Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Homework for Friday 11:59 pm: History, Culture, Identity, & Language

What is our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures? 

Consider the following in your response:

Chapters on Language & Perception (accompanying activities & texts)
Chapter on History
Knower's Profile from Semester One
Jimmy Nelson's Video
Otomi People(Know My World Community)

Reply to a classmate prior to our 1st class for the 2nd Quarter (7am)
Reminder for posting:  Drop down menu-Anon & First Name Only





Rubric for Blog Posts


60 comments:

  1. Tunji
    3A

    I believe that our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures is to avoid our prejudices and biases and to become more open minded to learn more about the existing indigenous cultures. To be able to sustain these existing cultures, we have to learn more about them. We can not learn more about them if we just discriminate their ways and overlook their values because they are not modern. Everybody does not want change. If people in a culture are perfectly content and happy in an isolated environment then they should be allowed to continue to be content in that environment. The people who are living in a more modern world should appreciate indigenous cultures. Indigenous cultures can help remind us that at the end of the day we are all still human beings and we should all be able to live life the way that we want to. People, including myself, need to become more educated about indigenous cultures to see their importances and their values. We could then move on to making organizations and groups to actually go and interact with indigenous cultures. I believe that people becoming open minded to indigenous cultures will help preserve the ones that are left today.
    From Jimmy Nelson’s TED Talk video, I learned that people of indigenous cultures are very open and interactive. Some prejudices I once had about indigenous cultures were that the people of those cultures did not like outsiders and they only cared about people that are just like them. I learned that I was wrong. People of indigenous cultures are probably the most friendly people you can meet because they are living a life that they love to live. They don’t have to worry about paying bills or car notes, all they worry about is their family and environment. People of indigenous cultures seem like that they are very friendly to outsiders. From the video made by the Mexican students about the Otomi people, I learned that there's a lot of hatred towards the Otomi people due to their basic ways, how they dress, and how they talk. We can not learn more about a indigenous culture if we discriminate against them. We have to become more understanding about them by interacting with them and being open minded towards them, which is what the Mexican students did. I feel like indigenous cultures deserve to be respected and appreciated due to how much they love their way of living.
    I believe that the current perception people have towards indigenous cultures need to be changed. We should not base our perception on what we hear people talk about, we should base it on things that we actually see. People need to be taught on the history of indigenous cultures because there was once a time where most cultures on earth were indigenous cultures. We should be appreciative for the advancements of the culture we are currently in, but our perception should still be open to the cultures that chose not to change much. Change is not always needed when you are comfortable in the state that you are in. Perception is a key factor in understanding cultures which is why it is important for people in modern cultures to get that shift in their perception so that they can learn more about indigenous cultures. Education is the most important factor when it comes to sustaining indigenous cultures. We can not sustain something if we are not educated about it. I believe that there will never be a point of time where all indigenous cultures will be extinct. There will always be somebody interested in learning about an indigenous culture, which will help preserve it and keep it a living culture.

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    1. Obichi
      Is it possible to truly avoid our prejudices and biases? Do you think that, although the indigenous people were hospitable towards Jimmy Nelson, they will display the same kind of hospitality when they see more of his culture or more of the American culture? When I was in Nigeria, my uncle would come home with his Italian colleagues, and the Nigerians were very hospitable towards them, acting kind and tending to their needs. But, I noticed that Nigerians in the United States are very biased towards Caucasians and Black Americans. The hospitality is not quite the same. In fact, some African immigrants prefer not to associate with Black Americans. Do you think if that, if placed in America, the people that Nelson encountered would act the same?
      Furthermore, I agree that education is important but I do not think it would make a significant difference. Refer to the Otomi culture within Mexico for example. Incorporating lessons about the Otomi into education in Mexico does not stop people from mocking the Otomi that are on the streets. I think effective education would require people who are willing to treasure and preserve the culture, as well as serve as tools of education of that culture. But, this would be difficult in areas where the majority mocks the culture, because this ridicule may make people of that culture ashamed of their background.

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    2. Jocelyn N.
      While I do agree that education is necessarily to combat this problem, I would like clarification on/disagree with you on two points. One point that I noted was that if someone is content in an isolated environment, they should be left alone because not everyone wants change. To what extent do you believe that this is contributing to the problem rather than help to preserve these indigenous cultures? In my opinion, this attributes to why we have dying languages. We leave the cultures alone and they may not be as self sustaining as others, leaving the cultures to possibly not even known the importance of their culture. Another point that I noted was that for those who live in the modern world, we should appreciate indigenous cultures. Is this saying that the elderly/ those who are older than us are exempt from acknowledging and understanding these cultures? If so, why?

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    3. Jocelyn N.
      I would also like more information with regards to Obichi's comment. Do you believe that some of the teachers that are teaching about the Otomi culture are given biases? As stated in the history chapter, countries will make the information revolve around how glorious they are. I do not necessarily believe that the majority mock the culture just because, but the media has been put out there where there are comedic figures that appear similar to those in the Otomi culture, such as la India Maria. Also take into account, that while we may not notice the change, the Spanish conquistadors aided in making their culture appear superior over all. It is why so many countries in Latin America have the official language of Spanish rather than the language that was there before the conquistadors arrived.

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    4. Jocelyn N.
      I found your term of Planet Earth interesting. I also found it interesting how you connected the history chapter to your response. With this in mind, i wanted to know what solutions you have thought of with regards towards learning about the artifacts. A figure that I saw in our chapter noted how what we may see as a toilet seat could be seen as a headdress to another culture. Do you believe we should have something similar to the Rosetta Stone? The Rosetta Stone aided us in not only acknowledging the first bilingual text, but to get an understanding of both cultures through codeswitching and translating this one stone.

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  2. Ashley

    I believe that our role as people, play a huge role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures. Regarding to language, we as people are the ones who are speaking it. So if we stop speaking it then the language becomes dead. The language french today is having great problems, with a modern term “Franglais” which is mixture of broken French and English. When I was in Robert Goddard French Immersion we used this term quite a lot. I thought it was just a simple term to define my broken french, but I never knew the true significance of it until now, where I am a culprit in enforcing, and practicing this ‘language’ that is ultimately taking away from the original language french. I can now see the great significance in this term “Franglais” because it is a growing problem in the french language today. France has their own “Academie Francaise” consisting of 40 exclusive elite members that acts as an official authority on their language,to publish dictionaries of the language. They currently facilitate a website where they can get the input of people on their perceptions of language, and to also help rehabilitate french words fallen out of common use. There are organizations out there taking the initiative to preserve their language and culture, to keep it as authentic to the root as possible.

    Important points made by Jimmy Nelson’s TedTalk was:

    Judgement: We must look closer and see the perspectives, of other cultures and people. Put aside our prejudices, and biases to stop judging people. To accept and appreciate the diverse cultures that are out in the world. Once we are able to do this, people are able to be more comfortable, and can practice their traditions and cultures respectively. Just like the Otomi people. People judged them, and looked down upon them, the Otomi people ended up uncomfortable, and essentially a lot of them decided to no longer speak the language, or where the traditional clothings. Thought that majority of them were poor, and needed to keep out of the city. All of these preconceived notions, and judgement lead a lot of Otomi people, or at least the younger people of that culture, not want to practice their culture because they know what others would say about them. When this happens, less people would practice their traditions. As the elders die off, and the younger folks do not want to practice the language because of the judgement of others, the language and the culture will eventually die off along with the elders. We as a society need to stop judging others for being different from us. We need to realize that we are more alike than different. Once they are able to feel comfortable, and see that they have the right to practice their culture without judgement, the younger generation would not feel ashamed of their culture, and practice it with pride, and acceptance.

    Choice: We as people must choose to want to sustain these cultures, especially the younger people, with parents in diverse cultures. My father is from Africa, Benin, and his tribe is called Fon. He speaks this language, but decided to never teach it to me. After some time I wondered why my father never made the choice, to teach his language to us. My father never made the choice to teach it to us during childhood. Because of this I will never have the perspective, or experience in interacting with my family in Africa on a more understanding level when we ever visit again. I will never be able to communicate with my family in their native tongue if I wanted to. I am missing a part of my identity, and culture that is on my fathers side, because he never made the choice to pass it on to us, so I can never teach it my kids, so the language, and the culture of it will die at me and my brother as far as my father goes. My father made the choice of not teaching his native tongue to me, so before how long my cousins decide not to teach their kids, as more and more people are becoming westernized? The language will die on our line of family, and eventually the culture and the language will disappear.

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    1. Abigail
      Your post made me realize a perspective I hadn't appreciated before. It made me think about how over generations things disappear and change from the way they have always been. Also it made me think about the possible reasons a younger generation might not want to embrace their culture. However I don't see any convincing reasons as to why we should work so hard to preserve languages/cultures. Cultures, societies, and languages grow and evolve. I personally feel like we shouldn't try and stand in the way of new developments, because usually progress is a good thing, and in the end change is inevitable.

