Growing up, everyone comes from different walks of life. Everyone has different perspectives on the way the world works and the people who make up the population of this planet. But are we limited to what we learn from within our own culture? Given that in America, we should be just one big culture, but we’re not. We are mixed with cultures from all over the world! Hermeneutics is basically an individual’s knowledge of the world being conditioned by their own culture, their identities and their own social position, (Moberg PG.315) But, when you think about it in a sense of what cultures have given to the world, such as food, new inventions, old inventions and their languages, perhaps the idea of how we look at cultures is not so far fetched?!
The Italians gave us pasta, the French gave us pastries, Indian’s gave us incense or was it the Chinese? These are assumptions, but also facts about the world around us. These are things we either learned by going to restaurants, shopping at stores and we were taught in class. These are already implanted in to our brains about how we perceive a culture and their own worth. We watched the news or read the newspapers and it shows us the world around us is constantly at war with one another over something. A long feud that has been going on in the Sudan, with loss of life and hardships thrust upon people. Some people perceive the people of the Sudan to be helpless because they choose to be, but is it perhaps that they do not have the resources that some of the bad guys have? Tribes that reside in the South Sudan are suffering and being oppressed over what they have or because they won’t give in to the nasty attitudes of those who want to destroy what is left of their cultures. But, what someone might see here and I have heard it and read it, ” They can take care of themselves. Why should the American’s help them every single time? Let the government help them, that’s what they are there for.” These to me, are very ignorant answers and shows me that a person is not at all open minded or at all knowledgeable of the people and the world around them. The same could be said about Mexican’s and the assumptions of why they come up here to the U.S. illegally. What anyone ever see’s or hears is that Mexican’s are dirty, they bring disease, they offer nothing to society, but take freebie’s and bring drugs and gang violence here to the U.S. These are assumptions based off people’s experiences, what they have read in the news and possibly learned at home. However, just like any culture, you have the good and the bad people who set everyone back and some how, lumps everyone in together. In Mexico, there is already a huge cartel/drug problem, but most people actually do not know this. The cartel snatches people right off the street to work for them or to prove a point by killing them. There is a lot people do not know and sympathizing for other’s is really not some people’s strong suits.
Something to touch on about the South Sudan, is that they are going out of their way to put the children warriors they have caught back in to school. They want better for the children in South Sudan. The government is trying to bring these children back home to their families that they were separated from. This is a culture that does care and they are trying to do better for their children, no matter what the consequences might be.
When it comes to culture, I know I have been guilty of making assumptions in the past about people and where they come from. This being from bad experiences when I moved back to Wisconsin and lived in a very rough neighborhood. I watched a woman bite my mother’s finger off, she was black. For the longest time, I was angry and thought everyone from her culture was as bad as she was. That everyone did drugs like she did and stole like her children did. No, that was not the case at all. Not everyone is the same and there are people who can rise above those stereotypes about them and prove to the world that they are worth something and that they are here and they understand the world around them just as much as the next person. Assumptions about culture’s is something that is created through experiences and who you are surrounded by during the early stages of the learning process. The good news is! You can change your crappy attitude about people and become even more understanding of people and why they are the way they are. If you can’t, then that is your loss and maybe some day you can rise above it all and be a better person. Culture is something that reminds me of tradition, because everyone has tradition they learned while being a part of a culture!
Why It’s Hard to Get South Sudan’s Former Child Soldiers Back to School. Skaras, Merethe. May, 1st, 2018.
Engaging Anthropological Theory. Moberg, Mark.