Do you have any suggestions for books, websites, other to help a new arrival to the US with learn general cultural references? I'm mentoring a Chinese student who is attending a mid-size US university. This is her first time in the US, and her English is fantastic. She asked me if I knew of any resources that could help her understand more US cultural references since sometimes she feels lost. [more inside]
I was watching a movie where a scene included an academic lecturing on her work. The event was a black tie affair and there was an open bar at the lecture. I suddenly realized that this is common in movies and I've actually been to something like that in real life. Why? [more inside]
I'm looking for books that: 1. List different beliefs and practices of many different world cultures, both contemporary or historical cultures. 2. Are accessible, as in not needing an anthropology degree to understand them. 3. Preferably have pictures. 4. Are non-fiction, NOT a narrative with characters. I just want the facts. 5. Can be for kids or adults. 6. Preferably not internet resources because I want to minimize screen time. [more inside]
Seeking advice on how to find out about events, screenings, lectures, workshops, and gatherings organized by and for the South Asian community in New York City. [more inside]
Are there areas outside the U.S. -- or well-run organizations within it -- where the words Invoice and Receipt are properly used interchangeably? Cultural issues below [more inside]
Of course I am referring to the BBC version of the show here. I am currently rewatching the series and a few scenes stuck out to me as kind of bizarrely sexist and lewd, in a way that goes above and beyond the usual bounds of a comedy. If there wasn't some bit of truth to these scenes I can't imagine they would have worked that well as jokes in the first place, so I ask thee who have worked in that culture... [more inside]
In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why? [more inside]
I have a daughter entering college, for a while I have been thinking of her leaving and about things that women have to look out for, which in general men don’t. Some examples [more inside]
My husband, a mechanical engineer from the rural midwest, recently moved to a position in the white-collar engineering workforce - what does he need to know to thrive? [more inside]
Let's say you have a kid - 10-15 years old, so maybe grades 5-10 - and you decide to pull them out of school for a year. During that time, you are going to drive around the United States with the goal of learning, in an authentic way, as much as possible about American history, culture, and geography. Where do you go, and what do you read? [more inside]
Someone I work with is Turkish and in Turkey for the summer. He asked me to let him know if I would like something from Turkey. I do! But do I take him up on it? [more inside]
A friend and I are taking a short trip (about 3 days) to New Orleans. We're staying near the French Quarter, access to buses and bikes. Where should we go, what should we do? [more inside]
I was thinking last night that I would would like to start being cooler. One way I have came up with is by using some really cool parting words when leaving work or groups of friends (hopefully I can get some with this new "cool" plan). Some phrases that I came up with were "Stay gold Ponyboy" and "Be Excellent to each other". Now wouldn't I be cool? But that won't get me very far down the road. What are some other awesome Pop Culture phrases I can use to leave a cool impression on people?
A friend just moved to Italy and has mentioned that almost all of the cafes in Milan and Rome now serve a product called Caffe al Ginseng (coffee with ginseng). Given Italy's status as one of the authentic and original coffee cultures, I was surprised to hear about the seaming popularity on this new offering. Can anyone shed some light on this coffee type? [more inside]
When I was living in Honduras, I noticed that when a person died, the family would hang up a large piece of black fabric outside of their house or in their window. This banner would be cut into a shape that reminded me of a bow tie. This might be a long shot, but does anyone know what the history is behind this tradition? [more inside]
How do I practice better taste - in my art, music, and other kinds of cultural consumption - without being a prude or curmudgeon or elitist? [more inside]
My writing tends to be very brief, and it's difficult for me to write long essays that are good. Also, I would like to start writing literary and cultural critiques and would like MeFites' advice. [more inside]
MeFite, No Kids here. Where do I dedicate 15 minutes a day on the internets toward study of what's fresh, even if it's stupid? [more inside]
I read an article a few months ago that challenged the idea that British colonization united and created the country of India. Instead it suggested that religious pilgrimages to holy sites across vast distances prior to British rule created a cultural cohesiveness prior to any British involvement. Now I can't find it! I am pretty sure it was on reddit but I can't find it. Please help!
