Kanwal Syed- SOC 240
Posted on May 19th, 2010 at 12:24 pm by ksyed100 and

Posted on May 19th, 2010 at 12:05 pm by ksyed100 and

Robert Capa
Posted on April 28th, 2010 at 3:49 pm by ksyed100 and

The falling Soldier

Presentation:Mexican and Pakistani Wedding
Posted on April 28th, 2010 at 2:55 pm by ksyed100 and


This interview has been translated from Urdu to English. (I interviewed my mom Riffat Syed).

1. In a traditional Pakistani wedding how does a man and woman get together?

Weddings are normally arranged, parents decide on a child’s partner based on religion, education and socioeconomic status. Partners for a child are usually picked through mutual friends or through a religious community. When the parents decide that the girl/guy is right for their child then they send the proposal for their child’s hand in marriage.

2. In a traditional Pakistani wedding, what does the wedding consist of?

The traditional Pakistani wedding consist of three major events that occur during three different days. The first day is called the “Mehndi” in which the bride wears yellow and during the ceremony everyone wears yellow or green and we put henna on the bride. The second day of the wedding is called the “Baraat” , which is the actual wedding day in which the bride wears red and finally gets to go become a family member of her in-laws. The third day of the wedding is called the “Valima” , which is the reception party thrown by the groom. The first two days of the wedding are paid for by the brides parents and the reception is paid for by the groom.

3.  What is the traditional wedding attire?

On the actual day of the brides wedding (the “baraat”), the bride should wear a shade of red. Her hands and feet are filled with henna and she should have jewelery for her forehead, ears, nose, and bracelets all made of pure gold. The groom, on the day of the actual wedding, wears the traditional Pakitani suit or a an American suit.

The bride on the day of her Mehndi

The bride and groom on the day of the "Baraat" (Wedding day)

The bride and groom on the day of the "Valima" (Reception day)


My experience at the Mexican wedding

When I attend the Mexican wedding I saw a lot of similarities but also differences.

One similarity is that there is always a wedding cake at the wedding which the bride and groom feed to each other.

Cake cutting ceremony

One difference that I saw in the wedding was the “La vivora de la mar” which is a traditional game that is seen in Mexican weddings. In the game the groom and the bride stand on the chair. The groom holds the veil of the bride and every body in the wedding party dance around the bride and groom in a chain motion and try to make the bride and groom fall.

“La vivora de la mar”

“The Yes Men”
Posted on April 14th, 2010 at 1:31 pm by ksyed100 and

The name of the organization “The Yes Men”, is formed by two members named Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. The purpose of their organization is to open societies eyes about big business executives and how their greed is ruining our world. The two members of this group disguise themselves as business executives of a company and attend different conferences. They use practical jokes in these conferences as a way of ending greed.  They are mocking this big executive society by showing up at these conferences and playing pranks. It really isn’t clear who can join this organization but I think anyone can take part in opposing those who are taking advantage of their power. The Bichlbaum and Bonanno seem to be the only two that organize and make descision for their groups. It is a team effort and they depend on one another to get through a skit with ease.

 We would like to join the group “The Yes Men” because they have a good cause. We would like to do something meaningful for others and have fun doing it at the same time. having a voice is important for everyone, and having the courage to say what we think is very challenging. Having the support of this group anythning could b possible. One voice is heard louder if it’s followed by many others.

Getting Serious
Posted on April 14th, 2010 at 10:17 am by ksyed100 and


Holtzworth-Munroe, Amy,  Rehman, Uzma S. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of  the Demand–Withdraw Marital Interaction: Observing Couples From a Developing Country” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, (2006): 755–766

Buunk, Abraham P. and Park, Justin H. “Parent–Offspring Conflict in Mate Preferences” Review of General Psychology 12, (2008): 47–62

A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Demand–Withdraw Marital Interaction: Observing Couples From a Developing Country

 In the article researchers Uzma Rehman and Amy Holtzworth-Munroe do a cross-cultrual analysis of couples from Pakistan and White couples from America. Their theory is that women in western countries seem to be more demanding than men and men seem to withdraw. But this is said to be high influenced by gender roles and beliefs mostly in traditional marriages. To test this the researchers conducted an observational study of communication between married couples across cultures. The “demand-withdraw” communication was related to martial distress. For our project we are going to compare tradition events that are preformed in our countries (Pakistan and Mexico) to how they are preformed here in the United States. Also whether or not western culture influences how our cultural traditions are preformed in America. This article relates to our project because the researchers are comparing Pakistani- Americans to immigrants from Pakistan and to White Americans. The communication between married couples in Pakistan is different from married couples living in the United States. There is a lot of Western influence on the relationship between a women and men here in the United States and is much different that those who have a relationship in Pakistan.

