Learning About Different Cultures and People
Instead of having this thread be about people outside the U.S.A. in general, it would be nice if we could use this thread to learn more about all kinds of people from every where!~
If any one has any experiences or knowledge they could teach us about any one from any culture or any experiences or any thing they've learned, that would be great!~
Not to use this information as to learn about ALL people of one country or another, but just to learn maybe a little bit maybe some thing about some culture or some specific people like Bob or Joe.~ We could all benefit from any knowledge any one has to share!~ Learning is so much fun after all, well at least for me it is and I hope for you to!~ ^_^
I guess I'll start then: did you know that most Rain forest Tribes wore very little to mostly no clothing at all?~ Practically this makes sense, since it so humid in the various rain forests that you would be soaked from head to toe within minutes of wearing jungle-trekking clothing.~ The most they usually wear are loincloths for both males and females with no upper covering for either of them because tribal people know that breasts are not a sexual organ but are used for feeding the young-borns and it's ridiculous and pointless to cover it up because it would be like trying to cover up your nose all the time because it can potentially leak mucus some times.~
The exception are few African Rain forest tribes who wear monk-like covering of various oranges, reds, and browns.~ Although this differs among tribes, especially if they have had any western influences.~ In the case of the African tribes the warriors are mostly without clothing and the African people themselves' bodies are naturally adapted to withstand and survive the intense heat of the desert in which they live in.
Irish Werewolf: did you know that the Irish used to respect the Werewolves of Ireland before the spread of Christianity, the Werewolf was the protector of the village in exchange for a goat to eat and staying out of it's way.~ ^_^ :)
Fairies Toadstool Circles: In ancient Europe tradition of English, Welsh, and Celtic in many countries such as Ireland and Scotland it said that these naturally occurring rings of toadstools are often where fairies dance.~
These places are obviously sacred and it would be wise to treat these places with care and respect.~
Fairies in European Folklore: Nothing can be assumed about the fair folk, but it has been said that they can be wild, fun-loving, merry, and powerful people to the point of dancing for days: mortals have been said to have danced with fairies to death or even to have lived merry or terrible lives with the fairies by stepping into the world of the fair folk some times marrying a fairy or suffering some unknown horrible fate then if the mortals return to their own world they some times return centuries later and might immediately turn to dust as time is a changing thing between the world of the fair folk and the world that we mortals know or no time has passed and instead the mortals suffer some kind of weakness like disappearing when touched by cold iron perhaps receiving this condition from the being too long in the world of the fair folk or from being around the fair folk themselves.~
From the encounters told they have been seemingly like natural forces of nature, they simply are and they neither feel like going out of their way to justify nor make their ways understandable to us or anyone.~
Some people say that the fair folk dislike or even hate any one telling them "Thank you." because words have no meaning and no value to them, action does, and so if they give you some thing you accept you must SHOW your gratitude in some action to PROVE it, how you do this can vary depending on what the fair folk find acceptable to them for that particular deed.~
It might be possible to actually become a fair folk although how one does seems to vary, some mortal said that they had met a fairy queen who said she was burnt at the stake for being a witch, this might tie in in some way with one of theories that say that the fair folk are some thing like spirits as their bodies can be malleable to be like mist or seen or unseen as they wish or perhaps it is possible to be reincarnated as one of the fair folk.~
Maybe you could become a fair folk if you forsake every thing that made you Human or what ever you were before: civilized, clothing, all objects and materials, morality, restraint, everything.~ Perhaps if you let everything go and just "be", you might become closer to being like a fair folk than you think.~
Are we speaking of fair folk in the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien and his various races and cultures (men, high elves, wood elves, dwarves, hobbits, ents, trolls, goblins, orcs, etc.), or in the spirit of a race that might (say at least 10% likely) actually exist?
Of fictional races I took a liking to the Giants of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (by Stephen R. Donaldson). They were a merry, laughing, long-winded folk who could tell tales that lasted for days. Which is probably why Lord Foul (the dark lord) seemed to hate the Giants above all other races.
The Giants had certain subtle magical abilities such as being able to "will a ship upstream," though the expenditure of such will could badly sap their energy. Perhaps their most interesting trait is a ritual called (if I can possibly remember right) the caamora. It was a sacred way of cleansing their souls of any stains they felt from within. They could thrust their hands into a fire, and not be burned, but the pain of the fire's heat was a sort of baptism for them.
