Diversified Behaviour of People through the Eye of Human Anthropology(With Special Reference to Indiwinna Rural Fair, Hambantota, Sri Lanka) Charindu Sanjeeva Sayakkara Human Anthropology Department of Marketing Management University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Briefing of the project he world of business with its emerging trends is heading towards improving one’sT performance to reach towards success. In the modern era, each and every member in business field takes a tremendous effort to understand the behaviour of peoplewithin the context of the marketing stimulus. In that sense, Human Anthropology plays ahuge role as it scientifically and systematically studies of man and his work.In order to enhance the awareness of the importance of marketing to a business entity, thisproject has been under taken targeting a selected rural fair. Rural fair is a type of businesslocation where a large number of sellers and buyers get together and exchange goods andservices through the medium of cash in certain days to fulfill their basic requirements. Itgreatly contributes sellers to offer what they prefer to sell at reasonable price while customerscan buy essentials which they prefer at affordable price within a short period of time.This project would primarily focus on identifying different behaviour patterns practised bysellers and buyers within fair premises. This project would more importantly consider theanthropological aspects and characteristics as well.Further, the analysis of diversified human behaviour from a marketing perspective would becarried out providing people’s comments and thoughts given by them at the fair.This would result in a more comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of the marketingfunction in the particular rural fair selected.Therefore in conclusion of this project while being an assignment of the curriculum of thesubject of Marketing Anthropology, this was an immense experience for me to deal differentlevel of people within a shorter time period.
Introduction of Indiwinna Rural FairE ven though Hambantota is one of the rapidly developing cities in Sri Lanka at this modern time period, the existence of a rural fair for fulfilling the requirements of every and each individual person is vastly predominant.With the result of significant developments, the existed urban councilof Hambantota was converted as a municipal council. Further a newrural fair for the families of Indiwinna village which is far away ofabout 500 meters from Hambantota city, has to be established andimplemented under the authority of the municipal council ofHambantota.Therefore, now, the rural fair is being conducted in the city of Hambantota at new locationon Saturdays and Sundays under the governing body of the municipal council, Hambantota.The fair which I have selected for the purpose of conducting my survey, has been newlyplaced at Indiwinna village for two months.Indiwinna is a type of village in Hambantota town which has 400-500 families living formore than number of years. Some of them are there from their birth. Significance of thenumber of families, difficulty of having more amount people in short range of territory, thedistance to reach to other fairs in the region, rapid continuous development of Hambantotacity had been the reasons to establish a rural fair in new way under the governing authorityand supervision.
Before placing this fair, the existed urban fair had to be placed various places within a shorttime period. At the very first time, Hambantota fair had been established at the centre ofHambantota town. But the location had to be changed for various places because of the mostunforgettable experience ever of Sri Lanka in 2004, Tsunami disaster. Over 10,000 peopleand millions of properties of city people had lost with the effect of Tsunami disaster within avery few seconds. Nevertheless, the changes of the location of Hambantota fair had beenseverely affected to both sellers and buyers of Hambantota town. As there was not an exactplace to build up a fair, the authority had to check several places for suit. Further, the mainreason was that is extreme development of the city.Moreover, Hambantota Sunday fair was the one and only fair in Sri Lanka which was terriblyeffected by Tsunami disaster in 2004. On that unforgettable day in the history of Sri Lanka,more than 80% of people were in the fair, were killed. That was one of the most patheticmatters in the history of fairs in Hambantota as well.All and all, every and each matter of fact led the authority to establish a new rural fair for thepeople of Indiwinna village, Hambantota.
Characteristics of Indiwinna Rural FairIndiwinna rural fair is newly established fair premises, which is located about 500 metresaway from Hambantota town, governed by the municipal council of Hambantota. Majorly,this has been placed for the 400-500 rural families of Indiwinna village.The area of fair premises is around 10,000 m2. As this has been newly established, this is oldjust two months of time. Every and each Saturday and Sunday, more than 500 sellers reach tothe premises from different areas such as Katuwana, Bandagiriya, Ridiyagama, Bolana,Pallemalla, Dehigahalanda etc. to sell products in addition to sellers of Indiwinna itself.All most all essential goods such as rice, vegetables, fruits, stationary, cloths, slippers, sweetsetc. can be purchased under single location. What they cultivate in their land is being offeredto the fair at variable price. In addition to that, minor percent of sellers purchase vegetables,fruits from Bandarawela area and other related items, and then they buy in the fair premises.More than 1000 customers arrive at the fair for buying necessary products for a week. Over80% of families of the village get used to doing shopping every and each weekend.As sellers have to spend two nights at the fair premises, all necessary facilities have beenplaced with the particular spot by the authority.
