CULTURE has countless meanings, depending on where you are standing at the moment. Here, in my home in the U.S., I (love to) think of something ‘other’…international…different from ‘American Culture‘.
So, in photos I have chosen to show one of my favorite cities…Istanbul…with a culture all its own…different, even, from surrounding countries because of its unique geographical position straddling two continents…part of the city in Europe, part in Asia, across the Bosphorus.
Istanbul is a striking study of East meets West…centuries-old iconic structures and mosques…
schoolchildren in uniform with iPod buds in their ears…and my favorite moment that I was too slow to capture…a burka-clad young woman on a moped!
I am reminded that culture is often perceived (at least in my working experience) as something that Other people have.
As a study abroad advisor for a local university preparing college students for a semester abroad, at one pre-departure meeting I reversed the focus to talk about American culture. The students, all going overseas for the first time, didn’t quite understand, believing that culture was something you discovered in another country…accompanied by a different language. I was further guffawed off the stage when I told them that there are even cultural differences between English-speaking countries.
Although they found it hard to believe at the time, they learned quickly that Culture is something you carry with you, wherever you go.
It is very strange that a lot of Americans do not think of themselves as being part of a particular culture. Anyone abroad can identify the Americans, but they don’t have a clue about their own culture?! What do you think that’s all about?
You are so right…they don’t! I believe part of it is a very ego- and ethnocentric view Americans have about the world. Referring to my own students again, when I asked them what they would then call all the characteristics we came up with, the reply was…life. Meaning, we are the center, the norm…everything extends from there. It is compounded and nourished by many things in the US American culture. Watch any national weather report on TV and notice that clouds/snow/rain/heat/cold everything stops at the Canadian and Mexican borders…there is no weather that extends into Canada. Small item, but it fosters that ethnocentric belief.
Wow – so telling.
You are correct!
Good choice! Love your comments about American culture as well.
Thank you for visiting and thanks for your comments! Yes, I had to restrain myself about American culture!
Great post and great pictures!
Thank you. And thank you for visiting my blog. I’ve had a look at your great posts, and you look so busy, I’m thankful you had the time to poke around mine! Thanks.