flirting? or getting in bed with? The Other

Flirting:  enculturation
[en-kuhl-chuhrey-shuh n]


the process whereby individuals learn their group’s culture, through experience, observation, and instruction.

Enculturation might be exemplified by a two-week vacation in France.  You pick up some French words, you find out where the best restaurants are, you sip the wines,  you observe the customs like cheek-kissing.  The indelible memory of France returns home with you where you might cheek kiss your friends. 
Getting in bed with:  acculturation
the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group.
the result of this process.
Let me use myself in The WASP and El Curandero as an example because I surmise part of my acculturation into Mexican Folk Culture was engendered by my Deseo for Alberto:
I learned to speak, read, and understand the language of Mexican Folk Culture.  I watched Alberto plow his fingers through masa as tradition to make tamales,   I learned and practiced the healing and cleansing techniques of the curandero, I wore the signifying clothes of La Guardia.  And, by the time it was over, I halfway believed in witches, demons, and spirits. 
It took a while for acculturation to wane when I returned to my world, for I was accepted in Mexican Folk Culture and the Magical World View lived in my soul.

Author: Katherine Brittain

Writer/Cultural Anthropologist

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