Identification of Anthropologicalaspects at Indiwinna rural fair andanalysis of their level of practice
CultureCulture is the sum total of learned beliefs, values and customs that serve to regulate theconsumer behaviour of members of a particular society.In Anthropology, culture is a social heritage which consists formal and informal knowledgeapart from the different believes such as folk believes, scientific believes & religious believesand norms.Culture guides to satisfy needs. Although culture is dynamic, the greater similarity betweenthe people of the peasant societies surrounding to Indiwinna village, the sellers of the fairnormally use relatively similar marketing strategies. Further people in that area practicesimilar interest, desires and consumption patterns.All members of the fair possess common characteristics both socially and culturally based onnatural will. Apart from that, their relationships strengthen in accordance with culturalcharacteristics.In further understanding the behaviour of sellers and buyers of Indiwinna rural fair, it is muchneeded to identify different cultural characteristics. Culture plays a significant role of thechanges consumer behaviour. Subjective cultural characteristics such as regional character,ethnic character, religious similarities and differences, different languages etc. are concernedwith determining different behaviour patterns of people.Language is concerned, in Indiwinna rural fair, both Sinhala and Tamil languages are spokenas equal amount of Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil people live in that location. But simply allsellers are capable enough of speaking the main language of Sinhala. Further, when they sell,they use simple language words and patterns so that consumers are motivated to purchaseproducts.
One of the key factors of the fair transactions is bargaining. As both seller and buyer are wellmatured with sharing thoughts of using proper language, this cultural character leads to havetransactions with high bargaining. As a result of it, the price is ultimately designed byconnecting thoughts of seller and buyer.Religion is concerned, Apart from the significant number of Buddhist people, both Islamicand Christian people also can be seen with transactions in the fair premises.These subjective cultural characteristics play in determining different beliefs, practices andvalues of the people and which in turn impact of people’s social norms, attitudes, behaviouralintentions and ultimately the final behaviour of the purchaser.Under the components of culture, ideas and norms can be identified. According to customers’different types of ideas such as scientific, religious, historical and mythical ideas, theirpurchasing patterns and quantity may differ. In my survey, I got to know that Muslim wouldbuy product in accordance with their religious and mythical views. Moreover, under normswhich customer certainly practises and exercises, differ from individual to individual undercultural aspects they are in.
Marketing CultureIn contemporary world, the marketing system is representing a culture which is studied bycultural anthropologists. Market culture can be identified in terms of social behaviour ofbuyers and sellers.In order to understand marketing culture, it is much needed to realize the background of thepeople in Hambantota Indiwinna fair.Although Hambantota Indiwinna fair is a rural area, different people are still coming fromdifferent villages such as Katuwana, Bandagiriya, Ridiyagama, Bolana, Pallemalla,Dehigahalanda etc. to sell products in addition to little sellers of Indiwinna itself.Even though sellers are being only in Saturdays and Sundays, the entire living pattern of mostof them is based on farming cultivation. Their important resource is land. What they cultivatein their land is being offered to the fair at variable price. In addition to that, minor percent ofsellers purchase vegetables, fruits and other related items and then buy in the fair premises.Sellers do not have high expectations and the word “future” is not greatly considering factorfor them. Simply they focus on short term benefits rather than long term relationships. Sotheir major requirement is to sell product however. If they are unable to sell what they have,they do not further hesitate to deal at even below of the cost of the products. As a result of it,they practise work without profits.In my discussion, I was mentioned that most times they had to go back with high loosing. Butthey are still not in a position to find any other job or occupation and their arrival at the fair inevery and each weekend is alive. In that sense they purchase products at loans and rentvehicles to carry the goods towards the destination.Another key factor is that the language of marketing situation cannot be identified if theperson is not familiar with the marking culture. And sellers terminology is also different indifferent context.Further, the people who have more than 30-35 yearsin the service at the fair highly concentrate on theirgoodwill in addition to the major purpose of profit maximization.
The world is changing so fast. Every day there are many inventions and discoveries. But Icould not still find any modern selling strategies or techniques, electronic material systemsapart from electronic balance machine at Indiwinna fair. Simply they still experiencetraditional and conventional ways of selling attempts and practices.At Indiwinna fair, there is not barter system, still the one and only mode of exchanging goodsand services is cash money. Social interaction of sellers and buyers is mainly based on theexchange of money. Sellers are always eager to discuss the quality and other aspects of thenature of the item. It helps them to convince the customers to motivate for purchasing theirproduct. Further carefully worded information is given to customers so that they have aperfect position to buy products.Another key factor is, there is a huge level of bargaining power of customers. Customersoften need to buy particular goods at under the price established or labeled by seller. I couldsee in my visit to the fair that almost all the products are bought by customers with highbargaining attempts.When I talked to sellers, they emphasized that they are always in position to return productsand be helpful with keeping attention towards the customer when they are under difficultcircumstances. Sometimes their terminology is very emotional. They mentioned that it is oneof the psychological strategies to attract customers to their direction.Sellers often use conventional balancing systems andthey still do not bother to give either bills or receiptsnotifying the items purchased.Another interesting factor is, some of the sellers have not got even a calculator to havemathematical expressions. They believe that they are capable enough of doing all transactionson their own without the help of any extra material system.
