Our expert says:
I know, but one of our growing problems in South Africa, is a need to recognize, in all cultures, that customs and expected behaviours that were sensible and functional in years gone by, in VERY different circumstances, are no longer functional in modern times and situations. What may be interesting is to look at how old cultures handled such situations.
For instance, yes, there was in many cultures a strong tradition of hospitality towards visitors - and generally there was also a very strong tradition of not abusing that custom of hospitality - and today we see people treating culture like a pick-and-mix sweet counter - picking out those bits, often taken out of context, that meet their selfish needs, and ignoring other linked aspects of the same customs and cultures, which would bring them into balance.
In days long gone by, of course a family or even a village would expect itself to show open hospitality to a visitor, even a stranger. But if someone NOT related and merely a school-friend, turned up and just moved in - and lay around all day eating and drinking, and expecting entertainment - and did absolutely no work towards the maintenance of the family or the village, but just sat around indefinitely expecting to be cared for, though they were entirely able to care for themselves - are you saying that the culture would accept that hapilly, and allow the person to stay for as many years as they wished, and have everyone else work extra hard to provide for them ? Somehow that sounds unlikely. If the hospitality was not intended to be endless and non-reciprocal - in what ways did the culture limit free-loaders who took advantage of it selfishly ?
If anyone knows about this, please post it as a separate message, as I don't see responses added to a thread after I have responded.
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