I am in the UK and am fascinated by a 'salad course' separate to either a starter or main course. I would like to know how that works, and how a typical multi-course meal would go where you live. [more inside]
posted by plonkee
on Nov 22, 2013 -
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]
posted by Paper rabies
on Nov 16, 2013 -
OK... I'm probably going to mangle this question, because I'm not a sociologist or anthropologist, or remotely knowledgeable in those fields. So, I'm probably using all my terms incorrectly.
But, long story short - it's been my experience that most behaviors that laypeople, in casual conversation, call "human nature" are really just cultural phenomena.
In other words - a behavior that someone from the United States thinks is "human nature" might be completely absent in another culture or society. It that's true - then it's not really "human behavior" at all.
So - my question - is the tendency for kids in grade school to form cliques "human nature" - or a phenomena that's specific to certain (e.g., our) cultures? [more inside]
posted by stuehler
on Nov 5, 2013 -
Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust
on Oct 26, 2013 -
This is a pretty big question but there are two essential parts to it: the things I need to think about when moving, and those I need to consider for living there for a reasonable length of time (18 months probably). [more inside]
posted by fearnothing
on Oct 21, 2013 -
Is there a word to describe the idea that something that has proven its value for a long time (for example the music of Mozart) is likely to endure into the future?
I remember reading something to this effect in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile
, but my a search of the index and my google fu fail me.
posted by quidividi
on Oct 19, 2013 -
Who said something like "culture is the rulership of the dead over the living"? Is is Zizek? Looking for an exact quote please. [more inside]
posted by esprit de l'escalier
on Oct 15, 2013 -
What is the origin, or the earliest known example, of the "X went to Y and I all got was this stupid T-Shirt?" t-shirt?
posted by Shepherd
on Oct 11, 2013 -
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]
posted by Apropos of Something
on Oct 8, 2013 -
I freely admit I'm not good at having aggression directed towards me, so I can't tell what to do. Essentially, cultural differences are making it really hard to get along with my roommate. Please help this co-op living delicate flower (me) coexist happily with my very German roommate! Like everyone, I am a special snowflake. This is long and detailed because I'm processing as I write. [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs
on Sep 29, 2013 -
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]
posted by myitkyina
on Sep 28, 2013 -
Why is it that people have super-strong reactions to different types of sensory stimulants? Do you have any tales of experiencing strong reactions to visual art as opposed to sounds and smells? [more inside]
posted by fishingforthewhale
on Sep 26, 2013 -
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]
posted by AnOrigamiLife
on Sep 23, 2013 -
How I can make the most out of a few months living in a foreign country? If you've spent time living abroad, what kinds of things were you most glad you did (and/or most regret not doing)? What helped you feel like you were really experiencing/appreciating a different culture?
(Definitely interested in general advice, but FYI I'm in Buenos Aires if you have specific thoughts.) [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs
on Sep 19, 2013 -
I was recently in a small village cemetery in Portugal. In the cemetery there was a wall with coffins interred on shelves, with a modern lockable double glazed door over each vault so that you could look in at the contents. [more inside]
posted by mani
on Sep 16, 2013 -
My boyfriend is german and I am spanish. We are both in our early 30s and are together for 2 years. Our relationship is good and in general we deal quite well with the fact that we come from very different cultures. However, there is a topic where we always fight. In my opinion, he drinks too much and too often beer. In his opinion, he is doing what all his friends and family are doing and he even drinks moderately compared to them. He doesn't like to get drunk every time he drinks but he likes to get boozed. [more inside]
posted by maggie32
on Sep 13, 2013 -
So I'm a dedicated Culture fanatic and have loved almost everything I've read by Iain M. Banks. (His Iain Banks stuff is pretty good too, but his sci-fi is what I really dig.) I particularly love the holistic, humanist morality that pervades his work and the way that he digs right down into the philosophical implications of various ideas and worldviews while simultaneously serving up lots and lots of sex, action, and sensawunda. However, I've read everything he's written several times over. What should I read next? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Sep 9, 2013 -
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!
posted by j03
on Sep 6, 2013 -
Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet
on Sep 1, 2013 -
I need suggestions for movies to show in a series I'm curating. The series is associated with a Visual Studies program, and so I'm seeking films that relate to visual culture or non-cinematic modes of representation in some meaningful way. In other words, the theme of the series is intermediality. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur
on Aug 28, 2013 -
I am in a foreign country. I just had an encounter with another foreigner, on his way back to his own country, which went along the lines of “You’ll never make it here, you are destined to be unhappy, these are people for whom lying is second-nature.” I just moved here and I feel like I’m being sabotaged. [more inside]
posted by spaceheater
on Aug 20, 2013 -
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?
posted by lrnarabic
on Aug 10, 2013 -
Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu
on Jul 26, 2013 -
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]
posted by Ndwright
on Jul 21, 2013 -
Hey folks. I'm having some hang ups lately about arriving "late" to some areas of culture and life. I'm also still in a "phase" where I am reaching out, establishing new social circles, and attempting to validate a sense of self(I just* turned 24).
