Brendan O'Connell 12/10/08 Anth 110 Final Essay A simple way to define a nation is to say a population of people living in one

particular area. It's a boring, simple way that doesn't really talk about the people at all. To define a nation it is important to understand why people live there. It can be the multiple cultures inside a nation, combined with the people of different religions. Every nation has their own way of defining themselves though. In America the nation is defined by borders, not people. An American is a person that has America citizenship. The religion of the person and the culture that they may have come from influences the way that other people see them in the nation. In Rosenberger's Living with Nation and Food in Uzbekistan she showed that the food was able to define the culture, it's people and ultimately the nation. The food that the people of Uzbekistan was central to every thing that they did. Gatherings and family meetings were based around food. The idea of a nation is to bring people together and the food is what made people want to come together. The people ate the food that had been created in their nation many hundreds of years ago and continue to define a nation with tradition. A nation is way to make a population stronger. Without a nation, people become disbanded and fight more. Without a unified national identity, there is civil war and unnecessary death. Food is a sign of growth and support for a nation. Without food, Uzbekistan would probably still be a nation, but they would not be as closely knit, and much more divided. In America, there is no clear “American food”, because of this, and a few other non food related issues, there is division in the nation and people worry mostly about themselves before they are willing to help anybody else. Religion is another way to bring people together, since there are so many religions in the world, it is dangerous to try to have a national religion. But in a state it is a idea that can have people focusing on helping each other, praising their god/s, and strengthening the state that they call home. In Walbridge’s Tears for the Saint, Tears for Ourselves, a single man and the main person in the story, Moustafa, is able to bring an entire state of people together with religion. The religion of a state is

important because it can describe peoples morals and how they live their lives. Islam has had some trouble though and most people don't see it as a religion that brings people together. Islam is a religion that is only controversial because it has been given a bad name by some terrorists. In a rather grim way of looking at it, they did what they did because they thought they were helping the “State of Islam” and with their sacrifices they were helping other people and working for the greater good. Many wars have been fought over religion though, but on both sides the people were united by their religion and fought for their state, not for themselves. The dangerous part about religion is that when individual sects emerge, they will be separated and not try to work with the other sects. They believe they are the only correct religion and won't even look at what the others have to say. We can see states as making up nations, whether they are defined by borders, religions or food, the individual states will either fight or unite to make a nation stronger. More often, there is fighting rather than acceptance of another way of thinking. People seem to force their own ideas on others rather than thinking that if you accept another person's ideas as their own it will lead to a stronger nation. A nation is defined by it's people, not it's borders. Food and religion may go together because different religions have their own foods and restrictions on what they can eat. Putting food in front of people will always make them happy and bring families, states, and nations together. In Acheson’s Sunday Dinner at Hanka’s a dinner is enough to bring a great amount of people together. During the dinner, focus is placed on the food, and how it represents the people. A dinner is just one meal that focuses on putting fighting away for just a while and bringing people together to focus on great food. A nation is really defined as bringing people together to make them contribute to a stronger, better way of living. The food, religion, and language of a nation are what bring people together. They can also divide people though. Religion has more power than most people realize. It can create or destroy nations and is often used as more of an excuse to fight than to unite. All religions claim to be peace loving, yet very few of them are open to look past other religions and accept them into their nation. Religion is a good way to bring some people together, but

rarely is it able to bring an entire nation together. I would like to think that people would rather be together and not worry about what other people believe, but that is very unlikely. Food is one thing that is acceptable to push upon people, as long as it's good. A good dinner is something that can be celebrated and enjoyed by many people. I can't think of a time when a food has started a war, maybe lack of food, like every revolution in history, but people don't fight when they are given good food. When a religion is pushed upon a person, they become reactive and will push back making tense situations that no one likes. Forcing a religion on someone is a good way to get them to not like you or your religion. Nations and states need to work to bring more people together, not push them apart.

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