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Interview With Pakistani Essay

1593 words - 6 pages

Interview With Pakistani

Ethnology is the part of anthropology that focuses on the cultures of the world; its written results are published in ethnographies. While conducting my first ethnology I learned more about my friend Mohammed than I have learned about him in the seven years I have been acquainted with him. Moe works at a convenience store and gas station that I have been frequenting since before I was even old enough to have a car to fill up with gas. Moe is originally from Pakistan, he was born in the city of Karachi, but has been in this country for 20 years. His native language is Urdu. Moe is thirty-eight years old and is married with two children. Both of his children were also born in Pakistan and are now naturalized American citizens like their father. Through my interview of Moe I learned quite a bit about Moe, his culture and his religion. In our interview, Moe illustrated three important concepts of anthropology, 1) religion, 2) social structure and 3) enculturation.

Anthropology defines religion as a set of rituals rationalized by myth that mobilizes supernatural powers to achieve or prevent transformation of state in the nature of people. Moe’s religion is that of Islam, and through our interview I learned that he is very proud and happy to be a member of that religion. He greatly enjoyed telling me about the beliefs, values and traditions of his religion that plays a very important role in his life. A Muslim’s religion encompasses perhaps more aspects of his life than the followers of almost any other religion. The concept of religion when it comes to anthropology deals with many factors. Those factors include but are not limited to myths, symbolism, polytheism or monotheism, pantheons, ancestral spirits, animism, animatism, priests, and shamans. Moe’s religion includes very few of these factors, most of the religion resolves around one god Allah, and his prophet Mohammed. Since Islam has only one god it would be classified as monotheistic, and it does not have pantheons like the Greek culture. It also does not allow symbols like the cross that symbolizes Christianity, or the star of David which symbolizes Judaism. The house of worship for Muslims is called a mosque. Moe said it was very easy to find and go to a mosque so he could practice his religion. I also learned from Moe that Islam is not that different than my religion of Christianity. Muslims do in fact also believe in Jesus, Moses, Abraham and others of the Christian bible, they however play the roles as only disciples of god, not the son of god, as in the case of Jesus. The Muslims also have very important religious holidays like other religions of the world, perhaps the most important religious holiday for the Muslims is Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long period of fasting that comes once every lunar calendar. The fasting is observed from sunup to sundown and during this period no eating, sex or lying is allowed. During this time a Muslim must also give to...

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