Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Great Wall & Baraka: Rituals x Traditions

Talk to partner. Can you explain the difference between Ritual and Tradition?

Share your guesses with the class

Read the paragraphs about tradition and ritual.

Tradition is a generic term that encompasses a wide variety of things and concepts that are handed down by one generation to another. A tradition is an act, behavior, or a belief system which has a special significance for the members of the society.

Ritual is an act or a series of acts that are performed or observed in a society. In every society, important functions, events, ceremonies, festivals  are marked by certain acts or a series of acts that are perceived to have a symbolic value. Rituals are observed almost religiously because, in most cases, they have a religious backing and, therefore, considered important for individuals in the society. It is the presence of rituals that make an event formal and traditional.
According to the definitions above, decide which situations are rituals and traditions.

  1. a handshake to greet others
  2. the practice to honor and respect the seniors
  3. exchanging wedding rings on the alter
  4. bride's wearing white on the wedding day
2, 4
1, 3 

Watch the movie segment and make a list of  acts involved in the rituals of the scene. Can you see any traditions? Have in mind the acts, clothes, feelings, etc.

Watch the segment from the fantastic Baraka and compare both rituals. What do they have in common and how they differ from each other.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Norbit: Fat Shaming

This is a topic that must be addressed in class. This movie was a blockbuster, but it is very controversial. Just a reminder. Black people use the word "bitch" in a natural way, so it is OK to show it in class, but always mind your audience         in case the language is not appropriate for your students. 


I. Work in pairs:
 1. What do you think Fat Shaming is?
 2. Why do people fat shame?
 3. What is the impact of fat shaming on celebrities and ordinary people?

II. Read the text below about Fat Shaming. Check that your discussion was similar with the Doctor's research below. Do you agree with the Doctor's point of view? Why (not)?

 We Must Not Tolerate Fat Shaming
 By Nina Savelle-Rocklin, Psy.D.

Words are powerful.  Words hurt.   Verbal bullying causes deep shame, humiliation and pain, and often leads to lifelong self-esteem problems.  Insulting, criticizing, ridiculing and stereotyping people on the basis of their weight is a form of verbal bullying called fat shaming. Fat-shaming occurs with alarming frequency. Celebrities are not the only ones who suffer from fat shaming.   Many people experience it during their daily lives.  Often, the shamers have no idea that their words are hurtful.

Why do people fat-shame?

People fat shame to elevate themselves by denigrating others.  They feel better about themselves by putting down other people. Many people see "fat" as signifying laziness, weakness, or lack of control.   By pointing the finger at others, they reassure themselves that those attributes belong to other people but not to themselves.  The communication is, "You're the one who lacks control, not me."  

The impact of fat-shaming

In my clinical practice and daily life, I hear from people who dread family get-togethers, fearing remarks such as, “Do you really need to eat that?” or, “You sure have packed on the kilos.” Such observations facilitate shame, which is the deeply painful sense that there is something wrong with oneself. 

Studies show those who are fat shamed are at a higher risk for depression and eating disorders.  Fat shaming is also connected with discrimination.  According to the National Eating Disorders Association, weight discrimination is more prevalent than age or gender discrimination. The experience of being shamed may lead people to shame themselves. We as individuals and as a society must take this seriously.   Not only is fat shaming offensive, it causes depression, anxiety, humiliation, pain and a diminished sense of self-worth.   

III. What's your opinion about the actions below. Go one by one and say whether it is a good idea or if it is plain exaggeration. 

There is solid movement  quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty by facilitating positive body image activism, encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritize health before beauty. 

They say no to…

  • Excessive “Photoshopping” of body images in the media
  • Being programmed by the media and corporations into accepting unrealistic body images
  • Prescribing to the notion that being a certain weight determines whether you’re healthy
  • Sexualisation of girls in the media and modern culture
  • The objectification of women
  • Society and advertising preying on women’s insecurities

IV. Watch the segment and decide whether the jokes are in good or bad taste, if you consider it funny/disgusting, and if this kind of movie helps/harms the movement described before. 

V. Read a reviewer point of view about the movie. 

The movie is apparently about how worthless named Norbit (Eddie Murphy) married a very fat woman and is now stuck with her. She is by definition physically repulsive, and an acceptable target for universal mockery. This mockery is celebrated as natural and good; no irony or nuance is pretended. It's fine, because the commercials imply that she's too overbearing and stupid to even understand that everyone is disgusted by her. We as individuals and as a society must take this seriously.   Not only is fat shaming offensive, it causes depression, anxiety, humiliation, pain and a diminished sense of self-worth.   

1. Do you agree with him? 
2. Do you think people can talk about whatever they want due to freedom of speech despite the possible consequences? 
3. Are people becoming too politically correct, or is it a trend everyone must follow?