Birthdays - 1 Birthday Parties The Nacirema are a culture...

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1 Birthday Parties The Nacirema are a culture that appears to have a strong focus on the individual. Within their society the status of the individual is of high import. Those individuals who are able to possess those items which they must trade the most money for are considered of highest status, regardless their quality of life. In addition, those Nacirema receiving the greatest deal of attention are also considered of high ranking. An excellent example of the type of attitude exists within a ceremony that each Nacirema receives annually that exists for the purpose of celebrating their existence. An entire day is devoted to that person, during which offerings are made to celebrate their existence for no apparent reason that can be found. Birthday parties are an important part of American culture. They appear throughout an individual’s lifetime, although as the individual gets older extravagant birthday parties become less frequent as they are reserved for special occasions only. There is no doubt that they are ritualistic and that they contain several symbols and actions that say a great deal about American culture and its center around the individual. Moreover, birthday parties create an environment where each American is able to be ‘queen (or king) for a day,’ by indulging in a day where all the attention is on you and nobody else. The birthday cake is essential to a birthday party and is an important symbol of the birthday party. It is something that remains within the birthday celebrations throughout a person’s life. The first thing that must be considered is the type of cake that is presented. Although it does not matter the specific kind of cake present, what does matter is that the cake is usually the favorite of the person who is being celebrated. In
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2 addition, the cake must be decorated and is usually adorned with a phrase proclaiming the event and specifically naming he who is being celebrated. In addition the cake is often presented to he who is being celebrated. If possible, the lights are usually dimmed, as there are candles on the cake. It is then the job of he who is celebrated to blow out the candles. After this the cake is eaten; however, oftentimes no one is allowed to take a bite of the cake until he who is being celebrated does. This symbolizes the importance of the person, especially considering the importance of food within American society—by
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course EDU 300 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at BYU.

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Birthdays - 1 Birthday Parties The Nacirema are a culture...

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