This a vivid comparative essay giving an overview of the values and practices regarding gender quality of the Betek of Malaysia and Middle East culture. Both the cultures are quite a contrast. The main emphases would be on the differentiation of the role of a woman in these two cultures. The human civilization comprises of various societies and principles which bring about a cultural difference. These cultural differences are embedded right from the childhood. Its the woman in the house who takes the pain to introduce the social culture and helps the child to adjust with it right from the cradle.

The mothers of the Middle East countries are no different. They too are held liable for proper social education of a child as his or her growth accelerates. The parenting roles are embodied with every stage the child steps. The child starts imbibing obedience and perseverance at an early stage. He or She further learns the Islamic way of life which gets mingled with his further behavior. The mother through her tolerance teaches her child to be patient and consistence towards striving upright teaches the child to strive for progress.

The child is not criticized but encouraged to gain confidence so that heshe never learns to condemn but forge ahead toward the goal set. They are appreciated at every small achievement. The mother understand that the children should be treated equally as adults with similar worth and dignity and she deals with fairness so that her attitude leads to her child  releasing the meaning and importance of justice. The child is sighted with fair examples which ignite hopeful spirits within. Again its the mother who avoids hostility to suppress the aggressiveness in the childs temperament. Along with the civic up-gradation the child starts valuing himself and develops self love. Mothers had always made it evident that they are rightly called Mother of Civilization.

No child acquires culture at infancy they adept the social and cultural ethnicities during a growing up process which gradually enrolls and individual into social life. Eventually, a girl learns how to lead the role of daughter, sister, wife and mother. She also starts knowing her bindings and here starts her personality formation. The personality further teaches her the way to traverse towards her occupational goals.

Similarly, boys starts realizing the different roles he needs to play to dominate his home and be a part of the society. They also realize there physical superiority. But these two genders eventually and gradually learn the difference in society norms set for the two. The Muslim often society often believes in maintaining strictly bound limits for both men and women. Like all other societies in this world the Muslims also believe in providing proper social education right from the home.

As an individual reaches adolescence period by then he had adapted the basic ethics and social responsibilities. The sense of respect for elders, respect for teachers and respect for women by then becomes enrooted within. Now the surrounding creates awareness and imbibes the responsibilities towards a society. Status of man and women in Middle East are said to be equal but lately the contribution of women towards the society are taken for granted.

Both men and women can equally pursuit education and knowledge. Both are equally capable of bearing personal and common responsibilities.

Autonomously, men in the Middle East are often in an advantageous position then that of women, but women are less complaining about their disposition. Men in Middle East are more focused and allowed to thrive towards any goal that they set for themselves, where as women are generally confined within a particular parameter. Every culture has its own set of rules which maintained as traditions.
Batek culture is a commendable example of egalitarianism. The Batek are a tribe of people in Malaysia. They follow egalitarianism in a way that the adults of both the genders decide upon their movements, activities and relationships. No adult holds a commanding authority on the other. Both the genders are independent of any religious, economic or social advantage and bindings.

Batek children have a very different life than that of the Middle East. They grow up watching their parents work hand in hand willingly rather than depending on each other. Thus, the childhood teaches them to be independent in nature. This also reflects in their tradition of separating from their parents at the tender age of ten. The children leave the house of their parents and together with their friends they live in a lean-to on a sharing basis. The children are more nature oriented by birth. They grow up in the lap of nature  from infancy to adolescence, and from adolescence to adulthood.

Batek society comprises of nuclear families making groups to form different camps. The families in the camp often share each others foods, cooked or uncooked. This activity is thus observed by the children and they absorb the value of sharing and caring for each other. This helps the children from being over materialistic. As the parents often be a help to each other while problem arising in hunting or any other family matter, the virtue of helpfulness and the feeling of being cooperative gets imbibed in the children.

