Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Naive realism refers to the belief that many people tend to see and perceive the world in a similar way, without deciphering any reason for disparities. This is where people do not believe in criticisms that may exist in a given subject and tend to concur with the ideologies that are set in that particular society. Culture shock, on the other hand, refers to a condition of total confusion and also many feelings of dire loneliness and also anxiety that is experienced by a person suddenly perturbed by the fact that he or she has to face a complete new culture. Eating Christmas in the Kalahari, written by the renowned Richard Lee, is a clear and perfect example of complete naive realism.

Lee   really thought that the Christmas session would eventually be viewed throughout the globe in one same manner.  As he went on to vividly state, individuals who always celebrate this perceived holiday often feel "Christmas is supposed to be the day of friendship and brotherly love"(Lee, Eating Christmas in the Kalahari pg 20). Therefore, this clearly shows that he was out to eventually give a gift in line with the celebrated Christmas spirit. He expected everyone to have the same notion in terms of the Christmas season. He could not believe that disparities could exist in regard to the festive season, which is celebrated worldwide.

The!Kung people feel that all individuals should be extremely humble about any gift giving. If one is not modest at all, they will end up knocking that person’s ego down and eventually affect his or her self esteem and normal working or routine. Despite the fact that the renowned Lee's feelings got extremely hurt in that specific situation, it came to his notice since he had put himself in a precarious state of cultural misunderstanding evident between the !Kung and him. The differences in ideologies meant that the two could not agree, and hence the conflict that was experienced in the whole scenario. This could eventually cripple all plans to see to it that the society progresses in the right direction and that people would follow the ser rules and regulations.

As a society is considered one that is composed of hunters and gatherers, the bushmen had highly developed their cultural practices in line with both accepting and also sharing the existing bounties of their known prowess as versatile hunters, pride of being a great component. Whether they were the givers or even the receivers, they always retained and tempered their celebrated humility in their own ways of often receiving many gifts that were out to ridicule the main giver and also spin any unexpected “put down” that may prevail, to the eventual successful hunter. The latter, who in terms of reality was known to be “sharing” with others more than even gifting them and thus eventually equalizing the given gift in a way that will also involve the main giver. In that perspective, one who spoke very negatively about the given gift that emanated from the famous anthropologist, was considered as high in praise. They were always teaching him all about how they took upon themselves to accept him at long last into their midst and considered the gift as an obligation of the giver as they were fellow “hunters”. This is where one person feels that the reward for any achievement is only by being given a lot by people in society, yet at some point it may come out as a curse.

In this quote, Lee describes that one’s foremost responsibility as an offspring is to take tremendous care of his body because the body is the most valuable asset among all other inheritances one’s parents hands down to their children. One’s body reflects the comprehensive love and care of his or her parents. When I ponder on this saying, I get ashamed of my acts. I end up apologizing to my parents because this idea of unconditional love touches me immensely. It gives me the impression that I have not yet done my level best up to this moment. In this quote, Lee says what gives rise to a devoted child is profound love from his parents. When I compare this saying of Lee with the teachings of Buddhism, I find that Buddhism’s teachings about filial duty parallel with those of Confucius. There are three theories of filial duty in Buddhism. The most accepted one describes a devoted child as one whose parents cherish. He or she carries out duties faithfully. Their parents nurture them with virtues.

The final result was the great feelings and gratitude  that the specific giver felt  in line with in eventually giving and helping the society, and also relished the funny “joke” of always tempering with his pride in line with receiving a great taste of human humility from the renowned !Kung.

The whole story teaches us all about the varied and diverse cultures that people have in the world in relation to our own. In line with our own cultural and societal dynamics of any gifting, we always recognize most motives that are often also not very pure as we could at all levels hope for. Americans always place an unjust and also undue value on any exacting gratitude whenever they offer gifts, and in such a case distorting and also manipulative cognition and motives.

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