Lesson 6: Culture and Harmful Traditional Practices
- Students know the definition of culture and understand its importance
- Students see culture as a dynamic concept, differing all over the world and adapt to new developments over time
- Students understand how culture and HTP influence young people lives
- Students think about how they can be introduced to the importance of culture in their lives & community Students know the definition of HTP and its effects
- Students know the similarities and difference between cultures and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs)
- Explain what culture is and can argue its importance Give examples of how cultures differ and how they change over time List at least four aspects of culture in Ethiopia
- List at least three Harmful Traditional Practices in Ethiopia
- Explain why early marriage, female genital mutilation, abduction, wife beating, polygamy are a Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs) and in conflict with human rights
- Give four reasons why early marriage, female genital mutilation, abduction, wife beating and polygamy has a negative impact on girls.
- Value and respect heterogeneity/diversity of culture. Appreciate the importance of culture in Ethiopian society, Are willing to conform to and spread positive aspects of culture, Are aware of Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), particularly early marriage, and are willing to fight those.
- create a scenario for how culture can be used for harmonious life and development, demonstrate how to advocate in fighting Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs)
The issue on gender and relations in the previous lessons and rights in the upcoming one all relate to culture. All the three concepts, relations, gender and rights influence our lifestyle and decision-making. Culture is a common set of attitudes, values, views and behavior in a community. Culture gives us a sense of identity and belongingness.
This lesson starts with a presentation on what culture exactly means and explains the importance of the identity, unity and solidarity created by culture. Some unique examples of cultural practices are introduced to the students as well. In addition to reading and discussing the presentation, by poster making and playing a trial in the court, students will get a clear understanding of the fact that some cultural practices (like ‘early marriage of girls, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Abduction and Rape’), emerged in other times under other circumstances, are not any more valuable and even in conflict with human rights. These cultural practices have negative consequences for many Ethiopian people, especially girls and women and pressure families. Students are also encouraged to advocate for different aspects of culture and to fight Harmful Traditional Practices (HTP).
In this lesson teachers and learners can use different teaching methodologies like
Delivery of this lesson will be done with minimum requirement that discussed in the following steps.Delivery Method
- Ask a few students to tell something about their reflection activities form the previous lesson and connect the issue of this lesson with the previous lessons on Gender and Rights.
African Greeting (10 mins)
- Teachers and students practice how young people show their respect to their elders in their communities
Students pick partners with whom to play the respect showing game, One partner acts the role of a youth and the other plays the role of an elder, The youth show respect in the cultural greeting where they bend and present their heads for the elders to lay their hands on, The partners change roles and play the respect greeting game of the greeting by bending low and supporting the right hand with the left hand to demonstrate respect
Tip: The boys should be encouraged to pick girls as partners and mumble greeting words as they greet each other using appropriate and culturally acceptable tones Students may discuss for a short period instances and ways in which old people can show respect to young people in Ethiopia. If some students are shy, summarize the exercise by having a demonstration from the best two students
2. Presentation – Culture and our Lives (40 mins)
- Students find out more about culture and its importance and appreciate the cultural values and practices of their communities in Ethiopia
- Students are aware that cultures differ all over the world and changes over time
- Students are encouraged to advocate positive and fight negative cultural practices
The students read and discuss in pairs the presentation. Students should address questions and discussion points in the presentation together, before they continue with the presentation. The presentation covers the following topics: What is culture and why is culture so important? Diversity of cultures, the concept of subcultures and the fact that cultures differ all over the world How culture influences our lifestyles, Cultures are dynamic and change over time, Aspects of culture & HTPs, Examples of both culture & HTPs Early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Abduction etc… in different cultures and why girls marry early, mutilated, abducted etc…, Effects of early marriage, mutilation, abduction etc… on girls, Rights to free and full consent to a marriage, What can be done. The presentation should be concluded with a group discussion in plenary, in which questions are raised, discussed and answered. Discuss the last questions about how to advocate for delaying the age of marriage in the first part ‘Talk’ of the next exercises on poster making and the debate ”In the court’. Plan 30 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for the group discussion on issues (except on the last questions about advocating the delay of the age of marriage!).
3. Advocating for Culture and HTP (30 minutes)
- Students discuss the need to advocate positive cultural practices and to fight negative cultural practices
- Students make a poster on a selected cultural practices,
- Students play a lawsuit on early marriage
- Discuss with the students the most positive and most negative cultural practices in the presentation and the way they like to advocate for particularly fighting the delay of the age of marriage.
- Use as well the information of lesson 5 on Gender and 6 on Rights in the discussion.
- Let students choose in groups of 4 a positive and a negative cultural practice, for which the group likes to advocate to spread it further, respectively to fight it.
- It is important that boys are involved as well in this discussion.
- Encourage them to give their input and ask them what they should do in the case they were a young girl who was forced to engage in female genital cutting (FGC, marry, wife beating, polygamy, ..).
Step 1. Show students information on how to prepare a poster.
Step 2. Students work in groups of four. Each pair of students chooses a cultural practice; one pair a positive and the other pair a Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs). Pairs then will make a poster on either a positive or a Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs). The first thing should be to choose the target group for their poster and then develop the message. This message should be attractive, comprehensive, unambiguous, convincing and trustworthy and should have the possibility for the target group to identify themselves with.
