Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cultural Differences

When I ask students to draw what they did over the summer I see lots of Disney World drawings, kids doing fun things like swimming or going to birthday parties. You know, fun and generally happy drawings. I did not expect to see this drawing!

My immediate thought was this child is disturbed. He has witnessed something horrible and it's scared him for life. I must seek help immediately. When I asked the student to tell me about his drawing he beamed up at me and told me he was finally grown up. His family had visited relatives back in Mexico and his father and uncle thought he was finally old enough to help slaughter a goat for the cook out. I asked him if it made him sad to see this and he said "No because I knew how good the food would be!" This apparently was a very proud moment for him. I remember when I was about 7 or 8 years old our neighbor gutted a giant catfish for a fish fry. For some reason I didn't think fish had blood, so you can imagine my horror when all this blood came gushing out. I remember staring down at the blood soaked grass and thinking how horrible this was. I don't think I ate fish for years after that.

It's crazy how some can perceive the act of slaughtering animals as gruesome while others see it as a defining moment in their lives. It may even be more of a male (father & son) bonding ritual. Anyway, I thought I'd share this.

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