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  3. lashawnda
    Our role is sustaining indigenous cultures is to build a bridge between our culture and theirs, enabling a pathway for new language, knowledge, and concepts of life. In which would entail cutting the ties of judgment, encouraging room for change, creating choices, and being vulnerable. Our role is the most important because the indigenous cultures wouldn’t be the ones to push their ideas upon us. We have to be the ones to go discover where we use to be and how modernism has shifted the way we think and operate. It is important to go discover these different cultures because it is the traces of our past, yet it is the perspective of the future. The perspective of the future is otherwise known as the different things we could do to change the way we live according to how they live, which would involve recognizing our weakness and strengths. In that, our role is to build this foundation and truly recognize the cultural enrichment many of us aren’t getting enough of. This is also considering, this is where many of values come from and where they have grown, yet the indigenous cultures have decided to keep it that way. For instance, Jimmy Nelson has went through many things but his overarching theme in his lessons was the standards and perspectives we set for one another. The indigenous cultures didn’t have standards that disregarded the next person or was done through a cheap get away. It was done with strength, passion, and experiences. This is why they looked at the next person in the light of compassion. In that, we have to be stripped of our conditions, standards, ideals, and look at them with the same heart and realize how much of an influence they have had on us, yet only a few have kept it in their hearts. Perception may be one thing but language changes the perception and makes it a one –way road for everyone. Everyone must be willing to communicate and have a common exchange of lessons because it Is a moment of the definition of culture, lessons, and respect. However, we must be willing to accept before it is too late. Jimmy nelson also had mentioned that they are evolving, and while we can’t stop them, we can document it. We are in the presence of present traces of the past and many people don’t look further into that and the connection it has to many of the issues that are in today’s world. However, we have to look for them. They have shied off from the present world because of the notions we have today, and have made an effort to respect what they have. It is better to have firsthand experience, with a clear open mind of who they are, than to hear from another source because it may lose its authenticity. For instance, the Ottomi people, a culture that is highly unappreciated because of its presence it has in the streets of Mexico. Many people don’t take into consideration of where they started, where they came from and this culture has influenced them. In that, with modernism, many people tend to forget who they are and how beautiful and authentic culture truly is. This culture are keeping the Mexican traditions alive and making it open for many to see but many people are breaking the bridge. The bridge is what keeps lessons and experiences alive. In relation to the knower’s profile, it was all about identifying who you are as a individual person and how this affects how you see things. In essence, it shouldn’t affect who you see and this assignment was given to prove to us how clouded our judgment is. Our judgment is what blocks us from seeing many indigenous cultures, such as the Ottomi people and Samburu warriors because of how they look or what they do. Yet, that is to a degree of who we are and shows us why we are living in this society. In that, building a bridge between indigenous cultures and ourselves is very important because it allows us to discover who we are, how beautiful we are, what can create.

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  4. lashawnda
    In relationship to the activities we have done, it is obvious of the lack of communication between the indigenous cultures and each other. We tend to judge and make many assumptions about things that strengthen the definition of culture because it shows how much we have lost it. We have lost our true origin and get lost in our words because our words don’t come across as equally or in a synchronized manner. For instance, we had to judge the fish in the blender and give our first impression. Many people had described it as odd, weird, and very disturbing, yet it was a representation of not only what our society has come to with the theory of nature versus nurture, but the lack of appreciation when it comes to art and culture. This is because, his second piece of the exhibit was a statue with German slang written all over, which many people had failed to realize and make a connection between. In that, it shows how much culture are missing due to our misjudgments and lack of communication.

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    1. Alicia 3A

      I find it fascinating how you went to the extent of saying there we, ourselves, lost our own true origin, raising my question of can we ever connect to the indigenous cultures, if we can't even connect with our own past? Also connecting to when you mentioned morals, indirectly, through the blender art; I was mildly confused on this, in terms of it's relevance to connecting to other cultures. Are you saying that connecting with indigenous cultures has to deal with assessing one's morals? But I also agree with the lack of communication portion, but to what extent is there a lack of communication, and is there a solution to bond our to cultures together? Just some food for thought... (I actually just really wanted to use that phrase)

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  5. Jocelyn M 3A
    As a society I believe our role is to bring awareness to how beautiful and unnoticed indigenous cultures are. Not only this but to also create action in trying to keep a culture that is "slowly dying." For instance Jimmy Nelson got his muse as a child. He wanted to view a culture that did not judge him and that were similar to what kind of person he was. I believe that these cultures he got to interact with showed purity and originality to a certain extent. In terms of the language shown through the video, one does not need to know the language spoken in order to communicate with a certain indigenous group, instead one needs a personal and or emotional connect as well as body language. This video "before they pass away" I believe shows that there are certain aspects of our life that may be universal in terms of some of our values and ethics.

    In terms of my native tongue, I feel like the language is not endangered at all however for countries like Mexico, language is something of high value because not that many people speak Otomi. However, several people in modern day do not value these origins because they have been focused on the future and not what their culture is truly about. Not only this but for Otomi people, they are judged for their cultural standard of living and their traditional clothing. Another form in which cultural is not taken that much into context in modern days is seen through my parents. They used to live in El Salvador where things of value were not so much education; instead it was a well-structured foundation of family. My father and mother always shared with me that their attire is completely different than what is worn now. In El Salvador, there are different dresses worn and the meaning behind it is so rich in culture. However transitioning to America for a "better life for opportunities" has caused my parents to lose their origins, they are now more Americanized and their morals have changed throughout the course of years. What this tells me is that it is in fact true in what Jimmy Nelson is trying to express that if we do not attempt to make a change in preserving our origins, they will die off and in a sense we will lose part of our identity we never knew was there.


    In terms of perception, one can view culture in different levels. Depending on someone's values, this can alter how they feel about knowing where their parents came from and actually acknowledging that there are certain languages that are not being used anymore. There are certain opposing views that just because someone is interested in some particular field that they are not invested in their culture. This all depends in the environment that a persona grew up in. For instance, for myself I can say that my family has always taught me to value where I come from and I should not be ashamed of it. However I was not taught to further investigate how I connect to origins in El Salvador or how I can get more information on the culture that gave my parents so much.

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    1. Vaskia
      I agree that is it up to us to bring awareness to the population about the indigenous cultures. How would you be able to involve the community as a whole, when trying to spread awareness to indigenous cultures? What actions could be taken in order to motivate those who do not perceive indigenous cultures as beautiful? If Jimmy Nelson where to never become bald, do you believe that he’d still feel as though he did, not fitting in his own culture that he was born into? By this are you saying that he lost faith in his original culture and wanted to find a new one that he could best relate to? Since you mention that some of our ethics and values are the same; what could be done in a dispute between two opposing nations that are unfamiliar with one another cultures? Would you say that being Americanized has changed your family outlook on life? How could those who have been Americanized keep a part of their cultures alive while learning to be accustomed to a new one? Often time not everyone would take it upon themselves to further research their own countries and cultures what makes you think people would have interest in other cultures if they don’t in their own. How could this problem possible be solved? You raise quite a bunch of interesting points. I liked how you not only included things about your culture but your parents as well because they are the ones who taught it to you. Perception does have a huge impact on what people think or do.

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  6. Alyssa

    We should have a bigger role in sustaining indigenous cultures. We believe that they don’t affect us in anyway but we cannot tell what insight we could be losing with the loss of indigenous cultures. For instance, even though some people didn’t like the presence of the Otomi, most people mentioned that they were a part of their culture. I would imagine that the Otomi have their own unique perspective of the world. We could learn about new ideas from them and we should embrace that. It reminds me about what a guy in the Mexican student’s video said. He said that the rich people want the city to be exclusive but if the place is for everybody it shouldn’t matter. I thought this was significant because if we push these small tribes away to isolate themselves, their numbers could drop and we could be contributing to the decline of indigenous cultures.
    This also made me think, is there a way to tell which cultures would be most valuable if kept. Should we even seek benefit from them or should be just try to save them. This also relates back to the history chapter because it talked about how history can be selective. I think we can sometimes be selective in which cultures we choose to sustain. I personally think we should try to save as much as we can because the chapter also talked about how history is limited since it’s selective.
    I think we should try to sustain more cultures. We could me limiting our knowledge. There is a world of new things we could learn from these knew people, but not if we do not make an effort to preserve them.

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    1. Lashawnda
      I also find it interesting that we value specific culture based on our judgment. It seems as if our society has developed a selected influence, in that, we let certain aspects and ideas influence us depending on the information we have observed or heard from someone else. In its entirety, it is true and it also relates back to biasness and what we are willing to hear based on our experiences. It seems as if we have to see something that is interesting as oppose to being open to everything. We don’t know what is behind the closed door because we have never tried, it is always our perceptions that ruin the authenticity and eventually the originality is something that is just as creative and insightful as another culture. I believe we should try to sustain cultures for this reason in particular because it blocks us from so many other things that are beyond culture and well in our control.

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    2. I agree with your post I think as the new generation we are unaware of the value these indigenous culture holds so we do not put importance on the maintenance needed to sustain their language and behind that the great influence they have within our culture. I think you made your post stronger by also relating it back to the history chapter and making that personal connection. I also wondered about which indigenous culture would be more important to keep but this video made it clear that in even the most remote part of the world they hold great significance because they are a part of our human history and teach us the value of pureness and vulnerability to create relationships with one another.
      -Rebeca

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  7. Telani
    When it comes to indigenous cultures, we never truly know about them unless they are forced upon some people. There are a lot of things people would go their whole lives without knowing, without knowing their own origins because it is something that doesn’t matter to them. So it wouldn’t be expected that they wish to know things about indigenous cultures and the fact that they are dying out there. In History, when it comes to finding evidence of the very distant past, it is very hard when it comes to translating the text. Once a language dies we would be unable to know what happened in the past as well as how the modern society is able to connect with it. For some indigenous cultures, especially African tribes, they are considered to be very primitive in the way they live life. In these isolated cultures, the modern society exaggerates their way of life by place negative connotations when it comes to how they live. When it comes to society they tend to look the other way when it comes to dying cultures. Since a lot of people don’t normally have any interests in their origins or these cultures, they tend to not notice as each one dies. What we need to as a society is on a global scale recognized these cultures instead of just knowing very little thing about them in our high school/college classes. Once we know more, maybe people would be more interested in learning these languages. But these should also be programs that promote dead language learning, and though they do, they should be cheaper at a lower price when it comes to people wanting to learn it. Though we cannot force people to take notice in these dying cultures, we can help them recognize or help society acknowledge them with social media. As students, we now know about these cultures and know that they are dying. But the question would be what we would do now that we acknowledged and know their presence. Though we cannot actively do things by going to find these tribes and trying to find out more, but what we can learn as many languages as we can to get an understanding different of cultures. I know that English is becoming a more preferred language or just a language that people should know. I am personally trying to learn Korean and is somewhat forced to learn Spanish. But these two languages is something that I wish to learn and something that can bridge the gap between me understanding these cultures.

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  8. Alicia

    In modern-day society, we, as American citizens, play an important role in maintaining indigenous cultures. This is represented through language and the placement of said language in our American melting pot. Despite the fact that the national language of the United States is indeed English, it is much more than that. The United States is known for being a melting pot of cultures and languages. In fact, of 291.5 million people in the United States, aged 5 and over, 60.6 million, about 21 percent, stated that a second language is spoken in the home, as states by the United States Census Bureau. Approximately 381 various languages, other than English were recorded. This does not include the languages taught by schooling and outside programs like Rosetta Stone. This not only shows that Americans not only have the desire to learn and speak these varying languages, but make an attempt to keep dying languages alive. I personally feel that we, as the United States, are mildly an example of keeping alive dead languages. Many other countries in the world will attempt to bend to our English-speaking will in order to do business with us. So it is up to us to keep those languages thriving. After all, without the people of the United Stated speaking those languages, once the indigenous speakers die, and the offspring did not learn, or learn well, the language, due to an attempt to bend to the business world, the original language will die, or at least in a sense. BUT, going back to our international, influential power, if we decided that a language, say Biblical Hebrew, would be better off dead, say because it is a difficult language to learn and probably will not have great effect on the future, then we will allow that language to die, and, within a few generations, the entire culture will die. The current lack of said culture will then affect other cultures, or more like other culture questionings, like the way a bully moves on to a new victim once the original victim has shriveled up. None major cultures’ survival rests on whether or not we deem that culture to be significant to our lives or to that of our offspring. And we have that power easily sitting at our fingertips. Thus I say that we have maybe the most essential role in maintaining indigenous culture.

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    1. Asia
      3A

      Melting pot, meaning that many people from other cultures around the world reside in a certain region, creating diversity. Therefore, how could you relate the melting pot in the United States to the melting pot in other countries? Is our role in sustaining indigenous cultures the same or similar to anyone else's? As the statistics that you have given states that America is very diverse, there are other countries, for example, in Africa that are diverse as well. You also mentioned that [in America] essentially if we decide to let the language or culture die, then the language will eventually die off later on in the future. How often would you say that this occurs? There are hundreds of different cultures throughout the United States, therefore how can you tell whether or not this concept will ever occur ? In the history chapter, it is stated many significant cultures are documented throughout history, so that people can know of their own origins as well as others, so would the United States really let a culture die off? In my opinion, it is not solely up to the United States to determine whether or not a culture will truly fade away. Other countries in the world will also determine the rate at which a culture will fade away, if this ever occurs. On the other hand, I agree with you when you say that there are millions of people in America that speak multiple different languages which shows the variation in cultures, which means that the United States as a whole can sustain indigenous cultures if individuals are willing to do so.

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  9. Jocelyn N.
    As a first generation American, it is crucial that we aid in sustaining indigenous cultures not just around us at the national level, but at the global level as well. Throughout my life, I have constantly heard the anger from Hispanics with regards to a teenager not being able to speak Spanish. While it does not necessarily mean that you are not Hispanic, it means to me that you do not get the whole experience. What I do not often see is my country being the same way towards indigenous languages, such as Nahuat. Nahuat is the language that was used before the Spanish conquistadors took control of the country. While it has survived, it is only used in small communities, similar to the situation of the Otomi language in Mexico. The same issue that first generation Americans face when they do not speak Spanish is the same issue that Salvadorans used to face when they did not learn the Nahuat language. Our perception changes because of what is better for the country, and it could mean losing a culture and language in order to save a country. Our role is to stop countries from having to deal with an ultimatum and make sure we keep the languages safe through education. This year, Prince George’s County has spoken constantly over the schools that focus on French Immersion and Spanish Immersion. With more programs or even classes that focus on indigenous languages, we can preserve it even if the person is not from the country where the language originally started, as shown by Jimmy Nelson going to different tribes and learning different lessons from each culture. In the history chapter, it spoke about how with knowing history, we are able to connect to our true identities. As I read this, I connected it to why so many people are focused on finding their family trees, such as the use of AncestryDNA. While it gives us information, it cannot give us the sense of identity that we are missing. It can not automatically teach me the language when I am done with reading the paper or pass down the emotions of my ancestors, and to this day, I do not know if my ancestors were the indigenous people of El Salvador or the conquistadors from Spain. The few things I do have is the museums that give history not on my family, but the country of El Salvador, countless stories from the family, and my language: Spanish. It is these few things that I hold onto that aid me in creating some sort of identity. We need to work harder in order to be able to keep these indigenous cultures and to preserve their identity.

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    1. Akorede
      3B


      I agree that it is crucial to aid in sustaining indigenous cultures and immersion schools such as French and Spanish immersion will help sustain our culture only to a certain extent because in order to sustain a culture it is not just the language that needs to be sustained because in order to have a culture there are multiple criterion such as knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. However our role in sustaining an indigenous culture may be limited because in order for indigenous culture to be sustained the actual culture itself would have to want to survive and impose itself onto society. It is like Social Darwinism for a culture to survive it will need to do everything in its power in order to do so. Furthermore I realized finding one’s family tree can only do so much because what if one were to find their family tree? What further steps will they take in order to understand and cultivate their culture once more? Indigenous change according to society’s will and we cannot stop the advancement or decline of a culture for it is natural law however we can preserve their culture with in history and their identity with in arts etc. And we can use some of their beliefs and custom however an original culture will never be what it was originally for they will always change. Thus we can only slow down their complete deterioration.

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  10. Akorede
    Period 3B
    10/31/14

    Our role in sustaining existing indigenous culture in society today seems to be very minor and limited because there are many prejudices and social aspects they are not accepted in with in our present day notions. These prejudices and notions may make children who may originate from an indigenous system not want to be part of their proud heritage for example in the Otomi people some of the people who were part of their indigenous culture spoke about being shamed for speaking their language however as they grew up they became comfortable speaking their language and were able to defend their culture as they grew up however a s children societies notions and prejudices are able to strike at the vulnerable points allowing people who are within these indigenous cultures forget who they really are and their history. In the history chapter it speaks about history being a part of us and it being almost synonyms to our memories and in the history chapter it speaks about how important our history is and why it is studied. Historians study the yesterday and in some way it allows us to play a role in sustaining indigenous cultures by studying and discovering history because it allows us to find our sense of identity and origin, and allowing us to enrich our understanding of human nature by allowing us to view the past and allowing us to understand cultural authenticity. In addition history allows us to document our origins however we are not able to stop the change their evolution just like Jimmy Nelson says. However this is a very limited way in sustaining existing indigenous cultures because only a selected few study history and understand it’s importance however if one wants to sustain existing indigenous cultures the existing culture will have to want to sustain itself first and be proud of their culture. There are several ways one can sustain existing indigenous cultures through the arts, law, customs, and any other capabilities and habits the culture. For example in my home my mother continues to speak her mother tongue although she knows another language however I myself do not know how to speak my own mother’s tongue however I am able to understand it thus my role in sustaining my culture seems to be very limited through language however I follow the customs and abide by the laws I was taught. There are several ways one can sustain existing indigenous cultures through the arts, law, customs, and any other capabilities and habits the culture. Our present day society find it difficult to perceive indigenous cultures in an open way because of their preconceived notions and we in the developed world do not look close enough at things that may be different from what they truly are and we are comfortable with our prejudices/judgments and perceive others different for example in the Jimmy Nelson video the Kenyan men seemed to look like women to me until Jimmy Nelson said they were men who hunted down lions with their bare hands that were trying to kill their cattle. This struck me and wanted me to know more about indigenous cultures and more about my true identity and origins. Our society as a whole plays a minor role in sustaining indigenous systems for we have lost our balance like Jimmy Nelson says because only a few individuals like I said earlier understand the implication of lost cultures like the loss of a language. Without sustaining our indigenous cultures we would have lost a part of ourselves like the Yarnagas wanted conserve their culture because they were given a place to live in the society and did not feel themselves with in the environment and new culture thus they moved back to Russia in order to sustain their identity and their happy feelings.

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  11. Akorede
    3B

    Our role in sustaining indigenous cultures in society is very limited to a few people for everyone does not want to become vulnerable in order to understand other cultures and stop judging them thus our society as a whole plays a minor role in sustaining indigenous cultures for the indigenous cultures themselves try to sustain themselves with in these times by continuing to speak their language, abide by their laws, follow their customs and much more however we need to be able to help sustain these other cultures in order to bring new ideals and different perspectives and adversity with in our society.

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  12. Stanley 3A
    Our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures is one in which we record, interact and learn, while leaving still leaving them to be. There are few indigenous communities in the world that still follow their own cultural ways of living, and this is largely because of societies belief that we should impose our own ideas and ways of life onto them causing major losses as they begin to leave their own habits and conform to our own. We must, while we still can record all the information that we can about the cultures. This includes their languages, their religions, their customs and traditions, their views, actions and typical behaviors, and all and any other aspects of their communities that are worth knowing. This will serve to leave remnants of the culture as they eventually fade. We will be capable of studying the culture, and learning information about them in the future generations to come long after they have faded. By doing so we will create a relevant historical record for them as we will now hold concrete evidence on the culture, leaving little room for our bias’s as History should be told from unbiased viewpoints. We will also serve to learn more about our own histories as we may learn the origins of a certain community came from some dwindling indigenous culture that the world has had little knowledge of. This can strengthen our sense of belonging in the world that we live in in learning our backgrounds. Referring back to the Knowers profile that the IB 2015 class completed, an introduction of such information would be increasingly beneficial. We would better understanding origins of our mother tongues as many of the languages that are used today branch from some other language in the world. The only way we can understand and record the different cultures in the world is by increasing our interactions with them. From an outside looking in perspective we will only be introduced to biased views when making conclusions. Instead we must ask the people who are part of the culture and interact with them. In the Jimmy Nelson TED talk, he explains how he travelled to different parts of the world in order to take photographs of the different indigenous cultures he interacts with. He had many different interactions with them on a personal level and because of this he received enlightenment and an understanding and respect for them. This links to why he believed they should be recorded and why I believe that they should be left alone. Once we can gain an understanding and respect for these different cultures, we will not be so forceful to impose our cultures onto them. For example, the Eranga people were taken from their way of life and placed into cities to assimilate. However they were not happy with such a life and later returned to the tundra that they lived in. Many times our cultures are not a perfect fit for the different cultures and only help to destroy powerful roots to our world that we cannot gain back. The Otomi people are another culture that is forced to conform because of the societies we live in today. For instance, the fact that they must travel so far from home for large parts of the week in order to sustain themselves. However when they make the trip they are forced to drop many of their cultures and their own language because they face discrimination from the people whose cities they come to. Now their language is dwindling, and few people living are able to speak it. Language is a huge part of culture as it descripts the way in which we think. For example an experiment was done in the Human sciences in which people from different countries with different languages have different ways of thinking in terms of emotion and priority. For this reason the loss of their language is a huge loss in their culture because of the prejudice that society has imposed upon them.

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    1. Ashley

      I agree with Stanley, especially where he says that we impose our westernized traditions, and ideologies upon other cultures, to be more like us, which essentially aids in losing indigenous cultures, and morphing them into something that they are not. I also agree that we must record as much information about the culture as possible, to help keep its essence alive to the future generations. I believe by doing this the culture is not completely gone, it is already bad that the culture has faded, but it is much worse when the culture has been faded, as well as forgotten. Once it is faded, and forgotten then that it when truly we have lost that culture, and a perspective of the world.

      I kind of disagree on the terms of how much information we must store about these cultures. I believe of course we have a basis of information to give the culture light and acknowledgement, but enough to do so. I believe that if we record every single detail of information of that culture, it is good yes, but it leaves no room for us who do not know the culture to have critical thinking skills, imagination, or adventures and exhibits to discover what is out there, and discovering for ourselves, the what and whys. This creates a little bit of a limitation pertaining to our sense of acquiring knowledge, and discovering something new. If all of the information is handed to us, how do we make up some of our own conclusions, and put ourselves in the others shoes? So essentially to much evidence, and information can be a bad thing on out part.

      I also agree with Stanley where he says that we must interact with the cultures, as well as after we receive the information that we need, we must leave them alone. We need to interact with others in order to get an understanding of the cultures, and record the cultures; But after that is done, we must leave them alone, but only help when they ask for help. If we decide to stay we would naturally try to control and impose our culture onto them. Yes it is an amazing discovery, and we want to study the people and culture even more, but if we overstay our welcome, and try to teach them things that we do in our modern times, then we are essentially imposing our ideas, and beliefs onto them and trying to change their system which is bad.

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  13. Kelly
    As Jimmy Nelson states the three lessons, we should consider those as our roles in sustaining existing indigenous cultures. His first lesson was "when you look and judge somebody, its often different." This refers back to the perception chapter of how everyone perceives things. Perception is a complex process. It can be looked at with two distinct elements: sensation and interpretation. Sensation is provided by the world whereas interpretation is by our minds. When Nelson mentioned "how you look can influence everything," I made a connection to my extended essay. My essay is about how other's perception of acne influences depression among adolescents. His lesson refers to cultures. If a culture is perceived as a dying one then it may influence others to think the same. If someone perceives it as a familiar one then it is. I agree that our developed world is very comfortable with our prejudices and our judgments. It seems as if it is only right to judge. It may be nice, but it may be mean as well. Either or they have an impact on one's behavior. The culture may be looked at one way and many would agree in order to have the same opinion as their neighbor. Jimmy Nelson's second lesson was "we all have a choice." There is a connection between this lesson and perception. One can choose whether or not they want to want judge positively or negatively. The language that they use also affects it. There is an option between kind and harsh words. Both are as effective in boosting or lowering their identity. His last lesson was about breaking down, letting go to help someone. If one chooses to not judge and accept a culture then they are letting go of their preconceived notions to an open-mind. I agree to what he said of "being vulnerable, by letting go, by being fallible, you can connect to people at any level." This may also be applied to life in general. It is a key to making connections and being a better person. By having such traits, they are willing to acknowledge these cultures before they pass away.

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    1. Jennifer 3B
      I have a few questions for you, when are we more likely to judge? Why do we judge other cultures and often pretend ours is better than others?
      However, I disagree and agree when you said that thinking of countries dying may influence others to think the same. However, it is not only based on perception but it is based on reality as well. There are several countries that are close to being extinct because we are excluding their culture, and mainly focusing on ours. Also, how sure are we that these countries do not judge us the same way we judge them? All of us naturally judge others without even knowing it.

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  14. Asia
    3A

    It is important to not judge and discriminate other people and their culture so that the culture can continue to exist. If there are others from different cultures who are discriminated because of where they come from, then the people dealing with that culture would eventually stray away from it, and be less prideful of where they come from. This relates to the different cultures in Mexico. People who spoke different dialects and wore certain clothing would be teased, perhaps because it was unusual to other people and they hadn’t seen the beauty and significance in it. If the remainder of a culture were to disappear, those who pertain to that culture would lose a sense of who they really are and eventually forget their origin. In the Ted Talks video, Nelson stated that it is important for the cultures to be documented whether they disappear or not. If the cultures were to not be documented, then the cultures that disappear would be forgotten. I agree with Nelson because in the history chapter, it was discussed that history needs to be documented either in writing, or in any other type of proof in order for the event to be validated, and if it is not documented, then it would be forgotten. The fact that it is not documented shows that the event was not significant. It is also important to be vulnerable to a variety of different cultures so that they can continue to exist. This creates more diversity in a country and exploits all individuals to different aspects of cultures. This would influence a greater acceptance of culture throughout different regions although not all people are going to agree, or be accepting of certain cultures because of their own experience. There are also people who simply do not relate to other cultures. For example, in my friend’s household, they must be as polite as possible. It seems almost as if she is constrained since it is not something that she likes to do all the time. Food must be provided whether I am hungry or not. She also has to make all guests feel welcome whether it is a stranger or not. My family on the other hand does not offer food to guests, and my household is more of a “make yourself feel at home”.

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    1. Nnedi

      I agree with your first point about our role in sustaining existing cultures being crucial and your overall analysis. Indigenous cultures are only dieing out because not a lot of people are recognizing it as well as the people from the culture. We are so quick to jump on the bandwagon to not feel left out, but at the same time it does us more harm than good. If we constantly overlook these cultures, then we are much susceptible to losing our sense of identity. How much of an impact would history have on losing your own culture? Will you be who you are today? This is why it is important to sustain existing indigenous cultures. History is an important part of a culture and each culture’s history explains why events took place and its importance. Without history is without culture and identity and this is something we all must keep in mind. Every culture is important just as our own.

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    2. stanley
      I agree with the statement asia made saying that when people within an ethnic group are discriminated against they tend to leave their own cultures behind. I agree with this greatly because I have witnessed such events personally. In all my years in public school, k-12 grade, I have always witnessed students make slick remarks and jeers towards other students who were immigrants, more specifically African and Mexican people. After constant abuse about people's culture, I have even seen people disclaim and reject their own cultures and traditions. I myself being African have found myself doing the same at some points in my life. However after gaining more insight and knowledge about my own culture I am more accepting of it, even though I do not know all about it. The little information that I was able to receive I was prouder of myself and know myself more as a result. I do however, disagree with the statement made by Asia saying that information unrecorded in unimportant. I raise to question what of those under the radar cultures that can do things and know things that even our technological world do not know. What do you think qualifies information as important or unimportant?

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  15. Uchechi
    3A

    The population of indigenous cultures has decreased significantly over the years and it is essential that mankind plays a role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures. Mankind and the modern world cannot survive without the traditional knowledge of indigenous cultures. The disappearances of indigenous cultures are a result of rapid world change, industrialization, urbanization, technological advancement, digitization, mass migration, connectedness of people, and more. According to First Peoples Worldwide, there are more than seven thousand indigenous tribes around the world and about 300-500 million native peoples worldwide. This number is only 5% of the entire world’s population and is still decreasing. Among these cultures is the Otomi tribe. The Otomi people migrated to Mexico’s inner city in search for work, economic resources through their crafts, and/or an education. When they settled, they were treated differently as if they were not part of the Mexican population. Often times, people took advantage of them, stole from their work, and even blamed them for urging terrorism. Additionally, the Otomi people stopped speaking their native tongue because they were discriminated against. It is at this point that they forgot about their original home and lost sense of their identity. Some of the Otomi people have broken the barriers of discrimination by proudly speaking their language. Some have even gone back to where they came from because there, they were happy. There, they could feel a feeling they could not feel in Mexico.

    Jimmy, Nelson, a photographer visited 35 tribes in 44 countries around the world in an effort to experience the tribes “before they pass[ed] away”. Through pictures, Nelson exposes the beauty of these tribal people. The pictures depict grace, and lure viewers to look further and delve into the story behind such visually unique tribes. It is the images of the tribes that color the gray area of the world and make it so beautiful with ethnic, religious, cultural, and traditional differences. Nelson expands on three lessons learned that are often disregarded in the Western world when it comes to people of indigenous tribes: judgment, choice, and connectedness. In terms of judgment, we are prone to prejudice when surrounded by people from other cultures. Often times, we are also prejudiced within our own culture. We must look closer because often times, things are very different from what they seem to be. We must let go of our preconceived notions and confirmation biases and accept other people's differences - race, age, gender, mother tongue, environment selection, and spiritual worldview. In doing so, it is critical to take look into the underlying history of indigenous groups, change the way we perceive them, and recognize that they have the same dignity as the population’s majority. This will alter our opinions, prejudices, and judgments in favor of good knowledge.

    In terms of choice, indigenous groups choose to move to the inner city because of work opportunities and economic resources. As time passes, they become very sad because they lose contact of their children, old people, and more. Eventually, they decide to change their motives and go back to where they came from because there, they were happy. This suggests that even at the edge of the world, if we dare feel ourselves, feel the environment we live in, and feel one another, we will know exactly what makes us happy. In terms of connection, indigenous people are likely to break down all their values and culture to help other outside of their culture through vulnerability and fallibility. Vulnerability is key because when you are vulnerable, connecting and communicating with people on any level is possible. In the Western world, we must wake up because our ignorance is committing our suicide. The reality of it all is that tribes are constantly disappearing. With the disappearance of all these indigenous groups, we will lose our authenticity and origins.

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  16. Constance 3A
    Culture is something that everyone holds sacred. If people don't ask for help preserving their culture, it is not our job, nor our right to uninvitedly interfere with the culture of others. We can offer help, but if we are refused, it is then wrong to force help upon them.
    For example, the Mayan empire was an extremely advanced society of its time. However during the Spanish conquest, the Spanish conquistadors believed that the Literate of the Mayans were lies from the devil because they did not align with catholic views. To "save" them, they burned all of the Mayan literature; although the Mayans had thousands a of years worth of literature, very few survive this. This was done in good will, but the conquistadors failed to help the Mayans. They succeeded only in destroying a great culture.
    In the TEDx by Jimmy Nelson, I found the story about him failing to take the picture he had dreamed of extremely powerful especially because he was consoled by two strangers who took him in like a child despite him being an outsider. It was an instance where people from totally different cultures understood each other. However, things don't always occur like this.
    Not all different cultures need saving. It is not our place to decide whether or not it does. For example, in Jimmy Nelson's TEDx talk, he referenced a group of Russian Eskimos, the chukshi, who had been given an apartment block to live in the city. They decided to go back to their old way of life because they could "feel who they were in a way they couldn't in the city.

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    1. Jemuel
      I agree with your response to an extent and you made me think about something I was not considering before. I did not consider the indigenous culture's point of view on "saving" them because I automatically assumed that they would all like for people to know about them. I should have considered how they viewed the modern world and whether they would be fine with the extraction of information from their culture. Although I agree with your point of view, I disagree with your examples. The Spanish conquistador burning the Mayans books was not an example of sustaining their culture but saving them from the "devil." The Spanish's aim was not to save their culture so I do not think that that is a proper example. The Russian Eskimos leaving the apartment block was not us playing our role in sustaining their culture, but them trying to adapt to the modern world. Their actions do not necessarily mean that they need saving, but just that they do not fit in with the modern world. Eventually, their culture will disappear and we won't know their culture simply because we assumed that they did not need saving. Maybe our definition in this sense may simply be different because I am thinking that we can get information from them to know about their culture so that we can pass them down. Even though their bloodline may disappear, their history will remain through text and literature.

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    2. Ephraim 3A

      I agree with the fact that if people do not want to preserve their culture, then it is not our job to interfere with their culture. A culture should not be destroyed by other people. Maybe all the different cultures do not need saving. However, it is better to try and save as many cultures as possible that want to be preserved. In order to save a culture, it needs to be a collective effort, not just an individual effort. Do you think that people who do not want to save their culture have an uncertainty in their identity? Also, can modernization influence a culture in terms of where they stand in the world?

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    3. "Culture is something that everyone holds sacred" are you sure about everyone holding this sacred?

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  17. Jemuel 3A
    Planet Earth is a diverse place where many different lifestyles have been sustained and have been encouraged to develop. This has been the case for thousands of years and now, some cultures are being threatened of becoming extinct. Some cultures such as the Bo tribe in India have already gone extinct as its last member died in 2010. Boa Sr was the last speaker of their tribe’s language which has been believed to have survived for 65,000 years. Such ancient language and culture can be deemed important as they are part of the human civilization’s history. Keeping track of such artifacts can help us realize how the human species has evolved and developed over time. Without history, a culture or a country loses a part of its identity which is irreplaceable once it is gone. One cannot replace the events that took place in the past, so it is important that we make an attempt to keep such significant parts of our identity in check. The Bo tribe’s language will never be learned again as there is no one there to teach it, nor did anyone learn it before the last member died. We must make an attempt to keep a record of indigenous cultures that are being threatened and preserve the culture that they have. A culture is like a human being in itself. Cells are to humans as humans are to cultures and humans are to cultures as cultures are to a country. A culture is almost like a living breathing life form that continues to develop, but everything has its limits and eventually, this culture will disappear. In humans, we make an attempt to save a body part that has been damaged because it is a part of us, and when we lose that body part, a huge portion of our being disappears. When people lose their parents, they remember them through their memories and the things that they have done and created because they are their origin. Where we come from is incredibly important as a society and we must remember our roots so that we can continue moving forward. To save such cultures, we can document all indigenous cultures and their languages. We can then offer the information gathered from these documentations to the public through the internet or offer them as classes at a university. Researching the Otomi people from Mexico is one example of how we can preserve such cultures. Documenting their lifestyles, their clothing, and their language and offering them to the public keeps their culture alive. A part of Mexico’s less distinguished history and identity is being saved through such actions and these kinds of things must be done with all indigenous cultures. Personally, I am from Philippines and I moved to the United States when I was 11 years old. My native tongue, Tagalog, is part of my identity and is something that I will forever keep no matter how far away I am from Philippines. I will always call myself a Filipino no matter how long I have spent away from Philippines because I was born there and my family was born there. This is a perspective that I share with many different indigenous cultures because the importance of knowing who you are and where you came from is boundless and should never be forgotten. A small thing that everyone can do is to make sure that they know where they truly came from and to be proud of it and to share their culture to whoever is interested.

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  18. Jennifer 3A
    We play a significant role in terms of sustaining other cultures. However, we cannot force them to reproduce nor can we force them to combine with ours. However, Jimmy Nelson's video states that there is a way to connect with these individuals, which was discussed and shown by the experiences given by Jimmy Nelson.
    For example, for his third lesson the Islamic women aided him due to the injury that the weather had caused him. This is very significant because Islamic women are not allowed to have contact with other males unless they belong to the family. This shows how other cultures can teach us how to be vulnerable, however, can this always apply to everyone? No, because other Islamic women may have not done the same if they were in the same position. It is essential to sustain other cultures because we get a new sense to other perception, and even learn lessons that lead us to be wiser. Also, according to the history chapter, history is biased because of the historian's background and culture, meaning if that we can sustain to these old cultures, there can be a much better understanding of previous historic events that occurred that had a relationship with these particular cultures. Sustaining other cultures may increase the appreciation that we have towards others and other cultures. For instance, I found the tribe men in skirts example given by Jimmy Nelson extremely powerful because it does teaches us to look deeper and not judge only by what you see blinded with ignorance. I have personally experienced this before. In elementary school, I did not have much of an appreciation towards other cultures, however my prejudices were not extreme. There was an African dance done at the school and I thought it was quiet weird the way they danced, and the way they were dressed. I did not understand, but I did not intensely judge them the way some of my classmates did. Some of them said they appeared to be monkeys praising the monkey God. This was extremely offensive, yet unappreciative and ignorant. This unfortunately applies to mostly everyone worldwide, specially those who are not exposed to other cultures. But, it can be facilitated by becoming more vulnerable. Naturally judging older cultures seems to be very common (from what I've observed) and it says a lot about us as individuals. Just like Jimmy, we can be able to see beyond these cultures and their differences, and appreciate and respect them as well. These cultures serve as an essential way of understanding historic events, and human sciences which explores why they behave the way they do. Here is my question to anyone who responds to my blogpost: to what extent can indigenous cultures help us better understand history, and the world in which we live in now?

