Funny in Farsi Essay

769 WordsFeb 19, 20124 Pages
In the book Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, there are five concepts from our textbook, Lives Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Human Development by Harry W. Gardiner and Corrine Kosmitzki. Three of the concepts are components of Firoozeh Dumas’ developmental niche such as the psychology of her caretakers, the customs of her child care, and the social settings of her daily life growing up. The other two concepts are individualism and ethnocentrism. Dumas’ developmental niche is apparent throughout her memoir. The psychology of her caretakers, her parents, is shown in one light when Dumas tells about her summer camp experience. Her father was cheap yet generous at the same time. He came from a hard childhood, having his parents pass away…show more content…
Another significant concept shown in the book was Dumas’s social component of her developmental niche. She illustrated the importance of not only her immediate family but her extended family as well. In the chapter, “It’s All Relative”, she points out that her native Persian language has many precise words for relatives. There is not just one word for cousin, but eight words. The names for aunt depend on if it is her father’s sister or her mother’s. This is an example of how her Iranian culture values family. An example of how her family values each other is her description of the conventions and norms of her family. They are thoroughly supportive of one another, attending every graduation, baby shower, birthday, and house warming party. Her father and siblings have burial plots together so that they are never separated. Life is lived with everyone being connected and concerned for not only each person’s well-being, but happiness as well. She says her “relatives form an alliance that represents a genuine and enduring love of family…” Individualism is shown in the story of Dumas’s father trying to forcefully and exasperatingly teach her how to swim. His method of teaching was not matched for Dumas’ way of learning. Lesson after lesson and she could not swim, she merely sank. On her own and in her own time, she decided to swim. She went against her father’s collectivist approach to learning a skill with the rest of her family; she was determined to do it by
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