Friday, October 16, 2009

Culture Clash

Each week I lead a youth group for teens at my kid's school. These kids range in age from 13 to 18 and come from several different countries, mostly different African countries. This week our lesson was on honesty. We started off the lesson with a game of the old favorite "Two Truths and a Lie" - you know where each person lists 3 statements, two of which are true and one a lie. Each person reads their list then the group has to try and guess which one is a lie.

One kid listed as one of his statements "I have killed a goat". When he read it all the other guys said - No way! You have never killed a goat! The boy defended his answer as the truth and explained that when visiting his family out in the country, they were killing a goat for a celebration and they tied the goat up and hung it upside down in a tree and he got the job of slitting the goat's throat. (pleasant, I know!) The other guys were satisfied with this explanation. I think that they originally didn't believe him because he's a smallish teen boy and they couldn't imagine him man-handling a goat and killing it. But they could imagine him wielding a knife when all the other wrestling and tying had been done for him.

The next kid had as one of his statements - "I caught my dog's tail on fire." Everyone laughed and wanted to know how this could happen. (It was his true statement) He began with, "you know when you kill a goat you have to clean off the hair. In our country we pour gasoline on the goat, burn off the hair, then wash the outside of the goat. Then you can cut it open and begin cutting it up." The class temporarily erupted, interrupting the story, as several kids said, "that's not how you clean the hair off of a goat!" One girl piped up and said, "yes, in our country we do it like that, too!"

As an American, I find these group discussions so fascinating. We frequently get into discussions where answers differ greatly because of cultural differences.

But we still didn't find out what exactly happened to the dog's tail.




5 comments:

Carpool Queen said...

I witnessed one cow butchering in my life. Once was enough. Eeeww....

Kecia said...

Wow--not quite like buying packaged hamburger at WalMart, is it?

Mich said...

Always interesting to learn about others. This made me smile and remember my days as a MK.

whimzie said...

Well, the way we kill our goats here in Louisiana....Nope. Can't even begin to pull that one off.

Have you perfected your "surprised on the inside/perfectly calm on the outside" look or does not much really surprise you anymore?

S and J said...

Love it, love it, love it! We are most definitely experiencing some culture class here too...so much to learn! Never a dull moment, that is for sure!!!!