Random Culture Thread

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Varislintu
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Varislintu » 2015-04-26, 19:38

Does it happen in other countries/cultures that teenagers, who are not destitute and probably have parents of perfectly normal income, beg for small change from random passing strangers in busy urban hubs? Sometimes with a cover story like they need to buy a bus ticket (but only ask for 65 cents), but sometimes just for no stated reason, just with the power of their puppy eyes?

It happens in Finland and I find it bizarre.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-04-26, 19:44

Yes, and it's almost always for a bus ticket, a cigarette, something from a vending machine, or for copying some papers.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby הענט » 2015-04-26, 20:08

I've met a good deal of Gypsies who needed 20 or 50 crowns for a ticket to Prague where either their wife was sick in the hospital or daughter gave birth etc. A small percentage of white people asked me the same, too. Sometimes I give them money, sometimes I don't. I don't really care if they're gonna buy wine, cigarettes, bread or the actual ticket and I'm never touched by their stories.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-26, 20:30

You realize that's not what Varislintu was talking about at all, right? :P

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-04-26, 21:39

vijayjohn wrote:Oh, that's not what happened in India at all! First, civilization began in South India. :twisted: Then they migrated north, then barbarians from the west(?) began pushing everyone towards either the east or back to the south and marginalized everybody who didn't move. Later, the barbarians fought each other again and again (and occasionally took over parts of South India, too), and North India was invaded by several more waves of barbarians while South India preserved the traditional culture better. :lol:

Are you joking or did it really happen like that? Because I've always thought the civilization of India began in the Indus valley, which is in the North.

As someone who's a descendant of barbarians that invaded civilized regions, accepted civilization and were then invaded by some other barbarians, I've always been fascinated by the continuity and duration of the Indian and Chinese civilizations.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Sol Invictus » 2015-04-27, 0:21

Varislintu wrote:Does it happen in other countries/cultures that teenagers, who are not destitute and probably have parents of perfectly normal income, beg for small change from random passing strangers in busy urban hubs? Sometimes with a cover story like they need to buy a bus ticket (but only ask for 65 cents), but sometimes just for no stated reason, just with the power of their puppy eyes?

It happens in Finland and I find it bizarre.

It seems to be a common story for beggars everywhere. Hard to tell if they are well off or not, some look well, some do not, years and years ago I read a newspaper article where they had researched beggars of Riga, they actually all made decent living from it

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-27, 1:09

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Are you joking or did it really happen like that? Because I've always thought the civilization of India began in the Indus valley, which is in the North.

I'm mostly joking. In reality, I'm not sure. Maybe it depends on what you would say counts as the beginning of civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization is the first major civilization in India, but there are a lot of archeological remains that predate it in both North and South India (and of course Pakistan), like this, this, this, and this.

You might also find this interesting. :) Well idk, I do. :blush:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Ipx2T7VlQ

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Lada » 2015-04-27, 17:13

Varislintu wrote:Does it happen in other countries/cultures that teenagers, who are not destitute and probably have parents of perfectly normal income, beg for small change from random passing strangers in busy urban hubs? Sometimes with a cover story like they need to buy a bus ticket (but only ask for 65 cents), but sometimes just for no stated reason, just with the power of their puppy eyes?

It happens in Finland and I find it bizarre.

It's not bizarre if you know the reason. Parents don't give them money and they want to buy cigarettes and alcohol, that's obvious I think. If they are not allowed to buy this stuff coz they're still young, they ask older friends to buy it and share the "prize" together. I haven't met such teenagers, but met kids. A boy aged 8-10 approached me asking some coins for buying "chupa-chups". I said "let's go to the shop and I'll buy it for you". The boy giggled and ran away.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Varislintu » 2015-04-27, 17:26

I know that they want to buy stuff -- they are asking for money after all. :) But they are so obviously not poor. Poor people in Finland don't beg for money, at least not kids/teenagers. There is ginormous shame attached to that -- only Romanian seasonal beggars do that here.