Unlike any other culture the Batek culture furnishes the example of gender equality even during child rearing. Other than the mother the father is also know to keep interaction with the child even before birth. He constructs a lean-to out side the camp, especially to house his pregnant wife during delivery. The father shows his affection even by helping the midwives while complicated deliveries.

Hence, the children of the Batek clan are strongly influenced and related to their parent. Both the parents intermittently show their concern by meeting their child in between their work schedules and devote their spare times in pampering them. This affectionate behavior makes the child find their parents as a source of physical contact, comforts and adorably satisfying attention. Here, its the father who takes the maximum initiative to spend the spare time with the children effectively by exploring the skills inherent in the child. He is available at every need the child seeks, be it bathing or feeding concoction. The children are often allowed to be with their father while shaping weapons for hunting, cleaning, butchering meat or even while socializing. This activity helps the child observe the required way of socializing, committing and meeting social responsibilities. He also acquires the knowledge of skilled labor.

The whole family sleeps together which helps in maintaining a special bonding among the members. The parents rush to aid the child at every beck and call. The children are also given space to come out with their own capabilities and they are given required attention to make them self reliant in their attitude.
Both the parents jointly take the responsibilities to mould the behavioral attitude of the children by citing proper examples and they also meet their duties in correcting the child at every wrong step he takes. No punitive actions are taken on any kind of misconduct on the part of the child. Like the children of all other cultures, the Batek children are naughty and mischievous but they are non-aggressive in nature. The parents teach the children to be obedient towards the religious prohibitions and they are made to understand the graveness by relating natural mishaps that might occur on ignoring the rituals. The Batek had fostered a concrete aversion towards violence rather they positively attribute the emergence of their egalitarianism and peaceful life style.

As the Batek father and mother are found to have equal footing in relation to the children, the gender equality id deep rooted permanently in the mind of the offspring. The father often plays the role of secondary care givers at the mothers absence. The children of the age group between 5 and 9 are often found mixing with the mixed sex group along with the older children. The older children often beyond their realization start acting as child cares of the younger playmates. This concoction groups continue to persist until the younger one grow self reliant. This play group engages in activities, such as imitating monkeys and gets involved in few of economic skills like blow pipe hunting, digging tubers collecting rattan, and fishing activities. Here, the father often interferes and trained the child with proper skill.

Our cultural society including the Middle East profoundly find mother responsible for child care right from nurturing, caring, feeding and guiding through adolescence till the child reaches adulthood. But, Batek culture exempts from this practice and both parents takes equal opportunity to raise a child and mould his future, willingly cooperating with each other.

Batek society sights a humble example showing that along with women, men can be equally nurturing, emotional, affectionate and caring and have the capability to influence his childs growth pattern and behavioral manners and inspire him to be progress minded.

Both the parent shape the childs cultural development and keep keen eye on every detail regarding their child and works as a support system providing proper impetus to help the child to make his own dignified identity. Batek system, unlike Middle East lime lights the phenomenon empowering t e division of labor in Parenting.

Batek children are afforded ample time to wander about playfully and explore. Until late teens, they are free to loiter around without serious job. They move around in mix sex groups. Boys are free to play at almost any time of the day, right from dawn to dusk. But the girls are expected to play in spare times of their babysitting jobs and few other errands, though the jobs they do are not out of compulsion but by will. This playful gesture evidently lead them to adulthood as they start observing keenly and soon become well equipped to start hunting and gathering activities. The parents are sure and satisfied as their children pursuit the perfect path of cultural education and work culture.

The children, from their adults inherit the spirit of egalitarianism and highly valued personal autonomy which they playfully incorporate and activate in their life. This venture continues throughout future. They, through imitation learn the adulthood gestures and activities like the transferring, hut building, tool making, cooking, nursing, caring for infants, precaution against diseases or illness, gossiping, discussing, political argumentation, dancing and celebrating festivals.

