29 June 2012

{snippet} a culture of segregation

It's really too late for me to be on the computer. My eyelids were falling two hours ago. But the kids are finally in bed after fun fun fun times with friends and just one more cookie, please?! and I'm unwinding my brain from its tightly wound coil of intake and output. It was a busy day.

Have you noticed any differences in the way people interact in other countries vs. the United States? I can only speak for Ethiopia, the Philippines and Guyana, but I'll tell you what -- people walk everywhere or ride public transportation, they visit with each other all the time, and they are generally super affectionate. You could call it a "relationship-based" culture. And here, we're totally performance-based.

I was listening to Tsh talk with Rachel, blogger over at Small Notebook about this the other day. Rachel lived in Italy with her family for three months, just because they could. And that's one big difference she noticed too -- all the social interaction. Tsh remarked that here, our infrastructure is designed in such a way that everything is giant and spread apart. Big buildings, big freeways, big homes, wide streets. You have to drive a long way to get where you want to go.

And people are either in their houses or in their cars. I mean, generally. There might be some play dates scheduled or park time with friends, but you know? It's different than the slow, hang out, greet everyone as you pass on the street, chill with your arm around your friend's shoulders type of living.

And you should see the kids play. In Guyana -- impromptu soccer, barefoot in the rain. Circle games with plenty of laughter and teasing. We played kickball when I was a kid in the Philippines. Now it seems all activities are hyper-organized and adult-driven. I'm not a fan! Let's get all the neighborhood kids together in that big grassy area and let them work it all out!

Aaaah. Just my scattered thoughts on a late night.

What do you think about culture in the United States vs overseas countries?


//just a quick snippet from moi//