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  • Showing only topics with the tag "culture". Back to normal view
    1. I work for a school in China and they are going to have an art festival soon. Today they were setting up some of those pictures where you can stick your face in it and take a photo. They did this...

      I work for a school in China and they are going to have an art festival soon. Today they were setting up some of those pictures where you can stick your face in it and take a photo. They did this to The Last Supper and it’s a very big picture set up right in front of the main gate for all the children to play with. They cut out Jesus’ face and most of his disciples’. All of the expats that work for my school were outraged and told the administration to take it down right away. At first the administration said they would just glue Jesus’ face back on. But this just made people angrier, so they promised to take it down in the morning when they could get some workers to do it.

      So what cultural misunderstandings have you experienced? How did you deal with it?

      28 votes
    2. Hey Tildians, This is going to be a really long post that is an ongoing search and conversation I am having with myself. Its going to be about religion and culture. Sorry for the shitty title, I...

      Hey Tildians,

      This is going to be a really long post that is an ongoing search and conversation I am having with myself. Its going to be about religion and culture. Sorry for the shitty title, I am really bad at coming up with titles, I tend to ramble a lot.

      I'm currently going through a crisis both of faith and cultural identity. Not because I am questioning either, but because I have never had either. I'm a white man from america. Growing up as a kid, my parents gave me the option to look at religions and choose one if any that spoke to me. None did, so I didn't go for a long time. In high school I attended Methodist Church every weekend because I felt pressured by my Boy Scout troop to be Christian, the Methodist Church let us use their church for our meetings despite none of the troop being members of the church, and the priest there at the time was a really great guy that I liked a lot. I spent a lot of time talking about faith with him and eventually, he said to me "let's face it, you don't believe the things I am preaching. That is completely fine. You're welcome in the church, it'll always be home, I'm always here to talk about faith or life or anything, but you don't believe in Christianity and you owe it to yourself to try and find something you do believe." And he was right, I didn't. So I studied a few things here and there and none ever stuck. So I've just been agnostic. But I desperately want to believe in a religion and have a sense of community and just, something to tie my individual beliefs to the world and know other people feel the same way I do.

      Similarly, I grew up pretty much "American". I know my heritage is from Ireland, Poland, UK, Croatia, Germany because I did reports on ancestry in school, but they've never been a part of my identity. We never talk about being from Poland other than explaining to people why my last name is spelled the way it is (WHICH IS STUPID BECAUSE IT'S NOT A WEIRD SPELLING OR PRONOUNCED DIFFERENT THAN IT LOOKS). It just isn't a thing. I've always envied my friends whose families are very proud and invested in their heritage. And that's not for a lack of trying, I've tried to get invested in them, but there aren't really communities around me for it, my family doesn't give a shit, and even if I did, I'm like 15% everything so it doesn't feel like I'm REALLY from that culture. I guess that's why some people are so extreme about being American. They're such a mix of so many different European countries that if a parent isn't invested in a specific culture, it's hard to identify with any single one, so they rally behind America. It is all they have.

      I don't know. It's very weird crisis that came out of nowhere in the stupidest ways (rewatching avatar and then having a crisis of faith looking at a chacra candle in a used book store). I've realized that I am paralyzed by the lack of a foundation of my identity. Personality traits and political views and hobbies are all malleable and change over time and so what I define myself as now could be completely gone and irrelevant in 2 years time and something about that terrifies me. It makes me wish there was something I could tie myself to that doesn't change, like what country my family is from. And if not that, an felling like I undestand the world around me would be great, and something religion provides. Also, the community wouldn't be something I'd hate to have.

      Tangentially to this, I'm having a weird relationship with faith in another way. I keep finding myself gravitating towards budhism. I don't know why, but it just is what I keep ending up looking at. I have 6 different bibles, a torrah, and a quran that I've read. None feel quite right. I keep ending up reading more about budism. But I feel SO WEIRD about it. It feels like I'm that white dude everyone hates that wont stop talking about budism. I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t let the outside world’s perceptions affect my religious views. But that doesn’t mean it is easy not to.

      Guess to make this more of a convo I’ll ask some questions to generate discussion:

      Religious folks: How has growing up with a religion effected your life? Do you think you’d be a drastically different person without it?

