A Thorny Path of the Quiche Indians

Topics: Guatemala, Culture, Rigoberta Menchú Pages: 7 (2645 words) Published: April 23, 2013
A Thorny Path Of the Quiche Indians
When we hear the word “Culture” every person thinks about different things. Some people might think about an ethnic dance or traditional clothes, or something totally different, like importance of the family or values of ancestors. Every culture is unique. We won't be able to truly understand different cultures, until we spend a relatively long time living deeply drowned in it. However, only living in the culture won't help people to solve issues brought by different backgrounds, understanding the culture is a main goal. The only way that people will be able to reach it - is through communication. It is not a secret that communication is a very powerful tool. People, who know how to use it, will be successful in many different areas. Almost all wars, problems and negative experience occur due to lack of communicational skills and difficulties of understanding the culture values of different tribes. One of the main problems that might occur between two people from the different parts of the world is that they would look at the things through different perspectives. Their judgments will be based on their norms and values in which they were raised. For instance, Geert Hofstede made a significant impact on the study of cultural dimensions. He proposed a set of indicators that define the cultural characteristics of different nations that were based on his research. His work of cultural dimensions helped in many arias connected with communications. For example, with understanding main issues of cross-cultural interactions, diplomats improved their relations with different cultures or many international organizations advanced their work worldwide. Hofstede's work helps to understand and explore the differences and similarities of various cultures. The book “ I Rigoberta Menchu, an Indian Woman in Guatemala” is based on a real experience of a brave woman that despite all the obstacles and circumstances that was given her by fate, achieved incredible goals that seemed to be impossible for almost every person in her community. She was born in the family of the Quiche Indians, who were settled in the Guatemalan mountains, in the place called Altipanos. Her people have been suffering for many years before she was born, and they suffered for many years after. Suffering made the Quiche Indians appreciate the value of family and community. When the Guatemalan army came to the Altipanos, they destroyed almost everything: starting with material things and ending with ruining families. From that point, Rigoberta Menchu and the Quiche Indians went straight into fighting. The pain of loosing the family and community was like a trigger for them. The Quiche Indians were silent for many years, but realizing that they lost the most important in their lives, their family and friends, made them strong to resist the enemy. When Rigoberta Menchu was thirteen her parents told her that her life wouldn’t change, “...it would go on the same- work, poverty, suffering ” (p.48) However, Rigoberta's willingness to change the life of her people, to fight with the cultural discrimination that they were facing and give the voice of her ancient culture, gave her a power to speak up loudly and make the world to listen to her voice. The Quiche Indians have a very high context culture. The main characteristics of high culture were discussed through out Rigoberta’s story. In high context culture people usually indirect and polite, they value family, friends and personal relations. They trust and take care of each other. One of the main parts of the Quiche Indian's culture is based on the strong sense of the community. All struggles that the Quiche Indians went through together made them very close. They live like one big family. Their relations build on trust, and everyone is sure that their children are safe in the community. When a woman is pregnant, all neighbors from the community would support her with...
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