Prakash Reddy Travelled To Denmark…

Throughout history, it has mostly been Western anthropologists who travelled to India to study daily life in all its aspects. In 1989, however, the Indian anthropologist, Prakash Reddy, turned the tables on this Eurocentric trend and travelled to Denmark. Here he did fieldwork in the small village of Hvilsager and set out to study the daily life of its inhabitants. The result was the book 'Danes are like that! Perspectives of an Indian anthropologist on the Danish society'. Reddy highlights the many differences between Danish and Indian culture. [A Culture Shock] A major difference, and a culture shock for Reddy, was the Danish understanding and ways of engaging with hospitality, community and socialising. One of the first things Reddy noticed when he arrived in the village was that hardly anyone came to welcome him. Rather, they watched him from behind their curtains and did not greet him or welcome him at all. In contrast, according to Reddy, if a Danish anthropologist had arrived in an Indian village the entire population would have come to say hello and expressed their curiosity. Reddy felt rather alone, and critiqued the way in which individuals in Danish society are often isolated to the extent, he argued, that the village entirely lacked a sense of community.

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