2nd paper ANT 202 Ethnographic Interview Example.doc - 2nd...

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2 nd Paper: Midterm Paper- Cultural Ethnographic Interview and Paper Everyone constantly learns something new daily. Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, I had the chance to interview my Aunty about the culture she grew up in. Her name is N.B. and she is 40 years old. I interviewed her at the mosque that we usually go to because Sundays are one of the few days that I can actually interact with her and she would always tell me about the stories of her own childhood. She would tell me how much America’s culture differs from her own culture so I interviewed her with the intention of wanting to know more about her culture. The country that my Aunt grew up is called Nigeria and it is in West Africa. The culture that she grew up with is called Yoruba and around 20 million people speak it, according to N.B. Although my families culture is Yoruba, I am not affiliated with it as much as my parents or relatives are. This can be mainly due to the fact that I was born and raised in Chicago. My aunt pointed this out as we were talking about her culture and I will talk about it more later on. When I asked her about what kind of wedding and marriage practices and expectations she experienced growing up, she told me that Yoruba has a very tradition style wedding. The groom’s family would gift the bride’s family with a bride-price and the wedding would be a very elaborate ceremony. But before the actual wedding and bride-price, there are various procedures that comes before that. The groom’s family will have to write a letter to the bride’s family explaining that they want their son to marry the daughter of the family. If the bride’s family doesn’t accept the marriage, then there will not be a marriage. This means that it is ultimately up the bride’s family to decide on if they should get married. The groom and bride cannot decide this on their own. If the bride’s family does accept the engagement, then the bride will then start to express her gratitude. My Aunt explained that this tradition is especially important. First, the bride will kneel in front of their parents and have them pray to her. After that, the broom will travel to the groom’s parents to kneel in front of them and have them pray for her. During this time, the bride cannot interact with the groom in any way. After the groom’s family finishes praying to the bride, she will then go to groom and have him pray for her. All of this happens in the span of a few days. After everything is finished, the bride will go to the groom’s house and they will wash her feet. To wash away her feet represents washing away everything from her past stepping into her new life. According to N.B., there are many cases in which the parents are the ones who will do the matchmaking for their child in finding a suitable partner for them. There are also no divorces allowed, especially when dealing with the wife. When the husband would think that the wife did something wrong, such as cheating, then he can send her packing home. There is also a case in where the husband can divorce her wife when she does not give birth to a male. In Yoruba,
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