Don’t turn your back to enemies-Indian in Venezuela

How come they turn his back when they talk?

During my trip to Venezuela to see “Angel Falls” I met some indigenous people so called Pemón. By talking to them, given that they seemed to be shy at first and then got used to talking, I found them similar to Japanese. Actually, it turned that they are descendants of Asian Ancestors.

As I talked to more Pemón, however, I found out that they are not being shy but it has to do with an interesting background.
According to them, Pemón have many myths and traditions For example, male friends don’t tend to talk face to face but turn one’s back. This is not because they are shy but because of their concept of enemy; they think that when two guys face each other, it is a sign of enemy.

On the other hand, for Pemóns, strangers have too hot souls which do not get along with their souls so that they hide their kids or elders until their souls cool out.


(A family work together to wash clothes in the river)

(A Pemón. He can be a descendiente of Asian)

In regard to education, they have compulsory education where they teach Spanish in Pemón, which is considered to be the best way in bilingual education.  Many projects have imposed the main languages (English, Spanish, etc.) which did not take into account the cultural context of learners.

Also, given that 90% of labor consists of tourism, there exists the need of understanding English, the third language they would learn. That is, ideally they would become trilingual through educational system.

However, there are many kids who think that education is a waste of time so that they drop out, the common problem in developing countries.

Although indigenous histories and cultures tend to be hidden, there are many interesting things in them. I think learning other culture means knowing and admitting the difference.
The next topic is about myths of Chiloé, a small island of Chile.


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