Eating Christmas in Kalahari Essay

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Eating Christmas in the Kalahari Analysis Jeffrey Scott O'Kelley February 17, 2013 Ivy Tech Community College SOCI111-13A-A1-201230 Eating Christmas in the Kalahari serves as documentation of an instance of how different societies of people distinguish themselves from one another with certain customs and differences in how they conduct themselves. Richard Lee describes his experience living with the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in south central Africa, but it does more than just chronicle a three year stint with a native African tribe. It highlights the misunderstandings that are commonplace when it comes to living among an unfamiliar group of people. The primary obstacle that Lee encounters is a misinterpretation between him and the tribe on why he isn’t receiving the appreciation that he believes he deserves, for giving the gift of such a glorious meal. While it may not seem like it at first, the conflict that arises between the tribesman and Lee symbolizes the disparity between our society and the tribesman in the Kalahari Desert. In the United States, when people do a deed that they believe is an act of kindness, they expect a “thank you” from the recipient. In this story the tribe reacts in a way Lee doesn’t expect. Instead of the “thank you” that is customary for us, they ridicule, tease and berate Lee as well as the ox. This left Lee bewildered as to why the tribe would treat him this way when he was convinced that he had chosen the absolute best ox for the Christmas feast. Lee solicited the input of his wife as well as any other person willing to give an opinion. He quickly realized that his view of the great ox was lost in a sea of bad comments and criticisms. What’s done is done; Lee had already purchased the ox so he had to hope for the best. The scrawny ox was delivered to the dancing ground

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