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  19. Jennifer 3A

    We play a significant role in terms of sustaining other cultures. However, we cannot force them to reproduce nor can we force them to combine with ours. However, Jimmy Nelson's video states that there is a way to connect with these individuals, which was discussed and shown by the experiences given by Jimmy Nelson.
    For example, for his third lesson the Islamic women aided him due to the injury that the weather had caused him. This is very significant because Islamic women are not allowed to have contact with other males unless they belong to the family. This shows how other cultures can teach us how to be vulnerable, however, can this always apply to everyone? No, because other Islamic women may have not done the same if they were in the same position. It is essential to sustain other cultures because we get a new sense to other perception, and even learn lessons that lead us to be wiser. Also, according to the history chapter, history is biased because of the historian's background and culture, meaning if that we can sustain to these old cultures, there can be a much better understanding of previous historic events that occurred that had a relationship with these particular cultures. Sustaining other cultures may increase the appreciation that we have towards others and other cultures. For instance, I found the tribe men in skirts example given by Jimmy Nelson extremely powerful because it does teaches us to look deeper and not judge only by what you see blinded with ignorance. I have personally experienced this before. In elementary school, I did not have much of an appreciation towards other cultures, however my prejudices were not extreme. There was an African dance done at the school and I thought it was quiet weird the way they danced, and the way they were dressed. I did not understand, but I did not intensely judge them the way some of my classmates did. Some of them said they appeared to be monkeys praising the monkey God. This was extremely offensive, yet unappreciative and ignorant. This unfortunately applies to mostly everyone worldwide, specially those who are not exposed to other cultures. But, it can be facilitated by becoming more vulnerable. Naturally judging older cultures seems to be very common (from what I've observed) and it says a lot about us as individuals. Just like Jimmy, we can be able to see beyond these cultures and their differences, and appreciate and respect them as well. These cultures serve as an essential way of understanding historic events, and human sciences which explores why they behave the way they do. Here is my question to anyone who responds to my blogpost: to what extent can indigenous cultures help us better understand history, and the world in which we live in now?

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    1. Catherine O.

      Good point, ignorance does play a key role in how we assess these cultures. We are more quick to judge others when we don't know much about them. So to answer your question, learning about indigenous cultures can help us understand the behavior of people of the past and how they lived. Considering that many of us come from different cultures, I think that if we can understand the people of the past, it can enable a deeper understanding of the people around us as well. You can learn some background information of people by learning of their history and ancestors.

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  20. Nnedi

    According to the United Nations, there are approximately over 300 million indigenous people across various countries. Indigenous cultures are comprised of people who hold different traditions and values that the predominant culture in society. They are a group of people who would rather be hidden than be put on the spotlight. For example, the Otomi population in Mexico speaks three languages that are slightly related to each other. Many of them are starting to lose their language because not every speaks or understands it. The various connotations of words within the language create confusion and disinterest. Their society views languages such as Spanish and English as the origin of communication. As a result, not only have more than 100 languages have disappeared, but also the different traditions and customs that define who the people are. Language itself is used to share different ideas and thoughts. It helps determine how we see things as well as the concepts we have available for us. Without language, there is no knowledge and without knowledge there is no worth. Therefore, if a group of people lose its language, traditions, values and beliefs, the sense of identity will disappear. Our cultures and beliefs define who we are as a person. For example, my mom comes from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. Currently, there are two dominant languages Nigeria known as Igbo and Yoruba. Igbos usually reside in the South East part of Nigeria while the Yorubas reside in the South West part of Nigeria. Both tribes have different languages, values, customs and traditions. Certain Igbo traditions such as family roles and societal values were imposed on her and it gave her a sense of identity. Even while migrating to the United States, she still kept the traditions that she grew up in. There is never one time that she does not wear traditional wear or a head tie when attending special occasions or parties. If the Igbo culture disappeared, many Igbo people would no longer be recognized. The traditions will die and it will have a big impact on how they perceive themselves. This is why it is important to sustain existing indigenous cultures. Going by the saying” a country without a history is a person without memory”, history is an important part of a culture. Each culture’s history explains why events took place and its significance. If one is not aware of their origin or nationality, it would be less likely for them to know what has happened to that origin or the expectations for future generations. Sustaining existing indigenous cultures provide a sense of identity for those in that specific indigenous culture. If we as a society care about culture and language, then we must hold empathy and invest in the indigenous cultures. Every language and culture is important whether implicitly or explicitly because it provides us with knowledge. It is not right for someone to drop their language in order to fit the dominant language because it alters who they are. How are we supposed to get a sense of identity if we are constantly trying to fit in with others? How will we be able to combat this problem if people constantly have the urge to abandon who they are and where they came from? This is not right. Considering Jimmy Nelson’s point of view, it is possible to communicate with indigenous cultures on any level. The vanishing of a culture will have a great impact on our lives. Many are not aware of how powerful communication and having people skills are. It is our role to recognize these cultures and embrace them because we would not want the same thing to happen to the existing languages we speak. We must keep in mind that it is almost impossible to come up with a universal language. Therefore, the idea of a different language will only enhance meaning. We all need these indigenous cultures to acquire knowledge and learn for our good.

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  21. Vaskia, 3A
    Our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures is really important. We should learn about them and be more vulnerable and open minded to the earlier cultures because its apart of our history. Although it is not from our past it is from the past of others. Their cultures and traditions are dying out it is up to others to capture their lives, so that individuals may be able to see what they are missing out on. By being more vulnerable and letting them see our world we can learn more about them and they can learn more about us. History contains evidence in which we can carry on into the future. Without the past of the indigenous cultures and various countries would not have a traditional past. Having a history with evidence and proof of its existence is crucial because without it we’d would not know where we came from and how we came to be who we are today. For example if I were born and left in the middle of no where, not knowing who or what anything around me was because I was born with a blank slate. I would have to find other means of communication, and I would have to find ways of surviving and adapting to the land if I survived my childhood being alone if no one found me. But since my mother kept me close and out harms ways I learned her traditions and her values and that made me into the person that I am today. Without them I’d be a lost soul drifting away in society not knowing who I am or where I had come from. Moving to a different country I was able to learn about their tradition and cultures and the different languages spoken. In the United States there are many languages and dialects that are spoken since so many people from across the world travel here. Where as the main language is English. I was surprised to see that many students either spoke English at home r their parents native tongue depending and how much they knew. They not only brought their identity with them to school but a mixed personality, each individual of a different ethnicity and culture came together as one community. Exchanging information about one another and getting to know each other we passed on our past so that others can learn about it in the future. Once Jimmy Nelson became closer to the people by peeing on that tent and them laughing at him he became accepted into their society and was welcomed. But when he had an illness and lost his hair the people around him started to treat him differently. They no longer saw him as him. But around the indigenous people he could be himself without anyone making him feel as though he did not belong. Not many people speak Patwa in my community and it not being very different from English I had to accustom myself to it. Just because in public you are unable to speak your mother tongue does not mean you can not speak it at home. People start to develop different faces and personalities based on the audience they are speaking to. If cultures and/ traditions were to be extinct then we’d also loose languages. There are many dead languages that people do not speak anymore and we are not aware of them. It is due to the reason that we do not take the time out of our day to notice and capture the essence of these languages. About fifty percent of the people in Mexico are Otomi people. At first they were ashamed and or afraid to speak their language, then they were less afraid afterwards. They then were able to speak freely and proudly. The Otomi people needed to be judged less. The younger generation should be more welcomed to learn the indigenous language.

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    1. Jocelyn M 3A
      I would first like to start by saying that I agree. However, I do have a question concerning being vulnerable. Why must we be vulnerable in order to play a role in indigenous cultures? I do agree with the aspect that we must conserve these cultures because it is a way we grow and reflect on our identities. Suppose, a person whom has no parents does not really pertain to a certain culture, why must capturing dying cultures be important to them? Also using the example you used, living on your own and adapting to certain situations, how does one uncover their culture and true origins? Another question I have as well is if we start to develop new personalities and experiences, do we start to forget where we came from? Personally, I know I am bilingual and am very familiar with both of my cultures but I tend to value one more than the other because it is where I feel the most comforted from. Also, having not visited El Salvador myself I cannot personally relate to the culture but it surrounds me so very much in the United States. My last question is if you were to personally consider Jimmy Nelson never experiencing the loss of his hair, would culture be as important to him? A follow up question is if we as humans need something to happen to us personally in order to feel a connection to culture?

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    2. Being vulnerable implies the ability to be open to something new.

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  22. Rebeca 3A
    I think the role we play in sustaining these indigenous cultures are the endless possibilities that we can share to keep these cultures. The three lessons that Jimmy Nelson learned impacted his life greatly he even said that until he started this journey he was able to find himself something that only these experiences and these remaining people could provide for him. Lesson that can be the new guidelines for a better society to look closer without prejudices and that only you have the choice of being happy and that if you make your self vulnerable in any situation among any culture and no matter the barriers you could make a real life connection with the people around you. As IB students we are required to make the international connection by connecting it to your personal life connecting with other countries such as Mexico them going out and finding indigenous cultures within their community and learning how to communicate with us to make a change. We have can restore balance and save our origins and learn from their purity and authenticity. By being this “new conversation”.

