so it begins...

We've officially begun our anthropology culture simulation. In lecture this week, we discussed body language, and how gestures can be interpreted differently by different cultures. Who knew there were so many variations on a simple handshake?

We started discussion group today finding out the environment of the culture we'll be building over the next few weeks. The groups making up different "cultures" in our assignment were all given a specific climate somewhat like that of a real place on earth. Our group's culture is officially called "New Zealandish" and consequently has the oceans, mountains and forests like the actual islands of New Zealand. Call me a geek, but I was hoping we'd get that climate from day one. Blame it on Lord of the Rings, if you will.

Anyway, today we came up with body language for our culture, as well as ways to say hello, goodbye, express anger, etc. There are some pretty interesting gestures - for example, instead of shaking hands, we walk up to another person, extend our hand as if to shake theirs, but instead bend our opposite leg and "shake" their ankle. These will come into play during the actual simulation at the end of the semester. If other cultures "offend" us by the way they greet us, we may not trade with them, or we might actually attack them if they try to colonise our island.

Speaking of islands, tonight is the premier of Survivor: Cook Islands. A lot of people have already been showing apprehension and skepticism about the race-based way the game is being played this time around. However, news articles quoting the host and producer say not to judge the seemingly racist format, and that there might be a 'surprise' involved.


Guess I'll just have to watch and find out for myself.

1 comment:

emily said...

We were talking about Survivor in class today (Cultural Anthro) and how race is a cultural construct, that sort of thing. A student who is from Africa asked where the Middle Eastern people would fit in Survivor's categories. Someone else sarcastically suggested that basing it on religion (Christian, Jew, Muslim) would draw even more ratings.

Your class project sounds like a lot of fun, good luck with it!