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Celebrate cultural diversity

  1. Oct 16, 2003 #1

    Monique

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    I would like to know if there are people here who enjoy other cultures as much as me.. I have personally known people directly from the following countries:

    Bulgaria, Croatia, Canada, Zimbabwe, South-Africa, Finland, Japan, China, South-Korea, India, Romania, Australia, Taiwan, Germany, Bangladesh, Brazil, Russia, Armenia, Iran, France, Pakistan, Italy, Poland, United States, Lithuania, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain.

    I am lucky enough to say that most of them I have gotten to know well enough to call them my friends. Every week, for about two years, I used to go to the Institute of Arts Film Theater, and have seen films from about the same number of countries as listed above. Besides that, I have also enjoyed the cultural cuisines of a dozen countries, going exotic such as internal organs and chicken paws.

    Anyone a word on this?

    *edit* let's not talk about racism, cultural diversity should be cherished, right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2003
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  3. Oct 16, 2003 #2

    Monique

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    Btw, I have also taken an interest in music sung in foreign languages, this one being my favorite, known by heart. The one knowing the language in which it is sung, may speak up and sing aloud :wink:

     
  4. Oct 16, 2003 #3

    Monique

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    btw, this is the translation of the song for who wondered..

     
  5. Oct 16, 2003 #4
    Sorry to hear that you have been offended. In my experience, the people who shout 'Racist' at almost anyone these days are comparable to the witch burners of earlier centuries. It goes with 'sexist' and all the other terms. In these politically correct times, if you notice any DIFFERENCE between men and women, or between the races, you are decried as Racist, sexist, whatever...

    What is the definition of Racist? To those who see it everywhere, it seems to be 'noticing a difference in people'. Well that is rubbish. Racism is the act of "discriminating against someone due to their racial origins". How is a joke mentioning the fact that Chinese often speak with an accent racist? I teach in a school with a fair proportion of chinese students. I love them dearly, they add a real something to the school, and yes, nearly everyone has a 'chinese accent'. I noticed this, so must be racist too then! (But it hasn't stopped me trying to learn Cantonese!)

    (PS I think that I must be exceptionally racist as I recently noticed that nearly all of the world's best long distance runners tend to be of East African origin....)
     
  6. Oct 16, 2003 #5

    Monique

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    Well, the issue has been cleared, I just think cultures should be cherished. Does anyone else here feel that globalization is a bad thing in terms of the cultural identity of a country. Or is it a good thing?

    I mean, traveling is so easy nowadays, and television goes around the world is seconds through sattelite. I think we are doomed to all become the same 9 billion dromes
     
  7. Oct 16, 2003 #6
    In my opinion, promoting one culture, by saying that, say, italians are better at preparing food, you are therefore implying that other cultures are inferior in this matter. So, you could be called a discriminator for promoting a race or culture.

    So, this means that differentiating cultures at all,is racist and/or discriminatory. But, the fact is that cultures and races, by nature, genetically, are different.

    So, it is impossible not to be racist.

    *On a side note, capitalism could also be interpreted as a racist system in that it promotes self-betterment, by whatever means the contemporary mode for advancement accomodates. Some races accel at this contemporary mode of self-betterment(which happens to be intelligence/ambition) than others.

    Racism(the definition i have identified) is a way of life.
     
  8. Oct 16, 2003 #7

    Monique

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    See, this is where the error lies. Liking something over another is not racist or dicriminatory, only when negative action is taken based on such preconceptions. I don't like Italian food, so what, but: Italian food has been banned because I dislike the taste.. a big difference, see?

    I think Adrian Baker said it very well :)

    I wonder: has anyone had the opportunity to watch foreign films? I absolutely loved it! You get to see those small villages, hear new ideas or believes. I wish that I knew where to find such places here in Holland :(

    I once saw a movie, I think it was Tai.. it starts with an old man sitting at a table, smoking. Quietly sitting there, smoking, slowly the camera pans out and the scene changes, morfes, to a scene of mourning. A mother and a son, mourning the death of their husband/father.

    The film was about superstitions, the mother was very traditional and she knew that her deceiced husband would come to visit her, in one form or another. She taped every single window with black linnen, so that the light wouldn't shun him. The son had modern ideas and tried to convince his mother to stop the superstition.

    One day, the son goes to the refridgerator to get a drink. He sees a roach walking and jells out, slamming it with his shoe, thinks for a moment and feeds the thing to the HUGE fish swimming in a even bigger aquarium. The mom comes running in: has father come? The son says, no, it was just a roach I fed it to the fish. The mother falls down on her knees, crying loudly, what have you done! It must have been your father coming to visit us.

    The rest of the movie the mom spent talking to the fish, as if her husband was inside. I don't remember now how it ended, but the concept is just so novel!


    Ah! Anyone saw Amélie? French movie, I just couldn't stop laughing, lol.
     
  9. Oct 16, 2003 #8

    Monique

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    For anyone interested in seeing an international selection of movies that can be seen, go here: http://www.dia.org/dft/pages/schedule.html

    That is the Detroit Institute of Art Film Theater, if they show a movie, it must be good there must be some movie-rental places that rent those movies? At least Amélie became very famous.

     
  10. Oct 16, 2003 #9

    Monique

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    For instance this one, a movie made in India:

    I really have to find a place to watch these movies soon
     
  11. Oct 16, 2003 #10
    I am not to sure about celebrating cultural diversity. Diversity is not always a great thing. Mult-culturalism is relativistic garbage that has served as the new "racism" in rescent years ("that is just their culture" has become a slogan used to ignore and segregate people). Having an inclusive society should pit various cultures against once another, not seperate them into exclusive bodies.
     
