Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daily dose of paganism

Today in my Culture class we made little folk dolls. There was a lot of giggling as we tried to follow the directions in the book to make the proper Russian peasant clothing. We spent about twenty minutes trying to wind the kerchief just right around the head. Interesting how none of the guys showed up for class today...

Of course it's a fun craft, but then the teacher said, "Every Russian house had 12 dolls, to keep away 12 specific illnesses." Oh my.

Towards the end of class, we talked about the purpose of studying cultures in general...


Is it important to preserve cultures? It's an interesting question to consider. Of course in order to sound like respectable people we should answer "yes." But the follow-up question (Why?) stumped me for a minute. I feel the occasional twinge of sadness when hearing about a tribe that has become extinct or a form of folk art that has been lost. But I have to admit that I find it hard to express a reason why anyone would dedicate their lives to making sure these traditions are preserved. What does it add to life? Or what does it take away from life, to not know these ancient customs?

There were two main reasons given for studying culture: 1) In order to better understand others. 2) In order to rethink and evaluate one's own culture and reasons for doing certain things.

I think that a reason for studying history and current traditions in general is that we see the problems and questions that are common to all Man. Throughout history, people have been the SAME. The same instincts, thoughts, desires, goals in life.

Again, why does it matter? If I were to pour myself into studying as many ancient and modern civilizations as I can, would I really learn anything new, or would I come to the same conclusions as the teacher in Ecclesiastes?

Perhaps, I would confirm my belief that GOD is the SAME.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Comments aren't proofread, but I will delete them if they seem inappropriate.

You’re welcome to leave a link to your own blog here if it's relevant to this blog.

Please make sure that your comments are 1) relevant and 2) respectful (i.e. no cuss words, attacks on individuals).