I realize that I have been covering a lot of really heavy topics lately so I would like to focus on something a little lighter. I thought I would introduce you to a culture known as the Snacirema.
This group of people live in large communities, but only socialize within a close circle.
They tend to be very ethno-centric (they believe that their culture is the best in the world.)
Most exchanges for goods are marked by the ritual passing of a small token back and forth. The original owner of the token takes it, and all goods exchanged.
Parents spend very little time with their children. Most are sent away during the day, while the parents take care of their responsibilities.
Curiously, people are kept deliberately unhappy with themselves and on a constant quest for improvement.
People in this culture spend a lot of energy learning about and following the lives of people that they do not know and will never meet. A great deal of energy is put into following people and events that do not have impact on them or the world.
It would be highly interesting to me to find out what readers think of this culture and the people in it.
And then…read the name backwards.
I do not take credit for this clever idea. My teacher Joaquin Martinez did this activity with the class when I was in 7th grade, and I thought it was pretty clever. Thank you Mr. Martinez!
If anyone has any advice on how this surprise can work better, please let me know in the comments. It is very hard to predict people’s thought patterns.