Love and Culture; a Study of Relationships Among the Tamil, Fulbe, Inuit and Fiji Communities

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Assignment title: Love and Culture; A study of relationships among the Tamil, Fulbe, Inuit and Fiji Communities
Module/course: ANTH150 - Identity and Difference: Introduction to Anthropolo It is said that people will forget what you do and say but they never forget how you make them feel. Love describes an emotion, act or thought. Love means different things to different people. Love becomes even more complex when studied in the cultural setting. Most cultures have their unique way of not only expressing love to each other but also of defining love (The human experience 2008).

A look at four cultures; the Tamil, Fulbe, Inuit and Fiji people will help us appreciate the differences in cultural meanings of love. Love is described using different words in these communities. The Fiji people have two words for love veilomani (mutual and compassionate love) and veidomoni i.e. mutual and passionate sexual love (Toren 1994 p.20-21). Among the Tamil people, the word apnu may be used to define love. This word possesses many attributes including containment, cruelty, humility, servitude and finally opposition (Trawick 1992 p. 93-116). The emotion of love among the Inuit people was not often expressed especially between spouses (Condon & Stern 1995 p.198) In all these three culture, the feeling of love towards one’s spouse was not necessary in marriage. Love was equated to madness in the Fulbe community (Regis 1995 p.146).

Among the Inuit people, marriage was arranged (Condon & Stern 1995 p.197). Some children were betrothed at birth. Such agreement were however rarely honoured (Condon &Stern 1995 p.204). Polygamy was practiced in both Fulbe and Inuit communities (Regis 1995, Condon & Stern 1995). A groom from the Tamil people gathered a few of his friend and went to visit a prospective bride’s home. This visit was meant to allow the potential bride and groom meet and see whether they appreciated each other or not (Trawick 1992 p.94-5). This showed that the two...
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