People of Egyptian and Filipino Heritage

People of Egyptian and Filipino Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A1) Ancient  Egyptian culture  flourished between c. 5500 BCE with the rise of technology (as evidenced in the glass-work of  faience ) and 30 BCE with the death of  Cleopatra VII , the last Ptolemaic ruler of  Egypt . It is famous today for the great monuments which celebrated the triumphs of the rulers and honored the gods of the land.

 Cultural Advances and Daily Lifestyle.

Papyrus (from which comes the English word `paper’) was only one of the technological advances of the ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were also responsible for developing the ramp and lever and geometry for purposes of construction, advances in mathematics and astronomy (also used in construction as exemplified in the positions and locations of the  pyramids  and certain temples, such as  Abu Simbel ), improvements in irrigation and agriculture (perhaps learned from the Mesopotamians), ship building and aerodynamics (possibly introduced by the  Phoenicians ) the wheel (brought to Egypt by the  Hyksos ) and medicine.

 

—Philippine society is a unique blend of  diversity  and  homogeneity . Although geographically part of  Southeast Asia , the country is culturally strongly Euro-American. Forces of assimilation have constantly worked to overcome cultural differences between the various ethnic groups that are scattered sometimes in relative isolation throughout the archipelago. Nearly four centuries of Western rule, however, have left an indelible imprint on the Philippines, serving as a  conduit  for the introduction of Western  culture  and as the  catalyst  for the emergence of a sense of Philippine political and cultural unity. While the Christian churches built by the Spanish and the mosques built by the Muslims provided a spiritual anchor, the educational system established by the  United States  and expanded by the Filipinos has become emblematic of cultural unity and socioeconomic progress. Nonetheless, through the persistence of strong family ties, the revival of the barangay as the smallest unit of government, increased attention to Asian history and literature, and subsequent revival of dormant traditions, the Philippines has strengthened its Asian heritage without abandoning its Western cultural acquisitions.

 Daily life and social customs.

Life in the Philippines generally revolves around the  extended family , including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (up to several times removed), and other relatives. For Catholic families, godparents—those to whom care of children is entrusted should the parents die or otherwise be incapacitated—also figure prominently in the kinship network. Members of extended families typically gather for major life events such as baptisms and confirmations (for Catholic Filipinos), circumcisions (for Muslim Filipinos), and marriages, as well as for major religious and other national holidays. Among the religious holidays officially observed in the Philippines are Christmas and Easter, as well as  Eid al-Fitr, which mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of  Ramadan . Other major holidays include New Year’s Day,  Labor Day  (May 1), and  Independence Day  (June 12).

 

A2) –Filipino older adults tend to cope with illness with the help of family and friends, and by faith in God. Complete cure or even the slightest improvement in a malady or illness is viewed as a miracle. Filipino families greatly influence patients’ decisions about health care. Patients subjugate personal needs and tend to go along with the demands of a more authoritative family figure in order to maintain group harmony. Before seeking professional help, Filipino older adults tend to manage their illnesses by self-monitoring of symptoms, ascertaining possible causes, determining the severity and threat to functional capacity, and considering the financial and emotional burden to the family.

—Health care in Egypt occupies a central place both in people’s concerns and in state priorities. There is an extensive network of public hospitals in major towns and cities all over the country. There is a health unit offering basic medical services in practically every village. The standard of the medical service is variable, however, and people often find they have to obtain treatment in private hospitals and clinics. Among more affluent sectors of urban Egypt, people seek out alternative treatments such as homeopathy.

Egyptians tend to combine the modern health system with traditional practices. In villages, the midwife, for example, plays a key role not just during childbirth and the related ceremonial activities, but also in providing general medical advice to women. There are other traditional health practitioners, such as seers and spirit healers. Thezar ceremony marks a form of spirit possession cult that establishes a relationship between an afflicted person and the spirits afflicting him or her. This

 

 

 

 

A3) Religious Beliefs.

Egypt is a country of “everyday piety.” The central belief in Islam is in the oneness of God, whose truths were revealed through the prophet Muhammad. The statement of this basic profession of faith is one of the five pillars of the religion. The other four are the Ramadan fast, the pilgrimage to Mecca, the five daily prayers, and the giving of alms. For many Muslims these five pillars sum up the belief system and indicate the practices. Egyptians frequently invoke the notion of God and his power. Any statement about the future, for instance, is likely to contain the injunction, “God willing,” showing that the ultimate determination of the intention is up to God.

In Egypt, there are other possible elaborations. For some, who focus on God as all-powerful, religious practice involves seeking God’s help in over-coming problems and seeking favorable outcomes, for instance, with regard to recovery from disease or misfortune. Around this notion has grown up a series of practices involving visits to shrines, often where individuals believed to be beloved of God are buried, to seek their intercession with God. Foremost among these shrines are those in Cairo associated with the family of the prophet Muhammad. But every village and town has such shrines, whose importance varies. This form of religion is often attacked by religious purists who argue that to give such importance to these “saints” undercuts the oneness of God.

 

 

 

References

Berger, Morroe.Islam in Egypt Today: Social and Political Aspects of Popular Religion, 1970.

Biegman, Nicolaas H.Egypt: Moulids, Saints, Sufis, 1990.

Blackman, Winifred S.The Fellahin of Upper Egypt: Their Religious, Social, and Industrial Life To-day with Special Reference to Survivals from Ancient Times, 1927 (repr. 1999).

Agoncillo, T., & Guerrero, M. (1987). History of the Filipino people. Quezon City, Philippines: Garcia Publishing Company.

Anderson, J. (1983). Health and illness in Pilipino immigrants. In Cross-Cultural Medicine [Special issue]. Western Journal of Medicine, 139(6), 811-819.

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