Who wrote "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet"?
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- Rudyard Kipling
"East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" is a famous literary quote and is seen as a definition about two cultures. The culture of the Western world (Europe and the Americas) will always be very different from the Eastern part of the world (Asia). These two worlds will never be the same; two (twain) "shall never meet". This saying is part of the refrain of “The Ballad of East and West,” a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
However, when the poem's full refrain is considered, the poem opens and closes with lines that includes a contradiction of the opening line. "But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, when two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!"
Kipling is saying that people are people notwithstanding where they are born. When people have mutual respect for each other, it seems to be the only thing that matters for this poet.
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) may have held his ideas about people because he is best known today for his celebration of British imperialism. At the time, it was up to the individual to bring about change. Many people used their knowledge about themselves (Kipling included) to overcome excessive behavior and to focus on equality when dealing with partnerships of any kind.