Largely, I am wondering if any Mefites happen to recall stories of success, especially on a grand scale, of folks who pursued passions academic or not, a wee bit later in life and still fought/worked/finessed a means of becoming successful/happy/prolific in their fields or passions - especially after a means of difficult time or trauma. Super inspiration, please? Motive to keep going, work harder, even if you feel like you've been pretty beaten up/down and out for a little while? Stories of life-changing occurrences or pick-ups in character/pace, in a positive/radical/tremendous way? [more inside]
posted by thewolfandewe
on Jul 17, 2013 -
My ten year old wants to spend most of her summer days on the couch streaming TV over our roku. It is a zillion degrees outside with 200% humidity, so I sort of understand the couch potato impulse. How can I direct her so that her couch potato time doesn't spud her brain? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact
on Jul 16, 2013 -
I'm travelling to Japan for the first time. I'll be there for about a week, and want to buy some interesting, unique, useful items. What can I buy in Japan that I can't get anywhere else, or that is better than what I can get elsewhere?
I'm a utilitarian minimalist who doesn't like owning stuff for the sake of stuff. I like things that are useful, well-designed, beautiful and high-quality. I also like small things. What should I buy in Japan, and what kind of stores should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by Susan PG
on Jul 5, 2013 -
Japan and the Japanese public are often portrayed as being admirers of the culture of the United States. But within living memory the two countries were involved in a brutal
war, which culminated in conventional and nuclear bombings targeting Japan's citizenry and devastating their country
. In Japan's case, how did a societal contempt sufficient to wage and sustain total war turn, in such
a short time, into a societal affinity sufficient for some to embrace
many parts of the culture of the nation that had dealt them destruction on such a massive scale? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj
on Jul 1, 2013 -
What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
posted by goethean
on Jun 20, 2013 -
When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
posted by logonym
on Jun 19, 2013 -
I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jun 18, 2013 -
As an American woman, I understand we have different expectations regarding sex and dating/new relationships than what generally happens in Sweden. My experiences with Swedish men have been a bit confusing, and I wonder if that may be part of a cultural communication disconnect. [more inside]
posted by zettoo
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Hi, I am considering moving back to London after over a decade in NYC. I have a few questions that I am curious about. But after just typing and erasing them- I am just going to ask how other people have found the differences between living and working in (not visiting!) the two cities. [more inside]
posted by bquarters
on Jun 1, 2013 -
Please could someone tell me the name of an academic who was interviewed on radio in April 2010? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl
on May 31, 2013 -
Someone has joined the Peace Corps and is going to Senegal, working in agro-forestry. Here is what is requested: needs, reads, before and during, what not to miss seeing, what to know, all necessary tips on the Peace Corps, Senegal and the Peace Corps in Senegal, and so on. In a word: advice. In another: experience. Hive mind, please hope me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 26, 2013 -
In the not too distant future I will be relocating to Romania (through work), probably for a few years. Before I go, and while I'm there, I'd like to keep abreast of local current affairs and culture. What well-written and well-informed blogs or news sources *in English* should I keep an eye on? (obviously I am hoping to use this posting as a chance to brush up on my very limited Romanian, but that's going to take a while...) [more inside]
posted by oclipa
on May 13, 2013 -
Any tips from Metafiltrati with latin/italian lady experience to make things calmer or more manageable? [more inside]
posted by letsgomendel
on May 9, 2013 -
Quick question for folks who've lived in both Australia and NZ: what cultural and language differences did you notice?
posted by superfish
on May 3, 2013 -
If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
posted by dynamiiiite
on Apr 23, 2013 -
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.
posted by fizzix
on Apr 15, 2013 -
Have there been studies done on the cultural elements that spur innovative commercial development in particular people, companies/organizations or regions? [more inside]
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre
on Apr 3, 2013 -
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]
posted by grahamsletter
on Mar 20, 2013 -
I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Mar 13, 2013 -