As for known/common Earthly cultures, I (for better or worse) can give info of various sorts on the people and culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (think Mormons and Utah here). The LDS church is unusual in that it immerses each of its members so deep in its activities that Mormonism has become as much of a culture (some anti-Mormons prefer the word "cult") as a religion. This culture has some good points and some bad. Some admirable people, and some not-so-admirable. I have people of both classes among my blood relatives.
If you meet an average "Latter-day Saint," you'll probably walk away with the impression that they're a very nice, friendly, kind person who'd be glad to help you in any way and wouldn't want to hurt you. But Mormon culture is also rather definitively synonymous with conservative culture. The Mormon church spent a ton of money to defeat same-sex marriage in California (before California finally recently got it back). The Mormon church is very anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, etc., though on the surface at least it purports to hate the "sin" and love the "sinner."
You can grow your hair out in the church but your fellow members will frown on you if you do. If you're a woman, you can get one piercing in each ear and that's it -- and that's official church doctrine. Mormon people tend to recoil from tattoos and think of them as if they were graffiti on the walls of a temple. The church forbids sex before marriage (and all masturbation), and has been known to monitor sex (by way of drawing out spousal confessions in the bishop's office) after marriage. And on and on. Very conservative. Very Republican.
The church forbids the consumption of tobacco, coffee, and tea (except non-caffeinated herbal tea). Modern church culture usually tolerates the consumption of Pepsi and Coke, but used to frown on that. The church believes in SAHM's who have lots of kids (as many pre-mortal spirits are waiting in Heaven for their chance to get a physical body).
The church strongly teaches the principle of "free agency" (an individual's absolute right to choose good or bad, though both choices have their rewards and consequences), but some individual churchmembers act as if they resent free-agency and would rather see the whole world compelled to be righteous (which was actually Satan's original idea according to LDS doctrine).
The church is huge on service and any active member will have some kind of calling (teacher, clerk, youth leader, and on and on). If all other callings should lapse, one will still be a home teacher (if a man) or a visiting teacher (if a woman). Home teachers and visiting teachers have a list of usually about five families to visit once a month: to ask how said families are doing, how the church can help, and to deliver a spiritual message.
Women don't hold the Priesthood (with its highest of all church authority positions) though they hold subordinate leadership roles that sort of correspond with the men's "superior" leadership roles. The men have the Priesthood; the women have Relief Society. The men have the Priesthood; the women have pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, gifts considered better than any Priesthood could be.
Churchmembers are supposed to fast (no food, no water) for 24 hours once a month, and if the Spirit moves them, get up during fast and testimony meeting and bear their testimony to the whole "congregation" (Mormons call it a "ward," not a congregation -- and what most Christians call a "pastor" or "priest," Mormons call a "bishop." It's all so confusing sometimes ...) about the church being true [read: the Only True and Living Church on the Face of the Whole Earth], Joseph Smith being a true prophet, how much they love their families, spiritual experiences they've recently had, etc.
The bishop (who'd be called pastor or priest in a non-Mormon Christian church) seldom "preaches the sermon." Instead, rank and file members are usually assigned to give talks -- and opening and closing prayers, which are not rote prayers though quite a few members will try to pray publicly in a rote style. This is kind of good for the members because it helps acclimatize them to public speaking.
19-year-old young men are expected to serve two-year missions for the church, preaching the Gospel in a faraway State or Nation. During these missions they're to have minimal contact with the opposite sex -- "no closer than arm's length," as the mission rulebook says. A missionary's only supposed to listen to classical music and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He has strict times to rise and retire (to wit, 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.). His every day is plotted out down to the minute. Lots of scripture reading, studying of the lessons he'll teach, studying the language if it's foreign, and tons and tons and tons of knocking on doors asking people if they'd be willing to hear the Mormon message (and if they are, the missionaries will try to ease them along the path towards baptism -- not just any old baptism, but bonafide baptism into the one church that God considers legit).
Given all those doctrinal and cultural beliefs, it's very tempting for a Mormon to develop a superiority complex. Fortunately, most Mormons are very humble and unassuming, even though their convictions may be hard as a rock.
