reading the Body Ritual among the
Nacirema I thought to myself, “I don’t understand any of it!” After reading
it a total of 7 times, I was finally able to focus on the bigger picture and
grasps it in great detail. The concept of the story I may not understand
however; different cultures do different things. I took the reading and I
related it to my everyday ritual to get a better understanding of it. What I
came up with was that when I awake in the morning and prepare for my day, I do
in a certain order, as most Americans do. This would be considered our ritual
and just as strange as the Nacirema culture ritual seems to us, our ritual may
be weird to them. Reading it was such an eye opener for me, because it made me
realize that not everyone does things the same or even close to it.
In the reading the Nacirema’s are
shown to have to fascination with the mouth. They believe that keeping their
mouths clean and visiting the “holy mouth men” regularly is a way for them
maintain relationships with people. Their “mouth men” visits are similar to our
trips to the dentist. They have temples, or a latispo, in every community to assist all of the people. Their
concept of it all is the exact concept that us American have, the difference is
the language. “Mouth men” is what we call the dentist, “latispso” is what we call the Orthodontist or dentist as well, and
the “shrine” is what we call bathroom.
Although this reading did not change
my personal views and cultures, it did make me realize that every culture has
their own tradition that they live by. The more I think about it other’s
traditions relates to ours, but is just not done the same. As other cultures
paint their bodies with tribal patterns, we paint our faces with makeup. People
instantly see the tribal painting and think that’s weird, not realizing that we
do the same thing. This reading allowed
me to better understand another culture and understand how similar we all are.
Just because one culture does something different than another does or has a
different name of something, besides what we call it, does not make one weird
or any less.