Greetings from Uganda.
I'm teaching a course here for graduate students in marriage and family counseling. To help cut down on the cultural differences, I have them do a great deal of role playing (which they enjoy). I thought I'd post one of the role plays, as it points of the universality of much of what we talk about. The role play was this:
Mark is a local pastor. He is married, but his wife is childless (which in their culture is a real bad thing). His mother and paternal aunt (who acts in this culture as a surrogate father when the true father is dead) yell at him that he must produce an heir, and continue the bloodline. They insist that this must be done no matter what the circumstances. In the second act of the
role play, Pastor Mark goes out and gets another woman pregnant. In the third act he has a tremendous fight with his wife, who is distraught. In the fourth act his mother and aunt re-enter and rejoice a the same time they scold Mark's wife (the daughter-in-law) for being so selfish. In the final act, the wife scolds Mark for turning against his Christian principles.
What was interesting to me about this story (apart from the boundary issues and intrusion of parents into the children's marriage) was the competing values this represents. Mark is caught by a web of competing values:
1. His Christian values (and as a pastor, he is a chief spokesman for these values)
2. His cultural-tribal values that are wedded to his ...
3. Family of origin values.
His Christian values direct him toward the exclusivity of his wife. And yet, because she is childless, his cultural values scream at him that he is to bear a child, no matter how this is accomplished. He states that his priority of values would be Christian values first, then all other values falling in line below these primary values. But when faced with the competing values, he chooses to trump Christian values with cultural/tribal values.
That's all for now from Uganda. If another intriguing role play appears, I'll post that for you.