Children take interest in learning new things. They acquire the skill of food gathering and hunting by often accompanying their adults in the forest paths during hunting trips. Middle East children acquire education and skills only from home or educational institutions. They rarely enjoy such ample freedom to play and enjoy nature. Batek system relies on nature education whereas Middle East education and learning is more theoretical and book oriented. But, in both the cultures, children grow up with the society orientation of moral and spiritual knowledge.

As Batek children reach adulthood, their observation throughout adolescence instills in them the fact that neither of the sex holds authority or value over the other. Either genders respect each others discreet in their own way.

Both men and women enjoy economic independence. There is no issue of dominance over each other. There sustains self autonomy. Whereas, Muslim Middle East culture surfaces a male dominating society and violence often prevails at a great deal. Women there are still not much economically independent. Middle East culture takes proper care of the children till adulthood and children are under parental surveillance. They are educated by Islamic doctrines and bookish knowledge.

Batek- The ethnic minority reside in the lowland tropical forests of Malaysia. They make way through forests for carving pathways and logging purposes, this extensive cutout roads account to land exploitation. Excessive hunting and deforestation has somehow effected the physical environment. Both men and women contribute to the food and maintenance purpose and all the families share it irrespective of the obtaining source. All these activities are carried out peacefully without any trace of major aversion or disagreement. They manage to do a mix of economic activities without neglecting their approach towards leading life maintaining their core values.

The major economic contribution of the Middle East is that, focus had been on gender and economic development on womens part, as women are readily and actively participating as economic agents in labor market. Today, apart from marked success of men, women are flourished as producers, entrepreneurs and direct portfolio investors. Economic development in Middle East is also due to the boon of hike in oil prices and as a matter of fact, this has enhanced annual employment remarkably. The Middle East has seen jobs being created, women being educated impressively, and profoundly rising female employment. This has paved new avenues of development through economic diversification. This would add to the desire of well being of the society.

Unlike Middle East, Batek comprises of hunting and gathering as the major economical activity. But their main source of income is through commercial food product extraction of rattan and aromatic woods. Men are often associated with some day laboring and quick yielding vegetation. They avert monotony in work.
Men and women employ equal contribution and cooperation in every work field.

Batek culture has few key values which give them a distinct individuality. Leadership, though not a popular practice, is accepted only under personally willing consent of all members. Sharing is a very appreciable value they constitute. They maintain nuclear household and likes to declare themselves as self reliant. Being nurtured in the lap of nature, they are well knowledgeable about their surroundings. They readily accept and implement the guiding tips of the seniors and take willing initiative to maintain their religious and traditional norms and beliefs. The main values are educated and made aware of, right from the childhood by the parents. Batek people are peace loving creatures and believe in live and let live concept.

The majority of Middle East is Muslims. They maintain proper etiquettes at every phase of life. They seek for advice from their elders. They highly maintain their individual and family privacy. They are conservative in nature. Unlike Betak, the Middle East people live jointly with close relatives. Life long loyalty is expected in exchange of family support and protection. They maintain strong family ties and regular contacts. They respect women. They vow to usher ample love to their spouse and husbands are highly protective and possessive. They also practice polygamy. They care for the aged and nobody is ever left alone. They believe in maintaining harmony.

Batek culture is indigenously nature oriented leading to a nomadic life. They are traditional, self- employed, highly active, self-reliant and self-satisfied kind of people. They strongly maintain egalitarianism and respect each others views and value even if the contribution made by any individual is meager in amount. The adults as well as children lead an independent life and each individual is considered equally significant.

The Middle East culture is unique in its own dealings. Their childhood and adolescence are under strict parental surveillance. As they grow up to be adults, they take up the responsibility to provide immense emotional and economical support and protection to the family. Male enjoy the dominating role whereas women are expected to maintain balance in the household and bring up children. Females also are given respect and security. Of late woman are also encouraged to flash their inborn skills in the economic and managerial fields.

Ethically and ethnically the two cultures might differ from each other but the purpose of living remains same---peace and harmony.


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