consider the advice of the California Endowment (2003) as we immerse ourselves in the study of culture.

“Self-awareness and self-knowledge are the first types of knowledge cross-cultural training would seek to establish. This involves bringing to the learner’s awareness internalized beliefs, values, norms, stereotypes and biases. They should be made aware of how ethnocentrism, that is, the belief that one’s own culture is superior to others, operates in all cultures and encouraged to be attentive to the possibility of ethnocentrism in their own thinking. They should be made aware of how ethnocentrism may influence their own interaction with patients” (p. 4).

Having considered this, let’s begin module 1 by considering how we “react” to a description of actions taking place in another culture. In August of 2006, Jane Perlez reported in the New York Times about changes that have taken place in Indonesia since the tsunami. These changes include the embracing of Islamic law AND the practice of caning. Please read the article entitled  Indonesian Province Embraces Islamic Law, and Canings and in a two to three page paper, address  the following questions:

1.    What were your initial feelings (not thoughts) about the article?

2.  Discuss the external forces that impact the evolution of this culture. As you discuss these factors you are to go beyond the information presented in the article, researching the culture and the external forces driving it.

3.    How does ethnocentricity impact the way in which you reacted to this article?

4.  Thinking about your responses to the above, how does this information assist you as a health practitioner?


Leave a Reply