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    1. Tunji
      3A

      I agree with your, but I think you can expand on your ideas more to increase the strength of your post. My first question is, What role does endless possibilities play in sustaining indigenous cultures? Yes, there are endless possibilities we can share with indigenous cultures to keep them alive, but what are the specific possibilities? I like that you used examples of the lessons from the Jimmy Nelson video to explain how indigenous cultures changed his life and opened up his mind about these cultures. We all need to be able to look closer at indigenous cultures without prejudices and biases because that is what is causing the decline of them. I believe that you could have expanded your explanation about the Jimmy Nelson video. You could have used his actual experiences rather than just only his lessons such as his experience with the indigenous culture in one of the most remote parts of Russia. You could have explained how they welcomed him and wanted to protect him from the very cold environment. Then, you could have possibly said that indigenous cultures are open to us so we should be open to them. I like how you included that IB students are required to make international connections. I agree with this because we are all in an international program. We should all be able to connect to international problems rather than just local problems only. I think at this part of your explanation you could have included society as a whole, such as how can we help American citizens become stronger at international connections so that they can become more informed about indigenous cultures. Also, you could have used other examples such as what you have learned from the language and perception chapter and the video about the Otomi people in Mexico. I like your post, but if you just expand on your explanations of your examples for sustaining indigenous cultures and added a few more examples, your post could be a more powerful explanation of your thinking. There are many ways that we can help indigenous cultures survive such as educating people, creating foundations, or even sending letters to the government. I just think that you need to start with one example, expand on it and then move on to other examples to explain your thinking. A final question for you to think about is how has your gain of knowledge of indigenous cultures changed your perception of them?

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  23. Jazmine 3A
    Our role is to bring awareness and empathy to the valuable and precious aspects of existing indigenous cultures. Once people realize that culture is a significant element of identify, and that without identity, self-value, uniqueness, self-meaning, etc. will cease to exist for populations of people. If we do not know ourselves, then it will be hard to pass on and develop new ideas. We as a society have to look closer and deeper, put aside our biases and preconceptions, in order to encourage the growth and maintainence of indigenous cultures. We have to give these cultures a voice by promoting people to view cultures and traditions with multiple perceptions. Language is a huge part of culture, as seen with the Otomi people in Mexico. People would not discriminate their language if they understood the culture based off of more than sterotypes and from what they see on the streets. Language gives a person their identity by communicating with their like kind and a sense of belonging. Everyone wants to belong to someone or something so letting indigenous cultures die out is like stripping a sense of family away from a population of people. No indentity, no family. We need to increase the number of global thinkers who take action.

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    1. Do you think that maybe as students we may help bring awareness by actually experiencing these cultures? Though we have privileged of being an American, it might not be seen as our “people” dying out because America is a mixing bowl of different people and cultures. Language is something that could be universal; it seems that English is becoming the needed language learned in many different countries. Parents would pay money to have their children learn the English language. Another way we could help is by learning different languages to ensure that they don’t die out. With that, we can learn more perspective of the different people’s as well as their culture and their understanding of life. Although I don’t see the dying of a culture as people losing their personal history, but what we do lose is a perspective of life.

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    2. Jesus 3A
      I certainly agree with Jamine and her response, our role is so important to sustaining indigenous culture because many populations out there in society are able to offer so much information based on their background and past generations that have lived under the same culture. I would like to add on to what Jazmine said about he she said that everyone wants to belong to someone or something, I believe that people want to fit into other cultures and by that they would represent their cultures by sharing out the traditions in order to show their true identity, Not only would it be bad to take away these indigenous cultures but it would take away the diversity amongst the people that live on Earth, each tradition has interesting facts. We cannot let these indigenous cultures die just like that, they can contain information that can be researched on where new discoveries could be made and create more identity and be recognize in the world, people would not discriminate them. But at the same time, I believe that it is the person being “invisible” when discriminated from their indigenous cultures because people would not take the time and see how beneficial these cultures can be, the perspective we have in order to identify how a person lives. All these indigenous cultures bring value towards our lives showing that we need to appreciate the cultures offered to impact our lives. So what role does perception play in indigenous cultures?

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  24. Catherine O.

    In order to sustain the existing indigenous cultures, we have to learn, understand and open up to indigenous cultures and any different concepts we may encounter along the way.
    Learning about the indigenous cultures of the world is the initial step one can take. In order to understand some of the ways of their cultures, we need to have valid knowledge of them. The prime reason we often make stereotypes and generalizations about groups of people is that we don't know much about them. We simply base our judgments and perceptions on what we see in front of us. We never really take the time to delve into their culture and learn why they live and act a certain way. One of the key ways to learning about people is through their history. You can get a great deal of background information about people and their culture simply by learning of their past. I feel that if we learn the history about these cultures and preserve the evidence, then we can still preserve the ways of the people even after they die. Even after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Latin language is still alive today and is being studied by people in several institutions. We were able to preserve the evidence, such as their language, and primary sources of the Latin people and thus we were able to preserve their culture.
    We have to keep an open mind when learning about a culture that is different from what we are used to. Language comes with culture, so people who speak different languages may perceive things in a different way than we would. According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language determines the way we think and behave. In my culture, the Igbo language has a lot of words such as 'chukwu', 'chi', or 'chineke', meaning God or something in relation to God. This can explain why the majority of the Igbo people are religious and have a religious way of life. Thus, they generally have a more strict perception towards a way of living. Some things that the English people tolerate would not be acceptable with the Igbo people. When many people learn of differences such as this, they may think of the culture as odd and be unwilling to accept it. We should have an open mind when learning about the indigenous cultures. Even if their way of living is different to ours, we shouldn't reject them and push them off to the side of society. With the Otomi people in Mexico, many people may see the way they dress and decide to act as if they are invisible to society because they don't look and act like the majority of Mexico. We should try to accept and involve these cultures in our communities because a fast way to hinder indigenous cultures that are on the verge of extinction is to ignore them and disregard them as a part of society. However, there are some instances where cultures don't want to be a part of society. Should we still try to save dying cultures that doesn't want to be a part of society? How can we try to involve these cultures in our society when they don't want to be involved? Jimmy Nelson mentioned the Chukchi of the Chukotka District. They chose to be living in freezing temperatures of Russia. Society didn't push them there. Before they were even moved to a city to live in apartment buildings but after realizing they weren't happy in the city, they moved back. I feel that all cultures are worth saving. I don't feel we necessarily have to save every indigenous culture in the world. However, it is important to try to document our History in order to at least have some knowledge of the indigenous cultures. Our History can ultimately help us understand who we are. Just as Nelson mentioned, these cultures are our origins and I believe it is important to try and save where we came from.

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    1. Uchechi
      3A
      I agree with Catherine's insight. When looking at another culture we are "culturecentric," trapped within our own beliefs about culture. It is hard to be objective. One good way to learn about another culture is not only through their history but through historical information about them from other cultures who were contemporary or had contact with them, if possible. Any intrusion into an "undocumented" culture effectively changes them by the contact no matter how much that is avoided or attempted to be avoided.

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  25. Obichi
    Wicked problems are problems that tend to remain unsolved because people view them as too big to be tackled. I believe the sustenance of indigenous cultures resembles a wicked problem, in the sense that it may appear too big a problem. However, we, as youth are capable of impacting the endangerment of such cultures. While we observed the Otomi culture, it was evident that the people of such cultures are attacked and shamed by people of more modern cultures. We, the younger generation represent a modern culture. The issue with the sustenance of indigenous cultures is not that it is too difficult to achieve, but rather that we do not realize the extent to which we can make a change. We play a huge role in this situation. By being open-minded towards different cultures,we could drastically change the rate at which these cultures disappear. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Each of us views the world through a perspective that is highly biased towards our own "group." By group I mean, not just culture, but also gender age group, etc. There are two problems with this. The first is that we tend to be hostile towards new groups that present ideas that differ from ours. The second is that it makes it difficult for multiple groups to cohabit in the same area because each group, in an attempt to distinguish itself from the others, will try to identity qualities that make themselves superior. Because being open-minded can be a challenge, an easier way to help sustain the indigenous cultures is by simply refraining from criticizing the people of these cultures. In doing so, we could promote pride in these cultures. In our exploration of the arts, I read about Estrellita Brodsky, who has successfully been reintroducing Latin American art into museums in the United States as a method of restoring pride in the culture. Such acts create a comfortable atmosphere for different cultures, and encourage members to take pride in and continue to practice their culture. Taking this route is not necessarily a bad thing, but I believe we must challenge ourselves to stop taking the easy route. Jimmy Nelson spoke about not being judgmental, and being vulnerable, so why not? If it's for the sake of the preservation of a vital part of human civilization, the rich diversity, then we must be willing to "go the extra mile."

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    1. Catherine O.

      I agree, the sustenance of indigenous cultures is a wicked problem. It takes a great deal of time to change the perspectives of foreign cultures within the younger generation. You mentioned that we could promote pride in these cultures, so what role does pride can play in sustaining indigenous cultures?

