global matters. Native culture no longer makes economic sense and therefore countries focus on matters that have economic value (Appiah 21). Cosmopolitans argue that individuals are entitled to their own opinion because it helps them shape their lives. Literature has a creative and artistic influence on the lives of individuals in a society. The concept of cosmopolitan affects the shape of society by how it influences the culture of the society. Literature is directly linked with the culture of the society and it explains why globalization is connecting people of diverse nature.
Appiah, Anthony. “THE SHATTERED MIRROR.” Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. Print.