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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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-10, 20:32

You know, not everything on the Internet is going to be written exactly the way you want it to be. :roll:

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Johanna » 2018-12-10, 20:55

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Why was "partner" needed in the first place? Is boyfriend / girlfriend not appropriate after a certain age?

In addition to what Johanna said, I found it very odd to refer to men who were literally twice my age as my "boyfriends"--so much so that, for my second partner, I began using the term "gentleman friend".

Speaking of, in a heterosexual context, my grandfather and his partner are in their late 80's and 70's respectively. It would be silly to talk about them as boyfriend and girlfriend, and at the same time they aren't married so they aren't spouses either.

At least the normal Swedish term for a live-in romantic partner (sambo) is both age and gender neutral. As is the one for a partner who you are equally committed to but you've made the decision to keep your separate homes (särbo). What's iffy is when you're in the stage before that, then Swedish is more at a loss than English probably.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-12-10, 21:18

Aurinĭa wrote:Then why didn't you specify? If you're only talking about a particular subset of people to whom something could apply, it doesn't make sense not to specify. If you don't, you make it seem like that particular subset isn't a subset, but the whole set.


I think it's because of this thing called "making mistakes". Not sure though.

vijayjohn wrote:You know, not everything on the Internet is going to be written exactly the way you want it to be. :roll:


Thanks.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-10, 21:42

Since this is the Random Culture Thread, I'd also like to point out that people from different cultural backgrounds have different ways of expressing the same thing, even when they're all on the Internet and all typing in English. In my experience, people misunderstand each other very frequently on the Internet.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-12-11, 7:21

vijayjohn wrote:You know, not everything on the Internet is going to be written exactly the way you want it to be. :roll:

No kidding. Still doesn't mean I can't point it out, does it? I'm far from the only person who'd notice and dislike the discrepancy between what was said and what was meant.

IpseDixit wrote:I think it's because of this thing called "making mistakes". Not sure though.

I know you didn't do it malignantly, you just happened to post where I could react to it vs other instances when I can't.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-16, 16:19

This picture appears on the (English) Wikipedia article for the Russian Empire with the caption "Young Russian peasant women in front of traditional wooden house (ca. 1909 to 1915) taken by Prokudin-Gorskii and hand -coloured (sic)":
Image
Can anyone tell what the three women in the picture are carrying in their hands and why? They look like plates of some kind of berries. Was this a common custom in Russia at some time in its history? Is it still today?

Here's a bigger version of that picture if it helps:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_E ... kii-08.jpg

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby voron » 2018-12-16, 23:06

There is a tradition, as you probably know, to bring bread and salt to guests, but I have never heard or seen anything like that with berries. Perhaps they were given berries just for the picture to look more interesting.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-17, 3:36

Thanks! :)

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Antea » 2019-03-17, 16:15

Are you celebrating in your country today, St. Patrick’s day? In Barcelona, you just can celebrate by going to Irish pubs, but there’s no big parades or anything else that I know. Is it a big celebration in your country? What do you usually do?

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-03-17, 16:42

There are parades in my country but not in my neighborhood or anything. Lots of people celebrate it here. I don't (indeed, I celebrate pretty much nothing by now).

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby TheStrayCat » 2019-03-17, 17:41

Antea wrote:Are you celebrating in your country today, St. Patrick’s day? In Barcelona, you just can celebrate by going to Irish pubs, but there’s no big parades or anything else that I know. Is it a big celebration in your country? What do you usually do?

It is a big day in Chicago, which historically had and still has a large Irish population. Every year the Chicago river in downtown is dyed green, which attracts thousands of people, and various Irish-style souvenirs are for sale in supermarkets all over the area. Going to pubs is pretty common too, last year I went to one with some friends and we had to stand in a long line.

Not really a thing in Ukraine though, since it never had any significant ties with Ireland.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-03-17, 18:02

Antea wrote:Are you celebrating in your country today, St. Patrick’s day? In Barcelona, you just can celebrate by going to Irish pubs, but there’s no big parades or anything else that I know. Is it a big celebration in your country? What do you usually do?

I (and the majority of the people I've seen) wear something green, but no real "celebration". There have also been lots of decorations involving the color green, pots of gold, shamrocks, and leprechauns in some places (schools, stores) all month. I know that some people make a point of drinking beer or eating corned beef and cabbage or making soda bread today, and in certain cities there are parades, but personally I just wear something green and that's it.

vijayjohn wrote:This picture appears on the (English) Wikipedia article for the Russian Empire with the caption "Young Russian peasant women in front of traditional wooden house (ca. 1909 to 1915) taken by Prokudin-Gorskii and hand -coloured (sic)":
Image
Can anyone tell what the three women in the picture are carrying in their hands and why? They look like plates of some kind of berries. Was this a common custom in Russia at some time in its history? Is it still today?