I just finished watching Fat Girl (2001) [French: À ma soeur!], I'm currently reading A Certain Age by Rebecca Ray and I previously read and watched An Education. In every one of those films and/or books, an early teen (e.g. In A Certain Age the girl is 14.) has a boyfriend that is at least in his late twenties. In each case, the mother doesn't seem to mind, the father is only a bit annoyed and the man is even allowed to come to the house for dinner. Are these open age-gap relationships anomalies or are they common in Europe?
How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
Gross but I must ask -- FOR SCIENCE. What creature IS this in my homemade juice? [more inside]
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
So people like to name-drop authors and works that those who went to university and/or have a curiosity about the world should know as part of the basic vocabulary of being an educated Westerner. For example, "Kant" or "Dickensian", or "Gertrude Stein". I would like to learn this stuff, please. [more inside]
I'm interested in Korean pop culture: K-pop, K-drama, K-film. I've seen previous questions about specific recommendations if music and movies. I am checking those out. There is so much material, I'm trying to get a broader perspective. [more inside]
Recommend me some stuff to do in Los Angeles in January! [more inside]
Birmingham, England. Christmas Day. Is *anything* open at all? [more inside]
What interesting writing has been done on the overlaps between Gene Wolfes "Book of the new sun and Iain M. Banks Culture novels? [more inside]
Think of an office or cubicle in the United States around 1999, particularly in tech/IT companies. What kinds of objects would you see there which are less common now? [more inside]
Asking for a friend. A coworkers wife has been diagnosed stage IV brain cancer. They are East Indian. We would like to bring flowers to their home. Does anyone know if certain flowers have special meaning culturally and / or are there flowers to avoid? Thank you.
Where's the scene? [more inside]
I have tried to figure out Twitter on my own for over a year. I still don't get it. I googled articles. I emailed people and asked questions. I paid attention when it came up in conversation in online forums. I finally screwed up my courage and set up an account, even though I didn't know how to use it. At some point, I asked someone I met in person about it. But I am still doing it Rong. So Rong in fact that I just stopped bothering to try. [more inside]
I have no idea how to talk to normal people about my not-normal relationship, particularly when it comes to parents. At what point does it become strange? [more inside]
Enlighten me on current state of the art thinking, discourse and vocabulary around gender politics please. Terminally unique details inside. [more inside]
I've recently been watching Twin Peaks again, and I've been wondering... to people who actually watched it air in its original run, what was it like seeing something like this on TV? Did you have watching parties that I've heard so much about? Was the reveal of the killer and the twists and turns along the way surprising? Did you watch until the end of the second season, and were you disappointed when it got the plug pulled on it? [more inside]
Help me with ideas to make my Chinese relative feel comfortable on her first visit to the U.S. [more inside]
[PhillyFilter] You have a day to explore the city. What do you do? [more inside]
I am looking for memoirs written by Americans who grew up overseas. [more inside]
What can you tell me about those red signs that say Thank You For Shopping Here Your Business Is Appreciated? [more inside]
Identity crisis filter: ethnicity edition. Did you grow up one ethnicity, and choose another later in life? Do you identify with one ethnicity over another, even though both are in your lineage? Did you deny your ethnicity throughout life, then later claim it? I need some help working through my ethnicity self-identification, also in the ways of culture appropriation. [more inside]
Is the name Jesus popular in other languages besides Spanish?
What does the word "abstract" mean? [more inside]
We live in a remix culture. What does that mean for us? I'm interested in how electronic music has changed society's relationship to music, from both a musical performance and writing standpoint, and a cultural standpoint. [more inside]
Movies about Ancient Chinese or Indian history or culture? [more inside]
Skeletons wrong / bad / taboo in Chinese culture? [more inside]
This video of 'Departure' by Crystal Stilts seems to be comprised completely of documentary footage from the May '68 student uprising in Paris. However, there are a few shots in the video that are almost too 'perfect', specifically shots 4, 5 and 7, and I am wondering if they are in fact taken from a movie made at the time. If so, what film would that be? For some inexplicable reason I really need to know this.
Both the Library of America and the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade publish handsome, authoritative texts in uniform, built-to-last editions (with or without extensive notes), and being selected for publication in either is seen by many as affirming the author's place in the canon. What other publishers do the same thing? [more inside]
I'm fairly fluent in French and would like fun ideas for keeping up with the language. [more inside]
Rocket Boys? Kavalier and Clay? All Our Yesterdays... [more inside]