Shopping cultureIn the marketing culture, the role of shopping is interesting. As far as people in Indiwinnavillage is concerned, most of them are shopping the fair for the purpose of buying goods andservices which they are needed for the whole week. Their buying patterns are not rational.They often expect to have maximum benefits at lower price going here and there within thefair premises.Most of the goods are bought impulsively. They never anticipate sensory stimulation(Psychological pleasure), recreational atmosphere or social interaction of having shopping inthe fair. Most customers said to me that they find little pleasure in shopping in the fairpremises and tend to move shopping as they really need to buy. Consumer SocializationConsumer socialization has been defined primarily as the process through which youngpeople acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes relevant to their functioning in the marketplace.Most parents accompany their children to the fairpremises in order to give some sort of training andexperience how to purchase products from the fair.
AttitudeAttitude is a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourablemanner with respect to a given object.All human behaviour therefore is directed towards achieving an adjustment between theforces within us and those in the environment.Consumers’ attitudes towards the fairIn my visit, I notify that customers would not highly reckon their status or social class. Theyjust move to place to place to buy what they extremely want. Most of their purchasing isimpulsive. Their preference is always directed with adjustment of environment.As more of people in the fair is relatively uneducated,their thoughts and beliefs towards different objects are verydynamic. Most times, instant changes occur in theselling process will largely lead to alter the minds ofconsumers. Simply their rationality of buying processis relatively low.Sellers’ attitudes towards the fairSellers’ attitude is always to offer what they have at the end of the time at fair. If they are notin a position to sell or their selling frequents are low, they would not worry to sell them ateven below price of the cost of product. Their attitude is formed in relation to socialsituations and that they are shared by the members of the fair.Non-existence of rational marketing system and unawareness of marketing value systemoften account for low marketing mentality of sellers.
CompetitionCompetition includes all the actual and potential rival offerings and substitutes that a buyermight consider.In my discussion with persons, they straight away wanted to mention that there is nocompetition between fellow members. And they have good interaction and strong relationshipwith each other. If a seller does not have a certain product which customer needs, and furtherit is available at the place of their fellow member, they do not hesitate or think twice to sendthe particular customer to that particular premises. So, this lack of competitive motivation isoften an obstacle and a barrier to have a rational market.Therefore the 3 characteristics of community introduced by Robert McIver can be seen inIndiwinna fair. They are; 1. We feeling. 2. Role feeling. 3. Dependency feeling.Under the we feeling, all the sellers in a certain product category think that they are livingwith the feeling of togetherness.Under the role feeling, the sellers believe that their obligation is to work and sell theirproducts according to the tradition and norms.Under the dependency feeling, the sellers still feel that each and every one of them has todepend on each other. If a seller has a problem, others are providing their help and support indifferent manner.
Identification ofcomponents of social structure atIndiwinna rural fairand analysis of their degree
GenderGender relationship is a significant component of the social structure of a society. It refers tothe sociological differences between males and females.In studying, gender character in this rural fair of my visit, it could be understood that moremale people sell their products than female people. They mentioned that male members workoutside the family in order to sustain their livelihood while female members work inside thefamily caring and bearing the rest of the members in their family.As the fair is held on Saturdays and Sundays, they have to arrive at fair premises Fridayevening. Therefore they have to spend two nights in the fair premises. So, that is main reasonwhy more male people can be seen than that of female people. Some sellers take residencenear to the places if they have relations or close friends. In that sense, sellers who are closerto the fair premises would not have an issue.But minority of female sellers ventures their goods in differentmanner. I could identify that the female sellers of more than 20years of service period in the fair, are still happy to be at the fairpremises or surroundings of the fair.Further, most of the sellers have been using their elder sons to fair work if he has completedhis education. But some of the non-completed male students also can be seen in the sellingprocedure.I was told that some female sellers go back to their residence after the fair selling ofSaturdays if their residence is not too far away. Hopefully, they would come back to the fairnext morning using public transportation service.In perspective of customer, both male and female consumersmove in the fair premises to buy what they actually need.But some places like providing only ladies items, we can mostlysee females in those related areas.
