Tenets of Reciprocity in Canar
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Judy Blankenship, the author of ‘Canar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador,’ undertook a one year study of the people of Canar, Ecuador, in which she found so much to write about her experience.
The bonds that have brought together the people of Canar have been continuously strengthened by their observance of tradition and religion. Together, these people have helped one another at socio-economic levels. They not only have hospitality, but they are peaceful. They believe more in the principle of giving than in the principle of give and take. This is also manifested in the way they participate in social and economic activities such as harvesting and planting. Further, adherence to traditional customs has made these people have a sense of shared destiny. As such, they hold traditional weddings and religious processions. Women assist one another in times of need such as during plantings or during urgent cases such as child delivery at home. People also come together in times of celebration such as during traditional dances (Blankenship, 2005, p. 23).
The bonds that hold any community struggling to balance between tradition and modernity have been tested in the people of Canar. It is perhaps because of their reciprocity that the community is held together. The reciprocity is extended to outsiders and as a result, the Canar people are easy to get along with. (Blankenship, 2005, p.22).
Together, these people of Canar have helped one another at all socio-economic levels. They are generous and generally principled. They believe in the principle of giving rather than the principle of give and take. This is also manifested in the way they participate in social and economic activities such as harvesting. They tend to work for the larger social cohesiveness rather than individual interests. The tenets of reciprocity unite a people that is trying to balance between both tradition and modernity.
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