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The Negativity Of Ethnocentrism In Traditions

685 words - 3 pages

The Negativity of Ethnocentrism in Traditions
As a child I remember being raised as having my own beliefs on cultures. My family was raised to follow directions from my elders and that’s what we did. On a Sunday morning, it was an obligation for my family and myself to attend church. If we would resist or make a scene our punishment would be no video games, nor television. It never took importance to me of how our traditions affected our everyday life. However, now as a grown up I can see why people may perceive some traditions better or worse than others. The term ethnocentrism means to judge other ethnical and culture groups based on your own. William G. Sumner creator of this word, saw how people differentiate between their culture, language, and religion. As the definition suggest most of the tendency ethnocentric people have, usually are prideful of what they are representing.
It is important to realize that traditions can be perceived as racist or stereotypical. For instance, there is an annual festival in the Netherlands where Zwarte Piet, server of St. Nicolas is perceived as a slave. The tradition states that Piets role or job was to amuse children and hand out candies and presents. The outsider prospective of this is seen as Piet being a slave for St. Nicolas. It was a tradition for kids to be scared of Piet and was told to be a boogeyman towards children. Many people believe that Piet had no knowledge, and received the name Black Pete in the more modern civilization. However, there has been many debates by the Dutch to remove him from the annual festival because of how people misinterpret his role. In the Netherlands, individuals who still celebrate this tradition oppose the removal of Zwarte Piet because it is an icon for children. Even though people perceived this tradition racist, their tradition is being kept as part of the annual festival and is seen as a valuable celebration to their culture.
One the other hand stereotyping has been linked women. Another controversial tradition practiced...

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