A New Thought

Maybe an approach to the Shipibo-Western culture clash ought not culminate with the repremanding of the more technologically developed culture for leadking their ideology like a contagious disease to remote and different areas of the world, which either are not ready for such a jump or have developed their own way, which they are comfortabel with.

Maybe the fault is partially theirs. Why are they so insecure about their Shipibo way of life that they try to turn their town from a relaxed sustainable indigenous village into another tourist attraction? It certainly wouldn´t be hard for the elders to maintain their way of life far out here in the jungle, hours away from the nearest city. Really, the only neccessary connection would be light political contact with the Peruvian government to allow for rights and regulations. So perhaps they aren´t being as forced into cultural submission as I thought.

Dinamarca is still remarkablly different and does maintain a heavy feeling of indigenous cutlure that the disenchanted modern world only sees on the National Geographic channel. Bertha still cooks over a ground fire, and perpares wild chickens for dinner. Kids still play with twigs, leaves, and the occasional and unfortunate animal. Many people still fish for their dinner…

It is true what I said about the infiltration of western thought and products, and so perhaps it is not as indigenous as it once was, but perhaps thinking that I would come upon an untouched tribal culture, tied to the earth by heart and hand, comfortable in their ways, historically sustainable, and at peace with each other is nothing more than an ignorant westerner´s dream. Indeed it sounds quite faniciful in a world that boasts war, hunger, disease, obesity, suffering in ever increasing numbers. To think that somewhere may be able to withstand the great ugly force that is the US and it´s comrades may be a dream that has been lost for sometime. Perhaps you all thought I would see such an untouched place… perhaps we are all so ignorant, so discontected from the other 99 percent of the world, so preoccupied with our own hyper success that we really have no idea the state of the planet and it´s people. Sure we know their are people that are hungry, genocides that are being commited, populations blinded by their governments… yet we never meet them, we never talk to a Sudanese refugee, we never visit their country, we never witness the rivers from which they drink, we never listen to their hopes and dreams, we never sit and talk with a homeless mother and child. We shrug it off, turn the channel, catch a rerun of Grey´s Anatomy or Sex in the City, microwave a lean cuisine, grab a glass of pure clean unpolluted water from the front our our fridges, and drive our cars to one of the 5 competing groceries store filled with exotic fruit from “somwhere out there.” We don´t realize that somewhere is filled with people, convinced that they should sell their products for money to buy food instead of just growing it for themselves. We don´t realize the only way we get a bunch of bannanas for 5 dollars is because the little kids I am living with in Dinamarca or their friends picked it for .1 US cents.

I am trying to illuminate the reality of the way our world is working, the great dissociation between the planet´s people. I am wondering why the people stand for the “developed” world´s bullshit. Why don´t they charge more, why don´t they stay in Dinamarca and stay out of Pucallpa where they will be exploited??

I know it isn´t so easy, and that it isn´t their fault or ours alone. It is that dissociation between people that is to blame. It is our false comfort in our everyday lives. Our unthoughtfulness.

Oh there is so much to consider…

One Response to “A New Thought”
  1. Casey Thomas says:

    another thing to consider here is that they sometimes seek outside influence. your village is a great example… they did ask for you to come, advertise their village as a destination for voluntourism. who are you to say that what they want is wrong? that they are wrong for wanting electricity and western medicine in case their medicinal plants don’t work on a tough illness? believe me, i agree that globalization has led to the destruction of indigenous culture, but we conscious and culturally aware liberal college grads dont have the right to say what the indigenous people should or should not want to incorporate from outside culture. in anthropology we studied selective borrowing. borrowing outside elements to preserve the most important elements of a culture. maybe the shipibo feel that having electricity in their homes will preserve another aspect of their culture, or maybe just preserve their village in general.

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