Random Culture Thread

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

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Linguaphile
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2022-06-05, 18:17

linguoboy wrote:In fact this practice is so widespread now that it's already eight years since Boise State University professor Greg Hampikian wrote his savage essay, "When May I Shoot a Student?", which went viral soon after being carried as an opinion piece by the NYT.

And wasn't the issue at that time not about arming (semi-)trained teachers, but rather about allowing anyone, including students and visitors, to carry firearms on college campuses? In other words it already went way beyond teachers carrying firearms and the essay was along the lines of "if my students can carry firearms in the classroom, so can I, but under what circumstances would a teacher use one?"
Ajalik inimene ei jõua oma keelerännikul kunagi pärale. Osa teeharusid jääbki inimesel elu jooksul keeles avastamata. - Valdur Mikita

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2022-06-06, 19:10

Linguaphile wrote:
linguoboy wrote:In fact this practice is so widespread now that it's already eight years since Boise State University professor Greg Hampikian wrote his savage essay, "When May I Shoot a Student?", which went viral soon after being carried as an opinion piece by the NYT.

And wasn't the issue at that time not about arming (semi-)trained teachers, but rather about allowing anyone, including students and visitors, to carry firearms on college campuses? In other words it already went way beyond teachers carrying firearms and the essay was along the lines of "if my students can carry firearms in the classroom, so can I, but under what circumstances would a teacher use one?"

Yeah, it was related to the nationwide push for "open carry". I want to say it was around that time that Illinois' limitations on the carrying of firearms were declared unconstitutional and my institution had to put up signs indicating that you weren't allowed to take firearms into any campus buildings.

Before then, we'd never had any campus lockdowns due to actual or suspected active shooter situations. Since then, we've had three (one on my campus, two on the downtown campus). Make of that what you will.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Johanna » 2022-06-15, 4:16

mōdgethanc wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Are y'all keeping up with the latest cross-cultural Twitter phenom? Apparently someone posted about Swedish folks making guests stay alone in another room why the family ate a meal and the rest of the world is flipping out. I have to admit, while I can imagine a particular family or even a small subculture doing this, the idea that it's a general cultural expectation is just flabbergasting to me. As someone said in comments, in the American South, if you were invited into someone's house for whatever reason and they didn't offer you food and drink people would talk about you for *months*. About the only time something like this would be acceptable to us as Americans is if you had tradespeople in your home and even then you'd at least offer them some water to drink even if you didn't expect them to accept.

Yep, I read some of it and noted even the Swedes themselves disagreed on how widespread it is - some said that it's a norm (or was when they were kids at least) while others said that it's only a thing that a subset of the middle class does. The weird thing to me is why it would be only Sweden and not the other Nordic countries, unless they're in on it too.

The whole world seems to agree that this social norm sucks ass and is rude and mean. It's a damn kid. If they're at your home and it's dinnertime, you offer to let them stay, or else they go home. Making them sit alone in a room is something you do to punish a kid. The hell?

The arguments I saw that were for this practice were mostly one of these:

1. Dinner is family time and it's sacred or something.

I think this is weak. The family is still there if someone joins them. The dynamic doesn't shift that much.

2. Families might not have enough to feed another kid.

This is also weak since again, I read this was a middle-class thing, not something poor families do. It's weird to me that families would only make enough food for themselves and no more. Leftovers are a thing.

3. It's understood that the kid would have dinner waiting at home for them and will go eat it at some point.

Alright, this one almost makes sense - but then why doesn't the kid go home? Why don't their parents come and pick them up? Why make this kid sit in a room? Baffling.

How this norm arose and why is the big question here. Nowhere else on earth seems to do it. Why Sweden?

1. and 3. actually tie together, it's not that your child's friend would disrupt your sacred family time, it's that you would deprive them of theirs if they had already eaten before you sent them home.

It seems to be an urban middle-class thing more than anything else, an environment where kids can and often do visit each other spontaneously and might even move between several friends' houses in an afternoon. In the countryside, things have always needed more planning just because of the distances involved, and children from poor families in towns and cities play outside the home since they live in apartments that aren't big enough to give them much privacy from their siblings.

It also has its roots in a time before cellphones, but perhaps more importantly: before microwaves. You didn't want to be stuck with too many leftovers since heating them up again might very well be impossible depending on the dish, and if you hadn't taken enough produce out of the freezer the day before or earlier that day, there simply wouldn't be enough food for an extra person.

