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Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

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Eating Christmas in the Kalahari
I. Abstract:
In the early nineteenth century, The London Missionary Society brought a “Christmas” to southern Tswana. Then the idea of Christmas was spread to all Kalahari Desert and mixed with the local cultures that will sell the cattle, marriage brokering and several days of trance dance feasting in December. Richard bought an ox for Christmas to share with Bushmen so they can celebrate. But when he bought the ox, few of the Bushmen came to Richard and starts satirize his decision of buying the ox.

Richard was upset and wonder Christmas suppose to be the day that everyone are happy. Then his wife told him everything that Bushmen said was joke. Then he went to ask one of the Bushmen why satirize his decision of buying the ox. II. Main Point:

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1. The London Missionary Society brought the holiday, Christmas, to the southern Tswana in the early nineteen century.
2. The different societies make people hard to distinguish what are the problems.


3. People are easily to think subjective by its own culture.
4. There is always having a reason why a group of people do different then other groups.
5. Even an anthropologist is hard to get away from his own culture.
6. When things happen, people act subjective instead of objective.
7. People are easy to misunderstand the acts and words from someone else. III. Analysis
“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” was written by Richard Borshay Lee that describes his experience of living with !Kung Bushmen in southern central Africa. He lived in there three years to study the local culture and figure even a scientist are hard to easily understood to the culture they study and will use its own culture to judge other cultures.

Misunderstand the words and acts cause conflict between people. Then when the emotion is controlled by anger and disappoint, people can’t see the truth. Just like Bushmen do to Richard. The Bushman said:” Yes, when a young man kills much meat he comes to think of himself as a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants of inferiors. We can’t
accept this.” According to the quotation, we can know this is Bushmen’s culture. To give the pressure to young hunter so it can cool the hunter’s heart and make them gentle. At this point, Richard emotion is controlled by sadness because all he wants is to make everyone happy, but no one appreciated. .This makes him not an anthropologist but a tourist that lives in Kalahari Desert three years without learning any local culture. He becomes subjective and not objective because he starts using his own culture to think and judge Bushmen’s culture. People are easy to misunderstand the acts and words from someone else in same culture, and worse in different cultures. When Richard heard the Bushmen said the ox is worthless, he misunderstood what the Bushmen really want to teach him. Culture to culture will cause conflict because people misunderstand other people’s culture. So that is why anthropologist went to local place to do the fieldwork and to study the cultures.

This article is relevance to class material because anthropologists do the fieldwork and write it down so the world can know there are cultures that are different then we know. If there are no anthropologist do the fieldwork, the world cannot know a new kind of culture and this culture will disappear because time. IV: General Knowledge:

Before reading this article, I always think scientist are always objective except trying to show his theory is right. Then after reading this article, I notice there are scientist will be subjective not because people influence his mind but its own culture.

Cite this Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari. (2016, Nov 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/eating-christmas-in-the-kalahari/

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