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Thread: Cultural Introduction...

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  1. #18
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    May 2005
    A Small Town in Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty27 View Post

    "India might be a completely foreign, weird, dangerous, inhuman country."

    If you believe this about an entire country of people,people you've never met met in a place you've never visited in your life, then you have issues that no amount of talking to will help.
    No, I don't think you necessarily have issues. It's just that if you have never travelled to that country you rely on --- what?

    - Personal acquaintances
    - media reports
    - novels

    for your cultural information.

    Many people never get to interact with people from foreign countries; not because they don't want to or because they are prejudiced, but because there are none of them around.

    So they are entirely dependent on media reports and novels.

    Media reports tend to focus on the sensational, as in the case of the recent rape in India. Reading some of the articles and comments to the articles in that story, I was pulling out my hair. Commentors saying things like "India hates all women!" and "Indian men are all monsters!"

    This is the kind of information normal people get. Also, all the usual cliches about India. How can you blame someone who does not have the advantage of exposure, if they believe even half of those reports, and develop a warped view of whatever culture they are reading about? Remember that the media makes its living by presenting the unusual, the weird, the dangerous, the quirky. So how is a normal, unexposed person to differentiate?

    Take even an innocuous and little known country like Guyana. You wouldn't believe the ignorance I hear about my homeland, the conclusions people draw just because it is a Third World country. YOu would think we were all living in mud huts and wearing grass skirts!

    So really, the only really valid information they can get is through fiction, and we are the ones to tell those authentic stories. And I think people who were once ignorant but still open-minded can be trusted to follow those stories and correct whatever warped understanding they may have. And I think it's best done not in an index-finger-wagging, you-stupid-white-moron, way, but with understanding and compassion; compassion because, though they might be in a position of mainstream-majority-privilege, they still know jack-shit about the world we live in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty27 View Post

    LOL. Freud has some things going. Black kids just love their shoes with a passion. My son has over a hundred pairs!

    I have to admit that I have very little patience with people - be they black, white, yellow or Imelda Marcos - who collect hundreds of pairs of shoes. Whenever I see these people on TV boasting about their stupid humongous shoe-collection I hop up and down with rage -- so you see, I'm not quite as peaceful as you might think!
    Last edited by aruna; 02-01-2013 at 03:01 PM.
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