As I trawled through my email- an activity indicative in my life of unusual levels of leisure- or in this case a napping charge- I found that my friends have sent me some really cool stuff that piqued my interest. Not surprising per se given their general fabulousity but inspiring nonetheless. Now for introductions: Ethnopediatrics! The field of studying parenting across cultures. I am fascinated by this, as so often parenting practices go unexamined or the culturally determined aspect of them gets taken for granted. I am guilty myself. When I traveled in SE Asia in 2004 I was sure there was some sort of child abuse conspiracy that explained why tiny infants were able to go on long bus rides and such sans diapers, geared up instead in split bottm pants. What cruel things had they done to assure such amazing and precocious continence? It never occured to me that perhaps thay had a more effective potty training system to our own, albeit one that would be hard to translate to our lifestyle. Only once i’d done research into cross cultural potty training- you mean not everyone bribes their kids with m&m’s? did I discover the myriad of other facets of parenting that varies by culture and locale. Here’s the article:
I am very much looking forward to reading in its entirety the book on which this article is based. Perhaps it will join modern religious theater as subjects i’d like to get a degree in, if I ever have enough money and can justify another useless degree- remember my bachleor’s is in experimental theater. Along with of course, Genocide Studies- my other pet interest- turns out there’s a framework for that one- The Raphael Lemkin Institute at the University of Bremen- a friend sent me an article written by one of their folks that I thought was rather provocative. It suggests that the West’s support of the Palestinian population in Gaza, amounts to a proxy war against Israel because over-population leads to conflict- aahhmmm…Brought to mind the tricky proposition of outsiders suggesting/coercing birthcontrol for others, which has a shady history on the whole. But then as a feminist I also believe that having control over ones reproductive processes is essential to women’s rights and that having eight kids tends not to be conducive to personal liberty. tricky tricky- Here it is:
On the same subject of Israel, here is a not too recent article from the NY Times I got through a habonim sister. It basically talks about how symbolic measures like Israel apologizing for what happened to the Palestinians in 1948, or them recognizing Israel’s right to exist are more important to people than money or material concessions. Carzy but true and very interesting….
http://www.nytimes. com/2009/ 01/25/opinion/ 25atran.html? emc=eta1