View Poll Results: Are there truly concepts that require one to grow up in certain place to understand?

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  • Yes

    18 62.07%
  • No

    10 34.48%
  • I don't understand.

    1 3.45%
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  1. #1
    Terasiel is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default You Can't Understand My Culture! Oh, Really?

    Simple yes or no question, poll included, for all the wonderfully diverse members we have here in the StopTazmo Forums.

    This keeps coming up so I felt that the question deserved its own thread.

  2. #2
    StealDragon's Avatar
    StealDragon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    Of course. Stupid question.


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    before the ship goes down, I've been making amends by making the rounds before the whole world ends


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  3. #3
    Ferozban is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    yes (message is too short)

    My new signature to celebrate my 1000th post!!! (My waifu Yuno)

  4. #4
    Dante Obscuri is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Yes, culture is not something you can easily understand by reading information about it on textbooks.


  5. #5
    ivanov_2020 is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Yes, culture is not something you can easily understand by reading information about it on textbooks (copied), or the net. and it's not just culture like law, politic, etc...

  6. #6
    999Ghosts is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Culture must not be studied from the pages of a book or a web page. Doing so will produce misconceptions. If one must study culture, then one must experience it firsthand, because knowing it is entirely different from experiencing it.

    Oh, and your society cultured you, not textbooks and the like.

  7. #7
    Stuyvesant is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    There is definitely a mindset that comes with living in a certain place - a feel for the language and nuances and the quirks in different places. Some of these you can learn through living there, some are ingrained through growing up there.

  8. #8
    bipolargraph is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999Ghosts View Post
    Culture must not be studied from the pages of a book or a web page. Doing so will produce misconceptions. If one must study culture, then one must experience it firsthand, because knowing it is entirely different from experiencing it.

    Oh, and your society cultured you, not textbooks and the like.
    That's a good point. I know many foreign people, who just moved here, and they've liked the life style here (some staying here before I've been born). I also know others who been here for a year before they moved out. Reading about culture from books is different from experiencing them.

  9. #9
    Saizou is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    As the question is phrased, I'll have to answer no. There are no cultural concepts that would require a person to grow up in a certain culture in order to understand them. After all, you can learn things as an adult, no?

    On the wider question about understanding a culture, I suppose that comprehensive understanding would require a lot of immersion in the culture in question. However, this is a strict definition of understanding, and perhaps too strict. For example, on an intellectual level I can understand the behaviour and motivations of people from a different culture by reading about the culture and following the news about the area in question. I might not have the instinctive knowledge that comes from growing up or living in that culture, but I'm not entirely clueless either.

    The question then becomes, do I really understand the culture or not? I'd say that this is now impossible to answer as a simple yes/no question, so I won't try.

  10. #10
    Terasiel is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    I have to believe that Saizo is the only one who actually understood my question or else I'm very alone in my belief in it's incorrectness.

    I didn't mean "Can you truly know the feeling of having a mindset, or set of beliefs, that are completely different from that of your culture," which is still questionable itself. What I meant was "Is there something someone can do because of a culture that is so far from some other culture's understanding that you must be immersed in it in order to have the ability to conceive why such a feeling exists." - In which case I can only say no.

    Can I understand the concept of killing yourself because you've lost your honor? Of course.
    Can I understand not talking to certain people because they are unworthy of my attention and generally "unclean?" Absolutely.
    Can I understand killing a member of my own family to save my, or our, collective reputation? No problem, really.
    Can I understand doing certain blood rituals before minor events on a regular basis? Yep.
    Can I understand having no problem with nudity being in the public view constantly? Surprising, yes.
    Can I understand having a society with absolutely no marriages? Sounds cool to me.
    Can I understand basing my beliefs purely off of an ancient book and the interpretations of elders who read from it? Oh yeah. I'm from the South, remember?
    Can I understand using cannibalism in order to honor the memory of a dead relative? Though I find it unsettling, I do know why they do it.
    Can I understand having severe tattooing or scarring in order to show my dignity and honor and coming of age? That's not a hard one, really.
    Can I understand having ritualistic beatings and acts of self-endangerment in order to "grow up" in a society? Yeah, I pretty much get that.


    Do I believe there is such a thing as a concept that is too alien to know without being born, or raised, into it? No. I've yet to hear an example of one that I cannot grasp.
    Last edited by Terasiel; 03-26-2009 at 04:25 AM.

 

 
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