But these teenagers are 100% not embarrassed, which means that they don't need the money per se. I mean, maybe they ran out of money just that day, but they will have more money in a matter of days from their parents. What I find bizarre is 1) the level of entitlement that makes them think strangers would want to top up their First World obnoxious teenager cigarette fund, and 2) that it must apparently yield results since they keep doing it. :hmm:

Well, I'm a grumpy old woman, maybe that's why it baffles me so. :silly:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-27, 17:36

Varislintu wrote:What I find bizarre is 1) the level of entitlement that makes them think strangers would want to top up their First World obnoxious teenager cigarette fund, and 2) that it must apparently yield results since they keep doing it.

The latter explains the former, don't you think?
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Varislintu » 2015-04-27, 18:35

linguoboy wrote:The latter explains the former, don't you think?


Yeah -- who gives their hard-earned money to well-off teenagers, I guess it boils down to that question. :lol:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Sol Invictus » 2015-04-27, 20:40

Varislintu wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The latter explains the former, don't you think?


Yeah -- who gives their hard-earned money to well-off teenagers, I guess it boils down to that question. :lol:

People who believe their story - a nice kid, maybe indeed cannot get home - can happen to anyone, it's not like it's a lot of money. So it happens that you have been asked several times and have become suspicious, but maybe other people hear it for the first time.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Varislintu » 2015-04-28, 5:24

Sol Invictus wrote:People who believe their story - a nice kid, maybe indeed cannot get home - can happen to anyone, it's not like it's a lot of money. So it happens that you have been asked several times and have become suspicious, but maybe other people hear it for the first time.


Makes sense. :yep:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Prowler » 2015-05-04, 16:04

Varislintu wrote:Does it happen in other countries/cultures that teenagers, who are not destitute and probably have parents of perfectly normal income, beg for small change from random passing strangers in busy urban hubs? Sometimes with a cover story like they need to buy a bus ticket (but only ask for 65 cents), but sometimes just for no stated reason, just with the power of their puppy eyes?

It happens in Finland and I find it bizarre.

Yes. In big metro stations you'll get teenagers asking you near the ticket machines "excuse me, can you lend me 50 cents?"

"Lend me". How funny! :roll:

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-05-06, 9:01

Looks like there's a lot for me to learn about certain kinds of mats from Kerala. I should probably ask my dad what exactly grass mats are used for.

They don't look all that different from the reed mats I'm more familiar with. Here's a reed mat from Tamil Nadu:
Image
And here's a grass mat from Kerala:
http://img.tradeindia.com/fp/1/783/443.jpg

I also found a video showing (very briefly) how these grass mats are made (in a certain Malayalee village):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PZAqJATBRQ

And then there are bamboo mats:
http://keralatrips.in/about_kerala_tour ... bamboo.JPG

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby OldBoring » 2015-05-06, 9:54

In China we sleep on them. We didn't traditionally have matresses.
Grass mats are for winter. In summer we use bamboo mats, which are cold when you've just lied on them, but they also heat up more after you lied on it for a bit. :lol:

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-05-06, 10:02

Youngfun wrote:In China we sleep on them. We didn't traditionally have matresses.
Grass mats are for winter. In summer we use bamboo mats, which are cold when you've just lied on them, but they also heat up more after you lied on it for a bit. :lol:

See, in Kerala, people sleep on reed mats, not grass or bamboo mats AFAIK. That's why I've only ever seen reed mats; that's what my grandma's maidservant (or the kids in her daycare/Montessori school, when she invited them over for lunch and nap time) would have slept on. Winter doesn't exist in Kerala, so...

Well, I think maybe my dad said that grass mats were for putting on the roof during the monsoon season? But then I'm pretty sure he also said bamboo mats were something you put on the roof, like if you want to dry something in the sun or something.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby OldBoring » 2015-05-06, 10:12

But then 草 can mean both grass or straw, so I'm not sure if 草席 would be better translated as grass or straw mats...

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-05-06, 10:33

Malayalee grass mats apparently can be called "straw mats" in English, too, so that doesn't really make a difference. Neither grass nor straw is a reed. ;)

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Yasna » 2015-05-07, 0:15

"Public attitudes towards same-sex marriage have changed dramatically since 2004, when the first gay marriages were recognised in Massachusetts. Today most Americans support gay marriage. The least gay-friendly state (Alabama) is about where today's most gay-friendly state was a decade ago (Vermont)"

Amazing. Has there ever been such a rapid change in culture?


http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/05/same-sex-marriage
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