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Cultural Differences

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Cultural Differences

Although individuals handle particular situations differently, there are universal themes and rituals that span from culture to culture. Although these traits are inert they are witnessing first hand through the different perspectives and actions that each culture experiences. Different cultures tend to have contrasting values and beliefs which can lead to the questioning of the validity of other cultural practices. When there is cultural conflict between two separate societies, people tend to think that the opposing cultures values and morals are wrong because they differ from the views of each others, this develops into a cultural sense of ethnocentrism, which is the belief that ones own cultures values and beliefs are superior to all others. Our world is overwhelmingly complex and controversial today because of the cultural diversities and differences that span from one society to the next. Much can be learned from understanding the different ways of life and being culturally sensitive to all the different practices of people such as the people in the story "A Man to Send Rain Clouds" by Leslie Marmon Silko.

American culture not only takes death extremely serious, but fears it in many ways. Our society treats death in such a personal way that we have created several euphemisms to exemplify that people have died like passed away or passed on. When someone passes away they are usually taken away from their family and into a funeral home where they can be properly prepared for what comes next. One can be cremated, buried or even placed into a mauselium. This process is very expensive and can be an extravagant ceremony. The family and friends mourn together and receive gifts from those who feel sympathetic for those people who have lost a loved one. These rituals seem normal to us because they have been a part of our culture for as long as we can remember. We have never been exposed to any other ways in dealing with death but many other cultures handle the situation much differently. In the story, "A Man to Send Rain Clouds," two Native Americans stumble upon their grandfather's dead body under a cotton wood tree and simply "gather the sheep and left them in the pen at the sheep camp before they returned to the cotton wood tree." I can guarantee that if I saw my grandfather dead under a tree, I simply wouldn't just gather the sheep and return when I was done. I would have panicked and ran for help the second I saw him. It almost seems as though those men accepted the fact that people die, and maybe they assumed that death is just a natural part of life. In those types of situations our instincts take over and perform what we have learned to do. When reading this statement and seeing how the characters handled it, it showed the differences in the way our two cultures handle death. The two characters did absolutely nothing wrong but just acted on what they have been exposed to their entire life. They proceeded to paint his face and tie a feather in his hair with a smile on their face. This shows their sense of pride in their grandfather and I thought it was interesting that not only did they touch and paint him, but they did it with a smile.

After returning from the sheep

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