Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cultural differences

I've been reading Shogun by James Clavell. Let's just say, it's a book in which an English man finds himself in feudal Japan (this is the 1600s), and the reader gets to watch the English guy figure out Japanese culture while the Japanese are perplexed by him. Of course there's more to the plot than that, but the plot is beside the point here.

And the point is cultural differences. What happens when people from one culture run into people from another culture, and their ways are different? Sometimes the results can be good, but sometimes not so good. Whether things end up good or not so good often depends on how accepting of differences the people involved are. As I'm typing this, an example of people not accepting each others differences comes to mind: the fuss about a mosque near Ground Zero. But more on that later. I'll probably devote a post just to that subject.

This evening my family watched Riverdance. No, this is not an abrupt change of topic. lol Riverdance tells the story of Irish immigrants coming to the USA, and of course, they bring their own culture with them. There's one particular dance scene where the Irish discover how the locals dance, and they aren't quite sure what to make of it. I found it on YouTube, and have shared it below.

I'd say it's an example of something good happening when people from different cultures meet.