The Gods Must Be Crazy

“The Gods Must Be Crazy” This film tries to send a message on how globalization can negatively affect a culture such as the Sho tribe of the Kalahari Desert. The people of a technologically advanced and “civilized” culture decide to casually discard an empty “Coca Cola” bottle from the window of an airplane. A member of the “primitive” Sho tribe witnesses this object falling from the skies and considers it a “gift from the gods”. In his mind this is an object to be worshiped and must have been sent by the Gods to benefit his tribe, therefore he gave it to his people.
Prior to the introduction of the “Coca Cola” bottle the people of the tribe were peaceful, satisfied, and shared with each other. There was no sense of possession or greed, no jealousy, nor did they physically harm one another physically or purposefully. The tribe found many beneficial uses for this “gift”, such as making music, pounding on the dough, and grinding flour. All of these things were accomplished before the appearance of the bottle, however, now the task seemed to have been made easier.
Since all of the members of the tribe had different uses and needs for the bottle, it became a commodity, a desired possession of value; it was no longer a worshipped object. This created discourse among the people and led to the physical injury of a child, due to a malicious act that resulted in hitting the child with the bottle. The tribe now felt shame at their behavior and questioned the “Gods” for sending them this “evil thing”, which the tribe removed from their presence and returned to their peaceful cultural ways.

A current example of the above situation would be the introduction of cell phones and laptops to a culture based on home phones and office computers. One would consider the technological advances of cell phones and laptops as a gift, that will simplify their life, free up more personal time and save them money. Instead what has occurred is that you spend more time on learning how to use these items, you are now more easily available and thus more occupied, and you spend more money on the attachments and upgrades needed to keep these items current and functional.
Now your life is more complicated and busier than ever, however, unlike the Sho tribe most people in our culture cannot or more importantly will not go to the end of the earth (or their trash can) and toss them away. Another important point that these films illustrates is the differences in communications and personal views in different cultures. Such as how in most civilized cultures shaking your head from side to side indicates “No” or negative, however to the Sho tribe this gesture means “Yes” or positive.
This causes a lot of confusion when communicating between the two cultures. There is a scene in the movie when the man from the Sho tribe sees a white woman for the first time, which accurately portrays the cultural differences in personal views and taste. He contemplates her appearance, her actions and physical build. Though the woman in her own culture would be considered quite pretty, normal and physically fit, to this man of the Sho tribe she was ugly, crazy and too fat.
In his view the woman’s skin is too white, it was a very hot day yet she is fully covered in clothing, she has a large body shape and must require too much food to sustain her. This can be seen as a difference in opinion, if it were not for the extremity of the opposite points of view. The two cultures considered the woman in different ways because of what they are accustomed to as well as where and how they were raised. When thinking in terms of Globalization a person generally feels that their culture is the best.
That their culture should be universal and those that follow other cultures are primitive, difficult, and wrong. Consider how some cultures attempt to change others through political, business, and religious means. For example, the United States tries to influence other countries to change to a democratic system of government because it is the “best”, however they do this mostly to promote or facilitate the political agendas of the United States. Coca Cola uses the popularity of its products to influence other countries to buy more by inundating them with advertisements and business opportunities.
As for religion, look at how many cultures within the United States now celebrate Christmas along with or in place of their cultural holidays that occur during the same time period. The movie for the most part points out the differences between a “modern civilized society” and “an old world civilization” and how they view life, religion, and politics in totally different ways. However, there were also some similarities in the cultures which assist in the processes of communication, in business transactions, and political dealings with each other.

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