As for why they weren't simply sent home, I honestly don't know. Maybe it was easier to wait in their friend's room for half an hour before you resumed playing until it was time to go home for their own dinner or something.

In any case, it's equally baffling to me, and I remember how mean it seemed when I first read about it in a book as a kid. Going home once dinnertime came around, sure, that was pretty normal, but staying in a friend's room just did not happen.

If someone still practices this, it has to be out of simple inertia, since like you say, there is absolutely no practical reason for it anymore.
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Naava
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Naava » 2023-01-11, 17:56

Not sure if this is exactly culture but I don't know where else to post it. Anyways, I saw this tweet and I thought you'd like to see it too:

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You can enjoy a similar sight at schools when kids have skiing in their P.E. lessons: the kids leave the skis against the wall when they don't need them.
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Linguaphile
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2023-01-11, 19:12

Naava wrote:Not sure if this is exactly culture but I don't know where else to post it. Anyways, I saw this tweet and I thought you'd like to see it too:

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You can enjoy a similar sight at schools when kids have skiing in their P.E. lessons: the kids leave the skis against the wall when they don't need them.
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This reminds me of bike parking at Dutch schools:
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Ajalik inimene ei jõua oma keelerännikul kunagi pärale. Osa teeharusid jääbki inimesel elu jooksul keeles avastamata. - Valdur Mikita

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Naava » 2023-01-12, 10:49

Linguaphile wrote:This reminds me of bike parking at Dutch schools:

We can do that too! :) But I think most schools in Finland have fewer students than Dutch schools and/or fewer students who live close enough to school, so it's less impressive...
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Random culture fact: after posting those photos, I started to think about the schools here and how it seems that most Finnish schools are either yellow or made of red bricks (that exact same shade you can see in the photos). There are also some smaller kyläkoulu (lit. village school) in fancy old buildings, in which case the colour options are yellow, white or red, but many of them have been closed down and the pupils transferred to bigger schools.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby md0 » 2023-01-12, 22:48

Naava's photos remind me of the time I actually both skied and cycled on snow and ice to go to university in Finland, and it feels so unreal and I can't imagine doing either again.

While I know I don't want to live long-term in a place with such low population density, I think it might do me some good mentally to visit again for a couple weeks.
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Aurinĭa
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2023-01-13, 15:07

md0 wrote:Naava's photos remind me of the time I actually both skied and cycled on snow and ice to go to university in Finland, and it feels so unreal and I can't imagine doing either again.

While I know I don't want to live long-term in a place with such low population density, I think it might do me some good mentally to visit again for a couple weeks.

Very yes, although I'd happily move somewhere with lower population density, provided I can find a decent job not too far away (or work I can do entirely from home).

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby lu:ka » 2023-01-19, 12:19

Aurinĭa wrote:Very yes, although I'd happily move somewhere with lower population density, provided I can find a decent job not too far away (or work I can do entirely from home).


I did itdidn't do it, I moved to Brussels :D


EDIT : I checked here and it seems that Brussels' density of population is triple than Rome's ... though, I don't know why, my perception was opposite.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2023-01-19, 16:47

lu:ka wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:Very yes, although I'd happily move somewhere with lower population density, provided I can find a decent job not too far away (or work I can do entirely from home).


I did itdidn't do it, I moved to Brussels :D

Ha. I could never live in Brussels. Too many people, too many cars. When I think of lower population density, I do not think of Brussels.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby lu:ka » 2023-01-25, 8:01

Aurinĭa wrote:When I think of lower population density, I do not think of Brussels.


Neither do I, but I guess my perception (of a lower population density in BXL than in Rome) is due mainly to the use of public transportation. In Rome you're almost always packed in buses and underground trains at rush hours. Here I often get a seat when I travel to and from work. But I guess that is due to the the higher frequency of vehicles and a better organisation.

Aurinĭa wrote:Too many people, too many cars.

Yes, I realise that there are actually a lot more people in stores, supermarkets, and even at bus stations (I live just above a tram station and there's always someone waiting for a tram on both sides of the road) than in Rome.
Maybe they're just less noisy than us Romans. :)

As to traffic, here there's maybe more traffic but it seems less of a chaos than in Rome to me, perhaps just because I don't go by car. Though, with the recent revision of downtown circulation I often see traffic jams.

Aurinĭa wrote:Ha. I could never live in Brussels.


As strange as it may sound, I love living here, though technically I don't live in Brussels but in Saint-Gilles. :lol:
Maybe in the future I may move in a smaller town, hopefully in the Flanders so I could improvelearn Dutch.
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