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Tenets of Reciprocity

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Introduction

A study of the people of Canar in Ecuador was undertaken by Judy Blankenship. She documented her experience in her book: Canar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador.

Discussion

The people of Canar, have always believed in the spirit of co-operation. They observe the principle of giving something in appreciation. The people of Canar have participated in communal activities such as plantings and harvests. They observe religion and tradition. This is manifested in religious processions, healing ceremonies and traditional weddings. The people support one another in times of need, such as in when a family is grief stricken, or when there is a home birth and native midwives are needed. This spirit of co-operation helps create unity bonds within community members. Because the Canar people are friendly to each other, they are easy to interact with. This kind of friendliness is extended to visitors and travelers. They are treated with respect. They may appear as outsiders at first but they are soon accepted in the community. When they settle for a while, they become good neighbors.  Sometimes, they are asked to be godfathers and godmothers to local children (Blankenship, 2005, p. 23).

The essence of community is in many ways connected to the tenets of reciprocity. The need to belong to the community makes individuals come together and carry on a tradition of co-operation and service. In observing the tradition, people have a feeling of common destiny. This goes a long way creating the idea of a community as opposed to a collection of individuals.

Conclusion

Various activities have brought the people of Canar together. The people have participated in religious and traditional ceremonies and take initiatives to assist one another if they are in a situation where one needs help. The bonds of reciprocity serve to create a cohesive community where collective and individual responsibility are encouraged.

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