Ethnocentrism: The Cultural Differences between Western and Central Eastern Nationalities Through their ethnocentric reports and relatives based philosophy, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea’s Friends of the Sheik suggests that to obtain the true manifestation of Islamic culture, 1 must leave ethnocentrism lurking behind. Not only is going to we go over ethnocentrism plus the cultural distinctions between European and Middle section Eastern societies, we may also take a look at the women of El Nahra and family inside the differing societies. Fernea came into El Nahra naive for the culture.
However , was an faithful bystander, she became indignant because of the guide of using the abayah, ” mainly because she looked at the “abayah as not being a part of her culture and did not need to wear it, “Why should I need to wear that ugly thing”it’s not my own custom (1965: 5). However , through her stay in the little Iraqi small town, she received cultural information to be passed on about not simply El Nahra, but to all foreign culture. As Elizabeth entered the Sheik’s town, she was viewed having a critical eyesight, “It appeared to me that numerous times the women were talking about me, and not in a particularly friendly manner (1965: 70).
The women of Un Nahra could not understand why At the was not with her entire family, and why it absolutely was just her and her husband Frank: “Where is your mother? Kulthma asked. I told her she is at America far away, and when Selma repeated this in a better accent, the ladies clucked in sympathy. Poor girl, they said. Poor child. To be alone without any of the womenfolk was clearly the greatest disaster which could befall virtually any girl (1965: 36). The ladies did not identify her American lifestyle as accurate.
This is simply not only ethnocentrism on the part of the El Nahran women due to their belief program that you are imagine to have your mother and father living with you or towards you but American’s do not discover this like a bad thing to live far from ones parents. Conversely, Elizabeth”BJ or Beeja, as called by the town and Joe did not view the El Nahra lifestyle as particularly correct either. They were viewing each other through their own cultural lenses. However , through their continuous interaction, both sides began to acknowledge some benefits each lifestyle possessed.
It requires time while you are immersed within a particular community to understand the cultural cast and eventually the community as a whole. Through Elizabeth Fernea’s ethnography about Iraq’s Este Nahra small town, we find out that all civilizations have exceptional and equally important aspects. In El Nahra, for example , the cultural cast is relatives honor. The actions from the community depend on the sound family provides that exist through. However , individuality drives the majority of America. The actions seem to be a direct result of the cultural ethos.
In this, humiliated much of the concern between Frank, BJ as well as the El Nahran people. In America, we use a great deal of time away from home and our families and completing tasks that will further the success of the individual. Generally, Americans are willing to sacrifice a whole lot of their family solidity for individual success. A sacrifice of the magnitude would be unheard of in a community including El Nahra. Their relationships, both matrimony and a friendly relationship are based on their particular family, with out one appears to know some other lifestyle. Partnerships in El Nahra had been, for the large majority, predetermined.
This tradition in America will be strongly inhibited and completely disregarded, depending on the cultural ethos of individualism. People in america put a sizable emphasis on dating their own spouse. However , depending on El Nahra’s cultural ethos of friends and family honor, the folks trusted all their family product to make quality choices for these people. Obviously, by an American perspective, a ladies freedom of preference in this part of El Nahran culture is lacking. Yet , viewing relationship cross-culturally, their particular priorities being a tribe and culture are very different and we are unable to view them through American eyes.
We ought to understand that family is the most important characteristic of each with their lives, plus the preservation with the family line is of the utmost goal to all of them. In Este Nahra, it could have appeared to Beeja that girls have no electrical power in their society. However , electrical power may have multiple symbolism as one moves from culture to traditions. In America, a woman may view power with regards to being able to get and maintain a reliable, high-paying task on her very own. We may also view a female of not any power jointly without a job, satisfied being a common housewife. However , in Un Nahra, while Beeja finds out, the women have an overabundance power as housewives.
All their power originates from their capacity to please their very own husband, in fact it is known, who were the preferred wives or girlfriends. As a favorite wife, bearing children shows the woman electrical power in her community among both women and men. “A typical well-respected wife may have served and revered her partner, worked hard, kept their self beautiful to get him, made him giggle, and of course in the mind him kids (1965: 169). They also attain their power and respect from their capability to do what American females may consider to be menial chores. Preparation of meals and the cleanliness of kinds home are crucial to what sort of woman is viewed in El Nahra.
When the sheik visited BJ and Bob’s home, BJ experienced this concept of power first hand. To create a good impression and understand the customs better, she experienced her servant Mohammed contributed to Sheik Hamid’s feast. “Then Mohammed and I dished up the meals, the chicken breast, the kebab, the meat dishes, the vegetables and salad and yogurt, (1965: 96). “We piled the platters, 14 of them, onto the tray. Mohammed mopped his brow, readjusted his headdress, in that case lifted the heavy, piping-hot tray to his shoulder joint and set out for the additional room, (1965: 97).
These kinds of feasts are extremely imperative to the reputation of a woman in Este Nahra. You will find benefits to being a female in Este Nahra. Lots of women in American communities you don’t have the opportunity to your support and close relationship between various other women inside their community. In the us, it is hard for girls to find sufficient time to spend to women very much the same as the ladies of El Nahra. The lifestyle is slow paced, plus the importance is somewhat more on relationships instead of money and individuality, as in America. These close groups of women are a reaction to purdah, the veiling and seclusion of ladies. They say a great uncovered female is an immoral girl, Greg explained, “and the tribesmen ask how come a woman should certainly want to exhibit herself to anyone nevertheless her husband, (1965: 6). Predictably, Us citizens would see this tendencies as deteriorating, while Este Nahran ladies identify with it as a part of your life. El Nahran women will not view it since degrading, rather, from BJ’s many connections with the females of the community, they identify it makes it stronger. The time they spend together can be precious. They each gather collectively in a seemingly jovial atmosphere.
Most American women by no means get to experience that kind of bonding with such a huge group of girls. Granted, American women several times collect for tea parties to catch up with each others lives, but the women of Un Nahra will be in regular daily contact, and already know each other folks lives inside and away. The bonds that the girls make happen to be unique outlooks of Este Nahran tradition that make it equally as important as any other culture in the world. El Nahran women have many unique and important areas of culture, which will contribute to a normal lifestyle.
These types of aspects happen to be unique to their village and create a confident environment to enable them to live. However , members of foreign ethnicities may don’t agree. At that point, persons must understand that cultures could be equally as productive and useful no matter the means they use to obtain their particular desired goals. Elizabeth Fernea conducted himself as a sincere and somewhat open individual within the Iraqi community, the girl accepted the change of culture by which she has not been accustomed and experienced the concept of Iraqi traditions.
I believe At the started out with strong ethnocentric views: “Thus, although My spouse and i balked by wearing an all-enveloping dark-colored abayah, I had developed elected to live like the women of Un Nahra-in comparable seclusion in back of walls, not satisfying or combining with me (1965: 5), but left with a more opened up mind and respect for different cultures, particularly the Middle East culture: “when I came to Selma, heavy and clumsy with the child she was carrying, your woman smiled nicely in a collection way and then as I smiled back, her face altered and your woman threw her arms around me and cried aloud.
At this my own reserve shattered and I found me personally weeping, passing from one abayah-clad figure to another in a welter of sees and tears, “they were bidding me goodbye (1965: 331). This kind of shows just how Elizabeth began ethnocentric going to El Nahra, but her interactions together with the women of El Nahra mad her more culturally relative to the Iraqi tradition of Un Nahra.