 Parent–Offspring Conflict in Mate Preferences

 In this article researchers are focusing on parental influences on children’s preferences in choosing a mate. They review briefly how children’s mating behaviors across cultures have been heavily influenced by their parents throughout history. The researcher’s hypothesis why children’s preference differs from parents, parents usually have stronger preference for children’s mates in cooperation with their in-group and in investment. Whereas children have preference with characteristics that signal heritable fitness. They did an empirical study including 768 participants from different cultures and the results supported their hypothesis. This article relates to our project because most people in a traditional Pakistani marriage will be arranged by their parents based on their parent’s preferences. In earlier years in Pakistan most women did not see their husband or have any communication with him until the day of their wedding. When compared to weddings in Pakistan, Pakistani weddings in the United States have been highly of influence of American culture. Now Pakistani weddings in most western societies are not arranged but are “love marriages”, which basically means the people getting married chose each other with out the interference of their parents.


The methods that we will be using in our project are photo-elicitation, observation and interviews. As an observation, we have already attended a Pakistan traditional event and we will also attend a Mexican traditional event. We plan on interviewing our parents and elders of our community to get the perspective of how the particular event takes place in our country and the differences of how the event is preformed here. We will look at old photographs and new ones to compare the differences and similarities of the cultural even that took place in the past to how the event is preformed today in a western society. Are there western influences placed on the events that take place? Are the events completely different in both countries of origin? Also the comparison between the Mexican and Pakistani cultures.


For our project we have informed our participants that photographs and interviews taken of them will be published on our blogs. They have given us full consent to do so, and those who do not want to take part in the project will not be involved. We chose to use visual methods because it helps the viewer better understand.  Pictures from the past will give us knowledge to compare previous events to events that happen now in this day.

Posted on April 12th, 2010 at 3:22 pm by ksyed100 and

In the reading about signs of resistance I did not understand why Radtke was blocking away all the graffiti. What was the significance of the gray blocks? I do agree that by erasing graffiti, people would rebel because their work is being erased and start doing a lot more graffiti.

Posted on March 24th, 2010 at 4:12 pm by ksyed100 and

For my project I will be taking pictures of the environment and people that are there. I have already notified most of the people attending the wedding, that I will be taking pictures for my sociology class and the people I have spoken to are okay with it. There also might be a couple of interviews from my parents about what a traditional Pakistani wedding from their generation was like,and I do have their full permission for the project. Anyone that does not want to take part in the project will not be photographed or interviewed.

Visual Exploration
Posted on March 24th, 2010 at 2:45 pm by ksyed100 and

Pakistani wedding in Atlanta, Georgia

Photographer: Ross Oscar Knight

Webstie: http://www.rossoscarknightphotography.net/2009/04/faisal-durre-atlanta-ga.html

The photograph I chose is from Pakistani wedding. The scene in the picture is showing the point in the wedding where the parents give the bride away to the groom. This happens at the end of the wedding, it is called the “ruksati” which basically means the parting. This symbolizes that the girl is now finally ready to become a wife and to join her own family and is ready to leave her parents home. The Ouran, the holy book of Islam is being held above the brides head to symbolize everlasting blessings from God and also from her parents.

This is a picture that I took at my best friends wedding.  This is apart of the wedding ceremony where the groom and bride exchange rings. The traditional Pakistani wedding is almost always arranged, the bride and groom usually don’t have too much contact with each other till after the official wedding ceremony. Pakistani weddings usually last three to four days, in which we preform rituals starting from the day of the Mehndi to the end of the wedding celebrations which is the Valima (the final reception).

Proposal Idea
Posted on March 15th, 2010 at 4:14 pm by ksyed100 and tagged , , ,

For our  project Elizabeth Reyes and I were thinking to compare cultural differences. Elizabeth and I are both from different ethnic backgrounds and we thought it would be interesting if we could  experience and compare each others cultures.  Elizabeth with her family actually moved here from Mexico when she was 14 and I was born in the US but my parents are from Pakistan. We both decided on comparing our own traditional wedding rituals to each others. Elizabeth and I will both attend a traditional Pakistani wedding and a traditional Mexican wedding and we will try to compare and understand each others cultures through our own eyes.  Some ideas are the comparison of the bridal gown and representation of certain colors and different rituals preformed during and after the wedding.

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