I’ve been reading the book Cultural Hybridity by Peter Burke, a book that explores much of the concepts of hybridity in human cultures and relations. There are ample evidence from the history of humankind that prove hybridity, even more than we always immediately recognize. From the old Yoruba, Igbo and even Hausa cultures of Nigeria to that of old Rome, Jewish, Brazilian, Spanish and much of Europe, the author cites very many instances of cultural hybridity (also called “borrowing”, “syncretism”, “assimilation”, “adaptation”, “fusion” and even “homogenization” among others) and the way attitudes and opinions to such hybridity have evolved over the years.

One memorable quote from the book was from Edward Said: “the history of all cultures is the history of borrowing.” I find that apt, and the book confirms it with very many instances of both rebellion against and acceptance of cultural exchange by different cultures and societies of people across the times.

Published in 2009 by Polity Press

142 pages.

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