College Date Contact Zone I once experienced interpellation from a community around a renowned tourist destination in Asia. Besides visiting beautiful holiday destinations as a tourist, am fond of mingling with local communities and learning about their culture and beliefs, which is a thrilling experience…
It happened that I befriended a tour guide who promised to take me deep into the communal areas to meet people and learn their culture someday before returning home. The problem was that on arriving in the rural area, I was embarrassed by having many people from the community following us and making some funny jokes about my dressing that was very different from theirs. In summers, am used to wearing light clothing that expose most of the body to enjoy the sun bath and the freshness of the weather in my destinations. However, the community I visited was a conservative one that adorned in clothes that covered almost the entire body. I could clearly tell they were making fun of my clothing. When having lunch, as I liked having new delicacies from native communities, the type of food that was served was very different to what I was used to. From that time, I could read some negative reactions from the people I had visited and even the person I head befriended was involved in some jokes that made fun of me. Considering am not used to working in the garden, I made an ugly scene trying to learn farming using animals to plough. The reaction in the entire contact with the community was that I was a fool who did not know the best things to eat and one that could not work. From the interpretations that I got, I learned that the locals were remarking that people of my type were a lazy lot who could not do any physical activity or wear decent clothing to cover the body. From the experience, a contact zone is influenced by the extent of adherence to beliefs and values in a community and the degree to which such a community recognizes and embraces defying cultures. The community in question was a conservative one that followed strict codes of behaviour and values. Anyone who failed to abide by these values was a laughing stock and an outcast not welcome in the community. Pratt (37) suggested that a person surrounded and living in a particular culture will develop a strong belief that their culture is much better than other cultures out there, and will look down upon anyone practicing a different culture. This influence was manifested in the community above. Most of the indigenous people do not travel but live in strong communal ties separated into several clans, with each clan having a strict code of values and behaviours to follow. As a result, anyone with different behaviours or values was an intruder whose behaviour had to be ignored with a “disgusting” attitude. Concerning the dressing code, the community had a strong belief that wearing exposing clothing was a taboo that an adult was not supposed to be indulged in. A pair of summer shorts and a small vest was not considered decent clothing, and from the observation, there was a sense of disgust especially from the elders. Communities are differentiated not by their genuineness, nevertheless by the stylishness in which such communities are imagined (Pratt 37). Judging from the entire reception and treatment while in the community, it was evident that the community had a perception and belief that I lacked values and discipline. The fact that I could not participate in farm activities effectively or other strenuous physical activities such as using animals in the farm suggested I was lazy compared to their fellow communal members. The main problem was that the community lacked any insight regarding western communities or life and cultures in the western world, ...
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