  12. Oct 16, 2003 #11
    Monique,

    I'm with you on this. It is always incredibly interesting to come in contact with cultural differences.

    I live in what is essentially an Asian neighborhood, although I am not Asian myself. Older Chineese couples go out for walks and the woman walks about 20 feet in front of the man. I was told that this is because of walking on paths for centuries where two people couldn't go side by side. If the man were to go in front and robbers or a wild animal were to attack the woman he might not even know it. Walking behind her he can see if she's in trouble and defend her. Here, in the city, they just keep doing it the same way.

    I think things like that are a trip.
     
  13. Oct 17, 2003 #12
    monique,

    if some races or cultures are better at say, doing math, wouldnt it be logical to discriminate and have this culture put more pressure in mathematics more proportionately?

    Are you saying its ok to recognize difference, but its not ok to exploit the inherent efficiencies in discriminating?
     
  14. Oct 17, 2003 #13
    I used to love going to the DIA when I was a child(and even as an adult). My aunt and uncle would take me down there and we'd make a day of it. I always felt a sense of awe wandering through those great halls, then having lunch in the garden cafe. Did you ever see the video wall? That was really cool:)

    I also enjoyed the museum of african american history(relatively new) and the Science center. The science center has one of the few omnimax domes in the world(the more common IMAX is just a really tall screen).

    As far as cross cultural interest- well I'm sure you know my language fetish:wink:
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2003
  15. Oct 17, 2003 #14
    See, for instance, I would call this a racist statement, in that it implies that some peoples are smarter than others because of race.
     
  16. Oct 17, 2003 #15
    To a certain extent I agree. The problem is that many people (particularly those that like to shout 'racist' at others) see multi culturalism as just meaning eating curries, welcoming people from abroad and liking the influence on our culture that they have. But it is deeper than this. To genuinely celebrate multi culturism we should also celebrate the culture of female castration by Somalia immigrants, or stoning to death of adulterers, loss of human rights for women, a belief that the west is 'evil', voodo, medicines made from endangered species parts, daughters murdered for following western lifestyles.... the list goes on and on.

    I live in a vibrant culture that has been richened by immigration, but that doesn't mean that some aspects of different cultures aren't harmful to our way of life and to the people we accept into our society.
    Is being judgemental against a culture that promotes female castration racist?? Should we encourage this practise to continue as it is 'their cultural heritage'?
    I think not.
     
  17. Oct 17, 2003 #16

    The children at my school often call 'Further Maths', 'Chinese Maths' as although only 10% or so of our students are Chinese, they make up 90% or more (sometimes 100%) of the Further Maths Class.

    I see myself as a scientist, not a sociologist or someone who wishes the world to be different from the way it is. It seems to me, that for whatever reason, the chinese students tend to be better at Maths than the english students. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but as scientists, we should look at the data and see what it says, not decide what we want the data to say, then ignore anything that contradicts this viewpoint. Is the data 'racist' or just the person who measures it?
     
  18. Oct 17, 2003 #17

    Hurkyl

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    Is it still racist if its a true statement?
     
  19. Oct 17, 2003 #18

    Monique

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    Actually, you have got a very good point here. There are cultures who sacrifice a goat on a certain holiday, by slicing its neck and letting it bleed to death. Ofcourse, this is frowned upon by outsiders and think it is cruel. But does it make it right or wrong then?

    For the people shouting racist all the time, being multicultural means the following:

    When not seeing their faces or hearing their voice, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between people from all over the world. They all have to study, they have to earn money, they all get home to a family, they go to sleep and use the bathroom.
    But when you ask further you get to hear stories. A private account of living under Stalin; a story of living in an animal reserve, where taking a walk in you backyard means encountering elephants or lions; a story of the video camera freezing at a wedding, by the immense cold; Japanese tea time; living under political sensor.

    Maybe not all cultural aspects should stay the same, I mean, cultures evolve, but there are a lot of things to be learned from it too. I lived two years with an Hindu Indian girl, the Hindus I've met were very passionate for their faith in gods. Praying everyday, giving me accounts of all the holidays observed in India (probably 3 a week :P), those were very spiritual people.

    I mean? Wouldn't it be a shame, living without knowing the emotions of other parts of this world? In showing the interest, noticing the differences one can only grow.
     
  20. Oct 17, 2003 #19

    Monique

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    Eh, cool, you live in the Detroit area? Yes, I've been to all those places.. the dome screen is really nice, have you been to a 3D movie at Henry Ford? That is SO cool, the screen is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! Have you been to the renewed science center? Its much better than before. I lived right on the edge of the cultural center, walking over to the DIA took me 5 minutes..
     
  21. Oct 17, 2003 #20

    Njorl

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    This is a cultural difference, not a genetic one. If you look at cities with very old Chinese populations, San Fran, New York, Philadelphia and Vancouver, you find plenty of 3rd and 4th generation Chinese who have incorporated the American apathy toward math into their lives.

    You'd think I'd experience quite a bit of Cultural diversity. I work in a lab with Chinese, Indian, Russian, Pakistani, Iranian, Columbian, Hungarian co-workers, and others I'm sure. They're all so obsessed with work though, very little gets through.

    My own particular tastes are Chinese and Austrian food, Russian and Irish music and English history.

    BTW, the is nothig wrong with discrimination. It is only misapplied discrimination that is distasteful. Distinguishing good food from bad is discrimination.

    Njorl
     
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