Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Cultural Truth Cultural truth is what we believe true in our culture as it has been passed down over time or from our family.

I remembered when I was a kid, my mother always told me a story about a woman and her son who was very poor at the beginning, but the mother worked very hard to get his son schooled. Later, his son was a very successful person but he just forgot about his mother and the worst thing was he felt ashamed about her when she was around his friends. Finally, god punished him for what he has done to his mother by changing him into a stone creature.

From this story, it is clearly tell us that we should respect our parents and do not forget what they have done to us in raising us up. Basically, it is passed down over time, so people just believe it without knowing if it is really true or not.

I ever read in newspapers that carrot is good for eyes and broccoli can cure cancer. Is that true? This is what we called cultural truth as we believe what the culture tell us is the truth.

I would tell you guys a story about my grandmother and my father. There are times that white ants are really popular in my country, especially the bigger size one. They are said to be very effective to cure certain diseases and make your body even healthier. My father spent a lot of money for those and also my grandmother. To get an effective result, you have to swallow 6 ¡V 7 ants all at once with a glass of water. You cannot chew those ants but just swallow it. It is a very disgusting scene I have ever seen because I saw my grandmother¡¦s face had turned pale as she was watching those ants were moving and crawling around the glass. It was really disgusting and I cannot imagine the feeling when those ants are crawling around inside your stomach. It is some kind of belief but people just trust it anyway no matter it is true or not.

Last time, I saw a movie from discovery channel about the lives in Africa. Those Africans are kind of left out from others and they are really primitive from the way they are surviving, such as tools, how to make fires, etc. From this movie, I saw a horrible scene and I personally think that it was really mean. Every girl who is turning to seventeen years old, must have her hair being pulled until bald by others. Her head was bleeding and I assumed it was really hurt but instead of that, she was smiling. Why? Because it was a step to the maturity level for the girls and of course she felt proud about that. After that, she must have her ear pierced by using something sharp to make a hole in her ear and finally they tied it up with a string. Can you believe there is still a culture like this during this century? Why they believe that is truth when in our eyes, we see it as a cruelty.

I personally think that cultural truth is based on religions, traditions from the families and environment. Sometimes, those rules were created by people to respect a certain events that ever happened in the past. For Christian, there is an Easter day, for Buddhism there is a full-moon festival and so forth. We never see if it is true or not, and the only proof is from the written documents, such as bible for Christian. They are all written in the bible and people just draw their own conclusions and perspectives from that and follow the rules that are written there as well. However, it depends on the environment as well.