      Atheists: How weird does this sound to you? Did you go through a similar crisis before landing on atheism

      People who grew up with a strong cultural identity: How has that effected your life? Are you generally happy that you have that identity and community? Were there ever times you wished you weren’t a part of it?

      26 votes
    3. Do you believe that some cultures/societies are more 'civilized' than others? What is your definition of 'civilized' / what does it mean to be 'civilized'? ~ If you've studied history and/or...

      Do you believe that some cultures/societies are more 'civilized' than others? What is your definition of 'civilized' / what does it mean to be 'civilized'?
      ~
      If you've studied history and/or anthropology then surely you've heard many uses of the term "savages" to describe groups of people that were considered to be less 'civilized' than whomever was writing that piece.
      I was also just reading a book that described in detail some of the really horrible war crimes committed by both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war including but not limited to: raging mobs burning people alive, murder and rape of civilians, use of child soldiers, suicide bombers, etc. Please note that in no way am I considering the people of Sri Lanka as 'uncivilized', just using an example of what seems to be 'uncivilized' behavior.

      An initial thought that I had was "huh, I'm glad I don't currently live somewhere where I could be burned alive based on my ethnicity/religion/beliefs by a rage fueled mob of people", but then the history of the western world came to mind - some of those exact same thing happened less than 100 years ago to many non-white groups of people in America, including some things even worse (read: human slavery). From here came a flood of other thoughts poking holes in whatever my initial definition of 'civilized' was. Plenty of things in present-day United States could be considered uncivilized. Yet one could make an argument that a more 'civilized' civilization might be one that allows many personal freedoms.

      So, I want to ask all of you what you think of the concept of being 'civilized'. Is it a colonialistic-type term used to promote a higher sense of placement in the world that should be abolished. Does it have any merit in its use? If so, what do you think makes a civilized group of people and does one exist?

      16 votes
    4. Hey all, I'm interested in knowing what music would you say is unmistakably yours, in the sense that when you hear it you remember nights with the family/friends, parties, or maybe they remind you...

      Hey all,

      I'm interested in knowing what music would you say is unmistakably yours, in the sense that when you hear it you remember nights with the family/friends, parties, or maybe they remind you of your grandparents' musky apartment, or nights at the beach, whatever.

      For me there is a story behind almost every style of music I listen to, so my spotify lists are "nostalgia_parents", "nostalgia_grandpa", "nostalgia_home" etc. lol, and I think it's similar for everybody, so I was curious... what are your stories?

      (mine in comments)

      10 votes
    5. When I was in high school I went to China through an education program. On the plane there I was seated next to an elderly Chinese woman on my left and a mother and daughter to my right. While...

      When I was in high school I went to China through an education program. On the plane there I was seated next to an elderly Chinese woman on my left and a mother and daughter to my right.

      While talking with the daughter and mother at some point the elderly woman became involved. She spoke cantonese and my mandarin was limited so the mother helped to translate.

      The elderly woman took out paper and pen from her bag and began to have me write me characters. Some time after, she put her hands on my face and began to massage it in circular motions. It was strange but pleasant because clearly her intentions were good. I looked over to the man who was leading my fellow students, and got a thumbs up as he mouthed "just go with it".

      I'd never experienced such caring from a complete stranger. It was a lovely introduction into their culture and genuine happiness to share it.

      23 votes
    6. Thoughts on religion

      Let's debate religion. I don't think I've seen this topic on Tildes yet and it might be interesting. My country has practically no visible religion - about 10-15% of our population is religious...

      Let's debate religion. I don't think I've seen this topic on Tildes yet and it might be interesting.

      My country has practically no visible religion - about 10-15% of our population is religious (mostly seniors) - and just a fraction of them does those religious thing like going to church. Religion basically doesn't exist here. We have a lot of nice churches, but they mostly aren't used.

      The thing that I think caused this big amount of atheists (agnostics, ...) is that almost noone is raised to believe in God - in our culture, we don't teach religion at all. Kids are taught that religions exist, but they are not pressed to believe in it such as in other parts of world. They choose what to believe. And God isn't the thing people choose for most of the time.

      Whenever I see anything about USA (discussion, film, serial), I frequently see religion there. When I saw it for the first time when I was young, I thought something like "They still have religion there? I thought USA is developed country". I don't think it anymore, I understand better why are people religious, but still - I'd like to know more about more religious cultures and what effect religion have in other countries.

      23 votes