Observation 1
Date: Sep 18th, 2006 6:02:00 pm - Subscribe

My daughter’s dad lives in (city) and is a DJ. Over Labor Day Weekend, I took (daughter) to visit him. Her thrill of the weekend was to help her dad DJ at a party for a teenager at (name) Pueblo. How I got roped into following them, I do not know! But, I am glad that I went, as I now have an experience to write about. First of all, the Pueblo is about 20 miles north of (town), and with John’s great driving directions, I got lost. I was able to see the whole town, though. I saw quite a few people heading to the local nightlife establishments! While lost, I drove by the cultural arts center and decided to have a look. I was definitely a minority! I learned a few things about the (name) Pueblo that I did not know. They are one of the most traditional of the Tewa speaking pueblos despite contact with outside cultures for must of its history. Tewa (also known as Tano) is one of three Kiowa-Tanoan languages spoken by the Pueblo people of (state). Though these languages are closely related, speakers of one cannot fully understand speakers of another (similar to German and English speakers). There are about 4000 speakers of the three languages in the American Southwest today. Archaeologists say that the Pueblo existed before 1200 AD.
After leaving the cultural center, I drove to the actual pueblo, and there were many cars there. I did not stop, but kept looking for the house I was supposed to be at. Finally, I found it! (Daughter) & her dad had the DJ stuff set up outside, and were playing some music, but to my surprise nobody was really there. I was sure he had told me that the party was from 8pm to 12am. It was about 8:30 pm. Well, I sat down and enjoyed the music, and the breath taking views of the nearby mesas. I could not see (name) Rock from where we were, but the views were great all the same. Another thing I learned on my jaunt is that (name) Pueblo owns and operates (name) Casino. In a little bit, the girl’s mother came out and told John that they were at the Pueblo eating, and would be showing up soon. I continued enjoying the scenery! Around 9pm John asked again if the party was going to start, and the girl’s mother told him that people would be showing up soon. Then, she told him “you are on Indian time now, it’s different”. I was thinking, “Why pay for a DJ from 8pm if the party isn’t going to start until after 9”? This was one of those cultural barriers that the book had talked about. We sometimes perceive and portray Indian people as slow and/or not smart…probably because of this very thing. We make them “other” and a cultural difference about time becomes a cultural border and makes one culture look upon another with scorn…all because some people live by the clock and some people do not. Our fast-paced rat race is probably just as abhorrent to their culture! My thoughts about paying for the DJ were not even relevant…it was not any of my business! I find the Indian culture so much more peaceful than our own, and now I know why! I would fit in much better among a less time-driven culture!
People started showing up around 9:15, and though I expected that maybe some of the music would be different from other parties I had been to, wrongfully assuming that they would have more of their own cultural music played. The music was much the same. Urban hip-hop had the teen crowd dancing, country and oldies had the grown-ups dancing! The party was pretty fun, though I was definitely an outsider so sat most of the time near the table where my daughter was helping her dad DJ. I observed most of the night; because of course I could not pry my daughter away before almost midnight…she was working! The similarities in the interactions between the people seemed just about the same as at any other party I have been to. The older people wanted their music played and the youngsters wanted theirs played! The adults won out…without very much outcry from the youngsters, so I assume that the music choices of the older people were to their liking also!
One thing I definitely learned is that Pueblo people are as diverse as European cultures. I had previously assumed that they were all similar, but that is a misconception. They have differences like Scottish from Irish from German from Dutch. They also have different dialects of the same or similar languages that make it hard for them to understand each other. Sometimes I think that Europeans can categorize themselves as Dutch, Italian, or Scottish and people understand that though similar these cultures have vast differences. But, in other cultures like American Indian, African, or Latin people do not understand that though sometimes similar, these cultures have fast differences. Peruvian has vast differences from Puerto Rican, West Indian has vast differences from Kenyan, and Navajo has vast differences from Pueblo culture. Chapter Two in Banks says it best “when we essentialize culture, assuming that all persons in a given social category are culturally similar and focusing on the unitary cultures of various Others without reflecting on our own cultures and their diversity, we open a Pandora’s box of opportunity for negative attribution.” This statement is so true. If only we could learn to live amongst each other in peace!

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