As for missionaries, each male missionary has a (platonic, obviously) companion whose side he must never leave (though which companion he has will be rotated every perhaps three months, as will which area he's stationed in). The only privacy missionary companions get from each other is when they're using the can or the shower. Probably not all bad, since it forces you to learn how to live closely with another person and thus virtually trains you for the platonic side of marriage.
Missions are considered ... okay ... for young women to do, but they must wait til they're 21 ("old maid age" in some Mormons' eyes), and what their families would reeeally rather prefer is that they married a recently-returned (male) missionary right away (after a moderate courtship), then immediately start having lots of kids while the young father goes to BYU and works a night job to support the family. Not terribly realistic, but there you have it: a bit more of Mormon culture.
Oh and one kind of cool thing the church does: It eschews the prospect of a Heaven and a Hell with no in-betweens. In fact the church teaches that most people will end up in a "kingdom of glory" that could be likened to Heaven, Super-Heaven, or Uber-Heaven (respectively: the Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial Kingdoms). Only a few will "truly go to Hell:" what Mormons would call "Outer Darkness."
Well my post is quickly turning into a Giantish tale, so I'll stop. But obviously I can answer lots and lots of questions if you want. Trust me, it'd take me a long time to describe all the strange, beautiful, innovative, and even ugly things that Mormons tend to believe and do.
I personally had bad experiences in the church, experiences that got worse and worse after I passed into adulthood. But that's a whole 'nother Giantish tale for another time.
Anyway, that's my official description of a culture (as well as a church) that I came to know very well during my tenure in it.
Kevin, any thing I post in this thread is considered in some way to be connected to some one's or some people's beliefs and/or ways of life and in their minds it most certaintly is not "fiction", I respect that and I ask you that you please respect that as well.~
I'd also just like to point out that "Conservative" is not always synonmous with "Republican" as a "Republic" is defined as:
reĚpubĚlic [ri-puhb-lik] Show IPA
1.a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
2.any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
3.a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.
4.( initial capital letter ) any of the five periods of republican government in France. Compare First Republic, Second Republic, Third Republic, Fourth Republic, Fifth Republic.
5.( initial capital letter, italics ) a philosophical dialogue (4th century b.c.) by Plato dealing with the composition and structure of the ideal state.
Form of Government
A republic is a form of government in which affairs of state are a "public matter", not the private concern of the rulers, in which public offices are consequently appointed or elected rather than privately accommodated.
Thank you for sharing you knowledge!~ ^_^
Oh okay, you aren't referring to fictional cultures/peoples but rather to actual cultures/peoples (such as those who live here on Earth). Sorry if I misread that intention.
Re: Republicans and conservatives ... just so we're all clear, I didn't entirely mean "Republican" literally; I largely referred to the conservative nature of the Republican Party (here in the States). That said: I bet, like, 90% of all Utahns literally vote Republican, straight across the ticket, at every election. Well maybe not 90%; Utah is slowly acquiring some liberal folks. But surely 70% at least! and in conjunction with that, most Mormons/Utahns are *very conservative* as a whole.
The words "republican" and "republic" obviously have many meanings and most of the meanings are actually positive. It's too bad that the Republican Party has appropriated the word "republican." Personally, I don't think the Republican Party does that great of a job of representing the will of the general populace (even with all its widespread indoctrination/mind control). America (as a whole) is *trying* to set aside its old prejudices. Sometimes I wish Utah, the Mormon church, and the Republican Party would step out of the way and let this much-needed progress proceed unharried.
By the way ... wasn't Abraham Lincoln a Republican? (I seem to remember that from the recent movie about him.) If so: my how times and parties have changed! :eek:
But anywayz ... interesting topics. :)
Where I live, the most discriminated culture/race is the Alaskan Natives (there are several different-but on the whole-all of them are harshly discriminated against and a great deal of prejudice exists here for them).
Ironically, the polynesians here tend to be treated very well (and they are numerically a minority). There is very little prejudice or discrimination between the "blacks" and "whites".
I didn't know that was odd-until I visited the contiguous US. We don't tend to have segregated neighborhoods in the towns/cities. Everyone is very intermingled.
I have pondered the possibility that aside from the Alaskan Natives and the Polynesian communities; a large portion of residents came here as military families.
Interesting; interesting ... Sorry to hear about how the Alaskan Natives are treated. :( That's not cool at all.
It isn't cool. It has improved over the last 30 years, but there is still a LONG way to go.
Do you have any Native Alaskan culture to share with us?~
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