Death

•June 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am still trying to catch up on missed blogs.. my apologies.

I was really interested in the lectures that were based around the concept of death.  It really stuck how Brigitte said that death is the only aspect in life we cannot dodge. 

Andre Hazes’ funeral was quite extraordinary.  I think it was because I did not know who he was and to see what kind of funeral he had just amazed me. 

Sir Edmund Hillary’s funeral certainly had the features of a state funeral.  I watched the media coverage on television when he died but not the tv 3 version like the one shown in class I watched the tv 1 version with the commentary as it seemed more interesting.  I felt like he deserved the send off he had as he was so iconic.  But watching it in class again made me aware of how prominent the government were at his funeral.  I thought in a way it was unfair as his family probably did want something more private.  Another crucial point was that his funeral ceremony had dominated much of the media attention another icon of NZ was ignored, Hone Tuwhare.  He died around the same time Hillary did and was not given the same attention or send off instead the news slotted in a 2-3min scene where his body was lying in a Marae. 

It really does depend on ‘who you are and what you have done’ that will indicate what type of send off you get.

Week 9 Reading: The weddings of the 1930s

•May 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know there is something about weddings that makes me all excited and happy.

Anyway I was thinking that that people back in the 1930s must have had a lot of time on their hands to be celebrating a wedding for 5-6 days.  Everyday had a specfic theme where the muscisians had a major role, they seemed to be at every single ritual singing a song relevent to the ritual performed. 

As a female, I got very annoyed at how it was the brides virginity that was on display.  All the groom had to worry about was whether or not he performed well!!  He was not questioned if he was of good virtue.  Also in some of the celebrations the males were allowed to express their masculinity whereas the females were expected to be passive.  It is certainly not new to me the whole gender division in cultures but it struck a nerve while I was reading this specific reading.    

I also thought that Argyrou failed to document the feelings of the bride and groom and how they felt towards the celebration or even to eachother. 

It is interesting how the wedding ceremony has evolved over time.  They only take a matter of hours now.  The bride and groom have more of a say of who they want invited whereas before it was more of the parents friends that were invited. 

Tuesdays lecture was interesting and it related to the reading.  The reciprocity aspect and to not be viewed as stingy is something I can strongly relate to with my cultural background.  In my culture having an endless flow of food at the reception is the telling point of whether or not the wedding ceremony was a success or a flop.  The last thing the families of the bride and groom want is gossip flying around that they couldn’t afford to put on enough food for the amount of people they had invited.  There is also a lot pending on the gifts they give back to the prominent guests that have attended the wedding.  Envelopes of a substantial amount of money is given out to these prominent guests.  The more envelopes of money given out the better, they won’t be viewed as stingy instead guests will only wish for the newlyweds and their families to have many blessings in return.  What is important to note is that my culture believes in that ‘it is better to give than receive’ concept.  As much as I do not want to go through it myself in my wedding, I don’t know if is that easy because it is the status of my parents and family that is at stake culturally.

Week 8 reading: Initiation Rites among Urban Portuguese Boys.

•May 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

I must say that this reading was one of the most interesting I have read so far for ANTH213.  The content was engaging as it was about Portuguese boys who looked to their peers who were expected to make up their own initiation rites.  I thought it was careless and sad that parents did not take part in their child’s life at such a critical age.  There was no established initiation for parent and child.  I found that it put a lot of stress on boys to live up to this strong man expectation. 

On the other hand I did enjoy reading the humour Alves captured through the boys conversations.  The boys stories of having to go above and beyond, they exaggerate to capture and ‘wow’ their listeners.  What I found interesting was that my reaction of disapproval for these boys undergoing strain to out do one another changed as I compared it to experiences of teenagers and to my own experiences. 

Now that I look back at my high school years I believed there was a lot of exaggerated conversation between my peers.  As much as I think I was not peer pressured to do anything.  I do think that exaggerating stories or explaining an experience in an amazing way was the norm for me.  I think everyone could agree teenage years are the years that are the most trialling.  Having a new cell phone, a new piece of clothing that could be considered the ‘in’ fashion, doing something outrageous in the weekend, all these things I believe are used to gain an upper hand during adolescence.      

Even the ways we use language is used to impact feelings in a certain way.  Although I was getting confused with Alves explanations of the different uses of language, I feel that I understand it. 

I was brought back to think of this reading and my thoughts on it while I was on the train yesterday going  home after uni.  I went to sit down behind a man, what caught my eye while I was sitting was that the man was holding a device I had not seen before.  This man was holding a piece of technology that amazed me, he was reading his chapter book without having to flip a page.  It was a hand held device that seemed easy and convenient to hold and pack, the device stored pages of the book he was reading.  It wasn’t till 15 mins into the train ride he acknowledged a man he knew sitting across from him.  I noticed the other man who was in his mid sixties to be reading a novel on his lap. 