Here's a bigger version of that picture if it helps:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_E ... kii-08.jpg

I know this is an old post, but I don't remember seeing it before now. Just wanted to add that it is from this collection and the description there says "Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov." So this answers the question of "what they are carrying and why". :D
Giving berries to visitors is not a specific tradition per se, but offering food to visitors is, and wild berry-picking is very popular in that region. Probably the photo was taken during the berry-picking season and so that is what the people in the photograph had lots of at the time and offered to their visitors. There is also this photo (obviously from the same photo session) and this photo (a different girl carrying berries in the same region). At the links you can click the small photos to enlarge them.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-03-18, 3:47

Thanks!

I don't even bother wearing green. :P

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-03-18, 14:28

TheStrayCat wrote:
Antea wrote:Are you celebrating in your country today, St. Patrick’s day? In Barcelona, you just can celebrate by going to Irish pubs, but there’s no big parades or anything else that I know. Is it a big celebration in your country? What do you usually do?

It is a big day in Chicago, which historically had and still has a large Irish population. Every year the Chicago river in downtown is dyed green, which attracts thousands of people, and various Irish-style souvenirs are for sale in supermarkets all over the area. Going to pubs is pretty common too, last year I went to one with some friends and we had to stand in a long line.

I have a standing rule of not going south of Lawrence and east of Western on St Patrick's Day Weekend (which includes St Patrick's day this year but often falls before it) because that means entering what I call the Green Vomit Zone. Literally hundreds of thousands of people, some of them drinking since 8 a.m. or earlier. If I want to go out to celebrate, I'll visit the Irish-American Heritage Centre on the Northwest Side. It essentially screens out all the worst amateurs by being inconveniently located (relative to the "douche vortices" of Lakeview and River North) and attracting an older more settled crowd. Plus the music is actually good.

Mostly, though, I'm content to stay at home, read some Irish prose, listen to Irish songs, and make colcannon. I've never really cared for corned beef and cabbage (I really wish Americans would go back to making it with backbacon, like the Irish do) though I give props to my neighbours for making a good version of it this year and inviting me over. (Really, it was only the corned beef that was good; the cabbage was as limp and nasty as ever.)
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby księżycowy » 2019-03-18, 17:30

We usually make a meal. Yes, usually corned beef and cabbage with champ, and I usually make some fresh soda bread. (Though I do make a mean Irish stew too.)

It was also my Irish grandmother's birthday. :)
Last edited by księżycowy on 2019-03-18, 17:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Antea » 2019-03-18, 17:30

linguoboy wrote:the Green Vomit Zone


:lol:

linguoboy wrote:Mostly, though, I'm content to stay at home, read some Irish prose, listen to Irish songs, and make colcannon. I've never really cared for corned beef and cabbage (I really wish Americans would go back to making it with backbacon, like the Irish do) though I give props to my neighbours for making a good version of it this year and inviting me over. (Really, it was only the corned beef that was good; the cabbage was as limp and nasty as ever.)


I am curious about “Colcannon”. I would like to try it, but I was looking the menus of some Irish pubs here, and I don’t find this plate. They have mainly burgers and nachos :hmm: I will look for it in some others 👀

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-03-18, 17:37

Antea wrote:I am curious about “Colcannon”. I would like to try it, but I was looking the menus of some Irish pubs here, and I don’t find this plate. They have mainly burgers and nachos :hmm: I will look for it in some others 👀

Most "Irish pubs" abroad have very little in the way of actual Irish cuisine. The one nearest where I work has colcannon, but then it's actually owned by an Irishman.

(Their menu is here: http://www.celticknotpub.com/menus/pub-grub/. Note how they call corned beef and cabbage "Boston Corned Beef and Cabbage" and have brown bread rather than soda bread.)

Look at some menus for tapas restaurants in the USA and I daresay you won't find an awful lot that looks familiar or that you'd typically serve at home.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Antea » 2019-03-18, 18:08


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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-03-18, 19:47


Looks decent. Couple pointers:

1. I much prefer kale (col verda) to regular white cabbage. You can also use chard (bleda) or, really, any kind of leafy green you like.
2. I also prefer the greens sautéed in butter rather than boiled. I find it gives them a better colour, texture, and flavour. You can use the same pot as the one you boiled the potatoes in, just wipe it out well or some potato starch might stick to the bottom and burn. When the greens are nice and soft, add the milk and heat it through before adding the potatoes and mashing them.
3. You can substitute buttermilk (sèrum de mantega) for milk if you want a tangier flavour.
4. "Champ" is a related dish which uses scallions rather than leafy greens. I think scallions softened in butter make a nice addition to colcannon. So do leeks. You can also add fresh herbs if you have them.
5. Usually the potatoes are boiled together with the bacon. But if you're using ham rather than proper back bacon, this might make the potatoes too salty.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-03-19, 6:09

My last day of work for this week is going to be Thursday, which just so happens to also be Holi. I would have had no idea that that was exactly when it was if not for the fact that it's listed on our calendars at work. Holi to me is and always will be a North Indian holiday. Even Diwali is North Indian to me.


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