Nacirema

Nacirema Words: 630

Body Rituals Among the Manicure Assignment “Body Rituals Among the Manicure”, by Horace Miner, is an essay written about the American people, from an outsider’s perspective, which he calls Manicure, American spelled backwards. He disguises what he’s talking about by spelling many nouns backwards and giving things different names. Miner writes about American rituals in a foreign way that comes off as barbaric and heinous. He starts off talking about George Washington and how he founded America and how he’s seen as a hero. Then he moves on and talks about how vain the American people are, their focus being on none and the way they look.

How the majority of people spend a good amount of time in the bathroom, which he calls “shrines”, prepping ones self to look different than they naturally do. How the richer you are, the bigger the house you live in and the more bathrooms you have. Then he goes on to talk about our medicine cabinets and says they’re full of “medicines and potions”, in which people believe they can’t live without. He talks about our doctors, dentists, and psychologists and gives them the names of “medicine men”, “holy-mouth-men, and the listener. He even goes as ar as talking about hospitals and what goes on there, which he calls “latish’. He also talks about our dentist visits and our obsessions of keeping our mouths cleaned. Miner made his point quite clear, you can’t make an assumption or Judgment until you have participated in another’s ways or “know the whole story’. It’s completely rude and demeaning. Miner speaks the truth. Americans are obsessed with vanity and having multiple things that are completely useless to them. They are self- absorbed and more focused on how they look and how they are perceived, rather Han the type of person that they are.

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This self-consumed way of life damages our relationships with others and what truly matters and makes the human soul happy. This way of life that we live starts from the second we are born. We are quite acquainted with our ways at a young age. I think another one of Miner’s points was to point out how ridiculous some of our ways are so that we can see it for ourselves. When it comes to medicine, we know there is more to it than is mentioned in the article. On the other hand, when it comes to other things like money and appearance, e tend to overdue it.

For example, today in America, people will work for long periods of time to earn money so that they may pay for some sort of surgery that changes the way they look when they are fine the way they are. Ethnocentric views are ignorant views; they cloud Judgment and the understanding of another’s open mindedness. People spend their life learning and practicing one way which they believe to be the correct way, and give another way of living one glance, and disregard it because they are uneducated about it or it is unfamiliar to them. People o not like change when in contradictory it is the only thing constant in life.

Because of cultural relativism, the majority of people do not bother to take the time to understand someone else’s phenomenon. I personally have spent time researching religion and participating in other religion services in the holy land. I know that I personally was super skeptical about the Jews and Muslims. After learning about their history and living with them, I soon learned where their traditions came from learned something even greater, I learned where we started our traditions and some of the reasons for why we do what we do.