Cultural Anthropology : The Study Of Human Races, Origins, Societies, And Cultures

Cultural Anthropology : The Study Of Human Races, Origins, Societies, And Cultures

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Anthropology: the study of human races, origins, societies, and cultures. Focusing on cultural anthropology has proven to be full of new experiences and new ways of thinking. Through this class topics such as kinship, gender, marriage and cultures have been introduced and discussed. Learning about different societies has allowed me to shed a little ethnocentrism of my own, or at least recognize when I am being ethnocentric. The main subject talked about throughout the quarter was the relationship between America and India. Economically, politically, and in some aspects socially, the two cultures have proved to be, to my surprise, more similar than expected. One of the most resourceful learning tools was being able to Skype with a student from India. I was assigned Sana Vaidya, and through our conversation I was able to learn more in depth about the culture surrounding marriage and weddings in India as well as her own personal experiences. Marriage can be found in cultures across the globe, and is a part of culture that one can relate to no matter where in the world. American and Indian culture share, but are also distinguished by, principals and ideals that can be found in the traditions and spiritual obligations in regarding marriage.
Rituals and traditions compose a culture. In both the American and Indian wedding core values are shared in similar fashions. Although the two societies are so different, there are many rituals that share cultural ideals. Such an idea may be hard to expect considering the grandeur difference of Indian wedding ceremonies in relation to the standard white wedding. None the less, Hindu weddings contain a majority of the same core principles that Christian weddings consist of, but are simply displayed...


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...rs, anthropologists, and anthropologists-to-be a chance at seeing society without judgement and preconceptions. The opportunities to converse with and learn from both Sana Vaidya and Dr. Shweta Sinha Dashpande have opened my blinders to see with a world view. Anthropology has taught me a new found way of thinking. Learning to think like an anthropologist has given me an unbiased, critical, and rhetorical way of observing and understanding.
Marriage across India and the United States have both similarities as well as distinct cultural differences. Similarities and differences can be seen in the in the differing rituals, traditions, spiritual motivation and practices done in wedding ceremonies as well as marriage. Cultural norms may overtake such a global and humanistic practice, but underneath the new characteristics is the overlying presence of a unifying tradition.

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