After six years engaging with anthropology, my way of thinking has significantly changed and is always affected by some basic axioms, tools and questions. I wouldn’t exactly say that I choose to bring them with me.  They come anyway because it’s almost impossible to leave them behind anyway. I know however that I will make good use of them in this special context of the summer school, they will help me use the information that will be given to me to its fullest extent. Having them at my disposal I will be able to absorb this experience with creativity.

Everything is part of a cultural system.

There is nothing purely natural or biological. Even the apparently natural things that we do, have been altered by the cultural concept the have been developed into. Under this assumption, I have let myself free from the tiring searching of what elements are cultural because even if some of them aren’t, there is no concept where we can eliminate every cultural influence and see what’s left.

Everything is part of a cultural system so

everytime we act, along with the apparent thing that we do, at the same time we are acting with multiple ways. Our actions have  different levels of meaning. Even the things that seem dull, shallow and without any special meaning have wider connotations. The simplest everyday tasks are part of a bigger pattern, ritual, conceptual system and under the influence or a wider cultural environment.

Everything is part of a cultural system so

so everything belongs to a certain context in which has to be examined. Taking for granted that nothing can exist isolated, out of context, we can reject any desire to find the truth.  It’s really liberating and at the same time scary to accept that there is no universal truth.

At the same time it has become easier for me to turn down the vain struggle of finding the truth even in a personal level, that is the truth that is supposed to be hidden from someone and you have to discover it somehow.  “What if they don’t say the truth?”, people often say when I argue that anthropology is one of the best tools to understand people. Who says that they even know the truth? I have made peace with the fact that truth is something I will never reach. Just working towards this direction and getting as closer as I can is a fare and fulfilling race.

These are some of my main interests in general. They don’t accompany papers, assignments and anthropological conversations anymore, they have become a permanent filter through which I receive the information around me. Trying to understand why people act the way they do and how they speak about it has become a constant question the past years. It’s sometimes overwhelming but at the same time really interesting and  challenging.

Some years ago I was tensely asking one of my teachers again and again “Ok, but why are we doing anthropology?”. Trying to understand why people act the way they do and how they speak about it. That’s an answer that gets me covered for now.

Gefsi

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