Step 3. Students design the best layout for their poster, to be used in promoting or discouraging certain cultural practices. The poster should fit on an A4 page. The students make their posters on paper depending on their local circumstances. Students working on computers may print out their posters Step 4 Students identify the best places in their community to hang the posters. In the meantime, collect the posters and let them be fixed to the wall.
4. Playing a lawsuit in the court (30 Minutes)
- Students get arguments to fight early marriage as a Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs)
Step 1. Divide students in groups of 5:
Group 1: father
Group 2: girl
Group 3: lawyer
Group 4: public prosecutor
Group 5: judge
Step 2. Let each group read their own role. Each group chooses someone who will play the role they will prepare, in the law suit, to be played in the class room. Each group prepares their role together, while supporting the player with arguments and anticipating on arguments of the other players. Tip Let the groups read again the presentation Culture and Our Lives if they need arguments.
Step 3. Make an appropriate setting for the law suit and invite players to take their place. Let the players play their role and try to get a clear case, to be judged by the judge. Each group can ask for a time out to help the own player with better arguments. If the case is clear, let the group of the judge support the judge in making his final decision.
Step 4. End the play, dismiss each player of his/her role and have a group discussion to discuss the strength of the arguments used and the lessons learned. Encourage students to spread Lessons Learned in their communities.
5. Discussion, conclusion, and homework (10 mins)
- Students summarize the key messages learnt in this lesson
Students move around the class and look and make comments on all the posters developed on culture.
Students point out and discuss the poster considering the most effective in promoting positive cultural practices.
Students suggest places where their posters can be displayed for the target groups they have selected to expose them to the messages on culture.
Homework Encourage students to discuss and promote some positive and Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs) in their communities.
Each student should note in his/her book 2 positive cultural practices noted in society and propose ways of promoting them and 2 Harmful Traditional Practices(HTPs) and propose ways of fighting them.
Roles for law suit
1. Father: Mr. Dadhi
You are a father of 40 years old and head of a big family. Together with your wife you have two boys, aged 5 and 7, and six girls, ranging in age from 3 up to 15. Because of the dryness of last summer, your farm is doing not so well and your income is just enough to survive.
You would be happy if your oldest daughter, Gelane, aged 15, should marries. All girls in the community marry at such an age; it is the culture to do so. Gelane just finished primary school and she is in your view ready to marry. You know the oldest son of the family close to yours, Fasil, is interested in Gelane. Fasil is now 25 years old and he is looking for a wife. His family is richer than yours and Gelane will have a good life there. Fasil loves to marry Gelane, but Gelane doesn’t want to marry Fasil.
2. Girl: Gelane
You are the daughter of a father of 40 years old. Together with your Mum and Dad, you live with two brothers, aged 5 and 7, and five sisters, ranging in age from 3 up to 13 at the farm. Because of the dryness of last season, your family has not so much income, just enough to survive. Your father proposed you to Fasil. Now you have finished primary school, your father thinks it is time to marry. Fasil of the farm close to yours, has already made a proposal, but you are not yet ready to marry. You also think Fasil is too old for you. You love to go to secondary school and your aunt may help you with that.
3. Public prosecutor
You are confronted with a father of 40 years old and head of a big family. Together with his wife he has two boys, aged 5 and 7, and six girls, ranging in age from 3 up to 15. Because of the dryness of last summer, his farm is doing not so well and his income is just enough to survive.
He wants his oldest daughter Gelane aged 15, as is common in the local culture for girls to marry to a young man of a neighbouring farm, Fasil, 25 years old. Fasil is very interested in Gelane and even proposed to her. Fasil’s family is rich and Gelane will have a good life there, but Gelane doesn’t want to marry Fasil. She thinks she is not yet ready to marry. She also thinks Fasil is too old for her. Gelane loves to go to the secondary school and her aunt may help her with that.
You agree with Gelane. Gelane is not old enough to make such a decision yet. She should continue her school and get a future for herself and the family.
Lawyer of the father
You as a lawyer have to defend Mr. Dadhi, father of 40 years old and head of a big family. Together with his wife he has two boys, aged 5 and 7, and six girls, ranging in age from 3 up to 15. Because of the dryness of last summer, his farm is doing not so well and his income is just enough to survive.
He wants his oldest daughter, Gelane, aged 15, to marry to a young man of a neighboring farm, Fasil, 25 years old. Fasil is very interested in Gelane and even proposed to her. Fasil’s family is rich and Gelane will have a good life there, but Gelane doesn’t want to marry Fasil. She thinks she is not yet ready to marry. She also thinks Fasil is too old for her. Gelane loves to go to the secondary school and her aunt may help her with that.
You as a judge has to decide who is right.
Mr. Dadhi, father of 40 years old and head of a big family, lives with his wife, two sons, aged 5 and 7, and six daughters, ranging in age from 3 up to 15, at a farm. Because of the dryness of last summer, his farm is doing not so well and his income is just enough to survive. He wants his oldest daughter, Gelane, aged 15, – as is common in the local culture for girls, aged 15 – to marry to a young men of a neighboring farm, Fasil, aged 25 years old. Fasil is very interested in Gelane and even proposed to her.
Fasil’s family is rich and Gelane will have a good life there, but Gelane doesn’t want to marry Fasil. She thinks she is not yet ready to marry. She also thinks Fasil is too old for her. Gelane loves to go to the secondary school and her aunt may help her with that