The man in his mid sixties was intrigued with the piece of technology too, the ‘hand held’ guy gave him a look at it.  But not for too long I realised that the ‘hand held’ guy was possessive over it.  Then there little debate began. 

mid sixties guy: ‘wow that an amazing little thing’

hand held guy: ‘yeah it can hold many books even newspapers and magezines’…

mid sixties guy: ‘but I bet it doesn’t look as attractive on the shelf like books and things’

hand held guy: ‘yeah well I can just get them through Amazon and store it right in here, it has a big memory to do that sort of stuff…’

mid sixties guy: ‘well I like the old fashioned way.. that is too advanced for me… but that hand held thingy takes the essence away from actual books’

hand held guy: ‘yeah you win on that one’

I was thinking that each side had a valid argument but I was siding with the mid sixties guy which surprised me because I love technology but I did think that this device took away many things actual books have to offer.  Plus the hand held guy was arrogant with the way he spoke.  He also positioned himself on the train where he would get a lot of attention from people because he was in everyones view.  Even older people try to have the upper hand and show off through the experience I have just mentioned.  It amazes me that we all do it without even noticing it. 

I know I have deviated from the focus of initiation rites but the way I could relate to this reading was through my own experiences and understanding. 

Sorry for the long blog!

I will try and get around to blogging week 9 readings by the end of the week, I had a glimpse and got all happy when I saw it was about weddings lol. 

 

 

It was a thing majiggy (sorry for the term don’t know how else to put it)

See Monet for free!

•May 1, 2009 • 2 Comments

Hey Everyone!

My mum works at the Wellington City Council and she let me in on some news about seeing the Monet Art Exhibition for free on Thurs 7 May.  To see it for free you have to prove that you are a Wellington resident, by showing a bill that shows your address or a Wellington library card.  Here’s a link to find out more. Marvel at Monet and the Impressionists for Free

Hope you all go and see it! It’s free free free!!!

Week 7 reading: May Day

•April 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In my view May Day represented many things.  At first it seemed an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere for the working class.  After WWII I thought May Day was stolen by the communist party for political gain and to glorify unity.  I feel compassionate towards the working class as the true meaning for why May Day existed was lost, the government extensively changed it by introducing their own symbols.  People were very much coerced to go to May Day ceremonies in order to not feel alienated from social daily life outside of May Day.  This reading reminded me of, ‘Christmas under the Third Reich’, how political power was used to make people conform and assimilate to a specific event.  I was glad that the working class people were able to claim May Day back as their own through anti-state protests.

thinking of ANZAC day

•April 6, 2009 • 1 Comment

I really enjoyed watching the piece on ANZAC day today in class.  I have to admit though as a New Zealander I have not yet taken part in any ANZAC day ceremonies.  I like to think I make up for it, by watching all the television programmes that  commemorate ANZACs on ANZAC day.  This year will break that habit as I am committed to attend a ceremony not only for the next assignment but to also feel included in an occassion that I feel that all NZers participate in. 

I am quite a sensitive person and I did feel wave of emotion when the Maori people were doing a powhiri to welcome the unkown soldier back into New Zealand. 

I am looking at doing an O.E. soon and Gallipoli was a place on my list to see.  I have read an article in the newspaper about how the RSA have shown concern over the number of young New Zealanders and Australians who attend ANZAC day in Gallipoli.  I do see their side of the argument that it is a fragile former battlefield and that you will feel a sense of reverence no matter when you visit.  I think it is great that a large number of young New Zealanders and Australians who are on their O.E. manage to go and pay their respects on ANZAC day. 

 

Here are links to newspaper articles: Kiwis urged not to go to Gallipoli on Anzac Day

RSA wants fewer NZers to visit Gallipoli on Anzac Day

Lonely Planet guide

O Christmas tree…

•April 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have finally caught up with my blogs and readings. 

‘Christmas under the Third Reich’ was an interesting read.  I must say that this reading captivated my attention for the length of the article.  I was trying to picture myself being told how to celebrate a certain occassion by New Zealand politicians, but really couldn’t get pass the fact I would probably say ‘screw you’ if I didn’t want to celebrate it in their way.  I was really annoyed at how German people especially families were told how to celebrate Christmas by National Socialists.  

The catalogue with many pages demonstrating how Christmas should be celebrated to the remembering of the dead, it all just seemed a bit excessive.  The Party were able to exercise their power overtly by replacing all Christian festivals on the calendar with German festivals  that spanned a year.  I thought this seemed quite exhaustive for people under the National Socialist’s dictatorship.  Also the contribution of academics and lay persons enforced the power of National Socialism.  These academics and lay persons in my perspective jumped on the band wagon to get a piece of glory. 

The emphasis on remembering the dead during Christmas I felt was unneccessary because families would remember and think about them regardless.  It also made me think about how similar the rememberance of the dead was to our celebration of ANZAC day. 

At first I didn’t like how the National Socialist’s were reforming and restructuring all occassions and protocols.  But then I thought what was wrong with having symbolism that was relevant to your nation and culture.