Yesterday's programme involved him staying with an Ethiopian group called the Hamar in the run up to a 'coming of age' ceremony which involved the young man jumping over a line of cattle and his sisters being whipped (see what I mean about diversity). Naturally the man is naked during the cattle jump which is possibly why Bruce Parry wanted to try it as well. Antway it is an excellent show but three things occur to me:
- Isn't it possible that some groups are just taking the piss with their wacky customs?
- Outside the developed world animal rights are not a big concern, as anyone watching the Hamar women bleed the cattle could tell you.
- Parry is trying to have it both ways, simultaneously deploring the intrusion of modern life on traditional cultures but framing some of the less pleasant aspects of the culture (like woman whipping) as something which the more urbanised and educated population won't tolerate.