Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Do Unto Others"

Welcome to the Navajo Nation! We are very happy to welcome you and your family to our tiny little slice of America.

Did you know that the Navajo Indian Reservation was established in 1868 after the Long Walk of the Navajo in 1864, which was the forced deportation and attempted ethnic cleansing of the Navajo people by Americans? That’s an interesting little tidbit. Just something to think about.

We hope you enjoy all of the unique cultural offerings the Navajo Nation has to offer. We also insist that you be aware of the sometime striking differences in American and Navajo culture, so what follows is a brief guide to proper etiquette in the Navajo Nation to ensure a safe and pleasant vacation.

• When exploring the Navajo Nation, it is standard practice to give every Navajo $5 whenever you see them. It is a great offense to not hand over cash, so always be prepared. There are several ATMs in all hotel lobbies.
• In the Navajo Nation, polite titles such as “Oh great holy one,” “Beautiful, intelligent god,” “Lord of all that is wonderful,” or a combination of the three are always used when addressing people. For example, after your hotel concierge recommends a guided tour through Antelope Canyon, your response would be, “Thank you very much, Oh great holy god, you beautiful lord who is so much better than I could ever dream of being,” and then slip a $5 bill into his or her hand.
• If your tour guide sees a coyote, it is customary for you to get on your hands and knees and let your donkey piss all over your face. If your guide laughs, that is a sign of great respect.
• When your tour guide suggests a restaurant and they serve you an item that looks like human feces in a tortilla, it is human feces in a tortilla. It is then tradition for you to eat all of it and pay double the menu price. If you are wondering why only the white people were served this dish, it is because we consider this item a special delicacy reserved for our most valued guests.
• Many words in the Navajo language sound very similar to English words, but they of course have different meanings. For example, when returning to your hotel for the evening, you may hear one employee say to another, “Look at that pasty fat family. They stink like piss and I bet they ate the shit for dinner.” The translation of these sounds is, “I love foreign travelers. Interacting with their culture is so interesting!” You should then hand the two employees $5 each, bow, say, “Thank you for this privilege, you fine spirits of a holier realm," and kiss their kneecaps.

We hope you have a great vacation and collect lots of fond memories to reflect on when you drive out of our territory, without being forced, to return to your home on the land you totally deserve to live on.

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