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Lesson Plans


Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM

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carla harwitt (charwitt.us)
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 12:45:29 -0800 (PST)

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Dear Terry, Interesting that you should mention that article, which I
found personally horrifying. I read it to my 9th grade world history
class and asked the students what they thought. My intention was a
discussion on gender roles, community sin, Shirley Jackson's "The
Lottery," that sort of thing. My students, however, assumed I was asking
if the US should interfere in this practice. Almost to a man, and woman,
they felt that although they might personally abhor the practice, we
should respect the right of other cultures to make their own decisions.
Seems to me that the "celebrating pluralism" message is certainly taking
hold, and that's a good thing.
--Carla in LA

Who was it who said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend
to the death your right to say it"? (I know - I should know this, but I
just can't remember. Probably "sometimer's disease," as a friend of mine
puts it.)

On Tue, 11 Feb 1997, Terry Barrett wrote:

> Dear Graeme,
>
> I've been loosely following your interesting and valuable dialogue about
> multiculturalism, and the general theme I'm raising here with one example
> you may have already dealt with. If so, I apologize.
>
> I was troubled to read in yesterday's newspaper an AP story entitled
> Gahanaian Priests Still Taking Girls Into Slavery. According to the
> newspaper account, slavery has long been and still is a part of Ghanaian
> culture. The Ewe word trokosi refers to wife of the gods and the still
> extant practice of appeasing war gods for misdeeds of ancestors by
> sacrificing vestal virgins from every new generation. Daughters as young
> as ten are handed over to temples where they are servants until they begin
> to menstruate and then become the concubines of priests. When they reach
> middle age, the women are released, to be replaced by yet another virgin
> from the same family. The practice dates back to the 17th century and is
> also practiced in neighboring Togo, Benin, and Nigeria where it is believed
> to have originated.
>
> As I read the article, I couldn't escape ironic associations with the
> current discussion about celebrating pluralism. How are we art educators
> to deal with cultural differences such as this one?
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Terry Barrett
> Professor, Art Education
> 340 Hopkins Hall
> Ohio State University
> Columbus, OH 43210
> 614.292.4741
> barrett.8
>
>
>


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  • Maybe reply: Graeme Chalmers: "Re: Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM"