Symbolic Interpretation paper

Symbolic Interpretation paper - Ibarrientos 1 Marybeth...

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Ibarrientos 1 Marybeth Ibarrientos Professor M. Williams Anthro 1 Spring 2011 Item 1: Filipino Lantern Star (Parol) The presented item is a symbol used as a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration (parol) consisting of a five point-star shaped lantern. Parols are great symbols to express holiday spirit and have been around for decades and have been passed on for generations by families. Most parols consist of stars with five points, traditionally made from capiz shell or plastic for illumination of colors and lights (shown in picture). The present day parol can take many different shapes and forms and may also even be of different Christmas décor other than the traditional star. Parols are traditionally stars because it is significant for Filipinos of religious descent due to the star of Bethlehem guiding the Three Wise Men on their voyage in search of Baby Jesus. For people who participate in exhibiting parols, they are expressing their Christmas spirit. Parols can be displayed as early as November, on windows or doors of Filipino homes, offices,
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Ibarrientos 2 schools, or even streets exhibiting their holiday spirit. The audience consists of many sorts, consisting of people who happen to pass by or simply tourists wanting to capture the traditional festivities of the Filipinos. The specific context of this item is found on a website called “HubPages” that describes itself as a network for an author community on a variety of topics ( http://hubpages.com/about/team ). The photo of this parol was posted in 2008. Many people who saw the pictures of the parols described them as “Really colorful and adds a festive atmosphere.” Although the photo does not show the full background and its surrounding, it appears to be in a dim-light environment, enhancing the festive lights and illumination. By combining the parol’s content and context, the parol does seem to reflect and reinforce cultural values and patterns. The parol is used as a symbol. Defined by lecture, a symbol represents something other than themselves, material or nonmaterial. Parols represent the Filipino novelty and creativity for the sake of holiday spirit. Parols reflect the value of Filipino culture and pride itself, as a traditional and cultural folk craft. Parols release a sense of unity for Filipino culture values and patterns, an annual festivity for family and friends. As a mechanism for changing values and patterns, the parol is a concept of cultural relativism, as mentioned by Miller. The use of the parol is understood in terms of the Filipino culture’s own values and beliefs, not by the standards of others. Another concept from Miller that can be applied is the value and sustainment of diversity, as the parol’s main purpose. In effect of Miller’s concept of a three-level model to explain culture, the use of parols falls into the level of superstructure (ideas, values, and beliefs).
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Ibarrientos 3 Item 2: Beer Pong The next item is a bit complex, but to understand the content of “beer pong,” I need to
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Symbolic Interpretation paper - Ibarrientos 1 Marybeth...

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