Culture

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Culture plays such a key role in who we are as people and the ability to adapt other cultures is vital in living in a cohesive world. In review of the silent documentary about the Toulambis tribe of Papua New Guinea it was evident that narration was not needed to see the effects on one’s culture. The film documented the tribe’s first encounter with a western Caucasian and the difference in culture of both groups. From the first meeting of a Toulambis tribe member and the western Caucasian was a distinct display of a folkway, which is a norm that depicts the everyday action of social life in a group’s culture. The westerner put his hand out to greet the tribe leader with a friendly handshake. Now this may appear to be a normal practice in western culture, it was evident that the Toulambis tribe member was taken-back by this gesture and would not extend his hand to reciprocate the handshake. Even though the member of Toulambis tribe did not extend his hand to the westerner, the westerner was able to put it into perspective and display cultural relativism. He did not think the Toulambis member was being rude, he was able to evaluate and accept that the gesture was not something that was a part of their culture. By the westerner not evaluating the tribe based on his own culture but by the standards of the Toulambis culture he was able to communicate effectively. Language is one of the main differences we can see within a certain culture. The Toulambis having their own dialect were not able to hold a verbal conversation with the westerner. By the use of hand jesters they were able to communicate. The westerner introduced the tribe to rice in which was complete culture shock and clearly evident they had never tried it before. At first the Toulambis were clearly disgusted by the rice but as they continued to eat it they enjoyed it. They were able to tell the westerner it was good by softly patting the right side of their head with a closed fist. It started...
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