Anthropological pitfalls

Trying to understand another culture is an amazing adventure. I have never lived in another culture other than my adjustment to African-American culture coming from my working-class White culture.
But talking to immigrants trying to fathom the elements of American culture reveals facets we usually don’t think about. Kofi Agawu’s Representing African Music goes into real depth regarding what Euro-American scholars have brought to the study of that music. Soon to arrive in the mail is a book on the women and men who kicked American anthropology off and inspired so many of us, including me, an anthro major.
Just as an example of how we sometimes miss the obvious in our own culture, I’ll related the question of a friend of mine, a recent (at the time) immigrant from a very Muslim culture of Pakistan.
She asked about Easter, so I went into this long spiel about the place of Jesus in the dominant religion in this country and how Easter represented the ultimate triumph over death with the resurrection, etc. and then sat back waiting for more questions to explore the depths of my theological knowledge.
Her question was, “But what about the rabbit?”

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