In New Guineas Gebusi tribe the concept of kogwayay is a complex idea of the groups beliefs as a culture. A combination of three different sounds, each with their own meaning there is kog, which means togetherness, friendship, and similarity, wa, which means to talk, and yay which is to cheer, yell, joke, and cry out (18). Each part of the word represents, for the Gebusi, their cultural ideas of community (kog), communication (wa), and spiritual celebration (yay). Taken separately or together, these things are what the Gebusi see as being best about their culture. Kogwayay is present in all parts of the village life, from their daily meetings with neighbors and the talks in the longhouse, and in the way the Gebusi relate to the world. Even the women, who are excluded from a lot of the more important aspects of the society, take pride in their tribes culture and how its acted out by the men of the tribe.
While the Gebusi idea of kogwayay is more specific in how it breaks down the different part of their society, its very similar to more generalized ideas of Western culture. Our views of culture include ideas on community and communication, just like the Gebusi. Here we break the larger population into smaller communities, hoping for the same cooperative spirit of the Gebusi. We have a tendency to celebrate our similarities with national holidays like the 4th of July and our differences with group-specific holidays like Black History month. Language too plays a big part at how we look at culture, since the way we communicate with each other and understand each other is important in holding together the community. In this way, kogwayay and culture are very similar. However, Western culture includes such a variety of people that we tend to break down communities and cultures to better make sense of them and ourselves. The Gebusi, since they only number in the hundreds, have an everyday awareness and relationship with kogwayay and each other. There is no other culture within the kogwayay its a way of life, whereas Western culture tends to be more of a way of making sense of life.


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