AgeAge is also a universal principal used to prescribe social status in socio-cultural system. Withdefinite biological changes occur for humans in their progress from infancy to childhood toadulthood and all ages, the buying behaviour of people alter in different age period in humanliving process.In my survey I could notice that ages of 25 to 55 people playa big role of providing necessary items to their own family.Most of people in this age category are married and mayhave children. In that case, these kinds of people always findand buy essential products such as rice, coconuts,vegetables, fruits etc. which are much needed to fulfillingtheir day today life.People who have not got married or less than 25 years, cannot be significantly seen inIndiwinna fair, buying the above mentioned essential goods. Ages of 10 to 20 personsschooling, are still looking for the items which they can be highly entertained. They searchnew trending items such as cartoon pictures, stickers, decorated cards, sports items etc. inaddition to the items needed for their education such as books, pens, pencils and othereducational related materials.In perspective of seller, most of sellers are mid 30’s and 40’s. Their service time period at thefair is more than 20 to 25 years. People who have just finished their school life also take partin the actions with providing help to their parents. Surprisingly, a few of the persons who arestill schooling are also in selling process as they have high enthusiasm and impressionwithout considering their age level.
Social GroupSocial groups can be identified as two or more persons shared with common interests anddesires, get together to accomplish a common goal. Under the social group, every and eachindividual has psychological feeling as a group.In my visit to the fair, I could notice different types ofsocial groups could be seen in the fair premises.Under the social groups, a few of whole families hadtaken part. Apart from that, friendship groups,relation groups and neighbour groups were also inthe action of buying process. FamilyAccording to the definition of Anthropology, Family is a social group of two or peoplerelated by blood, marriage or adoption, who live or reside together for an extended timeperiod sharing economic resources and caring for their young.Most of the families of the people in Indiwinna fair are extended families. Further majority ofthe families consist of more than children. I could identify that both husband and wife of thefamilies arrive at the fair to sell goods while keeping their children with the protection andcaring of their grandparents. Children in those families have to spend two nights in each weekwithout their parents. But, in some of the families, mother goes back home in the eveningseason and comes back early in the next morning. There is no such a problem for the sellersin Indiwinna village area.
Further the tendency of children towards the occupation of their parents is significantly high.As a result of it, most children involve working with their parents just after the school life oreven before the end of school time period.Unbelievably, children who have not aged at least 15 years have been taking part with sellingprocess.In perspective of customer is concerned; I have seen that parents of the familiesare the keypurchaser of the family in the process of buying essential goods. In addition to that elderchildren take part with the occasional purchasing.
Status& RoleA status is a recognized position that a person occupies in the society. A person’s statusdetermines where he or she fits in society in relationship to every one else. A status may bebased on accompanied by wealth, power, prestige or a combination of all of them.In the perspective of sellers in Indiwinna fair, sellers do not highly bother about social status.They have very poor educational level. Unfortunately, most of them have not completed evenordinary level education. So, they only make an attempt to build their social status at the levelof others in same category of the fair. Simply they never mind what the world thinks of themor not. Further their future expectations are not greatly wide. Not surprisingly, sellers botheronly how they are in position to fulfill their day today needs and wants. But it should be trulymentioned that while my discussion with them. I could recognize that they are really satisfiedand impressed what they have already achieved.Status of customer is concerned; customers too practise similar types of attitudes and beliefsmaintained by sellers. Buyer normally purchases what they require for the whole week in thefair premises. In that sense, they would not think twice to buy goods at lowest possible price.Another factor is, most customers come to the fair premises by foot rather while some ofthem are expecting the help of taxi. Simply majority of customers are in buying orientedprocess.As far as role is concerned, a role is a set of expected behaviorpattern, obligation and norms attached to a particular status.People, are in the fair, play their role so that they can attain thefulfillment of their daily life activities. As persons are only in fair premises on Saturday s andSundays, sellers work hard to sell their commodities whereas buyers strive to get maximumquality products at lowest possible price so that they can meet their requirements for wholeweek.In other five days, sellers are getting ready and preparing particular commodities to sell. Inmy survey with them, I could notify that some of them, who venture vegetables and fruits,travel to area like Bandarawela to purchase fresh products. Apart from that, some sellersexercise gardening and agricultural events at the rest of the days.
ConclusionThis project undertaken enabled me to enhance my knowledge and awareness of diversifiedhuman behaviour under marketing perspective. Identification of the existing aspects ofHuman Anthropology helped me a lot to study how they consist in different people indifferent manner.Also through the survey carried out to sellers and buyers, I concluded the level of practice ofanthropological concepts at people of Indiwinna rural fair.Even though Indiwinna fair is a newly established rural fair which is governed under theauthority and supervision of municipal council, Hambantota, I made the permission frommunicipal council, Hambantota to conduct the survey to gather more details about people.I was able to add more value to this analysis through information gained from buyers andsellers at the time which their action is on.Therefore, in overall this project was an important source of knowledge and experience tome, it facilitated me to get a further practical exposure of the aspects of HumanAnthropology.