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  26. Ephraim

    Our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures is that we need to extract as much information from them as possible. Everyday in the world, there is a dying language that is close to extinction. This means that there is a culture in the world that is being lost. The only way we can keep this culture on the world is by having the culture of indigenous people to be shared with someone outside of their culture. Each culture is unique in its own way. One of the reasons that diversity is seen as a great thing is because the different pieces has its uniqueness that it brings. With each indigenous culture that passes away, we lose a part of the diversity that makes the world great. With each culture, there is a new set of ideas and creativity. I know that I would not be happy if one day in the future, the tribe that my parents come from in Nigeria, Igala, becomes extinct. It is not one of the major tribes in Nigeria. Often, I feel like it is unnoticed to people outside of the tribe. Whenever I make mention of the Igala tribe, many people look at me with a confused face. Based off of this personal experience, I can understand what it feels like if an indigenous culture is lost because it is a part of many people’s identity. If we are able to share the different forms of knowledge we have in the world, then every indigenous culture can stick with the world, but it must be passed down.

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    1. Asia
      3A

      I like the point that was made about the fact that if one culture were to become deceased, then there would be less diversity. This takes away from the variety of language, clothing, tradition, ect. I also liked the personal connection that was made with the tribes of Africa. I certainly am one of those people who are not fully aware of all of the tribes in Africa, so for one of them to become extinct would be the worse case scenario for the people who would come in the later generations. The people from the later generation would not know of where exactly they came from. Although it was documented throughout history, this doesn't mean that people will remember where they came from if where they came from is no longer significant .

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    2. Alyssa

      I completely agree with Ephraim because cultures are diverse, distinct, and unique and what they can offer the world is the same. There are plenty of languages in the world and it’s a shame how rapidly they are declining. I think this is because most people don’t see the point in saving them. Some people believe if they were more prominent they would never die out in the first place. The truth is sometimes that may be true but what I think is more important is the possible loss of knowledge that could be gone forever with the extinction of these languages. I also agree with him when he says we would be losing a part of what makes the world great. I think this is so significant because I believe how different the people on earth are make it such an amazing and innovative place. Take the USA for example. We are a very unique nation in that a multitude of different people, culture, language, etc. make up our country and as a result, the mix of cultures can create distinctive points of view like maybe that of a mix child who is raised in different cultures. Or that of children who were raised here but have parents from different places. However, I can see how some people can question the significance of this. Like Ephraim said, he would not want for his tribe to disappear one day, but he understands that it sometimes goes unnoticed or he might get a funny face when he mentions the tribe. I think we should try to change our perspectives on how we view indigenous cultures and work harder to preserve what we can in order to receive all the incite and knowledge possible.

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  27. Abigail
    It is important for a society of people to know their roots and history. Culture makes up a huge part of an individuals identity in the majority of the population. However there are hundreds of indigenous cultures around the world that are dying out. One may wonder if they should take a role in preserving these cultures, and if so, what should they do. There are many ways to respect indigenous cultures. Sometimes this does means preserving a culture. Other times it means educating yourself and others about where different people around the world come from. In the Know my World Community, the Otomi people's language is dying out and they are being shunned by the people around them. In this instance educating people about their way of life would probably be most helpful and hopefully it would broaden others viewpoints about those with a different way of life.

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    1. Kelly
      I like the point you make about people educating themselves in order to preserve a culture. But do you honesty believe a dying culture can be saved? There may be a slim chance, but with the way our society works it does not support the chance. Everyone is too busy with their own lives. Many people do not pay attention to the news outside their country let alone their city. It is upsetting to know this, but it is true. If people were to educate themselves, they may do it for one day. One day may make a difference, but consistence is key for change. I think cultures should be cherished while they are still alive and reminisced when they are gone.

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  28. Jesus
    The question "What is our role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures?" can be seen in the from examples of the Knower's Profile. The Knower's Profile is the basic concept of sharing what your true identity is, it includes our age, the religion we look toward, the environment we live in, our gender, our mother tongue, and even other factors that show out our identity to people around the world and see what kind of person we are. All of the people that live on this world have their own way of showing who they are, no two people are the same, we have different characteristics, different personalities, and the culture and traditions each one of us has depending on where we come from. For example, since my family is from Mexico, we celebrate different holidays based on our culture which influences us to carry on these traditions when my family came to the United States. So for example, Christmas for my family is celebrated on the 24th and we do a small "procesion", which is a procession, where we celebrate the birth of God's son, Jesus. We sing songs, we pray, and have moments of silence and give thanks for all God and Jesus have done for us and provided in our lives. Another example is the environment I live in, the people around me influence how I act, but for me, I know which people I should be around because I don't want to go down te wrong path, so I try to make the right decisions in life, people can influence your life and make you do many different things that are either good or bad, plus the things that are around you such as the environment being rural or urban causes other factors to give you a different perception on how people act. These are some factors that can prove your identity and you can express it the way you want to be seen as. Without your identity you are nothing, there is no sense. With indigenous culture around us, it creates a vast majority of unique people that spread their cultures and share the values each culture has in order for others to notice other people around them. These indigenous cultures are important and play a role in each society there is, perception is used to identify these unique people that have much influences on many things that can affect society and probably make an impact, perception can be deceiving because you can see one's identity and think it's weird but you would not know the truth behind their beliefs on their culture, you just can't jump to conclusions, you never know, what you think at first may end up being interesting. Many of these people need to be accepted because their existence is important where they are one of the rare people that contain amounts of information that can be valuable in the future so you can't let a indigenous culture like that die out and be nonexistent, the knowledge those people contain can bring people together and impact the world adding more and more information to be discovered and researched on. An identity is part of life, it is a way to make people see who you are, to give a new lesson in the world where we can be interested to learn more about cultures. The role of these indigenous cultures are to gather people around the world and show that they're not alone, that other cultures are found to be interesting and unique.

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  29. Uchechi
    3A

    The population of indigenous cultures has decreased significantly over the years and it is essential that mankind plays a role in sustaining existing indigenous cultures. Mankind and the modern world cannot survive without the traditional knowledge of indigenous cultures. The disappearances of indigenous cultures are a result of rapid world change, industrialization, urbanization, technological advancement, digitization, mass migration, connectedness of people, and more. According to First Peoples Worldwide, there are more than seven thousand indigenous tribes around the world and about 300-500 million native peoples worldwide. This number is only 5% of the entire world’s population and is still decreasing. Among these cultures is the Otomi tribe. The Otomi people migrated to Mexico’s inner city in search for work, economic resources through their crafts, and/or an education. When they settled, they were treated differently as if they were not part of the Mexican population. Often times, people took advantage of them, stole from their work, and even blamed them for urging terrorism. Additionally, the Otomi people stopped speaking their native tongue because they were discriminated against. It is at this point that they forgot about their original home and lost sense of their identity. Some of the Otomi people have broken the barriers of discrimination by proudly speaking their language. Some have even gone back to where they came from because there, they were happy. There, they could feel a feeling they could not feel in Mexico.

    Jimmy, Nelson, a photographer visited 35 tribes in 44 countries around the world in an effort to experience the tribes “before they pass[ed] away”. Through pictures, Nelson exposes the beauty of these tribal people. The pictures depict grace, and lure viewers to look further and delve into the story behind such visually unique tribes. It is the images of the tribes that color the gray area of the world and make it so beautiful with ethnic, religious, cultural, and traditional differences. Nelson expands on three lessons learned that are often disregarded in the Western world when it comes to people of indigenous tribes: judgment, choice, and connectedness. In terms of judgment, we are prone to prejudice when surrounded by people from other cultures. Often times, we are also prejudiced within our own culture. We must look closer because often times, things are very different from what they seem to be. We must let go of our preconceived notions and confirmation biases and accept other people's differences - race, age, gender, mother tongue, environment selection, and spiritual worldview. In doing so, it is critical to take look into the underlying history of indigenous groups, change the way we perceive them, and recognize that they have the same dignity as the population’s majority. This will alter our opinions, prejudices, and judgments in favor of good knowledge.

    In terms of choice, indigenous groups choose to move to the inner city because of work opportunities and economic resources. As time passes, they become very sad because they lose contact of their children, old people, and more. Eventually, they decide to change their motives and go back to where they came from because there, they were happy. This suggests that even at the edge of the world, if we dare feel ourselves, feel the environment we live in, and feel one another, we will know exactly what makes us happy. In terms of connection, indigenous people are likely to break down all their values and culture to help other outside of their culture through vulnerability and fallibility. Vulnerability is key because when you are vulnerable, connecting and communicating with people on any level is possible. In the Western world, we must wake up because our ignorance is committing our suicide. The reality of it all is that tribes are constantly disappearing. With the disappearance of all these indigenous groups, we will lose our authenticity and origins.

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  30. Uchechi
    3A Continuing…

    Only a collective mass of people can help put an end to the crisis that the indigenous people around the globe are facing, and this includes documenting these cultures and starting a new dialogue through the use of language. Nelson uses his book full of photography to start this intrinsic dialogue with tribal people. A new dialogue is one of the many ways citizens of the Western world and indigenous tribe people can learn from each other. Indigenous people have a role to play as well. The problem lies on the fact that they lose sense of where they have come from due to the fact that they have been prejudiced against in a harsh manner. Because of this problem, indigenous people find it impossible to make any sense of the present or what they should know in the future. That is why it is important for indigenous people to know their worth and identity despite challenging circumstances. It is only then that both sides of the spectrum (Western world and indigenous cultures) will become connected in such a way one can never imagine.

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Thanks for posting!!

Swift