Date Q.1 In light of Davidheiser’s testimony in terms of conflict mediation within the Mandinka, it can be assumed that the Ndake, who also use joking as a form of mediation would uphold the same joking relationships as the Mandinka…
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The worst mediator for Ego and his wife however, would probably be his wife’s mother ‘Ubara’ because mediation is undertaken by males not females and ‘Ubara’ is associated to Ego by marriage; with no historical roots the relationship is considered as feeble. The most neutral mediator for Ego would more likely be Ego’s grandfather ‘Ubandu’ because grandparents have strong joking relationships with their grandchildren and ‘Ubandu’ is the male grandparent. It would not be wise and the outcomes would probably be negative if Ego and his wife were to go to a Western marriage counselor. According to Davidheiser (2), unlike American mediation, wherein an impartial third-party mediator is usual, the Mandinka operate with a more subjective relational mediator and the Ndake would do the same. American mediators are involved with the task of sifting out the underlying causal links to the conflict, while at the same time isolating people from the problem. Ego and his wife would be subjected to the Western ideology of conflict resolution and justice, which is in complete conflict to their own. Ndake like Mandinka mediators are more concerned with social order and good relations rather than the actual conflict and its causes; they do not concern themselves with mutual benefit or objective decision making and results, preferring instead to ignore the underlying issues in favor of forgiveness and continuing relationships. In other words, the result of a western marriage counselor would be the couple going separate ways with all assets divided equally in a win-win situation; the result of a Ndake mediator would more likely be Ego and his wife staying together in happiness. Q.2 Jewish humor, founded on satire and stereotypes is ‘alive and thriving’ Berger (xxiv). It does not however, invent the stereotypes or affronts it deals out but instead takes advantage of those already in circulation by manipulation and exploitation (Nilsen & Nilsen). Jewish humor emanates from within and among its own people to fill intellectual, social and emotional needs by mocking themselves along with everyone else around them. Although Jewish humor may appear funny it hides cunning and sometimes ingenious stratums, which when taken apart expose deeper underlying issues. It features an irony that is exclusive to the Jewish culture and by being a part of that culture the jokes contain even further meaning. Historically, the Jewish people have used their special brand of humor to deal the lot that life has bestowed them, including the adversities of Diaspora, the Holocaust and alienation. Freud (166-67 cited in Morris) remarked on the particular humor of the Jews, making comment on their preponderance of laughing at their own deficiencies; he further claimed that such humor may be both adverse and offensive, but when used in an adverse manner it is a form of defense. Most of the stories and jokes aimed against particular aspects of Jewish life in the past have been invented by Jews themselves, and because of Jewish dispersion they have endured generations of marginalization and have thus a different view of the world. Self-denouncing and complimentary stories and jokes come from within the group as a means of survival and as Freud claimed, to acquire control of their humor by doing it before and better than non-Jews (Morris). During the holocaust Jewish humor was very much a defense mechanism used as a means of sur
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