Monday, 8 February 2010

What Are the Rules??

Jeff stayed up until 4:00 am watching the Super Bowl this week. At the mention of this, one of our friends commented that he must really love American football. But Jeff’s not a football fanatic. I actually can’t remember him watching much football when we lived in the States. Jeff’s response to the question was tantamount to saying “I’m an American male. It’s the Super Bowl. What else am I supposed to do?”

All of this has made me think about “culture”. The Super Bowl says a lot about American culture. (I only watched the first few minutes and then went to bed…it STARTED at midnight and there were no commercials.)

We love big competition, especially if they involve an underdog figure.

We are relatively patriotic, at least compared to most countries. What is considered normal in the States would be rendered to fanaticism in other countries.

We love buying things, and we’ll buy almost anything if the propaganda is good enough. (I watched the Super Bowl commercials online the next day and went out to buy Doritos.)

Of course those are NOT the only traits our culture has: we also tend to be very generous, we strive for success, we are funny. (Just look at our Super Bowl commercials.)

It also made me think about the other “cultures” I have become a part of and my increasing dilemma in understanding their “requirements”.

1. With Spanish culture it is customary to greet people with two kisses. But I’m never sure when I’m supposed to do so, because apparently there’s a secret rule as to who you kiss and who you don’t, and when you kiss and when you don’t. I’m positive I’m offending someone nearly all the time.

2. Blog culture is an interesting phenomenon. We’ve created this virtual space, but what are the rules? What happens with blog meets real life in a non blog related event? Oh, the things that boggle my mind…

3. Church culture: we all have different ways of expressing similar sentiments. When should we use which words? What are the “rules” of each separate environment?

4. Salvation Army culture: “The Army is the Army no matter where you are.”…or so I thought.

…I’m sure the list could go on and on.

Anyways, we spent the next 10 minutes of the above conversation explaining how American football is actually played. To which he responded “That sounds like a dumb game.”

No comments: