mustela_nivalis: It is a least weasel. (Default)
Within the past few months, I have noticed that Westerners, and, in particular, Americans, tend to stereotype so-called third world countries—a term that originally referred to countries involved in the Unaligned Movement rather than relative economic prosperity , but that is a slightly more complicated geopolitical story. I have heard Thailand reduced to a country filled with homosexuals (which kind of misses the third gender aspect of the kathoey), India to a hotbed of poverty, Ethiopia to famine, Turkey to human rights violations (which is fair), and Iran to uneducated theocrats (which isn't). Yes, noting the problems of any nation is important; no, ignoring their good points is myopic and reinforces colonialist ideals (the West must go in and punish or save failing nations).

Recognizing the fact that as an American of South Asian extraction, I might occasionally miss cultural subtleties, I will occasionally post cultural practices of note in non-Western nations, including such things as traditional legal codes, medicine, religion, music, or whatever else seems appropriate. I will probably ignore countries traditionally considered developed unless there exists a popular misunderstanding of that country worth correcting. I acknowledge that among the countries mentioned above there are economic disparities. On the other hand, each of them often carries strong negative associations in the West.
Finally, I will try to avoid talking too much about music or food, as, while interesting, these are perhaps the parts of any culture most often appreciated in the west, although I might be willing to make exceptions for music if I feel it is too often ignored.

Without further ado, I give you xeer. )


mustela_nivalis: It is a least weasel. (Default)

April 2013

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